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How to Hire the Right Builder and Remodeler

hire the right builder imageFor most people, a home is the single largest investment they’ll ever make.

That’s why it’s so important to hire the right builder to create your custom home or the right remodeler to beautify and renovate your existing one.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has produced a checklist  to help you make the right decision.

Top Tips from NAHB’s How to Hire the Right Builder Checklist

1. Check out the custom home builder’s reputation, longevity and experience.

  • Make sure the custom home builder or home remodeler has a permanent business location and a good reputation with local banks and suppliers.
  • Find out how long the builder has been in the building business. It usually takes three to five years to establish a financially sound business. You want to make sure they will be around after the construction is complete to service any warranties.
  • Check out the company’s rating and if there have been any complaints filed with your local Better Business Bureau: www.bbb.org

Stockell Custom Homes has been in business for over 25 years in St. Louis, MO, with a permanent location and an excellent reputation. View Stockell’s A+ BBB rating.

2. Ensure the builder has the correct insurance and contracts so you’re protected.

  • Make sure the builder/remodeler has sufficient workers compensation and general liability insurance. If not, you may be liable for any construction-related accidents on your premises.
  • Also, make sure the builder/remodeler provides you with a complete and clearly written contract. The contract will benefit both of you. If you’re having a new home built, get and review a copy of the home warranty and homeowner manual as well.

Stockell Homes maintains the appropriate insurance to protect you. Also Stockell’s custom home builder team is accredited and certified by various groups including: NAHB, BBB, Angie’s List, HBA, Green Professional and the US Green Building Council.

Our building process is clear, with an easy to read contract and clear communication. View our custom home building process.

3. Ask the home builder/remodeler to see examples of their work and for names of previous customers.

  • Ask the builder/remodeler to provide you with names of previous customers. If they won’t, beware. If they do, ask the customers if they would hire the builder/remodeler again.
  • Ask if you can see the builder/remodelers work, both completed and in progress. Check for quality of workmanship and materials.

At Stockell Homes, we’re transparent with our customers. View our gallery of completed projects and read our online customer reviews. We have a long list of happy customers who you can contact if you’d like.

4. Do you feel you can easily communicate with the builder/remodeler?

  • Remember you will be in close contact with them throughout the construction process and afterward as you live in your new home.

5. Be cautious of unusually low‐priced bids.

  • If the builder/remodeler is unable to pay for the materials and labor as the project proceeds, this may indicate a potential problem.
  • Keep in mind that less expensive does not necessarily mean better.

 At Stockell Homes, we focus on developing an accurate, on-time budget and timeline. We use open book accounting so you can see how expenses are handled.

It’s important that you hire a custom home builder you can trust to provide you with the best building and remodeling experience possible. The Stockell Team hits the mark on the NAHB criteria. We use only the highest quality materials and workmanship while delivering every project on budget and on time. We’re happy to answer your questions and help you along this home building journey.

Learn More:

Free Custom Home Ideas, Home Remodeling & Design to Improve Your Home

Looking for some home building, remodeling and design ideas?
Did we mention: Free!
That’s right: Free custom home ideas…

Houzz.com

custom_home_builder_st LouisCheck out Houzz.com. It’s fast becoming a top resource online for people who want to build a new home or remodel. It’s chock full of beautiful photos, pros like us, and tons of free custom home ideas.

From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools, Houzz is the easiest way for people to get the design inspiration, project advice, product information and professional reviews they need to help turn ideas into reality.

At Stockell Homes and General Contracting, we’ve been adding our photos and ideas to Houzz so you can browse that too. We’ve built custom homes, home additions, and home remodeling in St. Louis County, Wildwood, Kirkwood, Ellisville, the Central West End, and many other areas in the St. Louis Metro area.


Check out Stockell Homes on Houzz

Stockell Homes General Contractor Houzz St. Louis MO

Visit Stockell Homes’ Wildwood MO page on Houzz.com

Let us know what you think of Houzz.
What else would you like to see?
How can St. Louis home builders like us help you as you design and plan for your new custom home, remodel or room addition?

Are there any other free custom home ideas you’d like to see?

For more photos and custom home ideas, check out our home gallery:

Overview Home Gallery
best-houzz-2016

You can also connect with Stockell Homes on Google+ and Linkedin.


