Three Ways to Optimize your Custom Home Building Experience

Chris Simms

Christopher Simms, CDS Builders Founder & CEO

CDS Builders founder and CEO, Christopher Simms shares the top three ways to ensure the best experience possible when building your forever home. It is not everyday that a family can expect to build a home in the same community as their builder because, well, that builder can expect every problem to arrive, literally, at their front door.

Simms says his decision to build his family’s forever home in Aripeka speaks to the level of trust and confidence he has in his team and that they have worked tirelessly to optimize the custom home building experience. He says CDS Builders is one of the few custom builders in the State of Florida that is also a developer. More than anything, he says he treasures the one-on-one relationship he gets to develop with the future neighbors that choose to build with his team.

Q: What makes the best custom home building experience?

A: It is important to define what custom means within the community development project itself and then, also, what custom means for the builder. I was blessed to work closely with my dad who has won basically every prestigious award you can win for building in this state and Ohio. Since I was 12-years-old, my dad ingrained in me that custom building means there are no constraints or limits to what room goes where or what may need to be special-ordered to accommodate a client’s vision – especially when the project is as personal as the family living experience. It was later in life that I discovered that my dad’s philosophy was the exception to the rule in this industry. For me, I like to look at the lot selection process and the floor plan variety because that tells me whether the experience is truly custom. Set expectations from the start with your builder, then review the community master plan. Not every community encourages personalization. Building in Aripeka, again, is an exception to the rule. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for families because they are encouraging individuality and personalization in every detail. There is nothing cookie-cutter about it.

Q: What is key to staying within budget?

A: I encourage families to ask what is baked into the initial pricing – from impact windows to spray foam insulation, from ceiling height to low voltage smart home systems. This gives you a sense of how much control and transparency you can expect throughout the building process. It’s the add-ons, upgrades, and change orders that drive cost over time. Because CDS has decades of experience as builders and developers here in Brevard County, we know the full scope of anticipated change orders to expect from start to finish. This is a big differentiator for our team because at CDS Builders we only build homes that we would want our family to live in. This means our initial pricing would be considered a “level-up” package in any other office. We start with the highest quality and most efficient modern building options already included in the initial pricing. This is how we can be as transparent and efficient as possible and present a budget that is as accurate from start to finish.

Q: What is key to consider when it comes to the lifetime value of a home?

Personally, I think there are two key things to consider: the school system and how long you can expect the products in the home to be of great value in the market in your area. As an example, if I’m purchasing a home in Florida, I want to be sure I am seriously considering a fully-sealed ERV system. This system is going to reduce moisture in the home, reduce the likelihood of mold, and extend the life of all the appliances in the home. I believe this feature will soon be the standard, not a “level-up” feature. Insurance companies will incentivize you to consider this type of upgrade. I also like that a fully-sealed system helps to soundproof the home. In this way, I like to say our homes are built like a Yeti. These “special features” are going to be the standard expectation for homebuyers in the next five to ten years.

Our families deserve impact windows for safety and insurance purposes. Likewise, you want the best possible air quality in a Florida home and an effective way to reduce moisture and humidity in your home – and, as an example, I am proud to say we are one of the few builders installing fully-sealed ERV systems today. In short, our barebones initial pricing includes what we believe are the highest quality essentials for a home. I believe what specifically is included into initial pricing shows whether you can anticipate going over or under budget because it’s the add-ons, upgrades, and change orders that drive cost over time.

CDS Home Builders Checklist

Be sure to check out the CDS Builders Custom Home Build Checklist for more tips on how to streamline your building experience

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