Our process at Griffin Builders begins with a conversation. This is our opportunity to learn who you are, how you live and what you envision for your new home. It is also your opportunity to learn who we are and what we believe in. Building a new home is no small endeavor. For it to be both enjoyable and successful, you have to be inspired by and have confidence in whomever you entrust to get you there.

There are many things beyond trust and rapport, however, that make a stand-out design-build firm. At Griffin Builders, we believe those to be the unique in-house services we provide our homeowners and the talents of our team. It is this approach that has allowed us to enjoy one of the most esteemed reputations in the business.

At the end of the day, we really have just one goal: Exceed expectations with no surprises. With that in mind, our process is executed with transparency, vision, trust and responsibility…all to put your mind at ease so you can actually enjoy your custom home-build. You focus on the dream. We’ll take care of the details.

Take a peek at our Q&A section below to learn our secrets!


Q&A with Griffin Builders

How many years have you been in business and how many homes do you build per year?

We are coming into our 40th straight year of full-time home-building which speaks to our staying power, our product and our commitment.

The number of homes we build each year can vary but on average over the last five years, we’ve built around 14-16 per year.

What price, style and size of new homes do you build?

The price, style and size range of our homes is vast due to our custom design-build approach. Prices for new homes have varied anywhere from $350,000 to $1,750,000 with the majority averaging around $700,000. Size, of course, is proportionately the same story.

The style of the homes we’ve built have been interpretations and combinations of transitional, Victorian, European, Cape Cod, mid-century modern, rustic log, French country, contemporary, farmhouse, arts and crafts, Craftsmen and countless other elements.

Our appreciation of all genres of architecture and design allows us to approach even the most unique project with enthusiasm and an eagerness to expand our knowledge.

How do you price out a home? How much are your homes per square foot?

Griffin Builders has always believed in doing our homework before offering a price to a customer. This involves studying the site, discussing finish materials, understanding your needs versus wants and so on. While it is time consuming and without any guarantees pre-contract, we consider it an acceptable risk. Our measure of success is to have you come in at the end much closer to budget than industry standard…and without any surprises.

Because there are so many variables in a custom home from its layout to its finishes, it is impossible to give a per foot price until the plan is completed and priced.  Only at that time can we back out the math.

How long does it take to build a home and how do you schedule your starts?

While nothing is really ‘typical’ for us because we build homes of varied sizes and budgets, once we break ground, the time until move-in is usually 5-8 months.

We do not schedule our starts based on a pre-determined timetable. We work within your timeframe and can start projects year-round.

What makes you special compared to other builders?

First, your architectural design is handled in-house by our owner, Brett Griffin. This is very rare in our area but something we find to be very beneficial to our customers saving them time, money and often undue frustration. Brett’s years of experience, understanding of current building costs and exceptional talent for listening to his customers allow him to channel it all into a plan that is both budget-conscious and highly personalized.

Second, we have an on-staff designer, Amy Griffin, who is available to attend every appointment with you, offer design expertise and generally provide a sounding board as you make decisions. Her position goes a step further to providing seamless service as she is also a qualified project manager for your site. So there are few delays in implementation and she is able to help keep you on track (timeline and budget) in real time. This takes an incredible amount of stress out of the process….and doesn’t cost you a dime.

Third, is our company structure in that we have our own employees – framers, finish carpenters, painters, siders and so on. Many have been with us for well over 15 years and are among the most qualified and gifted tradesmen in the area. So whether by ownership, management, foreman or crew, your site is always under the watchful eye of a Griffin employee. We have even gone so far as to train specific individuals from outside suppliers and subcontractors to the Griffin way. Most of these guys have been working side-by-side with our employees for longer than we can recall. This extended team approach allows us to maintain the highest level of quality control and communication.

What features do you prefer to put in your homes?

Simply put, whatever YOU want in YOUR home. Rest assured, we have plenty of our favorites to suggest to you but it comes down to how you intend to use each space, the emotion you’re going for and what things will help you to best achieve that while keeping your budget in mind.

Do you have a standard set of fixtures to choose from or are we given a budget and allowed to pick out whatever we want?

We don’t have a preconceived catalog of selections for finishes. The world is your oyster! Not only can you select your own fixtures with our suppliers but we’ll even help you scour the earth to find any elusive items.

In your contract specifications, there will be some allowance items listed such as fireplace surrounds, plumbing, light fixtures, cabinets, countertops, floor coverings and tile showers. To offer you as personalized and realistic allowances as possible, we work diligently in the pre-contract design meetings to listen to your expectations and anticipate your tastes instead of giving inadequate boiler-plate allowances with tons of fine print. That said, it is inevitable that you will waver from these allowances +/- to some degree but we help you understand where you are at financially BEFORE you make each final decision.

What kind of home warranty do you offer for new builds?

We offer a standard one-year warranty from the date of move-in for non-maintenance items. You will have an onsite visit from Brett within the first couple of weeks educating you on the ins and outs of your new home and its required maintenance. When we build your home, you are now part of the family and our supportive relationship will extend as long as you are in your home.

Is all the design work done in-house or can we use our own architect?

While the vast majority of our projects are designed in-house, we have on many occasions worked with client-hired architects…and are happy to do so.  Either way, we like to be involved in the design process in order to keep your expectations and budget in line while creating your unique home plans.  This time spent together then helps us to more accurately price your plan using all the knowledge we have absorbed about your lifestyle and intentions.  Achieving our constant goal of “exceeding expectations with no surprises” is very dependent upon the hours of seat-time Brett is able to spend with you during the design phase and prior to construction.

Who will oversee the daily construction site and how often do you want us there?

Your site will be closely monitored by Brett Griffin (plus Amy and Jack) whether personally or via regular meetings with our foremen. Even if there isn’t much activity on a given day, we always know what is going on.

As for homeowner visits, come as often as you’d like! We have had some who want to meet on site once every few weeks and others who have made daily inspections. Our goal is to simply make this process as satisfying and stress-free as possible so we’ll follow your lead.

Who is ultimately responsible and how often do we get updates?

While the ultimate responsibility rests with Brett, an equitable partnership between builder and owner with open lines of communication is a necessity for success. Financial updates come as requested but because our contract allowances are well spelled-out, you will be aware of your position as decisions are made. As for progress updates, you will get those continually since you will be meeting with Brett and Amy to make your decisions regularly.

How many change orders are acceptable during the build and what is the cost of a change order?

The quantity is up to you. We don’t really tally them. For instance, if we make changes during framing because we found an opportunity or need to adjust a dimension, these aren’t change orders per se as we are prepared for this in custom builds. Any cost to you, if any, is simply the real cost associated with the change such as adding a pocket door where there was a swinger. Most of these come within allowance items so they are easily identifiable. But, say you wanted to add a skylight, Brett will work up the proposed cost of the change and discuss it with you before moving forward. We keep notes in your file of these items but they are done on a handshake for the most part. The acceptability of the number of change orders is really up to you as you manage your budget and your timeline as some can affect move-in.