Shawnee Home Builder

4618 Churchill - The Little Things

"The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail." - Charles R. Swindoll

You will notice a recurring theme among our blog; quality!  In the age of instant gratification it is harder to sell quality than before, we are too distracted by the shiny things that catch our eye when walking through a home, so we thought it was best to explain some of the little, hard to notice, details of one of our available homes.

The concrete slab of this home (and most Oklahoma homes) rests on red clay, great for compaction, but also known for moving under the slab during times of drought and heavy rainfall.  To compensate, this slab was a monolithic pour, meaning the footing and slab were poured together, allowing the home to move as one unit.  We used 4 bars of ½” rebar in the footing (twice what local building codes require) and installed expansion joints where needed in the brick/stone veneer to keep the masonry from pulling away from the home in the event of an earthquake.  As a redundant precaution, fiber-mesh was also included in the slab to prevent minor, and major cracking, that can lead to future foundation and flooring issues.  We enjoyed working closely with Van Eaton concrete on this build to ensure the home will be standing tall for decades to come!

During the rough framing phase, we installed nearly twice as many anchor bolts as required for the exterior walls, and installed “hurricane straps” on all rafters in an effort to fortify the home during high winds.  The garage doors are framed using engineered beams and heavy duty, steel straps in an effort to strengthen the weakest walls of your new home during periods of severe weather, per Moore, Ok residential building code.

The plumbing in the home is installed using PEX piping and is sleeved for convenience.  This will allow the future owner, in the event of a plumbing leak or failure, to repair/replace the damaged pipes without busting up the slab of your home and saving in total repair costs.

This home features whole-home LED lighting, since we all know the benefits of LED lighting, I will move on to some of the more random, quality features of our new construction homes.  Each home we build has custom, built to order, vinyl windows.  We tell our clients, if we plan to cut a hole in your wall, we might as well fill it with a quality, energy efficient window!  This means our "basic" window includes Argon gas, low-e glass, and custom grid patterns per the owner’s personal preference! Each window is installed per manufacturer recommendations using silicone, and element proof window tape to ensure maximum energy efficiency.  The Phido Group also builds our homes with insulated garage doors and garage bays!  This particular home has Clopay Gallery overhead doors in a Walnut finish!  No matter where we build, these doors are sure to be the envy of the neighborhood!

Another feature we love to mention, but is hard to describe, is the waterproofing we do for our hand-built showers (this home has two).  Watch the video below this post, courtesy of Schluter-Kerdi, for a description of the Kerdi system used in all Phido Group homes!  The majority of builders choose not to spend the time, or money, to install this system, instead hoping their showers make it the first year without a catastrophic failure, or even minor leak, inevitably leading to future, costly repairs.  This product is included in every project we undertake, regardless of price point!

The front entry of this home has quite a story!  Estimated to be built around 1920, and originally located in a mansion in San Antonio, Texas, this 9’ round-top door adds unique character and charm to this European inspired home.  Thanks to the hard work of our trim carpenters we were able to include this door in a home usually reserved for slab doors you see on every other new home in the neighborhood.

We could speak for several more pages about the little details behind the walls, and under your feet, but we will save those for future blog posts!  Moving forward we will be detailing more and more unique features that go into every one of our new homes!  Until then, we ask you to remind yourself before walking into any new construction home, to focus on the items that are harder to see, but essential to the long term livability of your new home!  If you aren’t sure, ask the builder, or have your Realtor inquire for you!


"A goal without a plan is just a wish." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

      How much home can I afford? Can I get approved for a construction loan?  Whether you are planning to build, or buy existing, balancing your needs and wants with your budget is essential.  We all want to live a luxurious home, full of the finest amenities; unfortunately not all of us can afford ocean front property in Malibu.  Some of us can’t even afford ocean front property in Arizona! 

      So where do you start?  Start with the 28/36 rule.  Many lenders use this to determine eligibility for borrowers.  “28” refers to the percentage of income expenditure that can be allocated toward your residence.  This number will include the loan principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.  “36” refers to the percentage of income that can be allocated to your total debt load. This number includes any other monthly debt you have incurred, such as car loans, credit card payments, or student loans, in addition to, your housing expenses. 

      The 28/36 rule is a baseline that lenders often use, and there are exceptions to every rule. Some lenders, and loan programs, allow you to finance more than 28% of your take home pay, however, you will likely pay a premium in interest rate expenses and/or closing costs.

      The most important part is that you set a budget with your Realtor, or home builder, and stick to it!  You may not be able to afford your country club dream home today, but with careful planning, and saving, you will move closer to your goals every month!  Call your local lender, or local home builder, they will be happy to answer your questions!

Budgets & Allowances

"A budget tells us what we can't afford, but it doesn't keep us from buying it." - William Feather

      Custom home building in Oklahoma is highly competitive.  This is great news for you, the consumer!  To survive, most home builders are similarly priced because we work within the confines of appraisal and lending laws. This, however, does not mean that every custom home builder is the same!  Square foot pricing, and vague allowances, have provided home builders the opportunity to hide lower quality materials behind your walls, and under your feet.  The most important items of your build are often the least visible, but most vital.  Take the time to let your builder explain their earthwork, concrete, and framing processes, and be leery of rushed square foot pricing and vague product descriptions. 

      Go shopping!  Have your builder share some of their vendors with you and pick out specific items while your builder is pricing out your home.  The more specific the pricing, the lesser the chance of cost overruns and product delays.  We take several days to bid out each project, doing our best to ensure we include every unique feature our clients want, or need.  Open communication with your home builder is essential to a successful build!  If you have trouble communicating your wishes with your builder pre-construction, it will only worsen during the build phase. 

      Your project manager assists you every step of the way, keeping you weeks ahead of construction progress, addressing and re-addressing, your fit and finish choices.  Mistakes happen, so we do our best to keep the channels of communication open throughout every phase of your build, updating you several times weekly with progress photos and estimated trade completion dates.  The quality of your home builder is often revealed in how they handle changes and mistakes.  Our superintendents are on site daily to ensure the conversations between you and your project manager are being correctly implemented in a quality, budget friendly, manner. 

      Our goal is to be a no “change-order” company.  Clients change their minds, and odd things happen, so be sure to know how changes and challenges will be handled by your home builder to ensure you don’t bear the brunt of an unexpected expense.  Be thorough, and ensure your builder is organized and capable of delivering your project on time, and on budget.