Modern Custom Home Exterior built by St. George homebuilder
People constantly stress over the preliminary processes when building a home–we always see it. Who should the builder be, which location is best, and how will the floor plan look? With so much to consider, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. A select few won't even consider building a custom home because of the stress. That's why we saw the need to provide simple tools and advice to make the process a breeze. Our latest blog post gave tips on choosing a home builder for your custom home. Then, realizing we had just scratched the surface, we wanted to dive in—dig a little deeper and provide you with all the right tools. Our new mini-series, “Everything You Need to Know About the Custom Home Process,” highlights all aspects of the home-building process!

In this article:

  1. Selecting the Perfect Building Site
  2. The Creation Phase
  3. The Design Phase
  4. Obtaining a Bid from Your Builder
  5. The Construction Phase
  6. Closing | Welcome Home

1: Selecting The Perfect Building Site

Frontloader preparing building site for custom home
Good homes miss the mark of becoming great because of little details and missed opportunities. Dennis Miller Homes always pay attention to detail, and the land location is our “blank canvas.” Every piece of land offers some hidden treasure that needs to be captured, and this is what makes good homes great homes. This philosophy is the foundation for how we design and build.

General Location

The first decision when selecting a lot is determining which general location you want to live in. There are countless places in Southern Utah where anyone would love living. From Ivins and Santa Clara to Hurricane and Sand Hollow, there is a place for you and your family. So how do you choose? When raising a family, determining which school district you want to live in is an excellent place to start. You also might consider what St. George amenities, such as grocery stores or shopping malls, you’d like closer to home. Where do you work, and how long do you want your commute to be?

Part of the Neighborhood

Once you figure out the general location you want to build, the next thing to consider is where exactly in the subdivision you want to be. Do you want to build near the subdivision’s access, in a cul-de-sac, or on a corner lot? If getting in and out of a neighborhood quickly is essential, you may consider choosing a lot near the neighborhood’s entrance. The downside is that you will experience more traffic. Do you prefer a more secluded lot? Try and find a lot at the end of a cul-de-sac. Many people like corner lots because they are often larger. However, one thing to remember is that corner lots often require more landscape and maintenance. Decide what aspects you care about, and go from there.

How the House will be Oriented

As trivial as it may seem, the orientation of your home makes a big difference. Some people who live in colder climates are adamant about not having a house that faces north. They claim north-facing houses make it more challenging to keep the snow cleared of walkways in the winter. Although we don’t deal with those problems here in Southern Utah, there are still some critical things to consider. For example, are you going to have a pool? Maybe you would prefer a north-facing house so that your pool receives sunlight during the day.

On the other hand, if you want a cool place for your kids to play in the summers, a south-facing house will lend more shade in the backyard. The orientation of your house can also affect its energy efficiency. If you roughly know the layout of your home, you’ll have a better idea of what side of the street you want your lot to be.

Try and Capture Views

St. George offers some of the best views on earth. When choosing a lot, pay attention to the views that you will have when your home is built. Would you like your vistas from the front or back of your house? Also, how will your lot affect your solar exposure? How can you best take advantage of sunrises or sunsets? Considering each of things will help when trying to select a building site.

Here at Dennis Miller Homes, we believe site selection is just as important, if not more important, than the actual building plan. The building site will help us determine where we want to place windows, where we desire certain rooms to be, and how we want to position the home on the lot. So whether you have already found the perfect lot or are just starting the search process, we have the right team of professionals to ensure you capitalize on one of the most critical phases of building a home.

2: The Creation Phase

St. George Home Designs by DMH
The second step of the custom home process is our favorite. At this point, we get the creative juices flowing and start dreaming. We call this step The Creation Process.

The Creation Process involves brainstorming and dreaming. This process can be done independently or with us as we give input. We’re dreamers at heart, so we love to hear what types of things prospective clients have always yearned for in a home. However, even if a person has been planning the details of their home for years, when they hear the question, “What would you like in your new home?” almost everyone starts to draw blanks.

Because thinking about every aspect of your home can be overwhelming, we broke this process down into three different categories: Lifestyle, Features, and Style. Going about the Creation Process while keeping these components in mind will bring organization and clarity to the endeavor.

Lifestyle

Thinking about lifestyle is a perfect starting point. Some people start with features only to realize that they have unnecessary features or forget certain features they need. It is better to start by thinking about your lifestyle and then place the elements in a way that will support that lifestyle. Questions you should ask yourself at this point of the creation process include: Do I need space for entertaining? Do I want the main gathering space for my family to be in a great room near the kitchen or a separate family room? Do I plan to have visitors often who would appreciate their suite? Do I want more space in the house or more space in the yard? Questions like these help you figure out what is important to you. It will ensure that your home is perfectly functional and that you utilize the space you call home.

Features

As you brainstorm about lifestyle, you’ll notice that the next step, focusing on features, will come naturally. If you have decided you need space for entertaining, then more than likely, you are going to want a dining space and a large kitchen island or bar. If you enjoy St. George sunsets, you’ll probably want a covered patio. Is a jacuzzi tub or fireplace in the master suite something you can’t live without? Do you want your kids to enjoy a pool in the backyard? Some people feel that looking at other floor plans helps to get their wheels turning. Don’t worry about missing certain aspects; we will bring features to your attention that you may not have considered.

Style

Once you have thought about your lifestyle and the features you want to include in your home, style is the last thing to go over. How do you want those features to look? This is where your home will start to reflect your personality and creative taste. Do you want your home to look modern? You may like the cozy and inviting feel of french country. Do you want your house to take on the trendy craftsman-style look? Whatever style you choose, we have a team of professionals that are sure to bring all of the components of your home together so that it looks aesthetically flawless.

Remember that the creation process is a time to have fun. Try not to get overwhelmed—Reserve judgments on your dreaming. Let the ideas run free. Many people are surprised by the number of things they can include in their homes. As was mentioned above, we love this step in the building process because we get to have fun with our clients. One of the reasons a person chooses to build a home instead of buying a home is because they can experience this creation process. Make sure you enjoy yours.

3: The Design Phase

Custom Home Blueprints
When we talk about the design phase, think of floor plans. During this critical step, we take all the ideas and components you have come up with in the creation process and start sketching and designing your home. We start with rough designs and continue to iron out the details one step at a time until we arrive at a plan that we feel is flawless. When talking about it, the process seems simple enough. However, during this time, people often become overwhelmed, feeling like they have to get the process right the first time.

So what is the source of all of the anxiety?

The Problem

When individuals build a custom home, they want to ensure the final product is perfect. Who wouldn’t?  After all, the family will live there for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately,  when a customer gets to the design phase, most custom home builders require customers to pay for a set of plans to be drafted. To compound the problem, there are often fees when the builder has to return to the architect with any redrafting or changes. With that industry norm in mind, individuals feel pressured to get the house plan right the first time to avoid fees and unwanted costs.

Hence the anxiety and pressure.

Our Solution

One of the things we pride ourselves on here at Dennis Miller Homes is breaking industry norms. Custom home builders often charge customers to draft floor plans and make changes because they, too are getting charged. It’s not that they’re malicious and are trying to nickel and dime people; it’s simply business.

Lucky for us, we have arguably the best draftsman/architect in the area as part of our team. In addition, because we draft all our plans in-house, we don’t have to worry about being charged when customers need to make changes. Therefore, our customers can make tweaks and adjustments until their house plan is perfect.

Recently, a customer told us they were charged more than $15,000 for drafting house plans! He couldn’t believe we were doing all of it for free before he even signed a contract. He felt so relieved that he could bounce ideas off of us and make adjustments ensuring his floor plan would be just right.

Why is our change in the process such a big deal?

The most significant advantage of this process is the stress-free environment customers have when going through the design phase. They can get their house plan perfect the first go around. They can approach the design phase knowing that whatever they start with can be adjusted.

Tips for the Design Phase

Now that you understand our process a little better and the pressure of getting the design perfect is gone, what is the best way to approach this step? The first step is to bring all of the ideas from the creation phase to us. Then, when we hear you talk about your dreams and desires, in our minds, we will be piecing together a design and developing a rough sketch.

From there, we recommend looking at other floor plans and seeing different layouts. As we mentioned previously, looking at other floor plans will help get your wheels turning. However, some people need help visualizing how their house will be simply by looking at a floor plan. If you fall into this category, no problem. Come look at some of our previous projects and get real-life visuals. We love when clients walk through the homes we’re working on.

