If you are building a custom home, here’s how to get the most out of your experience. For the past 33 years, the Hensley Custom Building Group has been building some of the finest homes in Cincinnati. With meticulous attention to detail and pride in product, we only work on a few homes each year.
This way, we can partner closely with each of our clients from the design build process to the custom home building process and the final finishing touches. Our numerous awards attest to this experience, including multiple first place Homearama Luxury Edition Home Show Awards, Excellence Awards from Residential Design & Build Magazine and more.
Did you see Hensley Custom Building Group in the fall issue of Venue Magazine?
Since the Hensley Custom Building Group is an expert in helping Cincinnati homeowners get the most out of their custom home building experience, we thought we’d share some tips for building a great partnership:
Tip 1: Learn about the design build process
“The initial conversation helps us start the project right.”
When the client comes in for the first time, they start with the Design Workbook and guide. By using the guide as a framework, the Hensley team familiarize the future owner with the steps and questions they may have along the way.
“People love how we walk them through the process,” said Tim Hensley, Founder and President. “It really helps people feel at ease and in control. They appreciate that we listen. The workbook helps them prioritize the features they want the most.”
The discussion starts with the review of the site or lot selections. Next it steps them through design considerations, preliminary plans, job estimates, schedules, approval and selection processes. “Being a good listener is very important in the process,” said Hensley.
Tip 2: Educate yourself about what finishing touches you like and prices
“This is a great time to learn about all the suppliers and brands you love.”
Throughout the process, every detail from cabinets to light fixtures have different costs. To stay within your budget (and to create an accurate budget in the first place), customers have to keep in mind their tastes.
“This is a great time to learn about all the suppliers and brands you love,” said Joe Bryson, estimator and manager at Hensley Homes. “Talk to different suppliers of cabinets, appliances, light fixtures and more. Educate yourself on what you like… and prices. For example, one recent couple knew what they liked from their tile choices right down to drawer hardware. They added the costs up and added a lump sum for their “allowances” into their home loan. They were taking out a loan anyway so they bundled it up to get exactly what they wanted.”
Tip 3: Communicate what you want the finished product to look like early and often
“Inspiration books and boards put us inside our buyer’s heads.”
A homeowner may know what they want, but it is important to get that vision from their heads to the building team. Luckily today, there are many tools available from Houzz to Pinterest for saving inspirational images. Sharing your vision helps the project go smoothly.
“Inspiration books and boards put us inside our buyer’s heads,” said John Hensley, vice president of sales at Hensley Custom Building Group. “When we can see it, then we can deliver.”
“One customer came in with four gigantic project boards. It looked like a science fair,” said Tim Hensley. “But they knew what they wanted and all the costs. It helped put us all on the same page.”
Tip 4: Have a timeframe in mind… and keep it in mind
“It is best to make all changes during the design phase. So we just ask people to keep that in mind.”
Based on their wealth of experience, the team provides timeframe estimates at the beginning of every project. As a good partner, they want people to keep their timeframe goals in mind.
“Typically, changes during the build phase can slow down or delay the finish date,” said Tim Hensley. “It is best to make all changes during the design phase. So we just ask people to keep that in mind.”
“For example, we just had a client who wanted to change a lower level bath into a shower, however the slab was already poured for the foundations. We needed to go in and cut the concrete to re-locate the drain. Things like that cost time. But they were flexible with their move in date, so it worked for them.”
Tip 5: Look for a team that you will enjoy working with for a long period
“We are on the same team. They give us the vision of what they want to build. And we make it a reality.”
The team at Hensley Custom Building Group partners closely with clients, bringing in knowledgeable professionals, home designers, artisans and material specialists at each phase.
“We take a team approach,” said Tim Hensley. “It’s a hand-in-hand process. We are on the same team. They give us the vision of what they want to build. And we make it a reality.”