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Holly Thompson

First published in Memorial Living, Q & A with Holly Holmquest Thompson.

Q: Hello Holly, my husband and I live in the Memorial area in a partially updated home that was originally built in the late 60s. We were discussing the idea of tearing down and building a custom home. Could you give us the run-down on the cost and viability? Thank you, Jennifer

A: What a GREAT question Jennifer! I completely understand your thoughts. I grew up in one of those 1960s homes in Memorial! They have great bones but you can only update so many times before a complete new build is enticing!

Being a Realtor in Houston, I've had the pleasure of meeting some of the most wonderful architects, engineers, interior designers and custom home builders around. They are all unique and have very exclusive styles that are a signature to their craft. To make sure I give the best information possible, I have contacted Allan Edwards (, a well-known builder to walk me through their process and pricing on a brand new, custom home.

Here are Allan's answers to my questions...

1. How far in advance should a homeowner meet with a builder before a tear down and new build can start? If a client has architectural plans completed, they need to meet with the builder 2-3 months before commencement. If they do not have plans, they need to allow as much as a year in advance to start the process.

2. Do you as a builder also help with the tear down of the old home or will a separate demolition company need to be hired? As the builder, I routinely handle demolition by hiring one of our demolition companies.

3. What is involved to make the land ready for a new construction? Demolition of existing structures, tree removal, survey, utility disconnects, grading, fill, excavation and drainage plans.

4. Do you have floor plans ready that clients may choose from and then make custom adjustments? As a pure custom builder, we do not use stock plans. Every house is designed for client and to fit lot.

5. What is the average time from choosing a home plan, construction to finish? Pre-construction time for architectural plans, engineering and permitting can easily take 6-12 months. Actual construction time depends on the size of the house. A 5,000 sq ft house can take 10-12 months while a 10,000 sq ft can take 15-18 months.

6. What is the price range for a new construction home from your company? Our houses (without land) range $1,500,000 - $6,000,000.

7. Do you have an in-house lender for your clients to finance their project? We do not have in-house lenders but we do know and work with the handful of local lenders who specialize in financing custom homes.

8. What type of warranty do you offer? We offer the ACES Warranty. Coverage is for years 1-10.

9. What is different about your product? Energy efficiency? What sets you apart from other builders? The primary difference in my product is my attention to detail, my emphasis on structural and mechanical integrity and my 40+ years of experience and eye for correct building practices.

10. Do clients have the ability to see homes that you have completed? Yes, with permission from existing clients I can set up showings.

If you are interested in learning more about the custom home process, buying land for a custom build or selling an existing home, please contact

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the HRIS.

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