Once we start with a rough sketch, we’ll continue to tweak designs and make needed adjustments. Then, once you’re satisfied, it’s on to the bidding phase! At Dennis Miller Homes, we want to not only give you an outstanding product but we also want you to enjoy the journey. We feel that the flexibility of our design phase will leave you more than satisfied.

4: Obtaining a Bid From Your Builder

Two People Designing Custom Homes
One major thing we highlighted above was the importance of having our architect in-house. Because we have our architect in-house, we can adjust a client’s floor plan without having to charge them for a redraft. That advantage becomes critical during the bidding process. If, for some reason, we came in a little too high or too low, we can always add or take away components to the plan.

When it comes to bidding, we usually take one of two approaches with clients. We either bid out the project with our standard allowances or we go with a customized approach.

Standard Allowances

The Standard allowance approach is what most home builders will use. It’s the industry standard, and pretty straightforward. That standard allowance process is where a builder will draw up a client’s plan and then based on that plan they will start bidding on the house as if the client were to put the standard components in their home. As the building process occurs, the builder will then send the customer to their preferred vendor, tell them what the bid allowance is, and then have them pick components (such as light fixtures or appliances) that fall within that allowance.

The advantage of the standard process is that it speeds up the bidding phase and gives the client a little more time to decide on paint color, countertops type, floor coloring, etc. However, the main disadvantage to this process comes when a specific product a client wants is outside the allowance budget.

We’ve heard stories of individuals who got a bid from their builder and thought they were getting a steal of a deal. The contractor gave them a price based on the builder’s “standard allowance”, the contract was signed, the customer was excited, and the building commenced. Unfortunately, when it came time for the customer to pick out the features they wanted, they realized that the bid they quoted only allowed for features they did not want. The customer ends up having to file 5 or more change orders, and that killer price they thought they were getting starts to climb rapidly.

Ultimately, the customer is left dissatisfied.

The Customized Approach

While Dennis Miller Homes will undoubtedly bid on a home using the standard-allowance approach, we typically prefer clients to use a customized system. When we build your home, especially a custom home, we want you to have the features and components you want. Therefore, rather than give you our allowances, we send you to four or five of our leading suppliers and have you choose the features you want in your home first. After you’ve picked out what you would prefer to have in your home, we provide a bid.

The main advantage of obtaining a bid this way is twofold. First, if the bid comes in higher than you like, we can start changing features in your home while keeping the ones you absolutely can not live without. Second, once the bid is finalized, a few change orders will have to be processed, and the price you received at the beginning will be very close to the price you pay. Overall, this creates a better experience for you as the customer and us as the builder.

Remember, building a home should be fun. Most customers are surprised at what features they can afford, so don’t be afraid to splurge a little. If you get a quote using the standard approach, ensure you understand what the standard allowance will get you. If at all possible, try and use the customized approach. It will make your building experience a lot more enjoyable.

5: The Construction Phase

St. George Luxury Home Framing
When you get to the construction phase of building, the goal is to be able to go on autopilot. If you have done the preliminary steps the right way, especially the creation and design phases, you should be able to sit back and let the professionals do their thing.

However, there are unique opportunities that happen during the construction phase that we want to make you aware of. These opportunities will help you feel like a part of the building experience and ultimately make you love your house even more.

Walk-Throughs

If you have gone through the proper steps in selecting the right home builder, we recommend a laissez-faire approach during construction. The home builder is professional and knows the necessary courses of action to ensure a gorgeous final product.

You should schedule regular walk-throughs of the property where you and your home builder can walk side by side throughout the property.   This critical time will allow you to ask questions regarding the progress of your home to the contractor while they are on-site. Also, this time will enable the contractor to ask clarifying questions, ensuring that you are getting the product you want. Making sure these walkthroughs take place will speed up the building process and ensure that you and your professional are communicating.

Monumental Steps Of Building

We prefer our clients to participate in the construction process at Dennis Miller Homes. After all, this is the place you will call home. We want you to feel a connection to your house and start making memories the moment we break ground. A few parts of the building process are monumental, and we want you to participate.

Ground Breaking

The first step of the building process is breaking ground to pour the foundation. You have seen ceremonies for extensive construction processes where ribbons are cut, and shovels go into the ground. Although your home won’t be a skyscraper in New York, it will be the place that houses your family and memories. Be the one to put the shovel in the ground first and start the building process.

The First Wall

Another monumental step in building a house is putting up the walls. When the framed walls go up, the structure and personality of the home start to take shape. Help our crews lift your first wall and experience something special. One of our previous customers left us a very thoughtful review highlighting how much that moment meant to them.

Painting

Paint pulls out the personality of the homeowners. Once the walls are painted, a client will start to see some of their style infused within the home. So have some fun and help us roll on some paint for the wall of your choosing. Every time you walk by that section of your home, you’ll remember that moment with fondness.

6: Closing | Welcome Home

Custom Home Closing - Person uses key to unlock their new home build
We break the “welcome home” process into three subcategories: Final Walkthrough, Closing Documents and Handing Over the Keys.

Final Walkthrough

Once all parts of the construction phase have finished, and a “CO” has been obtained we will conduct a final walkthrough. During this process, we will walk through and inspect each room.

This is the time for your critical eyes to come out. As this final walkthrough takes place, ensure that the finished product meets expectations and every little detail is how you want it. Feel free to open and close cabinets, and check appliances, light fixtures, etc. This house is yours to move into, so make sure you love it.

Closing Documents

Once we have done the final walkthrough and tightened up any loose ends, we will sign the closing documents. Certain title documents will need to be signed and notarized by the right legal professionals, contracts with your builder will be finalized, and the proper exchange of money for services will take place. Just like any legal document, make sure you read what you are signing thoroughly

Handing Over the Keys

The only thing left to do is hand you the keys to your home. With a smile, we will thank you for the experiences we’ve shared and the opportunity we had to build your home. We will then present you with our closing packet, which will include the home warranty details, access to some of our preferred vendors in St. George and the surrounding area, and other pertinent documents. The house is now officially your home.

Welcome Home!

This series has been enjoyable for us to create. It has helped us take a step back and look at the different opportunities to ensure our clients have an incredible experience building a home. Whether you choose Dennis Miller Homes or another contractor to build your home, we hope that the outlined concepts will ease the stressful process often associated with building.  Remember, it’s not about creating a final product in a house. Instead, it’s about enjoying an experience as you watch your dreams of having a custom home come to life!

What are You Waiting For? Design Your Custom Home Today!

We Are the Custom St. George Home Builder You Can Trust

We're a leading Southern Utah custom home builder for a reason; we believe that every client matters. No matter the size of the home or the budget, every client is equally important to us. We believe in constant, clear communication, exceptional building standards, and giving you the most home value for your money. Over the years, we've carried on the old-fashioned business values--integrity, honesty, and expert building. We're proud of our commitment to our values and our exceptional work. For more than 30 years, we've led the way for custom homes, and our goal is to turn your dreams into a reality. To get started building your home with one of the top home builders in St. George, contact Dennis Miller Homes today.

Get to know Dennis Miller Homes in our latest video. Meet the team, see a few of the spaces we’ve built, and get to know what drives our St. George home builders to continue building the best custom homes in Utah.

Your home isn't just a place to retreat to at night; it's an extension of your lifestyle. It's where you live, rest, connect, entertain, and much more. At Dennis Miller Homes, we believe your home should be a reflection of how you live life. 

We firmly believe that our job as homebuilders is learning about you. When you choose a builder who cares about you, that’s when you can get something truly special. From large details such as the floorplan to even the smallest details, we spend the time to get to know you so we know how to plan your house. 

Here is a little more about our design process and how we help you build the home of your dreams. 

 

Design phase

As we meet with you during the design phase, we focus on how you will be living in the home. We ask questions about your lifestyle, from your goals to how many children you have. How do you want to use this space, and how would you like the rooms laid out? What interactions will you have in the home? Will it be a vacation home or a primary residence? We ask plenty of questions so we know exactly what you want from your house. Functionality and efficiency are at the forefront of our design process, all while planning for the luxuries and incorporating a stunning design that will set your home apart from the rest.

 

Build phase

Once we have finalized the design, we start the building process. As a premier home builder in St. George, Utah, we set only the highest expectations for ourselves. Someone is at the job site each day, checking on every detail and ensuring that the process meets our standards. We are fully involved in the building process from beginning to end, ensuring we get it right.

