Homeowner Responsibilities


Our pricing includes the build of the house itself. Everything outside of building the house is done by someone else besides True Built Home. Why? While most of our crews will travel, excavating companies charge a substantial amount of money to “mobilize” their equipment.

Plans and engineering: True Built Home will prepare blueprints of our stock plans and have them engineered for your building site and area; the cost for this is included in our processing fee. You can make changes to any of our stock plans which can vary from as little as $750, depending on the degree of change you make, and is due when you sign up to order your home.


The client is responsible for the following; although we can do some of the items (these are noted):

Permits – Some choose to hire a permit specialist which we highly recommend. Certain cities and counties such as Seattle and or King County, the permit specialist can run the entire process including completing and submitting the application, acquiring any information the building department may need during the approval process and picking up and delivering the approved permit. In some areas such as King County as we mentioned, this service can be well worth the money you spend. True Built Home and its staff are not permit specialists. Codes, laws, etc. change, and as a result, permit specialist are simply the only alternative you have to get a permit successfully through in a timely manner.

Excavation and site prep – Grading for a level building pad or steps if the foundation needs to be stepped; clearing trees and large rocks; digging out for the foundation and back-fill after the foundation is poured. We can recommend excavators for you but ultimately it is the much wiser course to find a local reputable one. We recommend at least obtain two bids for this phase. Make sure you choose an excavator who knows what they’re doing. A sub-standard excavator can be cheaper, but can cost you a lot of money. If you would like to know a list of things your excavator may or may not need, please feel free to cut and paste for future use;

  • Clear lot, remove trees and debris for building envelope of home and driveway
  • Import and export dig as needed for construction. Please indicate amount hauled either in or taken out
  • For erosion control of entrance onto public road-NOTE: this may or may not apply for you.
  • For erosion control for dirt left on property that will be needed for back fill etc. Hay, straw, visqueen and silt fencing. NOTE: this may or may not apply for you.
  • Trenching for electrical (if underground) water, storm drainage (NOTE: this may or may not apply for you) or on-site storm methods
  • NOTE: this may or may not apply for you. Clean up construction debris during or after the construction of home
  • Back-fill garage with compact-able material, back-fill foundation
  • Final grading NOTE: this may or may not apply for you-bringing in landscaping materials if wanted

The aforementioned items are the basics. Some lots in extreme cases may require other items not mentioned such as retaining walls or collection ponds.

Utilities– (power, water, sewer or septic) You are responsible for having them connected and ordering them through the various PUD. Often your excavator will help you with these as well when it comes to trenching and grading.

Foundation-If the foundation requires a pump truck for the concrete, that is an additional expense to the homeowner. If the concrete truck can drive around the foundation without complications there will be no charge for that.

Painting– True Built Home does not do any of the painting. Why? For one reason, painting can be completed by you the client. Banks and counties do not care whom does the painting. This can save you additional money on your home. Second, we have discovered that this is simply a phase with too many variables and can consume large portions of time. We work with a limited in-house staff, to keep overhead low and passing those savings on to you. Painters are plentiful. Although not a guide, (material and labor costs do vary) you should plan on a bid from anywhere around $.75-1.35 for outside of the home to $.75-1.50 for inside of the home. Take home square footage of both home and garage for outside, and just the inside of the living space for the inside cost. These prices reflect 2 colors for outside, one color for inside, no primer and one coat. The average 2000 sqft home with garage uses about 45-55 gallons of paint in and out.

Decks, patios, sidewalks, and garage aprons (out in front of the garage)- Due to the varying degree of sloped topography, the base price of homes do not include any of the aforementioned items. If your home requires a step foundation, you may need to have additional steps from the bomber door-the one that leads to garage from utility room-to your garage slab. Our sales consultants can provide you some subs that can do these things for you, just ask. If you plan on putting a deck on the backside of home, please let us know as we can make sure that all the glass is tempered to code.

Clean-up– Home buyers are solely responsible for keeping the site reasonably tidy and for all post construction clean up. This is one of the ways we get our subs to lower the price they charge for work. They don’t have to clean up. Having said that, the sheet rock company does haul away all remnants, and the roofing company will dispose of, to the best of their ability, their own waste. As a reminder, True Built Home orders more lumber than needed on the job. Any and all lumber is the property of True Built Home until it is attached to your home for structural purposes within the constraint of our contract. All lumber that has not been cut or used will be picked up by TBH’s lumber company and credited back to us. Please, do not take.

Landscaping-Landscaping is not required by your bank in order to fund your loan. Therefore, you do not have to have funds for it during construction if you choose not to.

Erosion Control– often done by your excavator

The concept is designed to save you money. A number of things involved in home building are things that the average homeowner can do themselves. However, most of the time a builder simply does them all. This is a great way for the builder to make more money: the builder makes a phone call to hire a painter. The painter paints the house and gives the bill for $2000 to the builder. The builder then charges his mark-up for the painting of the home. That was a pretty expensive phone call for you! (and for white walls which the homeowner will probably end up painting again anyway). So by allowing the homeowner to either hire a painter and negotiate for price or paint the house themselves, the homeowner can save considerable money.

Most of the above services can be arranged by True Built Home.  However, in an effort to keep our home costs low, and still offer you a high quality and attractive home, we normally leave these up to you. If you choose to have us arrange these services, we will often subcontract these services out to someone else, mark them up to make a profit and in some cases charge for administrative services. By thus allowing you to do it yourself, you will be saving really thousands of dollars on your new True Built Home.