Online Architecural Home Planning Websites

Online plan centers are great places to look at different architectural styles and floor plans. Find a couple of styles you like and some floor plans that are close to what you want. Print these or save a file to share with your design team. Your design team will use these create a plan that is uniquely yours. Two great places to look are eplans.com and Builderhouseplans.com


Pinterest.com

Gathering ideas to share with your design team is fun. It is simply making a collection of possibilities – things about houses that you like and would consider incorporating into your dream home. Another fun idea site is Pinterest.com

Stockell Custom Homes Strengthens Commitment to Energy Efficiency through EPA Energy Star Program

St. Louis Home Builder Joins Program as Active Energy Star Partner, Provider

ST. LOUIS, MO. To offer Missouri residential and commercial customers more energy-efficient building options, Stockell Custom Homes & Construction recently became an Energy Star Active Partner and Indoor AirPlus Provider. Stockell joins the Energy Star Partners nationwide in implementing energy-saving, cost-effective solutions as part of its construction and remodeling processes.

We’re proud to be a part of the EPA’s Energy Star program, which allows us to offer our clients an even higher standard of quality assurance and professionalism,” said Don Stockell, president and owner. “It also feels good to help our home and business owners save money and protect the environment at the same time.”

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 12.30.31 PM

As an Energy Star partner, the St. Louis custom home builder constructs residential and commercial projects surpassing uniform standards. For example, HVAC systems, windows, lighting and appliances must meet a higher level of efficiency and effectiveness.

In addition, Stockell Custom Homes has added improved indoor air quality to its projects as an Indoor AirPlus provider. Third-party inspections by an EPA-accredited rater assure owners that all requirements are met.

Stockell’s Energy Star partnership is only one component of the company’s commitment to superior construction. Founder Don Stockell is also a NAHB Certified Green Professional/Approved Verifier and LEED Accredited Professional.

With these high-performance benchmarks, the Stockell Team is equipped to help clients customize their own level of energy-efficient building and remodeling with practical tools and technologies.

In addition to air quality and energy considerations, the company is also experienced in the areas of water and resource conservation, site design, minimizing environmental impact and consumer education.

For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call the Stockell Team at 636-938-5333 or visit www.stockellhomes.com.

About Energy Star – Energystar.gov

Energy Star is a voluntary government program committed to helping U.S. consumers, companies and organizations improve energy efficiency and air quality while reducing costs. Administered through the Environmental Protection Agency, Energy Star currently partners with 18,000 private and public sector partners in multiple industries. This national benchmark program helps consumers save billions of dollars each year through its climate-efficient standards, technology and solutions.

About Stockell Homes – Stockellhomes.com

Since 1986, Stockell Custom Homes & Construction has provided quality construction and remodeling to residential and commercial customers throughout the St. Louis area. The Stockell Team specializes in precision craftsmanship, proactive service, practical green building solutions and on-time, on-budget project delivery.

The company is a National Association of Home Builders member, an Energy Star Partner, and holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. In addition, leader Don Stockell is a Building Analyst Professional (Building Performance Institute), LEED Accredited Professional and NAHB Certified Green Professional/Approved Verifier.

Connect with Stockell Homes

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Top 4 Custom Home Building Trends

What are the top reasons people build a custom home?Room addition Chesterfield Missouri

The National Home Builders Association (NAHB) outlines a few key custom home building trends:

1. Building a custom home helps the environment

Green Building—Concern for the environment is growing in American homeowners. NAHB’s 2013 “What Buyers Want” study that found 89 percent of homebuyers surveyed would prefer and energy-efficient house over a comparable house without energy efficiency features, even if the high-performance home costs 2 to 3 percent more. Many custom homes are now focused on high performance features like water-saving appliances, insulation to improve heating efficiency and renewable or recycled building materials.

2. Building a custom home enables you to select special features like smart homes or game rooms

Amenities—Home owners also want their custom home to be a life improvement. Special features like resistance pools and fitness rooms for improved health, game rooms and theaters for entertaining, and screened-in porches and outdoor kitchens for outdoor living. This includes tech features like smart homes with automation to control energy usage, security systems and lighting.

3. Building a custom home can make space for grandma

Multigenerational Living—Custom builders are seeing an increasing need to tailor homes for extended family members like elderly parents or adult children. The U.S. Census reported that 4.3 out of 76 million households were made up of at least three generations. Families can build homes with the traditional “mother-in-law suite” or a totally separate locked-off living space. These independent spaces can have a kitchenette, full bathroom and private living areas.

4. Building a custom home enables accessibility and broadens reach to more buyers

Universal Design—As the US population ages, Universal Design (UD) provides more accessibility with features like wider doors, lower countertops and fewer stairs. An accessible home allows owners more freedom to enjoy their home as they age and can also increase value by reaching a broader group of buyers.

Leading St. Louis Remodeler and Custom Home Builder Solves Construction Challenges for Eureka Family

New Case Study Focuses on Home Remodel and Two-Story Addition in Eureka, MO

ST. LOUIS, MO. — In its newly published case study, Stockell Custom Homes & Construction details how it solved the functionality, space, comfort and construction challenges faced by a Eureka, Mo. family. The Stockell Homes Team completed a comprehensive residential remodeling project on the St. Louis area home, including a seamless two-story addition, screened-in porch and lower-level refinish.

