What Communities do you build in?
Currently, we build in five communities in the area: Palmetto Bluff (Bluffton), Oldfield (Bluffton), Habersham (Beaufort), and Pinckney Retreat (Beaufort).
We are currently building spec houses in Palmetto Bluff and Oldfield and have a model home in each community. For access and a tour, please call us directly at (843) 380-4800 ext. 705.
What type of things do you look for when selecting a lot (slope, drainage, neighboring houses, etc.)?
When selecting a lot, so many things need to be reviewed prior to a final decision. Simple things like sun patterns, drainage conditions, adjacent lot conditions and how they affect your lot, elevation, existing trees, tree species, and more are key attributes that will affect the outcome of your new home.
Trees & Topography: A tree and topographic survey define your property boundaries, lists utilities, details topographic features, notes any man-made improvements to the property, and denotes the size, species, and position of all trees within the lot boundaries. A tree and topographic survey help you follow the regulations of your neighborhood/municipality. It will also keep construction safe, preserve the structural integrity of your home and help you meet your design goals. You can purchase your tree and topographic survey ahead of time, or Front Light is happy to order a tree and topographic survey as part of the Planned Development Phase.
Site conditions: Front Light staff, along with the assistance of landscape architects, are trained to think about landscapes as systems. The flow of water, the relationship to the greater watershed, the interplay of light and local climate effects, are all critical aspects of a lot’s context. The landscape architect will figure out grading plans and technical details for drainage, materials, finishes, and layout dimensions. Front Light has partnered with the best landscape architects in town and your Landscape Plan will be included in the Planned Development Phase.
Neighboring Homes: Neighboring homes may give you a clue as to what the setback may be for estimating purposes, how to site plan the lot, and what design details may already be approved through the ARB.
Can you tell me more about your in-house design center and why you have one?
The main goal and purpose of our design center is to help simplify the design process while maintaining the integrity and experience of designing your new home. Front Light is fortunate to have key vendor relationships that allow us to provide a true retail experience of certain products in our design center.
Offering an in-house design center is a huge advantage to Front Light and sets us apart from other builders. Every Front Light home provides beautiful designer looks as standard finishes – with carefully considered design packages that offer detailed selections for wall and trim colors, lighting, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, cabinets, counters, flooring, and tile selections.
Some of our clients are building from out of state, so having a one-stop-shop is a huge time saver. 95% of our clients find that our on-trend, but not trendy, selections really speak to them. If you choose not to use our selection process and would prefer products from our select vendors, we will arrange meetings between homebuyers and vendors and apply allowances to ensure homebuyers get exactly what they are looking for at the most competitive pricing.
What makes your homes different?
Our customizable, open floorplans – ranging from 2,000 to 3,500+ sq/ft – promote easy, low-maintenance living while enjoying space for family life and entertaining. Each floor plan seamlessly integrates public/private and indoor/outdoor spaces to create a home that feels at once both spacious as well as intimately comfortable.
Front Light works with established and well know architects that fit into our building and design philosophy. Square footage is just a number, but it is our job to take a number and make it feel more efficient and spacious by creating the right home design.
Our building process is unlike any other. Working side-by-side with our in-house design team, we guide you through a unique and unprecedented process of discovering your true living style that is both easy and exciting as you see your new home come to life. As customized home builders, we partner with you to build the exact home you envision, right down to the last detail.
We value our commitment to being a different type of homebuilder, starting with our name. A house’s front light has been a beacon calling us to the welcome, warmth, and security of a home. It is a symbol of hospitality to our neighbors and resembles a sense of community spirit that safeguards our children and neighborhoods. A gas front light is included in the price of all of our homes and is the signature beacon of our Front Light family.
How do you guys work?
One of the most exciting steps when building with Front Light is designing your new home. As our client, you will go from sales, to design, to operations, to construction, and our goal is to make it as seamless and stress-free as possible for you. We can provide square footage ranges, but until we know the lot/site conditions, type of home, including porches, it is very hard for us to nail down a final price for your home.
Step 1: Initial Contact
During initial contact with the Front Light team, you will discuss your home needs and desires. Our sales team will search for a plan from our collection or find a plan that fits your wants and needs the best. From there, the team will do a quick site study to ensure your house plans will work on your chosen lot.
Step 2: Budget & Contract
Prepare a budget. All standard plans chosen from Front Light have our preferred standards included in that price. There are options to upgrade, which you will determine during the design process. This is where we sign the Planned Development Agreement (PDA) to finalize your house plans.
Step 3: Floor & Site Plans
Front Light works with a landscape designer and structural engineer to finalize site elevations, landscape, foundation, and framing plans. Once you approve your plans, they are prepped and sent for approval by the community Architectural Review Board (ARB). Upon ARB approval, permitting and scheduling can begin.