 

 

When you build with Dennis Miller Homes, your imagination is the limit. Taking our client’s dreams and turning them into a reality is our passion. We believe that incorporating a client’s lifestyle into their living space is one of the greatest things about building custom homes. We are the custom home builder in Southern Utah that truly aims to make each house an extension of a client’s lifestyle. 

While there are plenty of St. George home builders, Dennis Miller Homes gives you the customization that you need. We’ve recently had the privilege of creating some amazing custom features. Take a look at five of our favorite features in our latest custom home builds.

St. George Home White Exterior - Modern Southern Utah Home

Climbing Wall

This incredible two-story climbing wall is high on our favorites list. Centrally located in the house, this wall is a focal point as well as an active zone. It’s the perfect addition for a rock climbing addict or even someone who wants to add a little fun to their living area. Homeowners and guests alike can scale the wall onto the second story into the game room with a kitchenette. With features like this in a house, you’re sure to always be entertained.

Home Builders St. George Utah Design Custom Indoor Rock Wall                                                               Huge climbing wall in custom home built by Dennis Miller Homes.

Pivot Door

Installing a pivot door brings instant luxury and elegance to the exterior of a home. This pivot door installed by Dennis Miller Homes not only looks amazing but is easy to use. Because it sits on a vertical access, this large door effortlessly rotates, creating a stylish entryway. Pivot doors are perfect for large entryways, and when you’d like a seamless transition between inside and outside. One of the benefits of being a custom home builder in Southern Utah is being able to take a unique element like this from design to completion.

Inside view of pivot door in southern Utah custom home

Stone Fireplace

Heating up on a cool day doesn’t need to be boring. Take a look at this beautiful rock fireplace. Together with the client, we designed this sleek, central open fireplace in one of our latest modern builds. It’s a focal point between the kitchen and living room area. This showstopper and would look great in any custom home.

Luxury Living Room with Custom Indoor Fireplace and Dining Area - St. George Custom Home Design

Second Story Pool Deck

Let’s face it; this is one of the most epic additions to any house. Our client wanted the possibility of jumping off the second story into the pool below, and we made it happen. This pool area is complete with a huge barbeque station and service bar. Everyone in the neighborhood is going to want to come over for these pool parties.

Classic Kitchen with Hidden Pantry

Behind this gorgeous cabinet door is a hidden pantry. This is one of our favorite features in classic, custom kitchens. Hidden pantry doors turn what would be a regular pantry door into a beautiful, seamless part of the kitchen. It makes the kitchen look bigger while becoming a focal point of the room. Plus, there’s always the mystery of what’s behind the hidden door.

Custom Home Builder in Southern Utah

Whatever custom features you’d like to include in your house, choose Dennis Miller Homes to help you build the home of your dreams. We take full reigns of the building process so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy creating your dream space. Our team enjoys getting to know the personality and lifestyle of each client. Then, we work on building a home that is an extension of their lifestyle.

Outside view of pivot door in Luxury Custom Home in St. George built by Dennis Miller Homes

 

For over 35 years, we have been a custom home builder in Southern Utah. We’ve built for hundreds of clients in our community and we’d love to get started on yours. No matter what your needs are, Dennis Miller Homes stays committed to you through the entire process. If you are interested in new construction homes in St. George, Utah, contact us today. We would love to schedule a free custom home consultation to get the ball rolling.

Are you in the market to buy a new home? One of the first decisions you will face is whether to build a custom home or buy an existing one. It can seem impossible to find your 'dream home' when looking for a house, especially if you have a specific location and budget.

Consider various factors before deciding whether building a home is better than buying one. From price differences to customization, the advantages and disadvantages of building versus buying can help you determine which is right for you.

If you are on the fence, continue reading to simplify the home-buying decision.

 

Differences Between Building a Home and Buying One

Building a custom home makes you a member of the design and construction team. You will work with your custom home builder to make your home exactly how you want it to be. Because you're constructing the home from the ground up, you decide everything from the floor plan and features to flooring and colors.

Other benefits of building a home include:

 

On the other hand, the advantages of buying an existing home include:

Along with these benefits, let's discuss other factors that could affect your final decision.

 

Home Costs of Build A Home Versus Buying an Existing Home

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average cost of a 2,600 sq. ft. custom home in 2019 was $485,128, while the median cost of an existing home was $309,800.

At first glance, it is easy to see the significant differences between each. However, building a custom home provides more price flexibility than most buyers realize. While the final cost per square foot depends on various factors like location, size, and custom features, you will have control to choose where you want to spend or save. Dennis Miller Homes, a custom home builder in St. George, Utah, provides you with a long-hand bid so you make design choices that fit your budget.

 

Maintenance On a New Home Versus An Existing Home

Another factor that will impact your budget is maintenance. Choosing to build a home is the best option for homeowners uninterested in DIY projects, hiring a contractor, or making frequent repairs. If you buy an existing home, try to factor in additional costs you will need to make after purchasing the home. Some of these might include installing a driveway, new roof or garage, landscaping, new appliances, and connecting utilities such as water or power.

There could also be hidden repair costs that you didn't catch before signing your contract. One way to avoid massive maintenance bills is to build a new home that uses the latest construction standards. Your Southern Utah custom home builder could also offer quality warranties to ensure your house has everything you need to feel 'at home.'

 

Pros and Cons of Prebuilt Homes

Buyers who purchase an existing home already have landscaping when they move in. If you don't have a specific look in mind, pre-existing landscaping is a bonus. However, new home buyers who prefer modern landscapes will need to do a lot of work to ensure their landscape is updated.

 

Building A New Home in St. George Is Better With Dennis Miller Homes

Buyers interested in building new homes in St. George, Utah, rely on Dennis Miller Homes. Our team will commit to capturing your vision and perfecting the homebuilding process along the way. We believe in honesty, communication, and caring about your experience. Having maintained the integrity of a family name for more than 35 years, we take the stress and frustration out of building custom homes. As the leading St. George custom home builder, Dennis Miller Homes is dedicated to you and your home every step of the way!

 

Schedule a consultation to start building your new home.

When you first start looking for a home, you will have a lot of questions to consider. What type of house would work best for my family? Where should we live? Is there a certain homebuilder that I should talk to before starting to look for a lot? Before long, you will have a million questions to answer and might become overwhelmed. Instead of adding more questions to a seemingly endless list, let's start with the most important—where should you build?

Settling on one location will help you not only answer where your family will live but other questions on your list, as well. In fact, all your long nights and time spent working on your new home could be for nothing if you don't choose the right place to buy your new home. 

Fortunately, working with the custom home builders of St. George, Utah, you can discover why the city is one of the fastest-growing places in the country. The city boasts a whole lot more than what meets the eye. From its rich pioneer history, booming economy and being surrounded by many of the state's most beautiful trails and parks, St. George is the place to be. 

Still don't believe us? Just ask any of the approximately 10,000 people who moved there over the last year. 

St. George's massive increase of new residents took the city from 138,115 recorded residents in 2010 to 177,556 in 2020. But what is drawing all these homebuyers in southern Utah? Is it the booming economy, natural beauty, job opportunities, or growing infrastructure? 

CNN awarded St. George among the top 100 Best Places to Live, praising its contrast of quiet seclusion and action sports against a backdrop of red canyon walls and Zion National Park's majestic mountains. 

As positive reports flood in, new families continue to make their move to southern Utah. To ensure you make the right choice for your family, our St. George custom home builder reflects on all the many reasons why you should consider making the city your next stop on your home-buying journey. 

Let's explore why St. George is the best place to buy a custom home.

 

Top Reasons Why to Buy a Custom Home in St. George

Any of the country's top realtors can outline the criteria for selecting the ideal location for your new house. The main four factors to consider usually include:

Along with those factors, you should think about schooling options, job opportunities, and market value. St. George ticks all the right boxes and then some. Here are a few more reasons why this southern Utah town is one of the best places to build your new home in Utah.

 

An array of Things to Do in the Area

St. George is a hot spot for action sports. Whether you enjoy boating on the weekends at Sand Hallow, rock climbing in Snow Canyon, or mountain biking, the growing city has all you need and more. Other sports are also available for you to enjoy, including golf, pickleball, swimming, hiking, running, soccer, and more. 

Along with boasting beautiful locations for various sports, the town is also known for its local events. Tuacahn Amphitheater offers various productions throughout the year, including local arts and theater events. 

