REDEFINE Custom Homes start at $135-$250per square foot. They are for the house and do not include design costs, permit fees, land development, post construction, or land. Examine the Total Project Cost Estimate Sample on your right. Note that each lot and project is different. Your lot and project may require less line items or more. Costs will differ.

Questions and Answers

Asking us the questions below will assist you in determining if we are the right builder to construct your custom home — and give you trust in your choice. 

Are there additional costs?

  • Loan costs if you need a loan to build. 
  • Change Orders. Work that is added to or deleted from the original scope of work.

How do you bill for Change Orders?

Change Orders are billed on a Time (labor hours) and Materials basis, which means you are billed for the direct costs of the Change Order with a markup and tax added to the total. This is also called Cost Plus. The plus is the markup that covers overhead and profit. 

  • Changes during construction pose the greatest threat to your budget. While many builders make their money in Change Orders, we do not. We are different. We minimize Change Orders in our Design Phase.
                                                          Illustration By Environmental Artist Svabhu Kohli

                                                          Illustration By Environmental Artist Svabhu Kohli

How did you put together your estimate sample?

Estimates are a Rough Order of Magnitude. We use recent data from other similar-sized projects along with square foot and unit costs to assemble the estimate. It is a budgeting tool to help Clients understand how we approach projects. 

How do you charge for your services?

This is a question that most builders and architects are not forthright about answering. We are very different. REDEFINE Custom Homes' fees are straightforward. 

During the Design Phase we bill on Time and Materials + a General Contractor's (GC) Fee. The Time covers working with both of the firm's principles. The GC Fee covers the company overhead and profit. Once we know exactly what your project entails (this is often accomplished when your plans are done and permitted), we move to a flat fee structure that states the set amount of your project.

"The set amount is based on the final design details and specifications outlined in your construction drawings. They create a clear scope of work and forge a defined construction schedule. We then estimate the amount of Time-Material-Overhead we must apply towards managing and completing your custom home project. Finally, we add company profit. Unlike other builders, our set amount does not have a hidden percentage cost associated with carrying the risk of estimating. Instead, we add disclosed contingencies that prepare Clients for addressing unpredictable changes and unknown conditions in the project. They are different from Clients' Change Orders. Contingencies are a safeguard to complete the project on budget." Amalina Malli, Owner

Why do I need an architect when I can buy an online house plan? 

Sometimes we buy online plans. But, if you want to build a custom home on a lot of your choosing, online house plans often do not fit building sites properly, do not meet precise local building codes, and do not address our Clients' specific requirements: 

  • Do not have drawings for custom specifications (kitchens, baths, built-ins, etc...)
  • Do not have the right square footage (bedrooms, garage stalls, etc...)
  • Do not have drawings for custom electrical outlets, plumbing, and other utilities, etc...
  • Do not meet our Clients' budget, etc.... 

Many of our custom home Clients look to the Internet for inspiration. Then, they work with us and our team of local professionals, who not only understand and visualize their specific requirements, but can also bring them to life quickly and affordably. 

"During the Design Phase we consult with you on every decision. We offer a complete service that encapsulates the very early stages of planning to the construction of your home. All our custom homes are custom designed to your specifications and we spend a substantial amount of time with each Client to ensure that the finished home fits their needs and budget." Amalina Malli, Owner

I am concerned about budget. What is the best way to control costs?

Select absolutely everything that will go into your home before you start. That allows us to price everything instead of leaving “allowances” in the construction agreement. It also reduces/eliminates Change Orders. Allowances are dollar place-holders for a particular item or task and are invariably not the cost of the item you choose.

  • By deciding on what you want during the Design Phase, we can price the items, the cost of installation, and other connected costs. Choosing all the specifics will yield the most accurate cost at the start of the project instead of revealing true cost in process.
"We established a program that allows us to develop a budget with your specifications before creating your design. We then design your home to meet that budget. As a result, budget overruns can be avoided." Amalina Malli, Owner

"What sets us apart is our level of documentation. We specify the project in detail. Comprehensive documentation is a key element that shows what is in your home and how much it will cost." Karl Gamble, Quality Control Manager

How Can I know for certain what is my total project cost?