Step 4: Contract Sign
During this step, you will finalize the construction contract and set up your construction loan (if applicable).
Step 5: Design
During this step, you will meet the design coordinator at our design center to begin choosing selections for the exterior and interior finishes of your home. Design meetings can vary in time depending on the size of the home. Once all selections are finalized, final pricing and an upgrade analysis will be completed and sent to you for approval.
Step 6: Stage 1 Construction
Preparation for the building process begins. The homeowner will receive a Buildertrend login, which is a project management platform that Front Light uses to manage your job. It also gives you an environment to log in and see real-time progress. You will see photos, approve change orders, and can communicate with your Front Light team every step of the way!
Step 7: Stage 2 Construction
Stage 2 of construction begins — interior textures begin and drywall is completed. During this time, you will meet with your Front Light team to review any trim details. Hardscapes are finished next and then flooring and countertops will be installed. The final step is fixtures, mirrors, and landscaping.
Step 8: Warranty
Front Light has partnered with 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty, the nation’s leading provider of structural warranties. This warranty will cover:
• 1-Year Workmanship Surety Coverage, similar to a bumper-to-bumper warranty
• 2-Year Distribution Systems Surety Coverage covers things such as wires, plumbing lines, and HVAC ductwork
• 10-Year Insurance-Backed Structural Coverage
Front Light manages all warranty requests through our warranty department. You will receive a 1-month warranty walkthrough and an 11-month warranty walkthrough.
What is a Planned Development Agreement (PDA) and what is included?
The Planned Development Agreement (PDA) is step one in your new build with Front Light, and signing the PDA and submitting your deposit allows our team to put your new construction on our master schedule. During the Planned Development phase, Front Light will coordinate modifications with the architect and submit the plans through the community Architectural Review Board (ARB). Plans include a full set of architectural plans (structural, electrical, landscape, grading, etc.). Front Light shall provide and pay for all Architectural and Plan Review Fees necessary to obtain conceptual approval in connection with, or related to, the plan development and ARB submissions.
The Planned Development Price shall be credited against the first draw during construction if you choose to hire Front Light to build the house on your lot. If you decide not to move forward with us, that development price is non-refundable, but you will have ARB approval and will own all the plans.
Once you decide on your home, the fun begins! When you decide to build with Front Light, you will work with our design coordinator in our in-house design center. Once the design appointment is complete, we will incorporate your design selections into your final contract price.
Why can't you give me a price to build right away?
There are a lot of things to take into consideration when pricing a home. Our team can give you an average range of what a typical home in the neighborhood you are building in costs per square foot, which should help with budgeting. Front Light prides ourselves on giving a true cost to build when we sign the contract. During the Planned Development phase, we will work with suppliers to get true purchase order numbers (versus a quote as provided by most builders). When you sign your contract, your contracted total price (minus any changes or upgrades you may make past the initial design meeting) will be your total price.
How long does it take to build?
Our contract states our build will be complete within 365 days. The typical home build takes 9-10 months from the day we break ground. This depends a lot on the size of the home, site conditions, and overall complexity of your new home. In the end, we are a process-driven company and like to maintain a complete schedule throughout each phase of the project.
Can I pick any exterior colors I want fro my new home?
Different communities have different requirements for exterior color selection. If you want something specific, it is best to make that known early in the process so we can ensure the Architectural Review Board (ARB) is aware of what you want.
Spec homes have already been approved through the ARB, and every new color choice will have to be reapproved by the ARB. If you buy a spec home, depending on where we are in the build process, we can do minimal/accent color changes to the exterior, pending ARB approval.
Can Front Light buy the lot and build the home we want?
Unfortunately, no. Front Light must work within the parameters set forth by the neighborhoods we build in. Buying a lot for a customer and building their dream home is not in the spirit of the spec home process. If there is a particular lot you would like, we would recommend purchasing the lot, then contracting with us to do the build. The only lot/home sales we have are our spec homes. As a company, we are in the process of building 6-10 spec homes a year. Please make sure you ask what we have “in the works,” as it may be exactly what you are looking for!
What kinds of siding and windows are available?
We use name-brand products for our windows such as Windsor, PlyGem, and Marvin. The windows we use are a function of the community and what the customer is looking for with their design. Additionally, Front Light has negotiated special pricing with some manufacturers and is happy to provide that pricing for our customers. Windsor Next Dimension windows would be a good example. We also use James Hardie siding products on all our homes.
Can I make changes to your homes?
Changes are dependent upon which phase of construction your home is in when you purchase it. It is important for all of us to understand the amount of work that goes into the final design selection of your new home, and we work hard to make sure you know exactly what you are getting. Additionally, we provide you with a “Look Book,” showcasing the various design selections and elements of your new home. Once everything is finalized and negotiated with our vendors, changes are something that we must all discuss and make sure are warranted based on the status of the home.