On the weekends, many St. George homeowners drive a short distance to explore nearby national parks, like Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, and more. National monuments like the Grand Staircase in Escalante or Snow Canyon state park to enjoy when you are up for an adventure. 

If that wasn't enough, you could visit the weekend art markets in the summer, as well as various retail shops throughout the city. Retailers range from thrift shops and local Native American goods to boutiques and popular brands. 

Once you shop to your heart's content, head on over to one of St. George's many restaurants for a bite to eat, you can find any type of dining experience you want, from fast food to fine dining. Whatever you need—St. George has it. 

 

Utah's High Employment

If you want to live in an area that incorporates a healthy work-life balance, then St. George is for you. Many employers find unique ways of accommodating the city's laid-back lifestyle in the workplace. On the other hand, many homeowners work remotely, especially as businesses continue to follow the growing demands of the digital marketplace.

If you want to bring your dream business to life, St. George is also a great place to live. WalletHub released a report in 2021 ranking the small city among the best places to start a business in Utah. 

The combination of affordable housing, low unemployment, and increased job opportunities. make this southern Utah city a top choice for young families and professionals who want to invest in the St. George real estate market.

 

Education Opportunities

Along with a healthy work-life balance and high employment, St. George is also extremely family-friendly. Many young families flock to this suburb thanks to high-rated public schools and nearby colleges. St. George is in the top half of places with the best public schools. 

Along with several public schools, you can also find private and charter schools, depending on your educational needs. Once your child graduates, they won't need to move far to continue their education. 

Located in the city's heart, Dixie State University offers six academic colleges, including Business, Education, the Arts, Technology, Health Sciences, Humanities, and Science, Engineering, and Technology. Students can also explore Dixie Technological College or Southern Utah University, located 40 minutes north of St. George.  

The future of St. George looks bright, as well. As the city continues to grow, you can expect the state to put additional resources into St. George's schools and educational programs. 

 

Utah is Retirement-Friendly

With year-round sunny weather, healthy cost of living, and welcoming culture, St. George is one of the best places to relocate when retiring. Retirees can slow down with the small-town feeling of security and comfort while still enjoying the attractions of a larger city. 

The dry climate, blue skies, and about 300 days of warm weather also provide older generations with the sunny weather they enjoy in their twilight years. 

 

Natural Amenities - Utah's National Parks

Nature enthusiasts rejoice— St. George continues Utah's tradition of beautiful outdoor scenery and natural amenities. Washington county homeowners are within driving distance of top-rated golf resorts, lakes, trails, and plenty of places to enjoy activities while in the great outdoors. Not to mention St. George's near-perfect climate and temperature that allows homeowners to enjoy outdoor activities year-round. 

Whether you are a mountain biker, runner, hiker, golfer, swimmer, or enjoy looking out your window to a beautiful view, St. George has it all. If that wasn't enough, waking up to the city's desert view won't hurt, either.

 

Why is St. George Real Estate Booming?

Every year the U.S. Census Bureau compiles data to show where people are moving to and away from understanding the latest nationwide trends. In 2020, the Bureau found that St. George, Utah, was the country's fifth fastest-growing metro region. 

From 2010 to 2019, the metro region expanded by 29 percent, growing from 138,115 to 177,556 recorded residents.

This isn't the first time the city has been lauded for its explosive expansion. Between 2016 and 2017, St. George, Utah, was the country's fastest-growing metro region when its population climbed by 4% in a single year.

If you are interested in discovering what St. George has in store for your family, this growing city is a great choice. Our custom home builder has the tools, techniques, and one-on-one customization process you need to build your dream home. 

Let our St. George builders guide you through every step of the home-building process, from lot selection to design and construction, to guarantee that every square foot looks how you envision.

Working with our team will ensure a beautiful, finished product and a memorable home construction experience. Together, we will handpick every aspect of your new home, assembling the puzzle pieces to create an environment that is uniquely yours. 

 

See the services we offer at Dennis Miller Homes.

 

Build Your Custom Home with St. George Home Builder Dennis Miller Homes

If you are ready to build a home in your dream neighborhood, let the custom home builders at Dennis Miller Homes take care of the home building process. Our team has over 35 years of experience building homes in southern Utah, including St. George, Washington City, Santa Clara, and more.

Call us old-fashioned, but we still believe in the core values of any successful business: honesty, communication, and genuine care. We take the stress and anxiety out of house construction by maintaining the integrity of a family name for over 35 years. Dennis Miller Homes, the #1 custom house builder in St. George, is committed to you and your home every step of the way!

Allow us to put our experience and knowledge to the test as we design and build your dream custom home in the best location—St. George, Utah! Every customer has unique needs, and we have the experience and skills to meet yours.

 

 

The timeline for building a custom home typically takes longer than other home types. While the exact length depends on location and size, you can expect to wait an average of 12-18 months before moving into your dream home.

Another variable that many new homebuyers should account for is the current construction market. For instance, many areas are recently experiencing a construction material shortage.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index, 71 percent of general contractors are recently facing a shortage in at least one type of material. The most common is lumber, while also shortages in steel, electrical, and lighting supplies 

While the current market is putting more pressure on homebuilders, there are still many reasons to be optimistic:

As you consider relocating to a new home, one of the questions you might ask is whether to buy or build.

The answer? Build a custom home.

Custom home builders team up with you to customize every inch of your new home.

Dennis Miller Homes, a St. George custom home builder, gives Southern Utah homebuyers the tools and services needed to bring their vision to life. As your custom home building partner, we will work with you to select the perfect lot, design the perfect plans, and build the perfect home.

Our unique home-building process also ensures an efficient custom home-building timeline. The  process includes:

Along with a proven construction process, Dennis Miller Homes dedicates our custom home building services to providing experiences that will last a lifetime.

As you count on us to bring your dream home to life, we will give you complete control over every aspect of the building process. From selecting the materials to designing the floor plan, you have the final say in what stays and what goes.

Although the custom home building process isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, most custom home builders follow a similar timeline.

In short, the total construction of a custom home ranges from about 12-18 months. Along with building time, your will also need to account for design and plan approval time.

Typically, design takes an average of 2-3 months, while city/county approval can take 4-8 weeks.

After these steps, your custom home builder will begin the actual construction process, which can take about a year to 18 months.

To help you fully understand the average time to build a house, our team takes an in-depth look at the custom home building timeline step-by-step.

 

New Home Construction Timeline: The Planning & Design Stage

Before building a custom home, you must undergo the planning and design stage. You will need to select a lot to build your home. You will also need to find an architect, interior designer, and partner with a custom home builder, either simultaneously or after finding a lot.

After acquiring a place to build your custom home, you will work closely with your design team to develop a series of plans detailing the scope of your project.

Your architect and builder will work together to create a preliminary design that is both functional and beautiful. The builder then builds an estimate that is based on your budget and fits your needs.

While you and your interior designer make the first phase of design selections, your custom builder will provide a few different things. These include: 

During this time, your builder or general contractor will also sign on subcontractors to install the major systems required in your new home plan.

The new construction phase will also include finalizing all remaining design decisions. Together, you will determine your flooring, cabinetry, lighting, and bathroom fixtures. It might be overwhelming, but your team will be by your side to help guide you to the best choice.

In total, the items finalized in the new home construction step includes developing:

Along with designing the home, your custom home building team will help you acquire all required approvals and permits. These will include:

Overall, this phase of the custom home build timeline will take 4-6 months.

 

Breaking Ground: Pouring the Foundation

Now that the design team completed your custom home plans, it will be time to pour the foundation. After preparing the site, your builder will begin to lay the foundation. Usually, site preparation only takes a few weeks. 

Once the site is ready, your builder will pour concrete footers. Then, the next step will depend on whether your house calls for a basic slab foundation or a full basement layout.

The timeline for the foundation can range from 2-4 weeks, starting from the beginning of site prep to when the foundation fully cures.

 

Framing Your Home: The Average Time to Build a House

Once your custom home has a strong foundation, it is ready for the frame. This is where the floor plans you spent weeks drawing with your architect and design team are put to the test.

Your builder will take those designs and erect the basic framework of the home, including the roof structure, internal walls, staircases, and more.

Throughout this phase of the process, you can rely on your builder and construction manager to oversee the project. They will work carefully to ensure that all the work goes smoothly and that there are no mistakes or rework required.

