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. Georg 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.

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.

 

 

 

 

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. 

Right now, people are moving to St. George and surrounding areas at a rapid pace. The current real estate market is booming with many buyers and a low inventory of homes. Many buyers place bids on homes that aren’t quite what they had in mind but make plans to renovate. Others bid on their dream home, only to lose out to a more qualified buyer. Although the current housing market conditions can be frustrating, they can also motivate you to consider purchasing a lot and hiring a custom home builder to create the home that fits your lifestyle. 

Building your dream home in St. George, Utah is an exciting prospect. Before building a custom home, you might curate inspiration boards, drive through neighborhoods to find potential lots, and daydream about open floor plans and beautiful interiors that cater to the lifestyle you want to live.

Working with a custom home builder not only ensures a beautiful end product but a memorable home building experience. You will handpick every detail of your new home, putting together the pieces of the puzzle that creates a space that is entirely your own. 

Selecting the right custom home builder is an essential step in the home-building process. Custom home builders provide the tools, techniques, and experience that a home buyer needs to build their dream home. From lot selection to design to construction, custom home builders are involved in every phase of the home building process. To ensure that every square foot looks like you envision, you and your selected custom home builder must communicate effectively, share budget restrictions, and set realistic deadlines. An experienced custom home builder will be proactive and reactive to your needs throughout the home build.   

To help you decide whether building a custom home is the right choice for you, Dennis Miller Homes curated the top benefits of working with our St. George home builders.

Custom Living Room in Southern Utah Luxury Home Build

Advantages to Hiring a Custom Home Builder in St. George

Endless Options

Unlike buying a pre-built home or working with other home builders that have little leeway in design styles, custom home builders offer total customization. Your options are endless and restricted only by your budget, your vision, building codes, and the lot’s parameters. 

Your custom home builder will help you design a home down to the last nail. Do you like marble countertops or granite? Would you prefer a two-story home or a rambler? Will you build a casita on the side of your home for added square footage or keep everything connected in one space? 

Together, you and your St. George home builder will choose the layout, exterior features, flooring, window treatments, lighting, and more. You can draw upon your builder’s experience in interior design and architecture to create a cohesive and pleasing layout that matches your aesthetic. 

As Southern Utah's premier home builder for over 35 years, Dennis Miller Homes offers southern Utah homeowners a unique and personal experience with endless options and opportunities. Our team understands that the difference is in the details. It's our promise and commitment to deliver an exceptional custom home with an exceptional customer experience.

 

Find the Right Location

Since you have endless options when working with a custom home builder, you also get to choose where you build. You can select a lot from the curated list provided by your custom home builder, one you already own, or a lot that you find with your real estate agent. 

Part of the Dennis Miller Homes process includes planning your land purchase and applying for required permits. Early on in the process, we will analyze your lot (or a future lot) and present you with the opportunities available. 

As we go over your lot options, we will discuss your wants, needs, and dislikes as well as the square footage it will take for your family to live comfortably. 

 

Improved Design

When you build a custom home, you are involved in all aspects of decision-making. Instead of buying a home with an old layout or a prefab home with a semi-custom design, a custom home gives you the control you need to maximize the functionality of your new space. 

From open-concept living to individualized details, whichever home plan you design will focus on features that best fit your lifestyle and needs. It is your home-- why not be in charge of what you create? 

As your St. George home builder, we will listen to your goals, hopes, and dreams while ensuring functionality. Do you need a large living room for entertaining but don't want to lose out in other areas? Let's design it. Our team will get creative to give you the dream home you want while ensuring the design works perfectly for you and your family. Whatever choices you make, Dennis Miller Homes will be on your side to make it happen. 

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

Budget Control

Many people believe that building a custom home will drain their budget, which isn't necessarily true. Unlike other home types with fixed price tags, custom builds come with a custom budget. You decide what you spend your money on and how much is spent. 

Fortunately, the home building market offers various products with a wide price range to select from. Communicate with your custom home builder to discuss where you want to spend your money and where you want to save. For example, you can minimize spending on lighting and window treatments to cover the costs of a luxury kitchen. 

