Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to build a home?


This is by far the most common question we receive and the hardest to answer.  Many factors affect the cost per square foot , such as the amenities you choose, the layout/floor plan you desire, the location of your building site and on and on.  We'll take the time to meet with you to discuss your desires and budgetary goals, then we'll provide you with a specification sheet specific to your project.

An accurate estimate takes careful work and inaccurate ones cause damage and create unobtainable expectations.  Without plans and specifications, there is no way to know what to estimate.   

That is why it is so important to have direct, clear and open communication from the very beginning. 

We are not the type of builder to give you a contract and then come asking for more.  If you have a contract with us, the contract price is what it will cost you, unless you desire to make changes from the contract.

We know it is impossible to know specifically everything you want before you even start building.  To cover these unknowns, we give our clients an allowance to buy many of those things which may yet to be determined, such as appliances or light fixtures, to name a few.  That allowance, just like when you were a kid, is yours to spend or yours to save.  For instance, if you spend less buying your appliances than we have allowed, you get a credit on your contract.  Likewise, if you decide to upgrade and spend more than allowed, you'll get an additional charge to your contract.  The allowances we provide for you are very reasonable and should allow you to get high quality products while staying on budget.

How long does it take to build a home?

Every home is different.  Some homes take as little as twelve weeks.  Other homes can take as long as twelve months.  

When in the planning stages, we can discuss your specific timeline.

Are you licensed and insured?

Yes and yes.  Every legitimate construction company should be both licensed and insured.  Nelson Construction Company is no exception to this rule.

Do you require any money upfront?

We work with the homeowner and banks to determine what is best for all parties.

Typically, we will require a down-payment at the contract signing and then request "draw" payments according to the construction progress.  The final payment will be requested at substantial completion. 

Every situation is a little different and we're willing to work out payment terms on a contract to contract basis.

What is your process for fixing things after I move in?

Although we take pride in what we do and do it the best way we possibly can, it is not at all unusual to find a few things here or there that may need repair; shrinking moulding, nail pops, paint touch-up, etc.  These are very minor issues.  If you have issues after moving in, please give us a call.  Our goal is to have happy clients living in beautiful homes.    

What services do you offer?

As a custom home builder, we like to be involved every step of the way.  From the first planning stages to the final key exchange, we are there for you.

We will help to plan a project so that it can be built to the highest quality level for an acceptable cost.  We'll plan ahead to meet and/or exceed all zoning and codes requirements.  Then we'll work with you to design a project that suits your desires and is in budget.  We'll determine what materials and methods best builds the project on your budget.  Throughout the building process, we'll guide you to remain on budget while keeping the project on schedule.  And, in the end, we'll deliver you with a beautifully crafted home of the highest quality in your budget.

More FAQs

Will Nelson Construction Company build on my property/lot?

Of course!  If you own the property, we would be more than happy to meet with you to discuss your options for a custom built home.  

If you are still searching for property, we can help you out there too.  With good working relationships with many local realtors, we could assist in your hunt for property as well.

Do you have plans or what house can I build?

We are a custom home builder.  We do not have a strict set a plans you must choose from in order for us to build your home.  Many times clients come to us with an idea and we help plan and design a plan for them.  Other times clients come to us with a plan they have already.  Either way, we'll gladly work with whatever plan you have in mind.  

How do you handle changes we'd like to make after the contract is signed?

We do utilize change orders to cover those upgrades or downgrades made in the middle of the job.  It is unlikely change orders are a necessity.  We try to forecast areas of potential change orders by giving you an allowance for many finish items, such as floor coverings.  The contract price should be the final price unless you decide otherwise.  Our contracts are not "guestimates" but the actual cost of the project before any change orders are requested.  It is never our intention to utilize a change order to cushion our bid.  

I'm interested in going "Green", can you help?

We are firm believers in building high performance homes.  Everyone considers the initial cost of the home, but few think ahead to the ongoing costs of home-ownership.  Those utility bills come monthly and those prices continue to rise.

At Nelson Construction Company, we think about those costs you will incur over time.  We use and/or recommend many "green" products, including led bulbs, tankless hot water heaters, high efficiency HVAC, foam insulation, upgraded window packages and so on.  We have also been involved with several solar panel installations.  Jesse and Jessica Nelson have solar panels both on their personal home and the Nelson Construction Company office building.

Although the upfront costs on some of these items are more, the savings to you in the long run often make it a good investment. 

Any tips for picking a plan?

In our opinion, there are a few common mistakes people make when selecting a plan.  Here's some tips to keep in mind while searching for that perfect plan.

  • All square footage costs are not equal.
  • Cubic volume of a house adds significant costs.
  • Consider your needs first and wants second.
  • Generally speaking, a beautifully crafted and functional smaller home can provide ample space for a lower cost than a mini-mansion.
  • Hallways are sometimes necessary but they often create wasted square footage and make for a chaotic feel to the home.
  • Consider only adding amenities, like a whirlpool tub or fireplace, you'll actually use.
  • Pick a plan after you know where you're building.
  • Don't forget to keep in mind the future cost of your home.
  • Unless you are building with the intention to sell right away, pick what you like and don't worry about what is trendy.

