Frequently Asked Questions

Does Hopfauf Custom Builders do anything other than build homes?

Since we employ our own carpenters, HCB has more flexibility in the size and types of jobs we can do. In addition to designing and building new homes, we have extensive experience in:

  • Home additions
  • Commercial space renovation
  • Commercial new buildings
  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Basement finishes
  • Decks and outdoor living spaces
  • Garages
  • Whole-house remodels

Can you supply me with references?

Yes, of course. We have been in business for more than 2 decades and have a long list of past clients and projects. We would be glad to share references with you, and we encourage you to call them and ask what it was like to work with our company. We would suggest that you do the same for any contractor you are considering. Interviewing a reference is your opportunity to discover a lot about the contractor, so it is worth the time to make a few calls.

What does “design-build” mean?

Design-build is a method to deliver a project in which the design and construction services are delivered by the same company. Design-build is sometimes called the “master builder” approach, one of the oldest forms of construction procedure. The streamlined communication from one integrated team provides an efficient, unified flow of work from initial concept through completion. This encourages innovations from the designer and builder working together to deliver a better project than initially imagined.

How long does it take to get a home designed?

In order to give each homeowner a design that is customized to fit their needs and lifestyle, we have developed a process that works well for us. This requires at least 4-5 meetings and maybe more, depending on the number and extent of changes to the plan. The type and amount of customizations are limited only by imagination and structural feasibility. You are allowed to make as many changes as desired until the plan fits your needs and budget. For the total design, the time it takes depends greatly on the availability of the homeowner for the meetings and the number of designs ahead of theirs already in process.

Is it OK to visit my home while it’s under construction?

It’s not only OK, we insist on it. We want you to know as much about your home as we do, and we hold, at a minimum, weekly meetings with the homeowner on-site to keep the communication lines open and flowing. Meetings may be more frequent if needed, and we’ll talk on the phone often. There are many decisions to be made along the way, and these exchanges are the best way for us to guide and help you, as well as discuss any of your questions and concerns.

Do you have model homes I can see?

Most builders who have model homes do speculative building and repeat the same or similar plan with some simple roof changes. They produce homes and put them up for sale. In contrast, as a custom builder, we contract with each homeowner to produce a specific structure. Each project is designed with the client and the lot in mind.

There are several ways to see our work. Most of our previous homeowners are proud to show their homes to our current clients and we can arrange that. Also, we strive to show one of our custom homes in each of the semi-annual Parade of Homes put on by the Bismarck-Mandan Home Builders Association. That, however, depends on the time of year the home is finished and whether the owner will allow us to show it in the parade. The easiest way to see what we do is to visit our office at 1800 East Main in Mandan. We renovated an old metal building into spaces for four businesses, including ours. Here you can see different cabinetry woods, ceiling designs, wall textures, countertops, faux finishes, garage cabinets, and more details that go into many of our homes.

Do I need to make an appointment to visit Hopfauf Custom Builders?

Walk-ins are always welcome, but an appointment is better. That way, we can set aside time to give you our undivided attention.

Contact us to set up an appointment.

Is it more expensive to build a custom home?

Not necessarily. It depends on your tastes and the choices you make for your home. A speculative builder may choose finishes or products that are less expensive to keep the price competitive and his building risk lower. If you choose the same quality of finishes and materials, your home would be in the same price range.

Can I afford a new home?

New homes come in different sizes, shapes, neighborhoods, and prices. Right now, interest rates for home loans continue to be at all-time lows, making your monthly payment very competitive with what you might pay for a rental unit. Owning your home is a great long-term investment. With each payment, your equity in the home increases. The best way to find out more is to make an appointment with your neighborhood banker. The types of loans and their requirements are ever-changing. Your banker can give you guidance on the best programs for you.

Do I need a construction loan or do I just pay at the end?

Construction loans are generally meant to provide temporary financing during the building process. The construction loan can be obtained by either the homeowner or the builder. The mortgage financing will come along after the building has been completed, and will be used to pay off the construction loan. Usually, a borrower will be required to apply and receive approval on a residential mortgage before they can gain funds that will be used for construction. A feature to consider is the combined construction/permanent loan. In this type of financing, the mortgage and the construction loans are tied together. Such an approach will make the application process much easier and may even reduce closing costs. This happens because the potential borrower will actually be applying for one loan rather than having to go through the headache and hassle of applying for two loans.