Dennis Miller Homes is committed to full transparency and doing our part to help you stay on budget. We bid your project "long-hand" so there are no surprises during construction. We help you navigate your budget by presenting you with several options in your price range and keep you in line when you choose to splurge to help you stay aware of how much you are spending. 

 

Enjoy the Home Building Experience

When selecting a home builder, it's vital not only to find one that can capture your vision and execute it with exceptional craftsmanship but to provide the ultimate building experience. The home building process can be challenging, but having a builder that cares will go a long way. Choose a custom home builder that cares about building relationships.  

Your custom home builder is there to help you create your dream home. If you feel that you are compromising on anything, work with your builder to get it right. Having open communication will ensure that every stage of the home building process goes flawlessly.  

At Dennis Miller Homes, we keep our lines of communication open and honest. Doing so will build trust between our team and you. Together, we can create a rewarding home building experience. 

 

Custom Home Builders at Dennis Miller Homes

Call us old-fashioned, but we still believe in the fundamental qualities of any good business: honesty, communication, and genuine care. Having maintained the integrity of a family name for more than 35 years, we take the stress and frustration out of the home building equation. As the leading St. George custom home builder, Dennis Miller Homes is dedicated to you and your home every step of the way!

Let us put our experience and knowledge to the test as we bring your dream home to life! Every client has different needs, and we are equipped and ready to meet yours by creating a home designed just for you.

Schedule a consultation to get started building your new home.

People across the country are choosing the gorgeous locale of southern Utah to build their new custom home, and it’s easy to see why. Drive through scenic St. George, Utah, and you will quickly discover why the city is one of the fastest growing metro areas in the United States. With the juxtaposition of soaring red cliffs against the clear blue skies and pleasant weather year-round, this once sleepy retirement community has grown into a cultural mecca with plenty of outdoor amenities, fine restaurants, and entertainment venues.

St. George is frequently ranked as one of the most secure places to live, is one of the best small cities for careers, and was voted among the Best Places to Live in the United States by CNN. If St. George is your dream destination and it’s your goal to custom-build your new home, there are many Southern Utah home builders to choose from. 

While there are some great home builders out there who can bring your dream home to life, some won't meet the mark. How do you choose the right home builder for you? To help narrow down your choices, Dennis Miller Homes has compiled a list of tips and questions to ask your prospective home builder.

 

Tips to Help You Find Your St. George Home Builder

Search for Client-Builder Compatibility 

A great home builder cares about your vision. Unlike buying a pre-built home, custom builds provide the absolute freedom to create the home you want. This customization process requires transparent communication between both parties. If you can't communicate your vision to your chosen builder clearly, then the entire home building process will be a struggle. 

Look for a home builder who meets your standards and who communicates well. Do you feel confident in their ability to get the job done? Not only that, do they have a proven track record of satisfying their client base? They should provide a clear, well-written contract that outlines their deliverables, testimonies from happy clients, and a portfolio of homes they have built. Once you have vetted your home builder choices through those lenses, it’s time to take a deeper dive into your narrowed list.

 

Ask the Right Questions

Since the custom home building process is more extensive than other home construction projects, you will need to ask your prospective builder questions to understand their capabilities. They should provide clear answers to any questions you may have. 

Remember — you can never ask too many questions. Building a custom home is likely the biggest investment you can make, so you must be continuously informed. Communicate what you need and expect thorough answers.

Here are a few questions that our team at Dennis Miller Homes suggests that you ask any home builder you approach:

Use these questions as the foundation of an open dialogue that ensures you choose the best custom builder to construct your St. George home. 

 

Do Your Research

In the age of online research, it is up to you to do your due diligence in researching your home builder. You can get a clear idea of how a builder handles the home building process by reading client testimonials posted online. Before meeting with a southern Utah home builder, scan their online reviews. 

Reviews are a great way to get a sense of how a home builder operates. Consider every review, including the good and the bad. Bad reviews aren’t necessarily a deal breaker. Carefully read the review to see how the company handled their response. 