This stage is usually quick, but your custom home builder will keep you updated with a realistic timeline to keep your entire project on schedule and budget.

 

Plumbing & Electrical Work: Hiring Subcontractors 

After the contracting team nails down the skeleton of the home to the foundation, it is time to install the major systems of your new home.

Most custom home builders hire subcontractors to complete the plumbing and electrical work on a custom home. These teams provide niche services that require extensive knowledge and skill to install.

At Dennis Miller Homes, we have a relationship with some of the top subcontractors in the southern Utah area. These long-standing relationships give our clients the utmost confidence that all the major systems in their new homes will run in tip-top shape for years to come.

The timeline you can expect for these different systems include:

Another factor you might want to consider when building a custom home is increasing system efficiency with energy-efficient construction. If you require such an elaborate system, your timeline may slightly increase.

Other variables in plumbing and electrical work that might affect your timeline include installing:

Altogether, this step in the custom home building process usually takes about four months to complete.

 

Finishing It Off with Drywall, Roof, and Exterior Finishes

After your builder or subcontracting team finishes installing the wiring and plumbing throughout your new home, it is time to complete the design.

This next step in the custom home building process is all about finishes. From the drywall and interior finishes to the roofing and exterior finishes, your home building team will work hard to make your dream come to fruition.

During this phase, you can expect your building team to install several items, including:

Since the quality and complexity of a custom home design require a higher level of craftsmanship and materials than other home types, this phase of the process may take longer than usual.

An average custom home building timeline for these materials may look like this:

During this time, your custom home builder will keep you updated on your exact timeline, so you know what to expect.

 

Variables that Affect the Custom Home Building Timeline

The length of time it takes to build a new custom home usually takes less than two years, depending on various factors. Some of these variables include:

Contractor Recommendation:  Make all your decisions ahead of time and stick to them to shorten the custom home building timeline.

 

Best Time to Build a Home in St. George, Utah

If you are considering working with a St. George custom home builder, you may be asking, "What's the busy season?" Fortunately, St. George is one of the few places in Utah that doesn't experience any serious construction delays related to weather or season changes.

Southern Utah homebuyers aren't constricted to a certain building schedule. Unlike Utah homebuyers in the northern part of the state who experience frequent construction delays due to snow and rain, St. George's warm climate keeps things rolling year-round. In fact, our custom home builders work with ideal circumstances when building new homes.

So, whenever you want to build your new custom home in St George, Utah, Dennis Miller Homes will be ready to make it happen.

 

How to Build A Custom Home...Now

Begin the custom home building timeline by contacting Dennis Miller Homes today. Call us old-timers, but our custom home builders still believe in the fundamental qualities of any good business— honesty, communication, and genuine care. As the leading custom home building team in St. George, we know what it takes to build a southern Utah dream home.

Whether you are looking for a second home for vacations or a new family home for day-to-day living, Dennis Miller Homes is dedicated to making your home-building experience as stress-free as possible. Together, we will create a home that grows with you.

We offer custom home building services throughout southern Utah, including:

We understand that while every client has different needs, we can do our part to make our services equipped and ready to bring your dream home to life. Count on our 35 years of experience building custom homes in St. George to make your home building timeline quick, efficient, and fun.

 

 

 

 

The St. George real estate market is booming with no signs of slowing down any time soon, thanks to historically low mortgage rates, a strong economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic and increased remote work opportunities.

As of July 2021, the Utah housing market is the top housing market in the nation. With rising numbers throughout the state's job sector, low unemployment, low mortgage rates, few mortgage delinquencies, and low state and local taxes, it is no surprise why many now call Utah 'home'.

The job landscape in Utah is also one of the best in the country. Over the last decade, the state has held the top spot for the fastest-growing job market in the country. While the employment sector surged, it brought new residents with it.

During that same time period, Utah's population increased by 18.4%, making it the fastest-growing state in the US. One look at southern Utah's beautiful desert landscape, natural amenities, and growing infrastructure, and you will quickly understand why so many people are making a move.

As many families choose southern Utah to lay down their roots, Dennis Miller Homes, a leading home builder in southern Utah, is here to not only find you a house but a place that you can call home.  

Our team offers a custom home-building process that ensures you build a home with all of the functions and features you need to know that you made the right choice. To help you get a jump start on building your dream home, we compiled a list of five must-haves that every southern Utah home needs. Here is what you should know:

Your Custom Home in St. George Needs These Features

Home Lots For Sale in Washington County

We all know the saying, "Location, location, location." But how does that apply to you? Location will determine not only where you live, but how you live, from your kid's new school to commute to nearby amenities and more.

As a southern Utah custom home builder, we know a thing or two about how a location can affect your home-building experience. We believe that choosing the right place to build is just as important as what you choose to build. Many homebuyers who work with a custom builder already have a site where they plan to build their new place. However, other buyers would prefer an expert to guide them through the site selection process.

Whichever category you fall into, Dennis Miller Homes can help. We can partner with you no matter where you are in the home-building process.

If you haven't found a home lot for sale in St. George yet, here are a few things to consider when selecting the best location to build your new home in St. George, Utah.

  1. Topography of the Land

No matter where you build, your home needs a solid foundation. Look for properties with sturdy soil that you won't need to spend a fortune to make structurally sound.

It might be as simple as pulling up the site's address on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's website to find out about topography and other crucial information at FEMA.gov. You can also send a sample of the soil to an expert for a soil test or ask the seller to provide the information.

Another consideration you will need to make when selecting a site to build your home is installing utilities, plumbing, electrical wiring, and other crucial home systems. If you are looking at land for sale in Hurricane or other locations throughout southern Utah, you might want to consider the location of a septic tank. If you need to install a septic tank, the property must pass a perc test (or perk, short for "percolation") to ensure that the soil is suitable.

  1. Views

How you plan to orient your home also matters. As you explore different properties, imagine how you will design your home to capture the best views. Familiarize yourself with the entire property before making your final agreement to purchase. Many new home buyers don't take enough time touring the entire property before buying. Don't make this mistake. Instead, do the work ahead of time to ensure that you buy a piece of land that you love and where you can capture southern Utah's amazing vistas and red rock views.

  1. Future City Plans

Along with touring the property and knowing the land, you should consider how the neighborhood will look five or ten years in the future. St. George is growing rapidly, and many locations don't look like they did a year ago. You may love a rural property today without realizing that a developer is building a new commercial complex down the road. While you can't know exactly what will happen in the future, if you get as much city planning information upfront, you can create a custom home that will still be your dream home in 15 years. 

  1. Family-Oriented Environment

It is no surprise that where you choose to build will impact your kids. Costs of homes aside—do everything you can to make that impact positive by looking for properties in locations that boast a family-friendly environment. Consider school zones, parks, hiking and biking trails, libraries, and other important environments. You can spend your time looking online for information about the area or walk the neighborhood, asking people for insider information, like religious communities, number of kids in the area, school districts, sports, and more. This first-hand information will provide great insights into how people live in that area and whether it would be a good choice for your family. 

  1. Ask an Expert

Along with talking to people within the community, ask your custom home builder where people want to live in southern Utah. Our team has years of experience building homes in various areas throughout St. George. From Bloomington Hills to Washington City, we know who is moving and whether you would be a good fit. Together, we can find a site that would be the perfect spot to build your custom home.

 

Build A Custom Home That Matches Your Lifestyle 

Home-building isn't about keeping up with the Joneses anymore. Now, buyers want to create spaces where their families can thrive. Leave behind the extravagance of the 1990s and early 2000s. Instead, design a home with enough space to be comfortable, rather than enormous, extravagant rooms that you will end up leaving empty. 

To implement functionality into your custom home-building process, design a practical home that matches your lifestyle. Your home should work for your family, not against it. Consider what everyone in your family needs on a day-to-day basis. How many family members will be living in your new home? Do they work, go to school, have extracurricular activities or hobbies? How many bedrooms will you need? Bathrooms? Does your family spend a lot of time in the kitchen, watching television together, or outside?

Assessing all of your basic needs first will ensure you build to scale rather than building a home that has too much space for your family to use. However, it is important to include a few 'dream' items where you can. What are the key features that you always wished you had in your home? A butler's pantry? Five-car garage? Theater room?

Once you design a home based on your basic needs, then you should incorporate these big-ticket items. Plus, you will know upfront which features will fit your budget or if you should focus on the areas your family needs to function. If you have to leave some of the fun features off your dream home blueprint, talk with our custom home builders. We have a knack for finding a way of making it work, whether that is opting for a big flat-screen television instead of a dedicated home theater or scaling down to four bedrooms instead of five.

