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  1. #1
    Dan DeVol Guest

    Default selection sheets

    I build 6-8 custom homes per year in the $300,000 to $650,000 price range. I am trying to develop a selection sheet for my customers that will detail what choices they need to make and the time frame in which I need them. I have seen other builders and they are ok for smaller projects but with a larger custom home where there are 7 wall paint colors, 3 oil enamel colors, 4 formica colors, granite for the kitchen and bar, custom appliances, high end plumbing fixtures, not mention the different carpet, tile, and grout colors for each room of tile. As you all know I could go on. If I had a dollar for every time one of our customers said "I saw the coolest thing on HGTV last night....".
    I created a selection sheet in word, trying to cover everything I need and it ended up being 9 pages! I am concerned it will be too much.
    How are other builders handling their selections? Do you make the customer sign off? Do you give them timelines? If anyone would like me to email a copy of the selection sheet let me know.

    Thanks Again , Dan

  2. #2
    Allan Guest

    Default Re: selection sheets

    Dan:

    I run into this all of the time, and yes sometimes it can be maddening. In my spec’s I try to be as detailed as possible, I list the number of wall colors allowed, the number of enamel trim colors, number of exterior colors, etc, and of course the type/brand/sheen, number of coats etc. For tile, I allow different tiles in different rooms, but I give allowance for material, specific that diagonal patterns are extra, and I specify if what is allowed is tile, or marble, or granite, I mention honed vs. polished. For carpet, I spec that two colors are allowed, and more than two will be additional costs. Plumbing fixtures and hardware and lights I give broad lump sum allowances, but I spec what is included in each allowance. Example, hardware includes “all interior and exterior door locks, deadbolts, thumb latches, all cabinet pulls and knobs, towel bars and rings, paper holders, clothes hooks and all bath accessories, door stops, door viewers, mail slots or mailboxes, door guards, door closers, address numbers, and any other miscellaneous finish hardware“. I do this on all other fixtures too. By the way, I mention in my contract that allowances include shipping fees if any, and include tax. I also pass all trade discounts (but not cash discounts) to client.

    I recently (and probably several times if I thought about it) had a problem with slow /incomplete selections, so my next project is to inject some language in my contract about a timeline with exact drop-dead dates for all selections to be made, with some kind of repercussions if not made in a timely fashion (contract extensions, perhaps dollar penalties ???).

    I typically do not ask for the client to sign off, but I do try to get some kind of acknowledgement from them on each selection.

    Having said all of this, my intention is to not to make my contract onerous for the buyer, but to add some broad guidelines that protect me somewhat. If I then choose to cut them some slack on something, I can choose to do that myself, but at least I have some minimal protections.

    Allan

  3. #3
    Bob Kovacs Guest

    Default Re: selection sheets

    Dan-

    if the sheet is 9 pages, so be it. If there are truly that many items that need to be selected, better to have them listed there than not to list them.

    I worked for a custom builder in Las Vegas, and we made the selection timeline very simple- we didn't start construction until EVERYTHING was selected. It may sound a little harsh to ask for cabinet knob selections prior ro pouring footings, but it's the best way to keep things in order.

    On numerous occasions, the designers would send a start package to us in the field with items missing- they'd try to "sneak it by" so we could get the job started even though the customer was indecisive. I had more than a few harried phone calls from the designers when I kicked the package back to them and refused to start construction. But it was the best way to do it.

    We sometimes allowed changes after the start of construction, but depending on where the job stood at the time of the change, the customer would have to pay for any rework, restocking charges, etc., as well as paying a change order fee for management time, etc. This system allowed is to build 5-8,000 SF houses in less than 5 months because there were no delays waiting for selections, or waiting for long-lead items.

    Just my two cents,

    Bob

  4. #4
    Alley Guest

    Default Re: selection sheets

    This is a very delicate subject, However I have perfected it. I will e-mail you my template if you e-mail me. Let me know where you and what you build.

    Alley

  5. #5
    GACC Dallas Guest

    Default Re: selection sheets

    Allan,

    Good luck to you sir. I'm working a 18K sqft'er right now where the builder gave drop dead dates for decisions and the client is a year behind and is still bitching about delay.

    Go figure.

    Ed.

  6. #6
    Bob Kovacs Guest

    Default Re: selection sheets

    Ed-

    Haven't you figured out by now that it's never the client's fault that the builder is behind? lol

    I still don't get these people and their 20,000 SF houses. No matter how much money I had, I don't think I could ever see myself living in something so ostentatious and wasteful.

    Bob

  7. #7
    Steve Senger Guest

    Default Re: selection sheets

    We have a several page form we use and although I do not think you could create a form that would cover every scenario, I think it certainly gets people thinking. I really like the idea of everything being chosen ahead of the start date but at this time we are not busy enough to push that. We do work with our clients throughout the project and keep them appraised of the items that we are going to need and rarely do they hold the project up. On the other hand I will not sign a contract that has a time element on it and that is one of the reasons why.

    We typically build custom homes in the 3 to 5000 sf range so we are not building the big houses and I might feel different if we were, but the smaller homes are a little easier to manage.

    We have done some projects with architects that had owners with decision constipation and they have always blamed us for the time delays they caused by their lack of decision making, hence another reason not to have time issues in the contract.

    I am going to chew on the all spec's first concept for awhile, it makes good sense.


    http://www.nwremodel.com

  8. #8
    Todd Guest

    Default Re: selection sheets

    Alley,
    I emailed you also to get a copy of your template if you wouldn't mind sharing it with me also as it is a problem area with us also.
    Thanks in advance,
    Todd
    Ensminger Builder, Inc

  9. #9
    giovanni isaksen Guest

    Default Re: selection sheets

    Alley,

    Could you also email a copy of your template to me? We've been using an old paper form from the NKBDA but it really doesn't present well.

    Thanks in advance,
    Giovanni

  10. #10

    Default Re: selection sheets

    Alley,
    I would also be very interested in your template. I work with a custom builder in Nashville and we are always enhancing our proficiencies. Thanks. K

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Branford, CT 06405
    Posts
    3,670

    Default Re: selection sheets

    These two posts are so f*(*&^ stupid as to defy logic. It's one of the reasons why everyone should be using that little red triangle to report bullsh..
    Last edited by James Eggert; 05-22-2013 at 09:22 AM. Reason: spelling
    Take Care

    Jim

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    4,830

    Default Re: selection sheets

    Hey Jim,

    You didn't quite fix all your spelling errors on your last edit.

    Ha ha.
    "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

    Sir Frances Drake

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Branford, CT 06405
    Posts
    3,670

    Default Re: selection sheets

    Hey Ted!!
    Good one. But to clarify, two spam posts were removed from the same wizard in this thread about material selection sheets.
    One was for waterbed sheets and the other for music sheets.

    I hate F*&^% spammer idiots. So far I'm still waiting for the real estate agent selling the whole country og Nigeria for a good price....OBO!
    Take Care

    Jim

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Ann Arbor Michigan
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: selection sheets

    I concur, selections sheets are a pain in the A. I have been finding success managing our selection documentation, and more importantly, the "decide by dates" by syncing it into our schedule. We use Buildtools.com. Our process is still in evolution, but shows potential with utilizing a template. There are also other systems like buildertrend and co-construct that have these capabilities. They are all worth a look.

    Jef

  15. #15

    Default Re: selection sheets

    Alley,

    We are 3 - 5000sf custom builder in Western NC. I am in need of a client selection document as well. It would be greatly appreciated if you would be willing to share. I don't know how to get you my email address without posting it here though? Thank you.

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