Did they openly respond to the accusations or offer solutions? Assess their response to determine whether you feel comfortable trusting them with your new build. You can also bring up the review to the builder to ask how they rectified the situation. 

Also, ask your prospective builder for a list of references. Contact these references to understand a builder's strengths and weaknesses. A few questions you can ask these references include: 

  1. Did you enjoy working with this builder?
  2. What would you say are their strengths?
  3. Was your project finished on time? If not, what were the reasons for delays?
  4. Did the builder communicate the schedule?
  5. Did the builder ask for decisions on time?
  6. Did you feel your original budget estimate was thorough?
  7. Did the project finish on budget? What were the reasons for overages?
  8. Were your project's finances clear and transparent?
  9. How did the builder react in stressful situations?
  10. What role did the builder take once the project began?
  11. Who specifically worked on your project? Who would you request if you were building again?
  12. Was the project clean and organized?
  13. Were there certain subcontractors on your project that you would strongly recommend or avoid?
  14. How has the builder responded to warranty issues since you moved in?
  15. If you were building another home, would you choose this builder again?

These conversations, along with the online reviews, will give you a better idea of whether you should trust the builder to build your new dream home. 

 

Stay Transparent

As you begin building your custom home, don't be afraid to communicate your concerns. Your custom home builder is there to help you create a home that ticks all the right boxes. If you feel that you are compromising on anything, bring it up with your builder sooner rather than later. 

It’s important that you communicate your budget up front, for example. Let them know at what level you need to approve any expenditures over the project’s final estimate. Find out if you are your builder’s only client, or if the company has multiple projects in the works. Let your builder know if you plan to check on progress in-person, what communication and what rate of communication you expect, the best way to reach you and vice versa.

Finally, make sure you come to an agreement on the scope of the project. If you change your mind about a floor layout mid-way through the project, it may be too late to make significant changes without significant costs. Scope creep is a problem between clients and builders and having a discussion early on about how you will handle any changes to the final design is just as important as establishing your budget. Set expectations of deadlines and provide for small setbacks such as inclement weather.

 

Why You Should Choose Dennis Miller Homes as Your Custom Home Builder

Dennis Miller Homes is a trusted home builder offering the leading custom homes throughout St. George, Utah. Our family name has been synonymous with integrity for more than 35 years. We take pride in the quality of our work and strive to take stress and frustration out of the home building equation.

As a family-owned and business, we care about our clients. We are a passionate team dedicated to creating amazing experiences. When you move in, we want you to be excited about your home, yet sad that the home-building experience is over.

At Dennis Miller Homes, you and your custom home matter. Trust us to deliver home-building services designed to meet your needs. Contact us to schedule a consultation.  

 

You have finally arrived. For the majority of your adult life you have dreamed of building a house that has everything you’ve always wanted and that you get to call your own. Everything has fallen into place. The timing is perfect. You know where you want to live, you’re financially ready, you have a lot picked out, you’ve known your color scheme for years. All that you have left to do is actually build it. Then you ask yourself the question, “Who are we going to use to build our home?”

For most individuals endeavoring to build a new home, choosing a builder will be the most important decision they make throughout the entire process; and more than likely the most daunting.  Many people have heard horror stories of hiring so-called professionals that were a nightmare to work with. With such stories in the background of their mind, many people fear that they will make the wrong choice. After all, this is your dream we’re talking about.

Rather than go into analysis paralysis and prolong the building process, following the advice we have laid out below will give you more confidence when choosing your general contractor.


(1) Get Recommendations

A great first step in choosing your home builder is talking to friends and family. Who have they used in the past? Did they enjoy their experience? Have people in their network talked about home builders they really liked? You might also consider asking what process they used when choosing their particular contractor. Another great place to get recommendations is local supplier stores. Go to your local appliance, window, or materials store and ask them what builder they would recommend.