Unlike most custom home builders, the first step in REDEFINE's process is the budget. 

  1. First we determine the home and location that works within your budget. 
  2. Once land is located, placed under contract, and Feasibility is complete, we schedule a meeting with our architect to start on design. 
  3. Sketches get drafted and modifications made until your home is created.
  4. The final plans are then sent to our suppliers and subcontractors for precise pricing.  
  5. Once all the costs are collected we analyze them with scrutiny for discrepancies.
  6. The selected contractors and suppliers are then placed under a Fixed Price Contract so we can lock in your budget before we start building your custom home.
  7. Finally, you will receive a construction agreement from us specifying every aspect of your home. These specifications outline categories of construction and list the materials, fixtures, etc... so you can stay on budget during construction.
"REDEFINE is a single source entity providing both architectural and construction services to its Clients. This integrated approach allows us to deliver high-quality-custom-buildings while maintaining tight budgetary control and yielding a unified flow of communication and a common source of responsibility." Amalina Malli, Owner

How long does it take to build a REDEFINE Custom Home?

It depends on the size and complexity of the project. The typical time frame to build a custom home from start (Design) to finish (Turn-key) is 12 months. Construction typically takes 6-8 months.... We want you to know that it’s important to us for you to move into your home as soon as you can. REDEFINE Custom homes cultivated working relationships with reliable subcontractors and suppliers to give us the best timeline control possible. 

"Our team and processes have been put in place to ensure that your aspirations for the perfect home will be feasible, sustainable, and within your budget. I have over 25 years of construction experience and will be involved in the day to day construction of your project. I have a dependable construction schedule that makes it possible to build your custom home not only on budget, but on time as well." Amalina Malli, Owner

How do you communicate during the Design and Build?

We communicate in a way that works for you. Given the prevalence of technology we can communicate via phone, email, texts, and video during business hours (8 am-5 pm). If you are an overseas or an out-of-state Client we make sure we communicate when it is convenient for you. You will also be able to log on to your portal, any time, where we post weekly progress reports and photos. There, you can ask questions, get clarifications, add requests, and pay your invoices. We also hold scheduled on site meetings.  

How is your Design and Build different?

REDEFINE Custom Homes' Design and Build consolidates and oversees the entire process. You have a single point of contact that is responsible for all aspects of design, construction, and budget. Below are your three main benefits when you chose REDEFINE Custom Homes:

  • Time Benefit: Because we work with you from finding land to completion of plans, by the time construction begins, we know your project details intimately. We do not have to undo time consuming mistakes that frequently occur when a separate architect and builder miscommunicate on what the Client really wants. 
  • Accuracy Benefit: Since we are your custom home builder, we have a unique perspective to add during the Design Phase. Unlike most plans that are drawn with “verify in field” disclaimers, we draw construction details that are truly buildable.
  • Budget Benefit: Changes to your design will result in changes to your budget. Refining the design to your needs, in the Design Phase, is an evolution in which construction costs can change daily. When dealing with a separate architect and builder, these design-budget changes can be miscommunicated or not communicated at all --- causing you financial miscalculations. With us, we can estimate the changes to your budget as you modify your design. By tweaking your design-budget instantaneously gives you comfort knowing that you are getting what you want at prices you can afford.

Do you have good quality tradesmen?

Of course. Our team of skilled subcontractors are an integral part of successfully crafting our custom home projects. We include the expertise of all necessary trades from the onset of each project - encouraging communication and coordination.

When we need to bring new tradesmen on a project, we take every necessary step to qualify them. We assess their work, insurance coverage, and other factors. We also look at their schedule of upcoming jobs to be sure they are not overextended. Most importantly we never rely on surety companies to vet subcontractor for us --- we conduct the vetting. 

