Questions to Ask Your Builder
(INCLUDING OUR ANSWERS)
Costa Homebuilders insures the homes that we build through a third-party warranty company for a period of 12 years. This warranty remains in effect during those 12 years, whether or not Costa is actively building homes at the time.
Since it is in the best financial interests of the warranty company to insure a superior product, they have a rigorous application and approval process to ensure that only high-quality construction materials and techniques are being used when building a home. This, of course, works to the home buyers’ advantage: they are purchasing a very high-quality product that is also warranted for over a decade.
Costa Homebuilders offers its clients a complete custom home-buying experience. We believe that you should design the house that best fits your family to ensure that you are pleased with every aspect of your home and that you are effectively using all the space in your home.
If you’d like to look at different options, we invite you to look at some of the “model” homes on our website. These are homes that our clients have designed and that Costa then constructed according to each owner’s specifications. Our pictures allow you to see different floor plans and architectural styles so that you can get an idea of what you may like to include—or exclude—in the model for your own home. If you create a model (or two), you can even name your design.
After you’ve decided on a floor plan, you’ll meet with our architect to discuss the exterior look of your home. He can help you decide how to best blend the exterior with the interior floor plan that you’ve designed.
These services are included in Costa Homebuilder’s custom design program and are at NO extra cost to you after you decide to build.
As a 4th generation builder, Costa Homebuilders believes in constructing our houses to exceed the minimum building code set by law. Since we have been in business for decades, we have tried-and-tested products and methods that we use, because we know what works best.
We are a family owned and operated builder, so there is no red tape involved in your home building process. If we see any problems during the construction of your home, we will investigate it and decide on the best solution so that work can continue in a timely manner.
Here are a few instances where Costa Homebuilders goes above and beyond what the building code requires:
- Costa pours 9 feet of concrete for foundation walls. Most other builders use concrete blocks, and some builders only use the blocks on three sides of the house, leaving the fourth (if there’s a walk-out-basement, as is common in Pittsburgh) framed only in lumber.
- Engineered vs. dimensional floor joist systems. Costa uses engineered floors in all of our homes. They offer more consistency and stability, which results in flatter floors, little movement, and less squeaking. Since these joists are stronger, it results in fewer posts in the basement and wider rooms with more open spaces.
- Tile and wide-plank hardwood flooring are available with no additional upgrade.
- A poured concrete patio or deck is included in the price of each home.
- Each house includes a concrete sidewalk and driveway.
- High-quality Pella brand windows are standard in each home, instead of less energy-efficient builder-grade contractor windows.
Since most builders follow minimum building code for their homes to reduce costs, many items are not included because the code doesn’t require them—and so, builders don’t include them in their costs. Here are a few common items that are not included in other builders’ construction programs but are included with a Costa home. If you are considering using another builder, be sure to ask if these items are included in the price of your home:
- 80-90% brick exteriors
- Ceiling lights in all bedrooms
- Concrete sidewalk and driveway
- Deck or Patio
- Laundry tub
- Floor drains in basement and garage
- Basement rough-ins for future bathroom
- Exterior hose bibs
- Garage door openers
- Separate tub and shower in master bathroom
- Exterior spot lights
- Spray foam insulation
- Engineered lumber
- Large concrete footers for a more stable structure
At Costa, we go above the minimum building code to provide these items at no additional cost to you so that your home is move-in ready. The only items we don’t price in are appliances and landscaping/lawn. We find that most homeowners don’t want to mortgage these into the price of their home.
Yes, absolutely. Costa uses the same group of contractors to work on each house. We don’t put our work out to bid and then pick the lowest-priced contractor. This way, not only can we ensure the same quality in each house, we can confidently set a timeline for construction and completion of your home.
We have a process in place that allows customers to make their selections over a four-month period. This eliminates the stress of having to pick all of these items at once, which can be difficult for home buyers who would like time to choose products. Our clients appreciate having this longer period of time to decide. construction and completion of your home.
Costa Homebuilders understands that you could change your mind or would like to make additions. We’re very flexible and are happy to help you as you make changes. Changes can be made up until the dates that are noted on the selection form. After that date has passed, major changes could mean that extra costs are incurred. No fees are charged for change orders—you only pay the cost of product and labor with the new selection. buyers who would like time to choose products. Our clients appreciate having this longer period of time to decide. construction and completion of your home.
We have over 24 years of experience and are the 4th generation in a family of builders.
Our process, our team, and our execution.
It will take 7 to 14 months to build a home based on the size, site prep, and the specifications of what the customer wants and needs.
Your team will consist of five key people. The general manager, construction manager, project manager, selections coordinator, and a service coordinator after occupancy.
Typically items not included are the lot, certain site costs, appliances, and landscaping.
Customers are free to make changes during the process up to selection dates and not after items have been ordered.
Yes, we will provide references to qualified buyers.
We encourage you to do your homework regarding what bank you choose to finance your build. There are many banks that have more experience handling construction loans and will make the process move along move quickly and smoothly.
We are a custom builder, so we can build whatever our clients want and we budget for it in advance. This is to make sure they end up with the home they wanted at the price they expected.
Usually basements and attics can be left unfinished however, most municipalities will not allow builders to leave main rooms in the house unfinished.
Customization is what we do! Again, all customizations can be accounted for during the budgeting process.