New Home Construction Q & A

We understand building a new home can be a daunting task. We’ve personally had several homes built for us over the years and know how much time and effort it involves on your part, that’s why we work very hard to ensure the process is as stress-free as possible. Please read answers below to many frequent questions and as always, contact us so we can help you make the right decision.

Q: How long does it take to build a home?

A: Generally 10- 12 months from contract to keys. Some delays include weather, environmental issues such as a gopher tortoise burrow and permitting may delay construction a few weeks.

Q: How much deposit is required?

A: $3000 deposit is required at contract signing. If the home is to be built on your lot, a survey will be ordered and the site evaluation will be completed after signing the contract. If, after the site evaluation, it’s determined the site-prep cost is not agreeable, a stem wall is required or other factors that increase cost and you elect NOT to proceed, your deposit will be returned minus the cost of the survey and elevation certificate (if required).

Q: What type of construction financing is offered?

A: All construction financing requires a construction-to-perm loan. The builder requires “draws” as construction progresses. If paying cash, the entire amount of the contract price is required to be deposited in an escrow account and drawn out as construction progresses. The final 10% of the amount is held until you sign-off after construction is complete. Once you are satisfied, the Certificate of Occupancy is ordered from the County.

Q: What's a stem wall?

A: When in a flood zone, the lowest living floor of the home is required to be above the base flood plane. If the property is too low to add fill dirt to raise the home, a stem wall is built. It consists of cement block frame which is then filled. This raises the home without “mounding” fill dirt and sand.

Q: How much does a stem wall add to the price?

A: The allowance for a stem wall is $3500 – $4000 per course. A stem wall is generally 2 – 5 courses, depending on the base flood plane and height of the property. This price includes fill dirt.

Q: The Premium Series includes a lot of options. What if I don't want a pool or other things?

A: The Premium Series was designed to offer no nonsense pricing by including the most popular upgrades and options. If you don’t want a pool or some of the other upgrades, they can be removed. Reducing the price is easier on you than raising it to add options and upgrades!

Q: The Premium Series has most of the upgrades I'm looking for. Can I add more?

A: Yes. DMI Home Builders is a custom home builder. You can change things around, add options, TV, phone and cable outlets, and even rooms, etc. The only limitation is your budget.

Q: The Premium Series isn't offered on every floor plan. Can I choose a smaller floor plan with the same upgrades?

A: Yes. The Premium Series includes the most popular floor plans but any of DMI’s floor plans can include the Premium Series upgrades. HOA requirements may preclude certain plans. Rotonda West, for instance, has a minimum of 1600 sq feet of living area. Contact us and let us know what you’re looking for.

Q: Why are prices different per location?

A: The price differences in various locations are for a few reasons. First, impact fees vary per county and city. Other factors include HOA requirements, site-work on larger lots and cost of the home-site or lot allowance. We included everything we could think of that affects the final price for each floor plan in every community so you’ll know what your new home will cost without being “nickeled and dimed.”

Q: Does DMI build in other locations such as Venice, Punta Gorda or Englewood?

A: Yes, DMI can build in all locations in Sarasota and Charlotte County. Some areas like Punta Gorda Isles, for instance, require homes to be built with a tile or metal roof among other requirements. We’d be happy to assist you pricing a home in any area. DMI also builds in Lee and Collier County as well. Contact us regarding these areas.

Q: If material or labor costs increase after I sign a contract, am I responsible for paying the increase?

A: No. Once you sign the contract the price is guaranteed unless you make changes. The exception would be if an environmental issue arose after site excavation began that wasn’t apparent before, such as a buried fuel tank, hazardous waste, etc.

Q: Once the contract is signed for construction to begin, can I make changes as I go along?

A: Yes and no. If the change is substantial such as adding rooms, you would need to start over if any construction hasn’t begun. Changing floor plans can add a substantial amount of money even after just the site work has started. If after the final drawings are complete and you want to make minor changes, such as adding an outlet, moving a door, changing the roof color, etc, the minimum cost per change is $250 plus the cost of the new drawing if required and the cost of material. If materials have been ordered, such as shingles or tile, etc, changing it may not be possible. We understand people think of things after the fact, but to save money and possible delays, it’s best to make a list of everything you’d like in your new home so we can price it before the final contract.

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