(2) Talk to Subcontractors

Subcontractors are tremendous resources to get the facts on what it is like working with a particular builder. Once you’ve contacted a certain contractor, ask them for a list of some of their subs with their contact information. Ask the subcontractors what it’s like working with that builder. Does he communicate well? Does he pay them on time? Have past clients been satisfied? What better way to know what it’s like working with someone than to ask the people who do it on a regular basis?

(3) Talk to Previous Customers

If at all possible contact individuals that have used the contractor you are researching. Even if they used the contractor years ago, previous customers provide excellent feedback. Take time to look at the contractor’s reviews on Facebook or Google. When it comes to a home, finding customers of five or more years is invaluable. This will let you know how the product will stand against the rigors of time.

(4) How Long has this Contractor Been in Business?

We all know that every contractor has to have a first day on the job. But in this industry experience matters. Home builders that have been perfecting their craft for years, know how to manage problems and overcome difficulties that are sure to come up.

(5) Meet Face to Face

Before you sign a contract with any home builder, make sure you meet face to face. You are going to be working with this person very heavily over the course of a few months. Meeting face to face will help you know whether or not the two of you will work well together. Is he easy to communicate with? Do you feel like the two of you could work together to solve problems?

(6) What is their Contract Policy?

Some contractors would prefer not to have any written contracts. Others are very organized with their documentation. Make sure you choose someone who documents everything you have agreed to. It will ensure that both parties are satisfied when the building process is complete.

(7) Don’t let Price be Your Primary Factor

Although most people have a budget and price is important, price should not be your number one criteria when making a decision.  There are times when the contractor who has come in with the lowest bid, has done so by cutting corners. Never sacrifice quality and value for a cheap price.

(8) Location Matters

When you are looking for a lot, keep in mind that certain subdivisions require that you use their preferred builder. Before you close on the lot, make sure you know what your options are and whether or not you can use the general contractor of your choosing.

(9) Go with your Gut

At the end of the day, your initial feelings and impressions about a certain professional is probably the right impression. If your gut is telling you no but it logically makes sense, go with your better judgment. This is YOUR home. You know what will be best.


Home builders are often labeled a dime a dozen. That may be true, but here at Dennis Miller Homes we are confident that you will never regret hiring us to build your home. With decades of experience and hundreds of satisfied customers we know how to make our clients happy. We know that choosing a professional to build your home can be a daunting task. However, our team doesn’t want to just build your home, we want to make sure your dreams become a reality.


What are you waiting for? Let’s start building!

When people set out to build a custom dream home, one area of the home that gets a lot of thought and attention is the master suite. Most, if not all, want to ensure that their master suite looks luxurious, feels elegant, and is completely functional. Unfortunately, one of the many flaws that we see with new home builders and their contractors is that they either give up functionality for aesthetics or visa versa. Eventually, what is left is a homeowner who is overall displeased with what was supposed to be the nicest part of their home.

The Problem


With over 30 years of experience, we’ve found that one of the main drivers of this displeasure is the master shower. People envision a master shower with all of the bells and whistles: spacious, multiple shower heads, a seat, visual appeal. However, going back to the problem described above, they tend to overemphasize either aesthetics or functionality.

In an attempt to make the master bathroom look luxurious some interior designers will tell their clients to create their master shower out of glass so that the bathroom feels more open. However, who really wants to clean all that glass every time they shower? Others will try and make a big open shower that has plenty of space only to find that the dreaded cold breeze that everyone hates to feel in the middle of the shower becomes a constant. Others will build their new shower emphasizing functionality only to be left wanting when it comes to feeling like they have something elegant and unique.

The Solution


So is it possible to have it all? Here at Dennis Miller Homes, we want to make sure we build something for you that is both functional and eye-popping. Jared, one of our team members, thought about this conundrum when designing the master suite for one of our clients in Sand Hollow. He wanted to give our client something unique, and also make sure they were happy with the product for years to come.

Featured Product


Masterfully utilizing space, this featured master shower was thoughtfully placed behind the jacuzzi tub to make sure the entire bathroom had an open feel. To give the owners something they felt was unique, we designed the shower with two entrances, one near the bathroom entrance, and one near the master closet. With the two entrances, we worried about the dreaded cool breeze plaguing anyone who used the shower.