"We have been using our favorite subcontractors for many years. We have trusted them to build our own houses. We stand by their work. With that said, we are always looking to meet talented and professional tradesmen and women that take pride in their work. We come across projects both big and small and what is right for one job may not be right for another. Specialty trades are always evolving and keeping up with practices in both efficiency and environmental concerns are the foundation of REDEFINE Custom Homes." Amalina Malli, Owner

How do you ensure schedule, budget, and quality construction?

We do it with experience, high standards, detailed schedules, quality tradesmen, contracts, and comprehensive quality assurance checklists. Our subcontractors and suppliers know they need to get their job done right to get paid. We inspect their work during and after completion. When their work passes our quality assurance checklists we call government inspectors to come inspect the work. Unlike other builders, we also encourage our Clients to hire an independent home inspector to inspect our work.   

"We, at REDEFINE Custom Homes, never compromise quality for time. This is why our project timelines are an indication of reality. Unlike most builders, we do not pretend to be superheroes giving out timelines that are overly optimistic. We give an honest estimate of the timelines prior to any agreement."  Karl Gamble, Quality Control Manager

Who will be in charge of my custom home project?

Every REDEFINE Custom Home Project is guided by the hands-on supervision of co-owner and construction manager Chris Marler. Chris's work philosophy:

On People: “It is about people and how well you relate to them. I have always loved building homes and making Clients happy. As a young man, I spent my summers working in construction with my family. There, I learned not only the hands-on and technical sides of the business, but I also learned the importance of respecting, hiring, and working side-by-side with the best subcontractors."
On Building: "I strive to create healthy-low-maintenance environments for our Clients. By using the right building materials, advanced construction methods, and outstanding craftsmanship I define how a home will look, how well it will live, how long it will last, and how much maintenance it will require. To that end, I am committed to delivering a home that will allow each Client a lifetime of enjoyment and satisfaction."
On Subcontractors: "The essence of our success is within our subcontractors. I’ve learned that being loyal to them means they’ll take greater ownership in our projects and put their hearts into each one. I also work only with the finest craftsmen in the trade and the area’s top subcontractors." 
Why Should A Custom Home Client Choose You To Be Their Builder? "Through foresight, preparation, and hard work, I believe my team offers my Clients nothing but the best. If they are looking for an incredible home I am dedicated to making it happen." 

Who will be my advocate during construction?

Our approach to an open custom home construction process provides you with three advocates – the architect, the builder, and you (the Client) – each empowered to achieve project success. Collaboration is the cornerstone of our practice. If you need additional peace of mind, we encourage you to hire an independent home inspector during construction. Moreover, our construction agreement outlines the full understanding of our business relationship and scope of work. 

Can I show your construction agreement to my lawyer before signing it?

Absolutely. Unlike most builders, we, at REDEFINE Custom Homes, encourage it. Our construction agreement gives clear guidelines for your building process. It ensures that you and us receive fair value for the work, material, and money. 

"Our construction agreement cures possible misunderstandings later down the road. It specifies exactly what rights are being purchased and what rights are being retained. It protects both you and us. It stipulates how and when we get paid and what needs to be done to trigger payments. It minimizes risk and keeps you on budget." Amalina Malli, Owner

Can I do some of the work myself or hire subcontractors? 

REDEFINE only works with its subcontractors and suppliers. However, we can start construction at a specific stage or build to a specific stage, but we will not Start-Stop-Then-Resume construction while you or your subcontractors do some of the work in between. 

Can I provide my own material?

Part of the process of building a custom home on schedule, on budget, and warrantying the work is using the team of subcontractors and suppliers that we have formed a relationship with. In order to cater the most efficient service, we do not allow Clients to provide their own materials or assist in the building of their custom homes.

Where do you build?

We build in Thurston, Pierce, Kitsap; King County.

How long have you been building in the above areas?

We have been building for 16 years.

