What to Expect

Understanding a Few Important Keys to a Successful Build Experience.

Building a new home is a lot like planning an exciting trip to a favorite destination.

For my wife and I, that destination is Hawaii, hands down. Our absolute favorite! The lush green forests, the warm ocean waters, the swaying palm trees and white sand beaches. It is heaven on earth. I’ve thought on many occasions how nice it would be to snap my fingers and magically be transported to my happy place on the beaches of Hawaii. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. If you haven’t noticed, Hawaii sits out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with thousands of miles of blue waters in every direction. It is a destination like no other, but one that requires a journey to get there.

Building your own new home is a lot like a trip to the beautiful islands of Hawaii. A wonderful destination, indeed. How nice it would be to picture the perfect home, on the perfect lot, with the perfect finishes, then snap your fingers and magically be transported to move in day. But, much like the trip to Hawaii, there is a journey to be planned before arriving at the magical new destination. At Highland Homes our focus is as much on the journey, as it is on the final destination. The spectrum of what to expect when you’re embarking on the journey of building your new home extends far beyond just one page. In fact, it could fill a book. I’m working on that. In the meantime, I’ve come up with a list of the most important things to expect in the new construction journey ahead.

  • It’s possible to enjoy the journey of building a custom home. Proper planning and expectations along the way are key to a successful journey. We promise to do everything we can to make this ride as smooth as possible. After all, we know your new home is a destination worthy of the journey it takes to get there!

I. The Journey Takes Time … And Planning

Since snapping the fingers and magical transportation is not an option when traveling to Hawaii, jumping on a plane is probably the next best option. Even still, the flight is a long one. Spending the time to plan for the flight can pay huge dividends. Having the right seat (never the middle seat!), the right electronic devices and the right snacks can make all the difference to help enjoy the journey.

Planning is critical to the success of the build experience. After signing the contract, understand that there is still very important work to do before breaking ground. There are builders that will jump right into construction and will plan as they go, always chasing you down for important last-minute selections and decisions along the way. We are not that builder. Each of our buyers are asked to participate in an 8-10 week Pre-Construction Planning Process. Design meetings, final selections, virtual walkthroughs and documentation of it all in our Online Building Program are all part of this process and allow us to communicate and plan together for a successful build experience. We wouldn’t do it any other way.

II. Expect Turbulence

One thing I have learned in all of my years of flying, is that turbulence on a flight is to be expected. It can vary in its duration and intensity and isn’t always the most enjoyable thing to experience. The pilot didn’t cause the turbulence. There are many factors outside of the pilot’s control that can cause the sometimes bumpy ride.

We’ve built hundreds of new Highland Homes. Even more homes if you count how many we’ve built working for other builders. The one constant amongst every new home experience and across all builders is a certain amount of turbulence along the way. Whether you purchase a home that is already built or you purchase a home to be built just for you, neither comes with a guarantee of smooth skies ahead. Sometimes, despite all of the planning and systems in place for a smooth flight, there are conditions outside of our control that can cause a few uncomfortable “bumpy” moments along your journey. Everything from a sudden change in building code to a discontinued cabinet color. We find that expecting a bit of turbulence along the way helps make that turbulence a little less stressful when it does happen. More smooth skies are ahead. We promise.

III. Trust the Pilot

There have been times I have been on flights where the turbulence has gone from just a little uncomfortable to down right scary. In these times, I have taken solace in the fact that I know there is an experienced pilot and co-pilot working as a team to ensure my safety, and theirs. They have tools that are not at my disposal. They have communication with air traffic control and expensive equipment in the cockpit to help guide them in all of their decisions. Trusting the pilot in these moments has helped bring some peace and calm to my journey.

It is our job, at Highland Homes, to use the many years of experience we have building homes for hundreds of our homeowners, to help ensure the best journey possibly for yourself. Like the pilot, we have tools and systems in place to help guide our decisions along the way. Our goal is the same as yours. We are working to sail the smoothest skies possible to the destination of your beautiful new home. Trust the pilot! It will be much less stressful than trying to fly the plane yourself.

IV. Prepare for Landing

As the long flight comes to an end, you will begin to see a flurry of activity. Flight crews, air traffic control, grounds crews and pilots all have important jobs to ensure a safe and successful landing. If a passenger could take a peak into all of the work and communication that occurs during the final descent, they could probably sum it up in one word: BUSY!

That same word could apply to the final 45 days of the new construction experience. If ever there is a time when the homeowner begins to doubt the process, it is at this stage. They look at all of the work yet to be done and believe that it is simply not possible. Anticipate a flurry of activity amongst subcontractors, lenders, title companies, building inspectors, and our own Highland managers working through final quality control checklists in preparation for closing. Take a few deep breaths and remember that we have dealt with this “landing” hundreds of times before. We understand it may be your first landing and promise to offer all of the help and reassurance that we can along the way. You’re almost there.

  • Mistakes are going to happen. Prepare yourself now. Even if your paperwork and plans are 100% complete and accurate. Building a home is a very intricate process with lots of moving pieces. Remember we’re on the same team and we have the same goal. With the right attitude, it is possible to have a great building experience. With the wrong attitude we just prefer to say, no thanks.

V. See the Beauty

Is Hawaii perfect? Dang close, but not quite perfect. Can you find a little trash on the streets? Yes. Can the traffic on the small island streets get a little congested? Yes. It is important to understand the principle that you’ll find whatever you’re looking for. When I finally make it to my happy place, I turn my focus to the beautiful mountains and waterfalls. I look to the white sand beaches and ocean waves crashing in. I love the smell of tiki-torches burning at night and the sound of ukulele’s in the background while dining with my feet in the sand. Are the imperfections of the island still there? Yes. I just choose not to see them.

After completing the long journey to your new home, choose to see the beauty. I will tell you right now that there will be imperfections. I have yet to build a “perfect” home in all of my years of building. Choose not to be the homeowner found lying on his back on the floor of the pantry, marking the underside of the bottom shelf with blue tape for paint touchups. Or the homeowner that is on her hands and knees crawling the wood floor in search of imperfections. Or the homeowner that brings in a spotlight to shine on the walls to look for drywall imperfections (all true stories). Choose to look up. See your beautiful new home. Enjoy your new home. After the journey you’ve just completed, you deserve nothing less. Welcome home!

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