Quick and to the point, these will give you a brief overview of Cullen Brothers, who we are and how we operate:
In a nutshell, who are the Cullen Brothers and what do they do?
Well, we are not movie stars in a “twilight” vampire film that distinction goes to someone else. Instead, we are custom home builders in the Northern Kentucky market. Generally speaking we build in Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties in Kentucky. We have been in business since June of 1997 and there are two brothers, Rich and Bill.
What exactly is a “custom home” and how does it compare to a “production built” home?
Simple, with “custom home” building, we build your floor plan one time as compared to “production built” where the floor plan is built over and over. The floor plan is customized around you. In our 20 + years of business we have never built the same floor plan twice. You don’t have the same house as your neighbor.
What is the price of your homes and can I afford it?
As far as price, there are many factors which can affect price and variation can be substantial. But generally speaking there are 4 main components having the greatest impact on price: size of home, lot or site conditions, design features, and level of detailing/appointments. As a result of these variations, it is impossible for us to tell you the price of your new home without obtaining much more information. With respect to affordability, yes, you can afford it. We work within any budget and over the years we have successfully built homes in the $100’s to over $800’s. Custom doesn’t automatically equate to expensive or overpriced.
Before you begin with plans or design or lot purchase, we recommend setting an initial consultation meeting, with the development of a budget as the main topic. Over the years we have found the process to be much smoother if an understanding of the budget is obtained in the early stages.
How long does it take to build my home?
The first stage is planning and design and this can vary significantly from client to client. On the short end it can be about a month, conversely, on the long end, we have worked with clients for over a year. The second stage is permitting, financing and appraisal and we recommend allowing 6-8 weeks for this process to be completed. The final stage is construction, with most of our homes built in 5 ½ – 7 ½ months.
What is a construction loan and how does it differ from a conventional loan?
Do you provide design services or do I have to get my own architect/designer?
We can do either. If you have your own designer/architect, we will certainly work with that individual. However, we can provide design services as well.
Can I self-perform portions of work and/or can I use my own suppliers/subcontractors?
We call this the use of alternative vendors and we evaluate this on a case by case basis. There are many factors to consider when making the decision to permit alternative vendors, such as workman’s compensation/insurance, payment terms, schedule, etc. We will make every attempt possible to accommodate you and provide value to your home. However, there are times when utilizing an alternative vendor becomes a step backwards.
The selections can be overwhelming, where do I get help coordinating all of the colors, textures, trends, etc.?
It is usually a multi-pronged approach:
What are allowances, will I have any in my contract and will I have to pay more money in the end?
An allowance is a certain amount of money set aside or included in the contract for a certain portion of work or material item. Allowances are utilized when the complete or exact scope of work is unknown or not yet determined. For instance, a cabinetry allowance is provided for cabinetry when the exact cabinet design and style selection has not been made. So an allowance figure of “x” dollars is included in the contract to cover cabinetry. When the cabinet design and selections are finalized the actual cost is compared to the allowance figure and adjustments/reconciliations are then made.
The number of allowances can vary based upon the number of variables or unknowns in the contract. Often, we provide allowances for appliances, fixtures, cabinetry, flooring, and ceramic tile.
With respect to allowances, the amount of money you go over or the amount you are refunded is solely based upon your decision making and ability to commit. We always advise clients to view allowances as their money because it is. We, as your builder, can put in as much money into the allowances as you want, but the gross contract amount is adjusted in a corresponding fashion and ultimately you will be the one responsible for paying it back. So we always advise clients to view an allowance not as “how much did the builder give me” but as “how much of my own money am I spending”.
Do you self-perform any portions of work and who are your subcontractors?
We do self-perform many aspects of trim carpentry and painting with our own employees. Our sub-contractors are the best tradesmen in the business and each has been working alongside us for many years. We do not go and competitively bid each home to find the lowest cost alternative in the market. Our sub-contractors are loyal to us and to you our customer. Each is just as invested and committed to the satisfaction and positive outcome of your home as we.
What about warranty?
We provide a limited 1 year warranty. During the course of the warranty period we will return at you convenience to repair any defects/nail pops which may occur. We also provided emergency warranty on demand.
It helps to be able to see a home before being built; do you have a model or a showroom?
Being custom where we don’t build the same floor plan over and over, we don’t have a model or showroom. However, we do have a large number of former clients who will graciously allow us to show their home to you. We also have the latest, state-of-the-art cad program which has wonderful photo realistic rendering capabilities and virtual walk-thru. With today’s technology you can literally see it before you build.
I still have questions and they are not listed here?