Our Process

We’re committed to delivering the highest standards of client service at each step of the design-build process.

1. Consultation

Email us or give us a call to begin the conversation about your project. Our conversation will help us determine if we’re a good fit and serve as a starting point to evaluate your construction needs. At this stage in the process, you’re also invited to visit some of our projects in varying stages of development. We’ll conduct a process meeting to walk through the details of our overall approach, including working with your design, preliminary pricing, identifying selections, and finalizing the budget and contract.

2. Budget and Contract

Once you have approved final plans, our subcontractors and suppliers will price your project based on your selections and plan specifications. When the final pricing is obtained and validated, we’ll meet with you to review a draft of the final budget. Once the budget is finalized, we’ll refine the contract specifications and sign the final contract. Lastly, our team will review and approve your project financing (i.e., yours or your financial institution’s draw schedule).

3. Construction

Now we get to break ground. You’ll begin to see your home take shape as we pull permits, begin construction, and establish a schedule for periodic milestone meetings. We’ll confirm your pre-construction selections and communicate regularly with you at each step of the construction process. Our goal is to address all questions and concerns within a day, if not within hours. Once construction is complete, we’ll orient you to your new home, finalize accounting, and transfer keys. Welcome home! 

4. Warranty

To us, service after you move in is as important as the home itself. Our one-year builder warranty program begins with an orientation prior to move-in. During this meeting, we’ll demonstrate all of the new features of your home and note any operational items that need to be addressed. Sixty days later, we’ll return to take care of any repairs or adjustments as noted on our warranty form, which you’ll receive 30 days after construction completion. Then, at 12 months, we’ll return for a final review and address any items noted on the one-year warranty form, which you’ll receive 11 months after construction completion. 

Home Building: Step-by-Step

A more detailed overview of our building process from start to finish

What to Expect
We believe that building a custom home can and should be a collaborative experience in which homeowners feel informed, heard, and valued. Our project schedule is intentionally crafted to offer every client attention and guidance throughout the homebuilding process.
Isobel Sadler, Charlottesville Area Builders


Why Charlottesville Area Builders?

How do you compare to other builders?

We’re a local, mid-size custom home builder and have been in business in the Charlottesville area for nearly 40 years. Our size means that you’ll get personalized service at each step of the process, including one-on-one planning meetings and willingness to work with changes during construction. Whether you want to start from scratch, have a plan in mind, need to find a lot, or already have one, we’ll work with you to personalize every detail. Our flexibility to build on your land exactly what you want, without any limitations, sets us apart from our competitors. Your entire project will be tailored to you, from start to finish.

How many homes have you built?

We have built hundreds of homes in the Charlottesville area. Each year, we typically build between 8 to 12 homes.

Can you give me references from prior clients? Can I see a home you built?

Yes, we’ll provide current references. Many of our past clients are happy to showcase their homes, and we’ll share many examples of our work so you can view first hand our commitment to quality and service. 

Your Home Site

Will you evaluate my future home site to confirm it’s the right lot for my project?

Yes, gladly. We’ll schedule a lot walk with you, at no cost or obligation. This tour is the best way to ensure that your home is situated on your land the perfect way for you and your lifestyle. Before you purchase a lot, we can also address any questions or concerns and determine feasibility and site work preparations. 

Will you help us find land if we don’t already own a piece of land?

More than half of our clients don’t own land before they come to us. We’re experts in land feasibility and love spending time checking out great local home sites for sale. We’re happy to help you find the perfect lot, and we have valuable relationships with the real-estate community that we can draw on to help you answer any questions about a property.

What type of land do you build on?

We build on the location of your choice. The exact lot is up to you, whether it’s in a rural setting, on a family farm, near a lake, or in a development. Our pricing includes the site costs and work required to prepare your lot for construction. Whether you currently own a site, are choosing between options, or just getting started, we can help you through the entire journey. 


How and when will the final price for my home be determined?

After initial consultations, we’ll begin the design phase of the process. We’ll listen to your needs and desires as we determine the project scope. Our team will help you define the selections and layout of your home, taking you from general ideas to a fully customized and specified design. Once the design phase is complete, we’ll provide you with a firm estimate of the project cost. When pricing is approved, we’ll sign a contract. The final price of your home is dependent on several variables: its size, the intricacies of its design, the building materials and products you select, and the land preparation. Your selections are made ahead of construction, so there are no surprises or unforeseen costs during the build, unless you choose to make additions along the way.

Do you offer in-house financing?

We do not, but we work with preferred lenders in the Charlottesville area that offer bundled land and construction loans in a one-time closing product. We’re happy to put you in touch with them to answer any financing questions you may have.


How long do projects typically take, from start to finish?

The timeline depends on the size of your home and the land preparations needed for your site. Typically, the process can take about nine to twelve months from the start of construction to move-in day. Read more about our home building process here.

How do I begin the process if I still have a home to sell?

We’re happy to put you in touch with one of our trusted lenders so you can ease into the transition without having to sell your current home and rent during construction. Our preferred lenders are experts at offering new construction loans and will help you secure bridge loans and construction loans to save you money and make the process as easy as possible. 

How often (and when) will I have access to the home during construction?

You’ll have access to your property at any time. We encourage you to visit often and enjoy watching your home come together during construction. 

Let's get building. Reach out anytime by phone or email to begin a conversation.