Our St. George custom home builders are committed to providing our clients with full transparency throughout design and construction. We also care about helping you stay on budget, which is why we bid our projects "long-hand." To help you navigate your budget, we will present you with several options in your price range. Then, you will know whether the choice you are making is within your budget or if you will splurge to get the exact home feature you want.

Whichever option you choose, we will offer our honest advice, letting you know which is best for your budget and lifestyle. It is your home. Let us give you the tools you need to design a home that makes your life easier, more comfortable, and has everything you want and more.

 

Indoor-Outdoor Home Design

Southern Utah is known for its unique weather patterns and desert climate. You don't want to build a home that removes you entirely from the beautiful outdoors. Instead, find a way to make the outdoors part of your indoor living space.

Custom Utah Home Builder in St. George | Dennis Miller Homes

There are a few different design tricks that you can implement to accomplish indoor/outdoor living—for example, large pocket doors. These massive doors sneakily slide into the wall, eliminating the wall standing between you and your backyard. It takes open concept living to the next level. Once you want to make your home itself again, simply pull the pocket doors back to their original position.

Another option to maximizing indoor-outdoor living is installing large windows throughout your home. These windows will allow expansive views of the outdoors and let in floods of natural light. Windows also reduce your need for artificial lighting and make the room appear bigger. It is a win-win for everyone living in your home.

Plus, your indoor house plants will thrive in a sunny environment, which will improve your indoor-outdoor lifestyle. 

 

Incorporate Flexible Space Into Your New Home

Flexible Space in A Custom Souther Utah HomeAs you build your new custom home, you should also implement a few flexible spaces into your new design. Today's homeowners prefer spaces that function in multiple ways rather than dedicated rooms that only work for one use.

On the other hand, flexible spaces give you the room you need to transform the space depending on your family's current and future needs.  For example, a space that you can use as a guest room, a home office, a playroom, or a craft area. These flexible spaces work well in the current remote work environment. As you work from home, you can convert your extra room into a home office during the day, gym in the morning, and playroom at night. And as a bonus, your home office can potentially provide extra tax credits, depending on your situation.

Whatever you need, a custom home design will ensure you have the space you need to build a home where your family can not only grow but thrive.

 

Mother in Law Apartment or Casita

Custom Homes with Mother In Law Apartments | Dennis Miller HomesOne of the main features St. George homebuyers look for in a new home is a mother-in-law apartment or casita. Casitas or mother-in-law apartments, also known as guest houses, are separate dwelling units (ADUs) from the main house. These separate living areas work well in southern Utah because it is a prime vacation spot for many northern Utah residents. Such a feature can be useful if you have an older parent who comes to live with you, an adult child who needs to move back home, or simply if you want to provide comfort and privacy to out-of-town visitors.

In the meantime, you can also use this dwelling as a separate home office, studio, or pool house. Another option that many St. George homeowners with casitas enjoy is listing the guest house on Airbnb to earn extra income during peak vacation seasons.

While this feature isn't always a top priority for many new homebuyers, it quickly becomes a favorite once they understand its versatility. If you are interested in including an ADU in your custom home design, speak with our southern Utah home builder. We will provide you with valuable insights, including how much it costs to build a casita.

Together, we can make the best choice for your new St. George home.

 

Southern Utah Custom Home Builders at Dennis Miller Homes

Whatever feature you choose to include in your home, partner with Southern Utah custom home builder Dennis Miller Homes. We take the stress and anxiety out of house construction by maintaining the integrity of a family name for over 35 years. Call us old-fashioned, but we still believe in the core values of every successful business: honesty, openness, and real concern. As one of the top custom house builders in St. George, we commit to you and your home every step of the way!

Allow us to put our experience and knowledge to the test as we design and build a custom home in a prime location, matches your lifestyle, maximizes indoor-outdoor living, has flexible space, and has a separate guest house. However, we understand that while these features are key for many southern Utah buyers, every customer has unique requirements. No matter your needs, we are prepared to satisfy them by customizing a home just for you.

Schedule a free consultation today to get started building your new custom home.

 

Building a home with Dennis Miller Homes is an experience unlike any other. But don't take our Utah custom home builder's word for it. Just ask our clients.

In a recent online review, Tyler Hall details what building a custom home with Dennis Miller Homes is like, from lot selection to customization. He writes, "My wife and I recently built a home with Dennis and Jared Miller. We are very grateful for all of their help throughout the construction process. It was fun, challenging, and exhilarating. We already owned the building lot and brought a set of plans to the table. Jared and Dennis were great at listening to what we wanted. They helped us tweak our plans a little, so they would be better for construction. We enjoyed getting their professional input and then making our decision. They were great at executing what my wife and I envisioned. We appreciated that they didn't push what would be easier or what they would do in their house. They let us choose after giving great input and explanations about the options available.

 During our builder selection process, we really were looking for an honest builder that is able to create a good quality product. We feel like we hit the jackpot in that regard. Our home turned out beautiful, and all of whom we worked with within the Miller family are full of integrity.

 We feel like the home that we are now living in has great value. We appreciate the value that Dennis and Jared expect and deliver. They aren't the cheapest builder in town, yet the value is there. When comparing bids from multiple builders in town, we made sure to compare the bid cost with all of the common allowances taken out. This helped to see that the Dennis Miller Homes price is in the ballpark of most other builders, yet they allow for larger allowances in their bid than do some other builders in town. Adjusting the allowances out, helped us compare costs much better.

Building, after all, is construction. It requires problem-solving and creativity along the way. I don't think there will ever be a perfect build, yet I am grateful that my wife and I almost had a perfect build with Jared and Dennis. I would 100% recommend Dennis Miller Homes as the general contractor to build your next home." 

Getting an in-depth look at Tyler and his wife's experience with Dennis Miller Homes proves how personal building a St. George home is with our team by your side. And they aren't the only satisfied clients in our portfolio, either. Currently, 45 Dennis Miller Home homeowners posted five-star reviews, describing just how happy they are they choose us. 

But don't worry. While we are proud of our five-star history, we don't plan to rest on our laurels. Our team commits to meeting the needs of all our clients—past, present, and future. Working with them, we will find new ways to meet their needs and improve our custom home building process. We know it is up to us, and we plan on meeting you where you are to make your dream custom home a reality.

Here are three reasons why you should consider making Dennis Miller Homes your custom home builder in Utah.

Unique Custom Home Building Process

At Dennis Miller Homes, we pride ourselves on providing a one-of-a-kind custom home building experience. Our St. George team provides complete customization, unlike other home builders, with limited design options. Whether you want to build a conventional two-story home or a contemporary ranch-style home, the custom home construction process has unlimited possibilities.

Our team of innovators and solution-minded builders will work with you to design a home by walking hand-in-hand with you throughout the design and building process. Do you prefer open concept living or designated spaces? Are you interested in building a rambler or a two-story home? Will you add an outdoor pool along with luxury landscaping to the exterior or keep things simple? No matter what you want, Dennis Miller Homes has the customization process to make it happen.

Using our proven custom home building process, you will design a home based on your lifestyle while receiving expert advice from professionals on our experienced home building team. Together, we will choose the floor plan of your home, interior and exterior features, flooring layout, spatial requirements, window treatments, fixtures, lighting, and more.

Each step of our customization process will revolve around your objectives, vision, and expectations.

The custom home building process at Dennis Miller Homes involves the following steps:

No matter which step you are in, you will remain our focus. We will be there from the first meeting and design to the final walk-through to guarantee that we made the design of your dream home come to life.

Commitment to Communication with Clients

Dennis Miller Homes has been one of Southern Utah's most trusted home builders for more than 35 years. St. George residents continually rely on us to provide them with a one-of-a-kind custom home building experience filled with limitless options and design opportunities. To ensure that our clients receive the best customer experience possible, we commit to communication with our clients on a regular basis.

If you choose Dennis Miller Homes as your St. George custom home builder, you can trust us from the outset. Expect us to contact you regularly, offering updates and facilitating transparent conversations that promote honesty and integrity throughout the construction process.

We keep our lines of communication open and honest. As a result, our team and yours will trust one another. This type of relationship helps to produce a rewarding home-building experience for everyone involved.

