8 Frequently Asked Questions About Building A New House


We’re here to make the home building process easier for you by answering some of your most common questions. 

We understand that you may be feeling lost or overwhelmed with the idea of building a new home. There are a lot of details that go into it and a lot of decisions to be made! We’ve been building and designing custom homes for over 20 years, so we’re sharing our knowledge to help ease your mind. 

If you have questions not addressed here, contact us to schedule a free building consultation!

1. How Long Does it Take to Build a Custom Home? 

The short answer: It depends on several factors. Here, we break down the 3 main phases of the home building journey. 

Design and Selection Phase Timeline

This is a fun, yet challenging part of the home building process. During the design and selection phase you’re making hundreds of decisions like:

  • what type of countertops to put in your master bath
  • how much lighting to hang in your living room
  • what paint colors are best for your bedroom walls
  • what appliances you’d like in your kitchen
  • how many bedrooms you need 
  • what type of floor plan you’d prefer
  • …and so on

As long as these decisions are made efficiently, this phase could take just a few months. If you need more time to finalize your design decisions, this part of the process will take longer. 

Pre-Planning Phase Timeline

At this time, your design selections have been finalized. During the pre-planning phase, pricing of your custom home is determined, contracts are signed and your bank financing is secured. Overall, this phase could take up to 2 months depending on the details of your build and the approvals needed from local permitting departments. 

Construction Phase Timeline

Now you’ve made it to the most exciting part of your new home journey. Construction! Based on how complex your plans are and how well the weather cooperates,  the construction phase could take as little as 7 months to more than 12 months to complete. 

Regardless of which phase we’re in; we are in this together. We are happy to answer questions and ease your concerns at any time. For more detailed information on what to expect during construction, visit our website. 

2. Where Do You Build? Can I Build on a Lot I Already Own?

We primarily build within a 50 mile radius of the heart of Evansville, Indiana. This includes several counties:

  • Vanderburgh
  • Posey
  • Warrick
  • Southern Gibson
  • Southwest Pike
  • Northern Henderson
  • Illinois, including Carmi and Grayville Areas

Home Site Selection Assistance

We build in developed subdivisions as well as on an empty lot or piece of property you may already own. If you are unsure of how much land you need for your custom home, we can help! Selecting the right lot has a lot of variables. We’ll help you find the right piece of land to suit your needs, your vision and your budget. 

3. Can You Help Me Make the Best Design Selections for My Home?

We can assist you as much or as little as you’d like. We will guide you to certain products that we trust to make sure your new home is built to last, but we cannot make selections for you. We have relationships with kitchen and bath designers, lighting specialists and interior designers that are happy to help as needed.  

4. What If I Change My Mind About My Selections? 

Feeling unsure about a selection here and there is normal. We allow you to make change orders, but those do come with a price. Not only do change orders cost a little extra money, they’ll cost you time as well. 

What is a Change Order?

A change order is any change to your home’s design or selections that changes, adds or removes products or scope of work from what was already outlined in your contract. 

Most change orders come with a $100 processing fee. If your change order increases the overall cost of your build, that will need to be paid when you sign the change order. The biggest thing to keep in mind here, is the cost you may be adding to your home by implementing change orders. Oftentimes, banks won’t cover these increases, since they weren’t covered in your original contract, so you’ll be responsible for them yourself. 

5. How Do I Pay for My New Custom Home? Do I Need to Put a Deposit Down?

Before we can get started with construction, a deposit must be made. Typically, deposits range from 10%-20% of your total project cost. Your actual deposit depends on the size and type of your project and the need for upfront costs to be covered by us. All payments are to be made by check. 

Cost Plus Contracts

For all cost plus type contracts, we submit monthly detailed bank draws that are easy to understand. You’ll know exactly where the money is going based on the progress of your project. 

Fixed Cost Contracts

For all fixed cost contracts, we submit milestone payment requests to you, the homeowner, or to your bank. These milestone payments are usually detailed in your contract, so you already know what to expect. 

All of your invoices are tracked, itemized and show your remaining balance. You will always know where your project stands. This may sound overwhelming. Don’t worry! We are here to answer questions during every part of this exciting process.

6. Will My New Home be Energy Efficient?

We are very focused on building energy efficient homes. Building an energy efficient home, however, does come with an additional upfront cost due to higher quality products and methods of installation. The great news is that those extra costs often save you money in the long run. During the design and selection phase, we walk you through all of your options so you can make informed decisions.  

7. Will My New Home be Covered With a Warranty? 

When you move into your new home, it’s important that you understand how to properly care for your home. Although most things in your home are covered by some type of warranty, you’ll extend the life of your home by taking care of it. Should any part of your home become damaged, it’s best to address it right away to avoid bigger issues. 

Below are the basics of what is covered by warranty in every new home we build.

  • Your HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems come with up to 2 years of coverage. 
  • The structure of your home has a 10 year warranty attached to it. 
  • We also provide a 1 year drywall crack warranty. Drywall cracking in the first year is very normal. We follow up with each homeowner 1 year after completion to see if there has been any cracking from the house settling or shrinking. All affected areas will be patched and painted. 
  • Every product we use comes with a manufacturer warranty that will be addressed with those manufacturers. These include your flooring, roofing, siding, appliances, doors, windows, bathtubs and more.

8. What Sustainability Measures Do You Take When Building a Custom Home? 

Minimizing waste and eliminating negative environmental impact is important to us. We make every effort to build your home in a way that uses less energy and water, and takes advantage of natural sunlight and wind.

Below are ways we take care of our environment, and still provide people like you with the home of their dreams. 

  • If we can convert a previously developed site into a lot suited for a home, we will. 
  • We position homes to take advantage of the energy efficiencies of sun and wind.
  • We design homes to make use of natural light to illuminate interiors.

  • We select building materials that are sensitive to indoor air quality conditions. We avoid using materials made of volatile, inorganic compounds.
  • We support the local economy and decrease our carbon footprint from using locally sourced materials.
  • We build with renewable energy sources like solar electric, wind generated electric, geothermal and solar thermal heating.
  • Your property’s operations will not release carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere; either incurred directly by the building, or indirectly by suppliers of energy to the building.
  • We use materials that provide insulative qualities like roofing, walls and windows. In extreme climates, we use reflective coatings to block heat or energy absorbing coatings to absorb heat. 
  • We save you money over time by installing high SEER rated air conditioning &  heating systems, energy efficient lighting, radiant floor heating, tankless water heaters and energy efficient appliances.
  • Rainwater retention systems, drought-tolerant plantings, low water usage shower heads and toilets reduce the wastage of water.
  • When possible, we reuse or repurpose building materials and products.

We Make the Home Building Process as Easy and Fun as Possible

Taking the leap to build your forever home is thrilling. You’re finally ready to design the home you’ve dreamed of and live in the home that fits your unique lifestyle. Building a custom home comes with hundreds of decisions to be made and details to be sewn up. At Modern Structure, we take pride in our customer’s journey, by walking alongside you throughout the entire process. We’re always here to provide direction and answer your questions. We can’t wait to share your excitement on your move-in day!

If you have a question we didn’t cover, get in touch with us today!



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