If you need help selecting a plan, please just ask.

What features are standard?

A custom home is specific to our clients' desires.  We take pride in building and love custom homes.  We love working with our clients, hand-in-hand, along the way.  We also know the building process is new to most people.  To make some of the decision making process easier, we do have some standard specifications.  However, these specifications are just a general guideline and starting point.  Each contract will have its own specifications which may or may not be the same as these.  Some examples of our standard specifications are as follows.


The basement and garage foundations will be dug to solid soil.  Backfill is postponed until the foundation has had the proper curing time.  The final grade will provide drainage away from the home.


The foundation footings shall be a minimum of 10" x 16" of reinforced concrete.  The basement walls will be reinforced concrete 10" thick and 9'4" tall.  Windows will be installed as allowed.


A waterproofing asphalt emulsion will be used from the footing to the grade line.  Perforated drain tile will be installed around the interior (under the basement floor) and exterior of the footing and shall be covered with gravel to allow for proper water drainage.


The basement and garage floors shall be 4" of 4000 psi reinforced concrete on top of four inches of 1" clean gravel.  The rebar will be drilled and pinned to the foundation.  Driveway, sidewalks and patios shall also be reinforced concrete four inches thick.


The floor system will be built from 2" x 12" dimensional lumber floor joists spaced 16" on center with 3/4" Advantech glued to the joist and nailed on.  The wall systems will be built from 2" x 4" dimensional lumber spaced 16" on center with 7/16" OSB wall sheathing and Tyvek housewrap.  SmartSiding will be used on the exterior with cultured stone accents.  The 2" x 6" dimensional lumber ceiling joists will be spaced 16" on center.  The roof system will be made from 2" x 6" dimensional lumber rafters 24" on center, reinforced with collar ties and bracing and 5/8" OSB roofing sheathing with plywood clips.  The eaves and overhangs will be aluminum.


The exterior doors will be insulated fiberglass doors as per plan.  The homeowner shall have an allowance for the front door.  All sliding patio doors will be at a very minimum Low-E/Argon insulated and designed to match the energy efficient vinyl windows.  The vinyl windows are upgraded to include many features exceeding current energy start requirements.  The garage doors will be made of steel + insulation + steel and come with manufacturer recommended operators and a keypad.


Architectural shingles with a minimum of 25-year lifetime warranty will be installed on top of a synthetic felt.  The gutter shall be seamless aluminum and is available in several colors.


HVAC will be sized per plan.  Although not required, we recommend a 96% efficiency gas furnace with 16 SEER air conditioning.  Any fireplaces shall be direct vent.


All water supplies lines will be PEX with PVC drains and vents.  A Navien high efficiency, gas, tankless hot water heater will be sized per plan.  The master shower shall have a custom walk-in shower and drop-in tub.  The other baths shall have one-piece fiberglass units.  Exterior frost proof water hydrants shall be installed in practical locations around the home, usually near the front of the garage and rear of the home.  All fixtures can be either oil rubbed bronze or brushed nickel finishes.


A 200-amp service will be installed.  All electrical outlets will be installed and spaced as per code.  Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors will also be installed.  Bathrooms shall have low SONE exhaust fans sized according to plan.  An allowance will be given for all other light fixtures and appliances.


Tyvek housewrap shall be installed on the exterior walls for a vapor retardant.  All penetrations are carefully planned and properly flashed and/or foamed.  Exterior walls shall be insulated with R-13 fiberglass batts.  The attic shall have cellulose blow-in insulation at a R-50 rating.  The garage walls are also insulated with R-13 fiberglass insulation.  All cavities are filled with as little compression as possible.  


In finished areas where there is 16" on center spacing, 1/2" Sheetrock shall be installed.  Where there is 24" spacing, 5/8" Sheetrock will be installed.  This includes the garage.  Throughout the house, the walls shall have a smooth texture and the ceiling shall have a light knockdown texture.


All interior doors shall be solid core and sized per plan.  The baseboard will be a 5-1/4" paint grade.  Door casing measures 3-1/4" and is also paint grade.  Doors and windows shall have our custom made mantle heads painted to match trim color.  Closets will contain 12" shelving and a closet pole rod.  Stairs are carpeted with a paint grade skirt board.  Stain grade hand railing with wrought iron balusters are also standard.  Cabinets are stained maple, poplar or oak and made in Missouri.  A hardware allowance shall be included for all cabinet knobs or pulls.


Allowances are given for floor coverings.  Typically, the main living area is hardwood.  The baths and laundry are tile.  The bedrooms and basement are carpet.  The kitchen backsplash is also tiled.


A semi-gloss of equivalent sheen paint shall be used on the doors and trim.  The ceiling will have a flat sheen.  Wall paint shall be eggshell.  All surfaces are properly primed and then painted with two coats of paint.


The yard shall be seeded and mulched at the end of the project or as weather permits.  The homeowner shall have a landscaping allowance to add additional trees, shrubs, or decorative walls as desired.