Custom Home Building FAQs

How long does it take to build a custom home?

The time it takes to build a custom home will be determined by the size and type of your new home. If you choose one of our existing floorplans, we estimate approximately 13 weeks. If we’re building from your floorplan or custom-building, then it could be 13-25 weeks, on average.

Do you use energy efficient home building techniques?

When building custom homes, we use air sealing techniques and foam insulation. We also use high-efficiency appliances. All of our custom homes are air tested by a third party to show how efficient it is.

What is the price per square foot of the homes you build?

The price per square foot for our custom homes ranges from $125 - $225 depending on the floor plans and materials.

What do I need to know before I buy land to build a home on?

Before buying land to custom build a home, there are a few things you should ask:

  1. Are there utilities on site such as water, sewer, gas, and electric?
  2. Is the property zoned for residential?
  3. Does the township charge for tap fees?
  4. Can a septic tank even be approved for the soil type of this property? What type will be required?
How do I get financing to build a custom home in Erie?

If you're planning on building a custom home in Erie, we recommend you speak with several lenders to determine the best financing for your situation.

How does a construction loan work?

If you get a construction loan for your custom home, then the bank will close on the loan prior to construction and we will take draws on each phase of construction.

Do I need home owner's insurance when building a home?

You do need home owner's insurance when building a home. Speak with your agent to ensure you have the right coverage for your home.

What happens during closing on my new custom home?

The closing process for a custom home is very similar to a real estate closing. A real estate closing — also known as a “settlement” — is the process by which the title is conveyed from the seller to the buyer while both the buyer and the builder will have attorney representation and typically takes place prior to start of construction. The buyer signs the note, mortgage, and all other papers required by the lender, and the seller signs the deed and delivers it to the buyer, thereby conveying ownership. A mechanic's lien waiver is filed and this allows the builder to start construction following a successful closing.

Is it okay to visit my home while it's under construction?

Yes, you can visit your new home during construction. We do regular visits with you and our staff throughout the home building process.

How long is your homeowner warranty?

Your new home will include a 10-year structural and 2-year limited warranty. We’re one of the only—if not the only—builders in the Erie area to offer this!

Who is responsible for making repairs, if any, as a result of home inspection reports conducted for the buyer?

Depending on the agreement, it is typically the Seller. However, this can be negotiated.

Do I need an agent to build a home?

No, you're welcome to have an agent, but you do not need one to build your home.  If you have real estate questions, you are welcome to contact Natalie Washburen, owner/broker, of our Maleno Real Estate Agency or an agent/broker of your choice.

I want to build a home. Where do I start?

Meet with the builder first.  You'll talk about floor plans, design, square footage, the township you want to live in.  Architects and house plans come after this first meeting.

What are your standard finishes?

We have multiple material specs to match pricing.  We'll discuss these options with you during our first meeting.

Why do you use Superior Walls instead of concrete block foundations?

Superior Walls offers an excellent warranty for our customers.  The walls are built in a climate-controlled plant.  This saves time and the basement is installed in one day.  There is no warranty on block walls.

Can I save money by doing some of the work myself?

Not really.  With a Maleno custom built home, our 2 yr/10 yr warranty encompasses the whole home.  Any work you did would void the warranty.  So while you think you might be saving a little in the short-term, it could end up costing you in the long run.

What is the benefit of buying a spec home?

The most obvious benefit is the home is already underway or built and ready for you to move-in within weeks instead of months.  You’ll also have the chance to explore every inch, from the professionally selected countertops and cabinets to the exquisitely-designed living spaces. At times, builders offer incentives for their move-in ready homes, saving you money on your new home.

Questions to Ask Your Home Builders

  1. Did you have the opportunity to tour a couple of homes that your builder has completed recently?
  2. Ask your builder for names or previous clients you could talk to about their building experience. View their testimonials.
  3. Ask your builder to review their material specifications of the home that is being quoted.
  4. Ask your builder for a copy of their warranty? What is covered and what is the time period it is warranted? How does your builder follow through with their warranty program? What time frame can you expect your warranty items to be addressed?
  5. What are the major energy-saving features of their homes?
  6. How long will it take from start to finish to build your new home? Guaranteed?
  7. Does your builder do an on-site walk through? If so, how often?
  8. How long has the builder been in business? How many homes have they built?
  9. When and how will pricing be presented? How do additional cost’s come into play?
  10. Where do you pick out products for home? Who assists with that? Do they have staff or designer to help with the selection process?