The Process

Initial Consultation

  • Tire Kicking - We begin by getting to know one another. The building process requires a teamwork approach between the Contractor and the Owner. We build a relationship with you as we build your project. It is vital to be able to freely and effectively communicate.
  • Exchange of Information - We give you a taste of the services we provide and you let us know how you live, work and play.
  • Idea Outline - You have been thinking and dreaming about your project. Our job is to discover your ideas and develop them into reality.


  • Site Visit - The site comes first. Design follows.
  • Orientation/Views - The sun, wind and views all influence room placement and project orientation.
  • Feasibility - Are the lot dimensions, terrain and project size compatible?


  • Truly Custom - Many builders claim to be "Custom Builders" but are they? We base your one-of-a-kind design on your site, your ideas, your lifestyle and your budget. You bring us your clippings and photos and we will compile them into a home that reflects you (no cookie cutter designs for our clients).
  • Imagination - The design process is a time to let your imagination go! We encourage you to bring to us any concept, no matter how crazy it may seem. We like to incorporate out-of-the-box elements in our designs. If it can be built, we can make it happen for you.
  • Guidance - With over 30 years in business, we give you the benefit of all we have done on our past projects. Our experience = your gain.
  • Preliminary Plan - Our designer will work hard to give you everything you asked for in your design. The preliminary floor plans will show room sizes and location, traffic flow patterns, roof design, window style and placement and basic exterior elevations.
  • Draw and Redraw - We know we can't hit the nail on the head the first time around. But we try to get darn close! Included in the design contract are plenty of redraws to fine tune the plan.
  • Specifications/Details - This is where you get to tell us more about what details will be included in your building project. Do you like a 2-panel knotty alder door or a 3-panel glazed maple door? What style of windows do you prefer? Do you want to include a doggy door and kennel for your pet? Would you prefer concrete siding or stucco and rock? And the list goes on and on... (you need to reserve some extra time for this meeting).


  • Preliminary Budget - We want to know up front what your budget is so we don't over-design. The effort is to educate Owners on today's costs and then give them an opportunity to focus on those features that are most important to them.
  • Initial Estimate - Once your plan is close to what you have envisioned, we do a preliminary estimate based on past projects similar to yours. This is our best prediction of how the project price will come in when we do the hard bid, considering your specifications and details requested.
  • Revisions - If the initial estimate is in your budget range, we proceed with finishing the plan and then submit it for an actual bid. Sometimes a revision is needed is the plan or the project specifications to bring them closer to your budget.


  • Fixed Price Contract -This means what it implies. The price we give you is fixed.
  • Square Foot Price? - Buying a house based on the square foot price given to you by a builder is like buying a car by the pound or selecting a restaurant based on cost per calorie. Too often, corners are cut on what is included in the enticing square foot price given to you by other builders. We would never use this type of pricing to develop a contract proposal.
  • Generous Allowances - An important element in any house price are the allowances given for appliances, flooring, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures and more. Unlike other builders, our allowances are generous and give you the flexibility to choose good quality selections without going over budget.
  • Complete - Our proposal goes above and beyond in an effort to include every cost you may expect in your project. Some costs may have more to do with the lot than the home, but no one likes surprises when it comes to money. An all inclusive price allows you to more correctly plan for what could be the biggest investment you will ever make.
  • Detailed Specifications - When we prepare a contract, it does not fit onto one page. Comprehensive specifications are included so you know as much about your house as we do. Prices and fine points from each of the trade contractors are shared with you. It is a complex process that takes place to put your project's price together and it is spelled out in detail.
  • No Hidden Costs - Our goal is to be open, fair and complete.


  • Fine Tuning - At this stage, we fine tune the contract to remove or add items as you wish.
  • Sign and Go - The contract is signed by both the Owner and Builder. We will provide you a finished product containing all of the specifications detailed within. You will provide payment for the agreed upon price.


  • Preconstruction Meeting - Owners meet trade contractors and discuss in detail all aspects of their project.
  • Selections - Your project is becoming reality as you choose exterior colors, plumbing fixtures, front door, flooring, tile and more. A selection list is provided to guide you in all of the selections to be made, listing preferred vendors and deadlines for selections.
  • Plan - An up-to-date plan is distributed noting any changes.


  • Weekly Updates - On site meetings with the Owner weekly.
  • Coordination of Trades - The complex orchestration of trade contractors and carpenters on site is the primary job of the project manager.
  • Our Own Carpenters - Hopfauf Custom Builders is one of the last builders in the area to still employ our own framing and finish carpenters. We have the ultimate in quality control for our projects.
  • Master Craftsmanship - We are proud to boast of our master craftsmanship in the framing of your project and in the finish work. It gives Owners a sense of comfort to know they can be assured of a solid, well-built, no-corners-cut building project.
  • Building Regulations - We rigorously meet or exceed every building regulation.
  • Changes are Allowed - Unlike some builders who don't allow Owners to visit the site, we encourage it. If you want a plumbing fixture added, a door changed to an arch opening or any other change, we will show you the price increase or decrease on a change order to be approved by you before it is implemented.

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  • Walk-through - Near the end of the project, a walk-through with the Owners allows us to compile a punch list of any details not up to standard or not yet complete.
  • Professional Cleaning - Your new home or addition is thoroughly cleaned before you move into the space.
  • Warranty - This is an area where we do not shirk our duties. We go above and beyond most other builders' warranties. We do it right the first time or fix it until it is right.
  • We are YOUR Builder - We live next to you in the community and want you to be pleased with your building project and with us as your builder. Many have told us that the finished project has exceeded their expectations. Our goal is that you will be happy to spread the word to your family and friends about your outstanding experience with Hopfauf Custom Builders.