If you have decided upon a custom home, the change fee structure will differ. Once your design selection process has been completed, you will have fourteen (14) day to make any changes.
If you have decided on a spec home, the design changes are limited and outlined below in stages:
STAGE 1 (Pre-Construction & Permitting)
Lighting & Plumbing: We work directly with Ferguson Lighting and Plumbing and changes to both lighting and plumbing are possible. Additional costs will be incurred if you add additional lighting/plumbing or upgrade current lighting/plumbing selections. This can be discussed with our design coordinator upon purchasing.
Cabinets & Counters: Cabinets, hardware, and countertop colors and finishes can be changed. Please note that additional charges are applicable for additions made or if upgraded colors are selected. No changes to cabinet layouts in major areas (Kitchen/Baths) are possible.
Flooring & Tile: Selections can be changed. Additional charges apply if selections are upgraded colors, finishes, or levels.
Paint: You can change the interior colors and we can make minimal exterior changes with new approval from the Architectural Review Board.
STAGE 2 (Concrete & Framing Underway)
Lighting & Plumbing: Current light can be swapped or upgraded. Additional fees apply for upgrades or additional lighting. The color and finish of current plumbing selections can be changed — but no plumbing additions can be added.
Flooring & Tile Selections can be changed. Additional charges apply if selections are upgraded colors, finishes, or levels.
Paint: You can change the interior colors and we can make minimal exterior changes with new approval from the Architectural Review Board.
STAGE 3 (Drywall Installed)
Lighting & Plumbing: Current lights can be swapped or upgraded. Additional fees apply for upgrades or additional lighting. The color and finish of current plumbing selections can be changed — but no plumbing additions can be added.
Please note: By not meeting the required timeline for changes, the timeline of construction and completion dates can be pushed back.
Are there change fees during the build process?
Our goal is to minimize changes to the design as it relates to the interior and exterior of the home. Front Light has a process to handle changes as they are proposed and/or occur. Once the Purchaser has signed off on Front Light’s Design Selection Sheet, any changes post Design Selection Sheet sign-off will result in a change order fee per item (see below). Please note: The change order fee escalates significantly once the drywall is complete. Should the Purchaser desire to make any design change after the Design Selection Period, but prior to signing off on the Design Selection Sheet, limited changes are allowed at our discretion.
The Purchaser will have seven (7) calendar days to approve the design once submitted by the Seller. If the approval extends beyond seven (7) calendar days, the construction progress on your home will stop until selections are signed off. If changes are made after the Purchaser has approved the Design Selection Sheet, the following fee schedule will apply:
- First Change: $250.00 Change Order Fee plus the Cost of the Change
- Subsequent Changes: Incremental fee of $250.00 Change Order Fee per Change plus the Cost of the Change (i.e., Second change will result in a $500.00 Change Order Fee plus the Cost of the Change; Third change will result in a $750.00 Change Order Fee plus the Cost of the Change; Fourth change will result in a $1000.00 Change Order Fee plus the Cost of the Change, etc.).
- After the home has been drywalled, a $1750.00 Change Order Fee per Change plus the Cost of the Change will occur (i.e., Adding an outlet and changing the tile will result in a $3500.00 Change Order Fee).
Why don't all your floorplans have the same front elevations?
We have found that today’s homebuyer is looking for great design and value, and our customers are intent on finding something unique and personal. Our goal is to make each home distinctive in nature, so sometimes we change the front elevation of the home to have the appearance of a completely new design.
Many communities will not allow for the exact same elevation to be built next to each other, so that is another contributing factor. We pride ourselves on the amount of time and investment we have made to provide the right floor plan to our customers. Many of the floor plans you see on our website are tried and tested floor plans that we can use as a basis for your new home.
Why choose Front Light Building Co.?
Front Light strives to develop relationships with our customers. Building a new home can be frightening on many levels, but we have developed a process and system to help guide you through the process. In the end, communication is vital and key to making sure, at all points along the way, everyone is in sync and on the same page. We care at Front Light and encourage all our customers to get to know the organization through our website and conversation before you make your final decision. Keep in mind that building a home should be fun and exciting!
What is Buildertrend?
Buildertrend is an online platform that we used to manage our entire build process. This is advantageous for all our homeowners as they will receive a personalized website for their new home. This website allows all your information to be stored in one place. Things such as your contract documents, selections detail, invoice information, and more are all stored on this website. Furthermore, once we begin construction, your schedule and communication with your site manager all happen through the Buildertrend website. It is a great tool and all of our customers love the tool as they feel like they are truly living with the project week to week.