To combat this problem, we staggered the walls of either entrance in a way that would block any type of airflow. As an added measure of precaution, we also placed heat lamps above either entrance ensuring that anyone taking a shower would stay nice and warm.  Finished off with beautiful modern finishes we were more than pleased with how it turned out; and the owners were too.


When building a new house, it’s easy to design a floor plan that has all the necessary components and call it good. At Dennis Miller Homes we make sure that not only do you have all the necessary components, but that those components are built in a way that is visually appealing and practical to use. When you choose us as your home builder, we won’t be satisfied with the finished product unless you love every component of your home long into the future.


What are you waiting for? Let’s start building!

Talking to a home builder can often be intimidating. A lot of times they, and we at Dennis Miller Home are no exception, will start to explain things about the building process using words that the average person simply doesn’t understand. Once they’ve heard the words the client does not want to feel ignorant or inferior and so he/she doesn’t ask clarifying questions. Through the course of the project the home builder will assume that the client heard one thing, when in fact the client heard something completely different. Combine this all with the vocabulary used by people from Southern Utah and it’s easy to see how a client could become frustrated throughout the building process.

Here at Dennis Miller Homes, our greatest aim is make sure that all of the people we work with are happy and on the same page through every step of the building process. We know that a large measure of our success hinges on our ability to communicate clearly with our clients. However, just like any profession, every now and again when speaking with clients we catch ourselves slipping into the lingo that we use with all of our sub-contractors. Therefore, we thought it would be useful to provide a list of terms that are commonly used, and give you, our audience, an explanation of those terms.

Rather than list the terms alphabetically we thought it would be more helpful to list the terms in conjunction with the building process. For example, “Permit” is one of the first terms because it is one of the first things that happens in the home-building process. Make sense? Perfect! Let’s dive into it.


 

Engineering

You may often hear a contractor say that he/she is sending the plans to engineering. Through this process a local engineer examines the plans that you and the builder have created, and ensures that the structure will be sound and meet code requirements.

Impact Fees

When new construction happens, whether it’s commercial or residential, a one-time tax is levied called an impact fee. This one-time tax helps satisfy the “burden” that will be added to the municipality with a new resident. Typically the money will go to help support schools, transportation, utilities, etc. Impact fees vary across municipalities.

Permit

A permit acts as authorization that construction can happen and must be obtained from the local government. A permit indicates to local officials that inspections need to be done to make sure the components of the home are up to code.

Trusses

Early on in the building process trusses will be ordered. Trusses provide the framework for your roof and make sure the roof has structural integrity.

Excavation

Excavation involves bringing in, moving out, and manipulating the dirt on your lot in preparation for the foundation of the home to be laid.

Footings

You will often hear a contractor talk about the process of digging footings. The exterior layout of the home is dug into the earth and then cement is poured into the holes that have been dug. This provides support to the rest of the foundation that will be poured immediately following.

Framing

Framing is where you will see your house come to life. This is where the structure of the house is created using 2×4’s, plywood, and other wood-type materials.

Flatwork

Any cement that is poured that is not the foundation is labeled flatwork. This cement could include driveways, walkways, and patios.

Trim Work

Often called “finish work”, this process involves installing baseboards, hanging interior doors with their casings, and installing shelving in closet spaces.

Walk Through

At various points during the construction process, you and your home builder will walk through the house and make sure that everything being built meets your expectations and desires.

C.O.

A C.O. stands for certificate of occupancy. This certificate says that the entire house is up to code and is safe to live in. A homeowner can not legally move in until a C.O. is obtained.

Closing

Closing if the final step of the building process. At closing, financial arrangements are satisfied, title to the home is exchanged, and all provisions of the contract are completed.


Have you ever heard a term that you didn’t understand and wasn’t on our list? Let us know so that we can include it. We hope now that the next time you build in St. George you will have more confidence in talking to your general contractor.  Now all that’s left to do is get the building process started.