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 3.50.10 PM

Don and Sherry Beckerle were looking for a more functional living space in multiple areas of their home, including the master bedroom, exercise room, basement and porch areas. But, because of a bad experience with the original contractor, they weren’t sure where to turn.

“It was important that we work with a builder we could trust when we decided to expand and remodel,” said Sherry Beckerle. “We chose Don and his team because we heard that Stockell Homes does a great job and is dependable.”

The St. Louis remodeler and custom homebuilder:

  • Addressed challenges remaining from the original construction, including redoing the front elevation and replacing the front porch and door.
  • Crafted a seamless two-story left addition that expanded the existing laundry, mudroom and master suite and created an exercise space.
  • Refinished the lower level, with a custom wet bar, billiards, home theater and salon space.
  • Constructed a new screened-in sunroom at the back of the home, and suggested the placement of a hot tub.
  • Added trim and shutters to all windows and dormers to the roof.

We pride ourselves on not only delivering exactly what our clients want, but also doing so on-time and on-budget,” explained Don Stockell, president and owner. “It was a pleasure working with the Beckerles and helping them improve and expand their home. We received a lot of positive feedback from them.”

The Beckerles were very satisfied with the results and the way in which the residential remodel and expansion were carried out.

“Stockell Homes did a great job,” said Sherry Beckerle. “It’s evident that Don and his team take pride in their work. We appreciated how approachable they were whenever we had questions or needed anything.”

BeckerleOuter2

“It was a drastic difference from our other experience,” she added. “With Don and Stockell Homes, you get what you’re promised. We’d hire him again in a heartbeat and have already recommended him to other people. Someone with his integrity and work ethic is hard to come by.”

For more information about this project or to set up a free remodeling consultation, call the Stockell Homes Team at 636-938-5333 or fill out the online form.

About Stockell Homes

Since 1986, Stockell Custom Homes & Construction (http://www.stockellhomes.com) has provided quality construction and remodeling to residential and commercial customers throughout the St. Louis area. The Stockell Homes Team specializes in precision craftsmanship, proactive service, practical green building solutions and on-time, on-budget project delivery.

The company is a National Association of Home Builders member, an Energy Star Partner, and holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. In addition, leader Don Stockell is a Building Analyst Professional (Building Performance Institute), LEED Accredited Professional and NAHB Certified Green Professional/Approved Verifier.

Connect with Stockell Homes

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NAHB: New Housing Market is Looking Up, According to New Home Builders

Thinking about finally making your custom dream home a reality? Apparently you’re not alone, reports the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). New home builder confidence in the single-family, new housing market at its highest peak since November 2005, and new homes sales are also on the rise.

Strengthening 201NewHouseBlogPhoto4 Job Market=More Home Buyers

Declining unemployment rates and steady job growth are increasing the demand for new homes among consumers, explained David Crowe, NAHB Chief Economist. This demand is “contributing to a gradual upward trend in builder confidence.”

Builder Confidence, New Home Sales Hit Record Levels

New home builders throughout the U.S. are also reporting a surge of buyer interest and traffic since the early summer, which is translating into record numbers of new home sales. In August, 504,000 new homes were sold, a level not seen since 2008.

Builders and economists expect this trend to continue in the next six months.

Learn More

Contact Don Stockell today to discuss your construction or St. Louis custom home at 636-938-5333 or by email.

About Stockell Homes

Since 1986, Stockell Custom Homes & General Contracting, Inc. (http://www.stockellhomes.com) has provided quality construction and remodeling to residential and commercial customers in Chesterfield, Wildwood and throughout the St. Louis area. The Stockell Homes Team specializes in precision craftsmanship, proactive service, practical green building solutions and on-time, on-budget project delivery.

The company is a National Association of Home Builders member, an Energy Star Partner, and holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. In addition, leader Don Stockell is a Building Analyst Professional (Building Performance Institute), LEED Accredited Professional and NAHB Certified Green Professional/Approved Verifier.

Connect with Stockell Homes:

Checklist for a Safe, Accessible Bathroom Design

Improve Your Home’s Value and Safety with Accessible Bathroom Design & Construction

accessible bathroom designWhether building a new home or remodeling, accessibility is an important factor to consider. Not only does it give those with disabilities and older Americans a more independent life, but it also can improve your home’s value.

