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Q&A with Building Experts

Q&A with Round Top Building Experts

As part of the summer 2016 feature on construction in Round Top, we spoke with the Round Top building experts and got their thoughts on a number of fronts. (See the feature here.)

Q&A With the Experts

Q: How do I hire a building professional?
A: Do your homework. Identify builders whose work you like, and go look at it. Interview two or three reputable builders, and ask them to provide bids. (You and your contractor will be working together for an extended period of time, so personality matters.) Ask for references and check them. Make sure the builder is properly insured.

Q: What are the biggest differences between building in the country and building in the city or suburbs?

A: In the country, unless you are building in a sub-division, the landowner is responsible for securing utilities including electricity, water and installing septic systems. (Many contractors are able to help clients secure utilities.) In addition, the land may have to be cleared. Construction and permanent roads may have to be built. Perimeter fences may have to be replaced. It’s possible to spend a considerable amount of money before you ever begin to build.

Also, rural areas generally have minimal inspection requirements, so homeowners have no “safety net” to insure that the construction work being performed is up to standards. As a result, hiring a contractor with a demonstrated track record and commitment to quality is essential.

Q: Before beginning a building project, what is the most important thing to consider?

A: The budget. Knowing what you can and will spend gives the project—and the people working on it— parameters. When a building professional asks, “What’s your budget?” and you answer, “I don’t know.” or “I don’t have one,” it sends up a red flag because it means that your expectations may be unrealistic.

Contractors build their budget based on several factors including your preferences, so it’s helpful to have an idea of what you like when it comes to elements such as flooring, counter tops and fixtures.  This will not only give your contractor a sense of your taste and style but will allow him or her to budget more accurately.

The Experts

William Amelang (Not pictured)
Portable Buildings of Brenham, a division of Discount Trees Brenham
Experience: 10+ years
Services: Custom-built wood frame portable buildings

Tim Brown Builder of Dream Homes Round TopTim Brown
Tim Brown Architecture, Austin
Experience: 10+ years
Services: Residential and commercial architecture (full-service)

Wes Bryant Builder of Dream Homes Round Top TexasWes Bryant
Texas Casual Cottages, a division of Partners in Building, Houston
Experience: 20+ years
Services: Build on your own lot custom homes

David Dunlap Builder of Dream Homes Round TopDavid Dunlap
Dunlap Welding and Fabrication, Round Top
Experience: 30+ years
Services: Metal buildings and custom

David Elliott Builder of Dream Homes Round Top TexasDavid Elliott
Elliott Construction, Carmine
[email protected]
Experience: 30+ years
Services: Residential and commercial building, land planning and preparation

Cori Kmiec Builder of Dream Homes Round Top TexasCori Kmiec and Greg and Trish Thompson (Not pictured)
Cross Creek Construction and Design, LP, Burton
Experience: 40+ years
Services: Wood-frame and metal-frame design and construction, land planning and preparation including septic installation, water well drilling and utility right-of-way clearing

Lewis Tindall Builder of Dream Homes Round Top TexasLewis Tindall
Tindall General Contractors, La Grange

Services: Residential and commercial design and construction, restoration

Jordan and Dana Weidemann Round Top building expertJordan Weidemann and Dana Weidemann
Total Residential Services, Round Top
Experience: 40+ years (combined)
Services: Residential design and construction, restoration, year-round property maintenance

Matt White Round Top building expertMatt White
Recycling the Past Architectural Salvage, Round Top
Experience: 20+ years
Services: Architectural salvage

by Lorie Woodward Cantu
photos by Anna Spencer Morse, Grace Photography
photos by Dixie Ray Hamilton, Dixie Ray Photography

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