How many custom homes do you build per year?

It depends on the size and detail of each custom home project. With that said, we never exceed three custom home projects per year. This allows for one on one planning and attention to detail. 

Will you work with my architect?

If we are a good fit, we will work with your architect during the Design Phase. From that point, we handle all the subcontracting, scheduling; everything to get your project started. 

Is home building your only profession?

Home building, remodeling, and real estate are our professions. 

Do you provide assistance for selecting the home’s finishes?

Building a new home involves many decisions, especially when it comes to selecting items like cabinets, countertops, fixtures, paint colors, etc.... For many people it can be overwhelming. Amalina Malli, the "Orchestrator of Awesomeness," constantly shops to find the latest design trends that define the REDEFINE Custom Homes look and feel, so you don't have to. She will guide you through the selection process to ensure a cohesively designed home that reveals your own personal flare. We can also go a step further and hire the services of a designer. Our group of designers offer complete and comprehensive services, including space planning, furnishing, and fixture selection. 

Will you bid on my project?

Bids are only useful if

  1. They come from comparable companies
  2. They are structured so they can be accurately compared 
  3. There is a complete set of drafted and engineered plans and specs
  4. Everything about the project is clearly spelled out
  5. The plans are accurately designed for the Client's budget

Unfortunately, the above requisites are hardly instituted. Besides, a bid is not a Fixed Price or a True Project Cost. It is imbued with allowances, leading to Change Orders, and setting the stage for conflict during the project. We, at REDEFINE Custom Homes, elect not to operate this way. Instead, we work on a cooperative basis with our Clients and are involved in the home's design from the beginning.

Do you build on sloping lots?

Yes. We can adapt your plans to the site. We work with land angled at pretty much any degree. 

When can I make changes or upgrades before and during construction?

Changes will undoubtedly happen as you begin designing your custom home. It is always easiest and most economical to make changes during the Design phase, but we realize that transitioning from paper plans to three dimensional spaces is not always easy to do. We are open to new ideas in the field. Change Orders are less complex and less costly to you when addressed before or during the framing stage. It is your home and we accommodate your Change Orders. 

Can I trust you?

Building a custom home is a major investment. So how do we, at REDEFINE Custom Homes, build trust?

  • We do great work and invite you to come see our Model Home
  • We enter into fair construction agreements 
  • We have honest communication and believe in transparency --- this page should attest to that 
  • We insure quality construction and encourage you to hire an independent home inspector 
  • We encourage you to eliminate Change Orders and allowances so you can stay on budget
  • We never employ low-ball estimates and give out project timelines that are overly optimistic to win you over
  • We operate with integrity, genuinely want the best for others, and invite you to meet us

Can you give me references?

Absolutely. We will give you the appropriate references at the appropriate time. Because our product is so popular, we receive numerous calls per day from interested buyers. Most can not afford to build a custom home. Therefore, we can not have our references receiving countless calls from prospects. We are willing to give you references when

  • You and us mutually agree we are a fit
  • You have placed a lot under contract
  • You have been approved for financing
"Whether you chose REDEFINE Custom Homes to be your builder or not, it is important to not rely on references to sell a builder's product and services. It is the builder's job to help you build trust and determine whether his or her offerings are the right ones for your needs. We apologize if we have not yet addressed all your questions. We want to assure you that we are going to do our best to understand your needs, not just your wants. If you have further inquiries that you would like us to answer, do not hesitate to ask." Amalina Malli, Owner

What type of warranty do you offer?

Items in your custom home have individual warranties from the manufacturer (example: washer, dryer, dishwasher, microwave, stove, oven, refrigerator, etc...). All our subcontractors offer a 1 year warranty on their workmanship (example: framers, roofers, electricians, plumbers, etc...). Our suppliers also offer a 1 year warranty and some offer lifetime warranties (example: Milgard Windows and Doors). We offer a 90-day and 1-Year Warranty Program that you can chose from.