Property & Casualty Insurance Adjusters

Georgia Residential-Light Commercial License No. for Pierce & Associaties, Inc. is RLCO001077

Georgia Residential-Light Commercial License No. for Mark Stephen Pierce is RLQA000815

Frequently Asked Questions

1. We have purchased a lot and would like to build a home on it, can Pierce and Associates help us?
Of course!  We can go over the building site with you and make recommendations on home style.  Our Design Services mean we can take you from "concept" to "construction."
2. We want to start construction of our new home but have no idea what the cost would be.  Can Pierce and Associates help us create a budget?
Absolutely.  We can sit down with you to determine your needs and wants and give you some rules of thumb to determine an approximate cost.  If the approximate cost is within you budget, we can work out the details and give you and firm estimate.  If the approximate cost is not within your budget, we can talk to you about options for reducing the overall cost so you can afford a quality built home you will love.
3. How do we pick a quality builder when so many people claim to be home builders?
References and experience are the indicators you should look to.  If a builder has been in business many years, he should have plenty of references he can give you of satisfied clients.  If he's just starting out or isn't willing to give references, you should look elsewhere.
4. How is square footage calculated?
Square footage can be calculated different ways, so it's important to ask your builder what method he uses.  The most common method is out to out method which means measuring from the outside of one exterior wall to the outside of another exterior wall.  This will include the wall thickness, ducts, etc.
5. What is your cost per square foot?  OR Why do different builders charge different prices per square foot?
Builders us the cost per square foot as an estimate to the cost of your project.  Since different builders use different grades or quality of materials, this price may vary depending on quality of product.  With lumber prices fluctuating, the cost per square foot changes often, so talk to your builder about today's market and what that means to the cost per square foot.  Another factor that goes into the cost per square foot is the builder's experience.  More experienced builders understand quality building methods and will charge more per square foot.  Less experienced builders may charge less per square foot when bidding the job, but often run into problems that create change orders and increases in price for the owner.  At Pierce & Associates, we have over 25 years experience backing our estimates.  We know what it takes to do it right the first time to create a quality product for you and your family.
6. Why do most builders "reserve the right to exchange materials and fixtures."  Is this okay?
Yes.  Most contracts are signed several months before construction begins, so the exact product or fixture may not be available when the time comes to build your home.  Just make sure you contract says that your builder agrees to provide you with "equal or better" products.
7.  Why would we want to pay for construction plans when some builders offer them for "free"?
Keep in mind that you get what you pay for.  It's always best to work out the details on paper to avoid mistakes later in the construction phase.  Paying in advance for design services can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in the future by avoiding unnecessary mistakes.  Any builder who offers "free" plans is probably offering them as a package deal with his construction, so you won't get a detailed plan you can look over before the project begins.  Pierce and Associates design services are charged by the hour, so you can get make sure the plans are exactly what you want before you begin construction.  Please see our Design Services page for more details.
8. How long does it usually take to build a home?
This is really depended on many factors - the season, the availability of building materials, the builder's schedule, etc.  Ask your builder at the beginning of the project what his estimated time to completion would be, but always assume that's a "best case" scenario. 

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