Concept Development & Planning
The first part of any project is the land selection. Having land can ensure that we know which solution is the best fit for you, and is a preferable position for our new clients to be in.
If you already own a piece of land, or have one under contract, then you are ready to begin the next phase of the building process. Many times developments have covenants, conditions or restrictions associated with them. Please check with any potential HOA, or neighborhood associations, for the development to ensure that the size, modern aesthetics, and modular construction all fit within these rules. If you do not have property, we can refer you to an experienced real estate agent to help with the hunt for the perfect spot in Austin, or the Marfa/Alpine area of West Texas.
In order to begin on the conceptual development of your home, you will need to select a design and contact us to talk about the specifics of your program. If a house plan does not suit your needs, we will custom design one for you at an hourly rate. With either, we require a non-refundable $250 deposit and a signed agreement to proceed. During this phase, the materials and options for the home are selected, and your property is examined to ensure there is enough room for the design, and that there are no obstacles for the delivery and installation of the modules. When you are happy with interior/exterior selection packages, and it has been determined that your site is suitable, we will submit your design to the factory for final pricing. If you have required custom design work, the additional balance will be due at this time.
Getting a building permit, if required, will require a site plan. This is a document that shows how the home will sit on your property with consideration for views, solar orientation, wind currents, and adherence to local building codes, as well as city ordinances. What we will need from you is a digital survey of your property and, at the minimum, different photographs of the site, but highly recommend contacting us about our services for a visit to your property, so that as many considerations are being made for your home as possible. We can usually arrange for up to a day trip from Austin for evaluation of the site.
Once we have received the survey, we will require a second deposit of $1200 to begin work on the site plan. At the conclusion of this phase you will receive a final cost estimate for the entire project and all the necessary documentation a bank requires to approve your loan, as well as a complete set of design schematics, a foundation design and specifications your general contractor will need to finish the home. In order for us to complete this phase, we will need your assistance, or that of your general contractor in working with an engineer to determine the needs of the foundation, if required, and will work closely with both parties during that process.
By this time you should have selected a general contractor if ClearSpace is not within range to offer those services. As a part of those arrangements you may also work out your plans for landscaping, solar power, rainwater catchment and other site improvements. Please contact us if you have any questions about what this phase of the project, or any other phase will entail. Much of this content will be easier to follow throughout the actual building process.
Commence Building & Site Prep
During this phase of the construction, parts of the project will begin both on site, and in the factory. This is also what banks need to know about the process to approve your loan.
- Steep sites/hard bedrock more costly
- Distance from factory
- Is a building permit required?
- Availability of electricity to the site
- Is there water and sewer/septic?
- Enough room to place modules?
After receiving approval for your loan, there will be several “draws” that cover expenses along the way. The first one will be for 40% of the selling cost of the module out of the factory. This will start construction of the home. Along side of this process, site prep needs to be done on your property. This will include getting the foundation inspected and poured, and making accommodations for sewer/septic, electrical, access ways, grading, and water delivery. This is a separate draw that you will work out with your lender. The second draw in our financing schedule is for an additional 30% of the factory construction price.
Delivery and Set
Once the building site is ready and the modules are constructed, they are loaded up, and transported from the factory to your property. After they are set into place by crane, or other methods, on your foundation, there is a process of continued "button-up" that involves the utility connections and installation of interior/exterior details that are not suited for shipment, including decks and shade structures, or any specialty items not provided by the factory. The third draw will happen at this time, and covers the remaining 30% of the module costs, as well as shipping.
Final Inspections and Move-in
At the end of the building process, you will have a satisfactory and cleaned-up house ready to move into. The last draw on your schedule covers the expenses and general contracting fees that accumulated during the final phase of work, and the construction loan will convert to a conventional one, as per the arrangement you have with your bank. The time it takes for a project from the first deposit until move-in is usually 4 to 6 months, but actual construction time at the factory can be very short depending on where it is fabricated.
Total Project Costs
This is not easy to provide a sufficient answer to without becoming more involved in the design process, but in many cases, there is a reduction in going with modular vs. site built, and vice versa.