What kinds of permits do I need? And who does the inspections?

Hopfauf Custom Builders is a full-service general contractor. You will not have to take out any permits. We take care of that for you. HCB and its trade contractors apply for all of the permits needed for their trade and the inspections that go with that. The inspectors come from the city or county depending on the location of the job.

Do I have to buy insurance while my home or addition is under construction?

Different types of building projects have different insurance requirements. A new home or commercial building is covered under Hopfauf Custom Builder’s risk insurance program. We secure builder’s risk insurance while the building is under construction. The policy provides property coverage to protect both the owner and the contractor. Upon completion of the project, the owner is then responsible for purchasing property insurance.

A renovation or an addition to your home is typically covered under your existing homeowner’s property insurance policy. You should call your insurance agent before your project begins.

Our company maintains liability coverage for our all of our operations.  In addition, Hopfauf Custom builders requests evidence of liability insurance from our trade contractors.  It’s also a good idea to have a discussion with your insurance company to review your personal liability coverage.

Can I do any of my own work on my project?

Typically we take care of your entire project from permit to final cleaning, with the owner involved only in the selections. Sometimes owners want to do their own painting or shingling or some other part of the project. We will allow this up to a point. It should not interfere with our schedule or quality of the project. We want your project to be done smoothly, efficiently, and up to par with our high standards.

What is the best time of the year to build?

We build year-round. As long as we can get the foundation in, we can build right through the winter. We have dug foundations in December and January, depending upon the amount of moisture in the subsoil and how deep the frost layer is at the site. Different soils have different properties for moisture retention, and this affects the ability to excavate.

Do you give free estimates?

Yes. Estimating is a very complex process and we do estimates differently than other contractors. We get every trade contractor involved in bidding their part of the project and the lumber yard gives us the material pricing based on your choices of materials and finishes. We then add our labor to the mix and put it all together in a written document so you can see it in black and white. This gives you an accurate and complete bid. Our goal is to include everything you will need for your project. We do this at no charge and require participation from you in as many face-to-face meetings as necessary to gather all of the information needed to give you a bid.

How many houses/projects does Hopfauf typically work on at one time?

That can vary greatly, depending on what sizes and types of jobs we have under contract. It takes several months for a home from start to finish and we can have different projects in different phases at the same time. For example, we may be working on a bathroom remodel, a kitchen renovation, a new commercial building, and an outdoor covered patio in addition to the homes being built. For instance, House A may be in the permit stage, House B has the excavation and foundation in progress, Commercial Building C is being framed, Bathroom D has the plumbers doing the rough-in, House E is being insulated and sheet rocked, Outdoor Patio F is getting masonry in the outdoor fireplace, and House G is in the finishing stage with the cabinets and door trim being installed.

If building material costs increase after work has begun, how does that affect my project?

Once we sign your contract, which is a fixed price, your costs are locked in. The trade contractors and the suppliers will honor the prices given to you in your contract.

What type of warranty does Hopfauf Custom Builders provide?

Hopfauf Custom Builders has been around for more than twenty-five years. We live and work and play in this community. We proudly stand behind what we build. All material is guaranteed to be as specified. Because our own carpenters frame and finish our work, we have a handle on quality control. All work is completed in a thorough and satisfactory manner according to best standard practices. We do it right the first time or fix it until it is right.

What sets Hopfauf Custom Builders apart from other contractors?

In a nutshell: we are a building company that is proud, innovative, committed, and caring. We are made up of master builders who have been there and done that. We are not simply a “suitcase contractor” that knows how to hire trade contractors. Our builders are really builders. They have done the physical work, so they know how things go together. Our carpenters are the best in the area and are doing it because they like what they do and are proud of what we produce. They are long-term career-minded individuals who have chosen carpentry as their livelihoods. This mindset translates into carpenters who care about what they do and about what they are building for you. This gives our customers peace of mind, knowing they are getting value out of every penny invested in their building project. In addition, we take the time to get to know you. Our relationship with you is very important to us and often extends far beyond the duration of the building project.