For example, at the beginning of our partnership, we will discuss your lot (or a potential lot) options with you in-depth. We will discuss your needs and dislikes, as well as the square footage required for your family to live comfortably. 

We will also compare lot alternatives to ensure you make the best choice to build your custom home. Whatever site you select, our staff will work as hard as possible to ensure your southern Utah lot is the ideal location for your new home.

After making your final decision, we will continue to communicate with you throughout the entire design and construction process. Whether you are worried about your budget allowances or want a timeline update, you can rely on us to be there to provide all the information you need to feel good about where you are in the process. 

Quality Craftsmanship Honed by Over 35 Years of Experience

Call us old-fashioned, but we still believe in the core values of every successful business: honesty, openness, and real concern. Those values allowed us to transform our small, family business into a quality custom home builder with more than 35 years of experience. 

The first factor we tell homeowners to consider when looking for a St. George home builder is experience. Knowing how long a custom home builder has been in business and how much experience they have in the area can help you decide if they have the skills and knowledge to construct your new house.

Fortunately, we have 35 years under our belt. Over those three and a half decades, we formed relationships with vendors that will be indispensable when building your new home. We developed an in-depth understanding of local zoning and rules to use when seeking approval to build on your lot.

Along with these crucial characteristics of our home building company, we know the area. We have deep relationships with architects, interior designers, and contract workers throughout St. George and southern Utah. These business relationships can help take your project to the next level.

You will also have the reassurance that our relationships will allow us to source materials and fully bring your design to fruition, even when other builders can't.

Throughout our decades of being in business, our team has also improved our construction skills and craftsmanship. We not only know what it takes to build a custom home but how to build a custom home that lasts. When people see a Dennis Miller Home, they know who built it. That is why current and future St. George residents choose us as their custom home builder.   

We take the stress and anxiety out of custom home building by maintaining the integrity of our family name for over 35 years. Dennis Miller Homes, St. George's top custom home builder, will commit to you and your home every step of the way!

How to Hire Dennis Miller Homes to Build Your Custom Home

Hiring Dennis Miller Homes as your custom home builder is just as easy as building with us. First, contact our home building team to set up a meeting. At this initial meeting, we will discuss your ideas for your new home in detail. Have a lot already? Are you still looking for one? It doesn't matter. Our team can work with you wherever you are in the design and construction process. We even have recommendations for southern Utah architecture firms and designers.

Then, you will work with our team to determine which customization plan you want to follow. At Dennis Miller Homes, we pride ourselves on offering a range of solutions to ensure all our client's needs are met, including design + build services.

 Our three-tier custom home-building concept allows you to design your dream home as much or as little as you choose.

No matter where you fall, Dennis Miller Homes is the custom home builder you need to bring your dream home to life. 

Let us put our years of experience and knowledge to work for you to design and construct your custom home. Every home building client has different needs, and we are ready to meet yours. 

Let us design a home specifically for you. 

Contact our St. George custom home builder today to learn more.

Building a custom home is exciting. You dreamed of this stage of life for years, packed your vision board full of ideas, and are ready to bring those visions to life. But making your dream home a reality takes more than adding items to your cart and waiting for the finished process. It requires an experienced builder who can walk you through the custom home building process.

How do you choose the right custom home builder for a project that is so close to home? St. George custom home builder, Dennis Miller Homes, breaks down all the top questions to ask when building your own home.

These questions include a wide range of topics to target areas that will impact your experience most, such as experience level, floor plans, cost, contingencies, licensing, references, and more. We will also discuss the steps to take when hiring a custom home builder.

To ensure you partner with the best custom home builder, here are six questions to ask and why they are important.

How Long Have You Been a Custom Home Builder?

Residential real estate might be all about location, location, location, but custom home building is all about the experience. It would be best to be confident in your home builder's abilities to build your dream home.

To help you gain that confidence, ask, "How long have you been a custom home builder in St. George (or the area you are hoping to build)?" This should be the first question you ask when vetting a custom home builder.

Knowing how long a custom home builder has been in business and their experience in the area will help you determine whether they have the skill and knowledge to build your new home. If your future builder has a history of building in Southern Utah, or St. George, Utah, you can leave your first meeting confident that they are well-versed in local regulations and zoning.

You will also have the reassurance that they have relationships with vendors throughout the area to source materials and fully bring your design to fruition.

Our team also recommends finding out if your custom home builder is a general contractor. Not all builders offer general contracting services. But it is often useful to partner with one who is both.

Do You Build from Existing Floor Plans or Is My Home Totally Customizable?

You'll want to know your builder's custom home building process. Just because a builder says he is a custom home builder doesn't always mean their process will meet your exact needs.

During your initial meeting with a prospective custom home builder, discuss their design process. Will you choose a custom home design from the builder's collection of existing floor plans? Or will they offer a custom home building process that makes your homes completely customizable?

 You won't need to write off a builder who allows you to customize existing floor plans. There might be a floor plan that you are willing to work with and make your own. However, a custom home builder should give you the freedom you need to build a home entirely from scratch.

At Dennis Miller Homes, we have everything you need to build a custom home tailored to your lifestyle. Our design + build services include a three-tier model that allows you to customize as much or as little as you need.

For instance, follow Tier 3 to create a one-of-a-kind floor plan with a team of luxury home builders, interior designers, architects, and more. If you don't need that many options, you can modify floor plans designed by another builder or select one from our stock portfolio.

Whichever process you prefer, have an open dialogue with your home builder to understand the design model you will follow when building your own home.

What Will Be the Final Cost of My Home?

One of the advantages of going custom is that you determine the cost of your home. As you vet custom home builders, discuss your budget. Does your builder believe they can build a home that matches your vision while sticking to the numbers you had in mind?

Hundreds of variables affect the final cost of a custom home, including location, design, time of year, the current market, and more. Talking with your custom home builder about cost will help you decide whether this path is right for you.

Dennis Miller Homes uses a long-hand bidding process to show buyers the approximate project costs before anyone signs any contracts. This bidding process will give you costs upfront to ensure you can design within your budget.

Then, as you make future design decisions, you can see whether items fit within the bid's allowances or if you need to adjust.

We (and our clients) prefer showing this cost transparency because it removes any of the usual guesswork and provides the best home-building experience possible.

How Will Contingencies Be Handled?

Along with discussing the budget, you will need to ask your builder about contingencies.

Recently, custom home builders are dealing with soaring lumber prices that are impacting the market more than many buyers realize.

If these problems arise, how will your future home builder handle them? What happens if there are cost overruns? Will they add surcharges to your bid or back out of your contract?

While you can't plan for everything, knowing how your builder plans to handle billing on the front end will ensure that you aren't surprised on the back of it.

What Licenses and Insurance Do You Have?

The State of Utah requires custom home builders to have a Utah contractor license. To receive a license, applicants must complete an approved education program, pass trade, and business law exams, and complete a license application packet.

Along with these requirements, custom home builders need a minimum of two years of full-time related experience. You will also want your home builder to carry insurance. Everyone who works on your project should have insurance coverage, including subcontractors. Then you won't be held liable if an accident occurs.

As you search for your St. George Custom Home Builder, look for the following licenses, accreditations, and insurance coverage:

For further information, please refer to R156-55a-302b. Qualifications for Licensure – Experience Requirements.

Who Are Your References, and Can I See Your Portfolio?

Another important thing to ask your home builder, to understand their experience and skill level, is to see their portfolio. Look at their website to check on photos of past projects. Look at this portfolio of properties and visit any in-person if you can.

You should also ask for references and phone numbers as you meet with them.

Don't be afraid to call these references and ask for more information. Check to see how the builder worked with these clients. Discuss communication styles, how they handled disputes if they lived up to promises, and any other question that might provide valuable insight.

It would help if you also asked whether the homeowners had any issues down the line with warranties, improper installation, poor materials, building, etc. If they did, how did your home builder handle it?

Along with talking to these references, look online for other client reviews. You can get a clear idea of how your home builders treat clients by reading online testimonials. These reviews are a great way to sense how a company operates before or after your initial consultation.

Take the time to consider a range of reviews, whether they are five-star ratings or reviews that are less than a rave. 

If you notice a particularly bad review, check to see if the company addressed the situation or did nothing to redeem it. If they openly respond to the client to offer solutions, you can rest easy knowing they care about every experience. 

You can also ask your home builder about any of the red flags you noticed while scanning reviews. This dialogue, along with reviews and references, will give you a good idea of how your custom home builder will operate as you build your own home. 

