When building a custom home, there are three things normally required prior to beginning:

  1.  Plans
  2. Contract
  3. Specifications
I always tell people that specifications are almost as important, if not more important than the house plans because specifications are what breathes life into the plans.  It tells you what the cabinets will be made of, the color, the style of build, the interiors, etc.  There can be so much detail in the specs that it can be overwhelming.  We try as much as we can at Mattern & FitzGerald to continually educate homeowners on the specifications because if we can do a good job of that it makes for a much better build experience for them.  We usually have a few rounds of specifications and more often than not, by the time we are through the homeowners have a real good feel for what’s going in their home.  If the expectations are set right, then the budgets should follow closely and that is why we have had so much success with limited price fluctuations in projects.  We really pride ourselves on that because otherwise it would appear as a bait and switch and that is a short term strategy that won’t pay dividends in the long run.  Even if you are not a detail-oriented person, try your best to at least get overall construction concepts and techniques as it relates to your project so that you have a fantastic experience.