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All you need to know about Custom Home Building: An Interview with Matt Flickinger of Titan Builders

By Matt Flickinger

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer?

Titan Builders is a subsidiary of the TITAN Construction and Maintenance ,LLC. We are a three division company. First is our Commercial Construction division. This is a fully bonded division specializing in medical facilities and commercial "fit out". This division has a wide range of expertise from large warehouse space to small commercial store fronts and offices.

Headed by Troy Clark, the other Co-Director of Operations and Commercial Project Manager. The second division is a fully mobile Commercial Maintenance Division. This division handles multiple medical facilities and a Yearly maintenance packages. Third is the Residential division known as TITAN BUILDERS. This division handles anything from high end custom homes to very large custom remodeling.

Overseeing all quality and leadership is what makes TITAN the company they are today. This daunting task is diligently performed by the President, Lou Mione

Can you briefly explain in Layman's term the concept of "custom home building?"

To try and convey "custom home building" briefly will be a struggle due to the strong passion I have towards building. The first step in the process of a "true custom home" starts with one of the following: a dream, a need or an idea. Once that spark has been lit, it then becomes a series of items that directly affects the overall project. For instance, location, if applicable school district, and finally and the most important - budget.

The next phase is what everyone enjoys the most: the creative side of a "True Custom Home" design and selection process. Finally, comes the culmination of the design / selection process - the start of construction.

What are the most common misconceptions people have about building a custom home?

First would be the time from conceptual design to finished move in date. This time frame is always longer than the client seems to believe it should take. It generally takes 3 to 6 months with a design and scope selection process.

The amount of time a customer is involved is significant and will continue throughout the process.

Cost. Every client makes changes to the design during the process. When this occurs, these changes may be outside of the lending institutions financing to the homeowner.

This requires the customer to pay "out of pocket" when these changes are requested by the homeowner separate from the initial design.

What are the basic steps involved in the home building process?

1st) To begin the process the clients and TITAN enter into a part "A" agreement for design and price

2nd) Sign a part "B" build contract and start the process of constructing a "True Custom Home"

3rd) Client involvement throughout the entire build process with staged site reviews for quality control of products and craftsmanship

4th) Step into the new "Custom Home" and enjoy all the home has to offer and know with satisfaction it was built exactly how the client envisioned it. Then step into an ala carte maintenance package and sit back and enjoy the true luxury of knowing everything is taken care of!

What are the basic factors homeowners must consider when planning to hire a design/build firm for this project?

  • Budget, At the beginning we ask that a client really needs to know what their breaking point of the budget is and stay far away from that number.
  • Integrity, Make sure you are selecting a "True Custom Builder" not a production builder that markets "Custom" which is a couple of paint, siding and countertop options. That isn't custom. We rarely build the same home twice if ever.
  • Quality. This is a important part of the equation. True craftsmanship takes time and money. Decide if that is more important than a cost.
  • Experience. View and collect as much information and feedback from past clients and general knowledge of the builder. Get to know the builder or builders prior to selecting the right fit for your project.
  • Adaptability. Make sure your potential builder has a track record of overcoming difficult changes and implementation of products that can cause problems if not installed or handled correctly.

What is your favorite advice to give homeowners to help make the home building process more enjoyable for them?

  • Turn off HGTV !! Seriously, there are no magic commercial breaks that makes things happen in split seconds, this will test a client patience if expectations are unrealistic.
  • I tell homeowners, we will become very close through the process. As a builder we act as a guide, interior designer, financial planner, chauffer, builder and even a marriage counselor a time or two, so like your builder prior to signing a contract!
  • Make sure that if you set aside money for incidental changes, otherwise it will take a toll on the project and the working relationship of all the parties involved.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

In all honesty, stop in at our office: 1330 North Mountain Rd. Linglestown, Pa 17112. It might seem old fashion, but in the instant connection world we live in you can't truly tell what a person's emotions are or enthusiasm through a text message, or voice mail.

    However if time does not allow a person to person meeting we gladly will communicate through the following avenues:
  • Office Phone: 717-671-6444
  • Office Fax: 717-671-6622
  • Matt Flickinger (Project Manager) Cell 717-798-6036
  • Email: mflickinger@titanconstruct.net
  • Rafe Smith:( Assistant PM) Cell 717-798-6033
  • Email: rsmith@titanconstruct.net
  • Facebook: Titan Construction & Maintenance LLC and Titan Builders
  • LinkedIn: Matt Flickinger
  • Website: www.titanconstruct.net

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About The Author

Matt Flickinger is Co-Director of Perations and Project Manager at Titan...

Phone: 717-671-6444

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