Browse our collection of St. George custom homes to see how Dennis Miller Homes can bring your dream home to life.

Other Question to Ask Your Future Home Builder

Custom homes are exactly what they sound like: they're one-of-a-kind. If you engage with a custom home builder, they are more likely to build a home that meets your exact specifications. Together, you will decide everything from the site of your new home to the floor plan. While custom homes take longer to build than other types of homes, the result is significantly superior.

Because custom house construction requires more involvement than other types of home construction, you'll want to be diligent in your search for a builder. Here are a few other questions to ask as you make your choice: 

Asking these questions before signing with a home builder will build your confidence and ensure you pick the right team for the job. Use these questions as a starting point. 

Together, you can have an open conversation with your custom home builder that will guarantee you partner with the finest builder for your new St. George home.

No matter which custom home builder you enlist for your project, do your due diligence. A good custom home builder will offer insightful answers to all your questions, even if they aren't what you expect. They should also keep communication lines open to build trust with you as their future client. 

Steps to Take to Hire a St. George Custom Home Builder

Here's how to hire Dennis Miller Homes to build your next custom home. We're available to answer these questions and more. 

Dennis Miller Homes is Your St. George Custom Home Builder

Dennis Miller Homes believes in transparency through every step of the home building process.

From the very beginning, you can count on us. We care about your goals, your vision, and your expectations. 

Our custom home building process begins and ends with you. From the first meeting and design to the final walk-through and hand-off, we will be there to ensure that we meet all your needs. 

The Dennis Miller Homes custom home building process includes: 

As a team, we will do what it takes to make you feel comfortable with our partnership. Whether that means bringing in your own architect or turning to us for references, Dennis Miller Homes has what it takes to make your dream home perfect. 

We have over 35 years of experience building homes throughout St. George, Utah. From the newest lots in Bloomington Hills to Hurricane and more, the Dennis Miller Homes team has the skills, knowledge, and experience to build strong homes and even stronger relationships.

Put our hard work to the test — contact Dennis Miller Homes to begin the custom home building process. We will create a work of art that is all you envision and more. 

Buyers looking for a new home often ask, "How much does it cost to build a custom home?" The cost to build a custom home depends on a range of variables, including the specified location, size of the home, and more. Although many people confuse custom homes with multi-million dollar McMansions, building a custom home means choosing your price.

HomeAdvisor estimates that a custom home can cost anywhere between $350,000 to over $1 million. At Dennis Miller Homes, we tell our clients there is no firm price on building a custom home in St. George, Utah. Instead, our custom home building process allows you to customize your home and budget.

Because you decide which style, features, and amenities you want in your home design the total cost of those will depend upon your selections.

When you work with us, our home builder in St. George, Utah will work with you to set a comfortable budget, whether $400,000 or $2 million.

Our team will present you with a proposal at the beginning of the building process that includes a long-hand bid. This bid will have several different allowances to give you an idea of how much money you will pay depending on your home design.

For example, the long-hand bid often includes an appliance allowance. If you don't use your kitchen as often as other areas of your home, you might decide to install appliances that aren't as high-grade as we included in the bid. On the other hand, buyers who enjoy cooking might want to upgrade their kitchen appliances.

Based on your decision, you can update your budget to reflect how much money you spent on that allowance. Then, you can decide to allocate money from a different allowance or adjust your final budget.  

No matter which option you choose, our team will be by your side to regularly update you on where your money is going. We want you to stay informed throughout the process to make design choices to help you reach your end goal.

Average Cost of a Home in St. George, Utah

Unlike quick builds, prefabs, or used homes in St. George, custom homes are original designs informed by our clients.

Dennis Miller Homes's custom home-building services will help you build a home that reflects your lifestyle and budget. Working with our St. George custom home builder, you will be guided through every step of the design and construction process. 

You will select everything about your new home, from the location to the floor plan to the finishing touches by collaborating with our design + build team. Before you begin the custom home building process, to ensure you understand the cost of building your St. George custom home, our team has outlined a few variables that may affect the final price.

Let's discuss.

Factors that Affect the Cost of Your Custom Home

The Current Market

The current real estate market can dramatically affect the cost of your new home. If homes are selling at a higher price, you can expect to pay more to build a custom home. If the market is low, you might pay steady or, even, discounted prices. 

Other market factors that come into play when building a custom home are lumber or other material costs. The laws of supply and demand means that prices sometimes fluctuate.

It is up to you to decide when it’s the right time to build a custom home.Some homebuyers have a flexible timeline while others must begin the building process immediately. Our team will work hard to meet your timelines and ensure you get the best price for your custom home. We are on your side. 

Custom homes come with a custom price tag. No matter the current standing of the Utah real estate market, there are always benefits to building a custom home, including:  

Location

Although the estimate for construction in the United States is $150 per square foot, that cost fluctuates depending on where you build. For instance, the construction costs for building a custom home in St. George, Utah, are vastly different than they are in Los Angeles, California, or even Salt Lake City, Utah.

The price discrepancy is due to changes of the price of materials, building permits, labor, and other fees by location. No matter where you build, there is always a potential for unforeseen costs. For example,  rocky surfaces require special machinery to remove, which may affect your budget. 

Our team will analyze potential build sites to provide you with an estimate and alert you to any factors that may increase your costs.

Project Scope

Another location factor that impacts price is the project scope. The size of your custom home will directly impact the cost to build it. Generally speaking, increasing the size of your home or the amount of work that it will take to build your home will increase the total project cost.

If you choose to build your custom home on a lot with sloping, you will pay more for grading, foundation work, and retaining walls. If you select a large lot, you may spend more money on landscaping. Other factors may include adjustments for water table levels, reclamation needs, and tree removal.

When you choose the right custom home builder, you can collaborate and agree on a project scope that fits your budget.

Complexity of the Design

How much design work your custom home requires will affect the final cost of your project. For example, if you need a fully customized home plan drawn up by our team, it will cost you more than if you were to alter a replicated design. At Dennis Miller Homes, we offer it all.

Our three-tier design model ensures that you have the home-building services you need to fit your budget.

Specifications

The major advantage of building a custom home is customizing your design. As discussed earlier, your specifications determine the cost of your new home. You will spend more money on larger homes with luxury finishes than mid-grade finishes in a mid-size home. The cost is up to you.

Installing optional features in your custom home will also drive up the cost. One feature that many St. George homeowners love to install in their custom home is an outdoor pool.

While swimming pools are fantastic in a hot location like southern Utah, installing a pool will cost you more money. The variations on swimming pools range from custom designed pools vs. prefabricated liners, hot tubs, fountains, stone and concrete work, slides, or diving boards. 

Our design + build construction team can estimate the cost of your planned outdoor swimming pool in the original bid for your custom home. Together, we can determine how to design a custom home that includes all of your wishes for the right price.  

Other Factors To Consider When Building a home in Souther Utah

Along with the typical construction costs, there are a few more factors that will affect the final cost of living in your custom home. Some overlooked items are landscaping, fencing, and furnishings. 

In addition, a custom home requires having some maintenance items on hand. For many first-time homebuyers, these can be a surprise. Ladders, garden hoses, lawnmowers, and other tools for your home’s daily maintenance and upkeep come with a price tag.

Once you’ve built your beautiful new dream home, you’ll want to decorate it with furnishings that compliment the space and match the finishing touches in your home. Furniture and other home decor can be an added expense.

Landscaping around your custom home may also cost more money than you might expect. Many buyers have an idea of what the exterior of their home will look like but forget to budget for a sprinkler system, sod, plants, trees, and bushes, and outdoor furniture.

Our Dennis Miller Homes design team can work with you to create an allowance for every aspect of your new home, including interior design and landscaping.  

Cost of Custom Home with Dennis Miller Homes

Although building a custom home doesn't include a straightforward price tag, working with the right builder will allow you to comfortably stay within your predetermined budget. Let Dennis Miller Homes be your constant throughout the custom home building process.

At Dennis Miller Homes we offer complete cost clarity to our clients. In the beginning stages of building your custom home, we will draft a long-hand bid that includes approximate project costs.

Then, you can shop around using the allowances that we decided on together. We will provide complete transparency, so you know where every penny is going towards your new custom home's cost.

Trust our home builders to ensure your dream home fits your budget.

Build your dream home in St. George, Utah, by contacting Dennis Miller Homes today.

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