San Antonio Quality Custom Homes

Andover Homes by Chad Powell 


Details of the Custom Home Building Process

What you should consider first

Initial Meeting

The Andover Homes building process begins with an informal meeting to discuss the type of home you would like to build, the lot on which you plan to build and your general expectations of the custom home building process. This meeting gives us an opportunity to get to know each other, establish a general timeline, and determine the best way the builder can accommodate you.

If you already own a lot, the next step is to visit the lot, so Chad can evaluate the home site and determine the best ways to maximize it’s unique characteristics. If you do not own a lot, he will discuss your requirements in a lot (neighborhood, size, price, school district, commute time, terrain, views, etc) and begin the search. He is licensed Realtor, member of SABOR and MLS, and well equipped to assist you in finding the lot that will be just right for your new home.

During this meeting, Chad will provide you with the contact information for his bank to discuss interim (construction) financing. He can also give you a referral for a mortgage broker that can assist you in arranging your permanent financing.

Architectural Design

Once your home site is determined, Andover Homes can begin the design process. Chad typically starts the design process by scheduling a meeting with his plan designer, Sam Allen. The goal of this meeting is to promote an organized thought process in establishing your “wish list” for how your new home will function. He encourage you to bring pictures or clippings of design concepts or ideas that you want to incorporate. He will also refer to homes we’ve built in the past as points of reference and to illustrate ideas. This meeting usually lasts a couple of hours and is a relaxed creative experience.

Sam will have a rough draft of the plan to review in about 10 days. At this point, we can provide you with an estimated price upon which to agree, and move forward with the contract phase.

We also welcome the opportunity to work with outside architects and have successfully done so on many occasions.

Construction Documents

Once you approve the preliminary architectural plans and pricing, we will be ready to enter into a contract. In most cases, Chad will be constructing improvements on a lot that you own. That allows you to take out the interim construction loan in your name, which benefits you in two ways. First, often times, you gain a tax advantage (consult your accountant for details). Secondly, it gives you more control over the process, as you will have approval of each draw from the bank. Draws are funded based on a percentage of completion, so you can physically inspect the progress prior to approving or rejecting the request for funding.

The construction documents include 1) the contract and addenda 2) the specifications 3) the allowances and 4) the plans. The purpose of the construction documents is to bind the parties to the transaction, conditions and requirements of the parties, define the work, the timeframe within which the work is to be performed, and the contract sum.

It is important that you read and understand all aspects of the contract, specifications, allowances and plans. Chad encourage you to have it reviewed by your attorney. The information in the construction documents determines how the house is to be built. He will typically discuss hundreds of design ideas and options throughout the design process, but if an item is not in the plans or specifications, it is not included in the contract price.


Several items still need to occur before we can start construction. Fortunately, most of them can occur simultaneously.

Interim financing
Architectural Control Committee (ACC) Review
Lot and interim loan closings
Septic engineering and permit (if applicable)
Final plans
It typically takes a few weeks to complete the above items, though it varies depending upon the subdivision and its ACC review process and requirements. Chad may also use this time to clear the lot and set the foundation forms.


The selection process can be an enjoyable part of the home building process, but it can also be overwhelming. There are many decisions to be made and the possibilities are almost endless. For that reason, we provide Brenda Boone, an experienced interior designer who Chad has worked with for many years, to walk you through the complete process. Her services are provided at no additional charge to you. Brenda will guide you in making selections based on your allowances, your personal style, and the overall style of the home.

During the architectural design process, Chad establishs allowances for many of the selectable items (decorative light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, tile, carpet, etc.). He believes in establishing generous allowances that are sufficient for selecting the style and quality of products that meet your expectations. He does not believe in skimping on your allowances in order to arrive at a more attractive price, resulting in your exceeding your budget. The goal is to provide allowances that sufficiently meet your expectations, but also work within your overall budget. It is important to note that your allowances reflect builder discounts. For example, if your decorative lighting allowance is $7,500 and he gets a 25% discount at our lighting showroom, then your allowance is a $10,000 value.

If you do exceed the established allowance, you will pay the actual cost difference with no markup for overhead and profit, unless the total overages and credits (for all of your allowances) exceeds 2% of the total construction contract amount. If you exceed the combined allowance amount by more than 2%, the excess over 2% will be assessed 15% overhead and profit and charged to you at closing.