Bathroom accessibility design checklist:

  • Swing-out doors to accommodate easy wheelchair entry
  • Non-slip floors for safety
  • Grab bars for easier transfers and to maintain balance
  • Reinforced walls for installation of grab bars
  • 5 foot square area (required for most wheelchair users to make a 360° turn)
  • Chair-height racks, shelves, and cabinets (Chair-height is how far a person using a wheelchair can reach. A front approach is approximately 48 inches. A parallel approach is 54 inches.)
  • Lever handled faucets
  • Lowered or tilted mirror
  • Roll-under vanity top
  • Hinged, fold-down seat in shower
  • Roll-in shower with no curb
  • Hand-held or adjustable shower head
  • Bathtub with nonskid strips or surface
  • Half-height caregiver doors
  • Toilets 17 to 19 inches from floor or wall-mounted toilet

Thanks to Access to Independence for the excellent bathroom accessible bathroom design list.

If you’ve got any other accessible bathroom design tips you’d like to share, contact us.

Got Questions?

If you’re thinking of building a new home in Wildwood, Chesterfield or St. Louis or remodeling to make your bathroom more accessible, let Stockell Homes help! With 25 years of experience under our belt, we can successfully navigate you through the necessary decisions including finishes, budget and timeline.

Contact Don Stockell today to discuss your construction or St. Louis custom home at 636-938-5333 or by email.

About Stockell Homes

Since 1986, Stockell Custom Homes & General Contracting, Inc. (http://www.stockellhomes.com) has provided quality construction and remodeling to residential and commercial customers in Chesterfield, Wildwood and throughout the St. Louis area. The Stockell Homes Team specializes in precision craftsmanship, proactive service, practical green building solutions and on-time, on-budget project delivery.

The company is a National Association of Home Builders member, an Energy Star Partner, and holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. In addition, leader Don Stockell is a Building Analyst Professional (Building Performance Institute), LEED Accredited Professional and NAHB Certified Green Professional/Approved Verifier.

Connect with Stockell Homes:

St. Louis Home Builder Expands Consumer Offerings with New Website, StockellHomes.com

Stockell Custom Homes & General Contracting recently launched a new mobile-responsive website to better serve residential and commercial customers in the St. Louis area.  Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 12.02.06 AM

“We realize the high level of commitment that each building and remodeling project entails and value the trust our clients place in us,” said Don Stockell, president and owner.
“Because of that, we wanted to enhance communication, visibility and the convenience of those we serve through the new website.”

The new St. Louis home builder’s interactive site, StockellHomes.com, offers home owners:

For nearly 30 years, the Stockell Homes team has strived for client-first service, with the new St. Louis home builder site as the latest example.

“Saving money and energy are top priorities for people these days, so we decided to dedicate an entire section to green building technology and resources,” said Stockell.

Stockell Homes clients appreciate the proactive communication, transparency and quality that the general contractor and St. Louis home builder delivers.

“Thanks for your good ideas, your attention to detail and for being so easy to work with,” said Laraine, of the Pevely Farm Golf Course Community.
“The entire process was quick, on schedule and created minimal inconvenience: all because of your professionalism.”

For more information, call (636) 938-5333 or visit www.stockellhomes.com.

About Stockell Homes

Since 1986, Stockell Custom Homes & General Contracting, Inc. (http://www.stockellhomes.com) has provided quality construction and remodeling to residential and commercial customers throughout the St. Louis area. The Stockell Homes Team specializes in precision craftsmanship, proactive service, practical green building solutions and on-time, on-budget project delivery.

The company is a National Association of Home Builders member, an Energy Star Partner, and holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. In addition, leader Don Stockell is a Building Analyst Professional (Building Performance Institute), LEED Accredited Professional and NAHB Certified Green Professional/Approved Verifier.

Connect with Stockell Homes

Contacts

Don Stockell, Stockell Custom Homes (636)-938-5333, Email

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Studies Show New Homes Cost Less to Maintain

According to the NAHB, new homes are less expensive to maintain: new homes bring savings in reduced energy and maintenance expenses.

Data from the American Housing Survey (AHS) provides more insight:

  • For routine maintenance expenses, 26% of all homeowners spent $100 or more a month on various upkeep costs. However, only 11% of owners of newly constructed homes spent this amount.
  • 73% of new homeowners spent less than $25 a month on routine maintenance costs.
  • For energy expenses, on a median per square foot basis, homeowners spent 81 cents per square foot per year on electricity. Owners of new homes spent less: 68 cents per square foot per year.
  • For homes with piped gas, homeowners spent on average 50 cents per square foot per year vs. new home owners spent just 34 cents per square foot per year.

new home maintenance costs

Lower Maintenance Costs in New Homes Bring Savings over the Life of Ownership

New homes cost less to maintain due to reduced operating costs. Also, these reduced costs result in lower insurance bills as well.

The median cost for all homeowners of property insurance is 39 cents per square foot, while it is only 31 cents per square foot for owners of new homes.

As building science continues to improve, the flow of benefits continues to increase from building a new custom home.

Read more at the NAHB’s Blog.