What are you waiting for? Let’s Start Building.

Southern Utah’s 2017 Event Calendar

Here at Dennis Miller Homes, we love building in Southern Utah because… well… it means we get to live here. St. George provides wonderful activities that are offered throughout the surrounding area. As we head into the new year of 2017, we wanted to provide you with a list of our favorite activities that happen throughout the year. As you plan your family outings, make sure you take a look at this list so that you don’t miss out on some of the great things Washington County has to offer.


January

Art to Zion Art and Studio TOUR (Jan 12-16)

The “Arts to Zion” Art and Studio TOUR is a self-guided art adventure  though our beautiful, mountainous, breathtaking countryside

February

St. George Area Parade of Homes (Feb 17-26)

This is a must-attend event for anyone looking to build a custom home. General contractors throughout Southern Utah will feature some of their best work. Attending the parade helps new home builders get ideas for color schemes, floor plans, landscaping and more.

March

Mini Indy Charity Race (Mar 22-24)

Sponsored by Skywest Airlines and the City of St. George, this charity event brings groups of people together to race miniature Indy-style race cars. Proceeds raised from this event help support the United Way Dixie.

April

Spring Tour-De-St. George (Apr 8)

Come enjoy one of the must-attend cycling events of the year.  Just as the weather starts getting warmer, cyclists from around the country come and compete in this race for various levels of cyclists. The finish line will have all sorts of entertainment for friends and family.

May

Brian Regan at Tuacahn Amphitheater (May 4-6)

This event is turning into a must-see for locals and visitors alike. With the beautiful red mountains of Tuacahn’s amphitheater as your backdrop, enjoy one of the nation’s top comedians. Buy your tickets quick though, they won’t last long.

Hurricane Mud Run (May 13)

This 5k obstacle course is loaded with lots of mud and lots of fun. Bring a work group, family, or run alone. The Hurricane mud run will surely be one of the highlights of 2017.

June

Pro WaterCross (Jun 24-25)

Spend your weekend camping over at Sand Hollow State Park as you enjoy this high octane event.

July

Tuacahn Amphitheater (Entire Month)

July features an entire month of Tuachan’s musicals. This year, guests will get to enjoy Shrek, Disney’s The Newsies, or Mama Mia! If you have never been to a Tuacahn performance, you are missing out.

August

Washington County Fair (Aug 10-13)

Held annually, this family-fun event features carnival rides, festive food, entertainment, award-winning crops, and livestock exhibits. A great event if you are looking to build family traditions.

September

Dixie Lions’ Roundup Rodeo

Come enjoy one of the local favorites in the Dixie Roundup. Watch one of America’s oldest sources of entertainment as professional bull riders and barrel racers dazzle the crowd.

Santa Clara Swiss Days (Sep 28-30)

A celebration of the Swiss settlers of Santa Clara, this festival offers parades, car shows, a 5k run, booths, and much more. Be apart of the celebration that every Santa Clara native looks forward to.

October

St. George Marathon (Oct 7)

This award winning race attracts running fanatics from across the globe. Come watch or participate in one of the most popular marathons in the country.

Huntsman World Senior Games (Oct 9-21)

Making its start in 1987, this international sports competition features athletes ages 50 and older from across the globe. Featuring more than 30 athletic competitions, this sporting event encourages its visitors to enjoy the beautiful scenery the area has to offer.

November

What Women Want Expo

Come enjoy this expo tailored toward all things women want and enjoy. Booths will feature clothing, cleaning supplies, trendy accessories, and, of course, food.

December

The Forgotten Carols

For over 25 years this production by Michael McLean has been a family tradition during the holiday season. Come experience the magic of Christmas at Dixie State University’s Cox Auditorium.


As you can see, there is plenty to do all year round. If you haven’t moved here already, or are even looking to relocate, come to Dennis Miller Homes so that we can start designing your dream home. We don’t want you to miss out on all of the fun things happening here in sunny St. George.


WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? LET’S START BUILDING