The timeline of the selection process is important in order to maintain the flow of the construction process and not create unnecessary delays. Brenda knows when each selection must be complete and stays in close contact with Chad to ensure that you stay on track. During the selection process, Brenda completes a detailed Selection Sheet to provide a written record of your selections and any additional details or instructions. The following is a list of items that you will be selecting while working with Brenda:

· Plumbing Fixtures and Trim
· Custom Cabinetry
· Entry Door
· Appliances
· Exterior Paint and Stain Colors
· Interior Paint and Stain Colors
· Fireplace Surrounds
· Stair System Components
· Faux Painting or Wallpaper
· Decorative Light Fixtures
· Decorative Hardware
· Bath Tile
· Granite Slab Counter Tops
· Floor Coverings
· Shower Enclosures
· Decorative Mirror Moldings

Change Orders

Just the mention of the term "change order" makes most clients cringe. Chad goes to great lengths to minimize the need for change orders. During the design process, he listens to the client until he understands the client’s vision. Once we are on the same page, each construction detail is communicated in writing…on the plan and in the construction documents. We do not move forward until everyone understands the details of the contract and plans and signs off on them.

That being said, it is not uncommon that a client decides to add or change something after construction has started…an extra closet…a little wine room…maybe an outdoor fireplace. Chad Powell is a custom builder and is happy to accommodate changes during the construction process. All Change Orders are handled on a Change Order form that becomes an attachment to the contract. Any changes will be marked up 15% above cost and will alter the estimated completion date. Even one small change can disrupt the flow of work, and a series of small changes will most certainly affect the construction schedule. For this reason, there will be a minimum of one day added to the contract completion date for every change made.


Most of Chad's clients enjoy being involved in the construction process. He understands the thrill of watching your dream home become a reality, one brick at a time. He also understands your desire to inspect the progress and show your new home to family and friends. However, please be advised of the dangers inherent in and incidental to construction and/or construction sites. Please be careful!

In addition to the number of times you will visit the house for fun, there will be a series of walk-thrus during the course of construction that will require your involvement.

CABINETS. As soon as framing is complete, the cabinet supplier will take measurements to start building the custom cabinets. At this time, you will need to meet with the cabinet designer to discuss and finalize all the details of the cabinets. It is important that you finalize the cabinet details quickly, because it typically takes about 6 weeks for the cabinets to be built.

ELECTRICAL. After an initial walk-thru with the electrician, the electrician will rough-in the framing. Once the electrician has placed the electrical boxes for fixtures, switches and outlets, Chad will schedule a walk-thru to ensure your satisfaction with all electrical placement. He can usually relocate electrical box(s) for a minimal charge. Occasionally, a framing obstacle dictates the placement, in which case we will consult with you to come up with the best solution.

TRIM. After the drywall is textured and the cabinets are set, you will meet with the trim carpenters to verify door swings, discuss the layout of each closet and go over any specialty trim details.

PAINT. Chad will provide samples of your proposed paint and stain selections for your approval prior to painting. The painter will make up to two samples of each selection. If more samples are needed, he will assess a charge of $30 per sample to cover his expenses.

WALKS/ DRIVES. It is a good idea to meet with Chad and/ or the landscaper to approve the forms before the concrete is poured for your driveway and sidewalks.

It is often easier and more convenient to meet onsite or talk on the phone. However, when possible, Chad highly recommends communicating by email, because it creates a written record which eliminates unnecessary miscommunication. Before the construction of your home begins, he will provide you with a username and password to access your own personal page on our website. The purpose of this page is to provide you with access to all the pertinent documentation concerning your custom home project. The documentation includes your Contract, Specifications, Allowances, Change Orders, Draw Requests, Warranty Work and your Detailed Construction Schedule. Chad will frequently include photos of the progress of the construction of your home. This is especially beneficial if you live outside of the San Antonio area or are unable to visit the jobsite on a regular basis.


Proudly building in San Antonio, The Dominion, Terrell Hills, Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, Monte Vista, Cordillerra Ranch, Inverness, Terra Mont, Le Châteaux, Hill Country Village, Spring Branch, Bergheim, Fair Oaks, Helotes, Boerne, New Braunfels, Canyon Lake and Marble Falls.