Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the qualifications of your employees?

We have the most experienced building team in Palm Coast. Our construction manager, Gary, is a skilled builder and has 46 years of experience in the field. As the lead construction manager and purchasing agent, Gary works closely with our construction tradesmen to ensure that every project is completed to our high quality standards.

Janet, our designer, has over 30 years of experience in interior design with special expertise in kitchen and bath design. She works closely with each client to select interior and exterior finishes that reflect their own personal style. Janet studied at the New York School of Interior Design.

Michael is an award winning residential designer. Michael has been building homes for over 42 years, 32 of those in Florida’s sub-tropic climate. Having personally designed and then built over four hundred homes, Michael has an expert knowledge of costs and building methods. As the lead designer and chief visionary, Michael overseas each project from concept drawings to the final walk-through.

What is the difference between a custom and a semi-custom home?

A custom home is a unique architectural design created especially for you. A semi-custom is an existing plan that is modified somewhat for you. Sometimes a custom home is the best option for the all-important view and the position or shape of your lot. The right house with the right lot is far more valuable than the wrong house on the right lot.

What happens if my builder does not pay his sub-contractors?

This is a serious topic to be sure. It can take seven to eighteen months to build your home and you must know that your builder has the financial wherewithal to complete the job and pay all the bills. If the builder does not pay his bills, the sub-contractors and suppliers can put a lien against your house. This is a routine practice and can leave you stuck with the bills. In addition, if the builder does not finish your home, you will have to hire a new builder and will end up paying for some things twice.

What is the Claim’s Free Award?

The Bonded Builders Home Warranty is a warranty your home comes with. It covers things that may come up after the completion of your home and the builder’s own warranty period. The Annual Bonded Builders Home Warranty Claim’s Free Award is given out annually to builders with no claims in that year. Machin Design Builders is the only builder in Palm Coast who has not had a single claim made in 42 consecutive years!

Where can I check on a builder’s building history?

Visit the Flagler County building department web site and search by builder name. Review past history to see if the builder has failed inspections on any job, and read the notes to see the reasons that inspections were failed. If there are multiple failed inspections, be cautious. The builder may not have the expertise to manage important job site details.

If builders all have to build according to the same codes, how is Machin different?

Even though builders have to adhere to the same codes, they do not all build the same way. Having built numerous luxury homes in coastal Florida over the last several decades, we have developed what we call a “high building IQ.” We believe that Florida building codes are minimal at best, and insufficient for this area’s extreme weather conditions. For this reason, we build our homes to exceed code using state of the art weatherproofing and superior construction methods to create maximum comfort and efficiency, protect your home from driving rain, blistering heat, excessive humidity and severe winds and maintain its value for years to come.

Why doesn't Machin quote a price per square foot, as many builders do?

Giving a price per square foot is a common way to make an estimate appear to be lower than competing bids. Unfortunately, it’s common practice for many builders to provide a price per square foot based on allotments for appliances, lighting fixtures, and flooring that are simply too low for the style of the home. It also does not guarantee quality workmanship and proper installation. Pricing a custom home involves consideration for a virtually endless number of options and finish choices, making it practically impossible to provide a quote on a square foot basis. This type of pricing came into use for pre-built homes and is fundamentally flawed when applied to custom homes, leading to excessive up-charges, a low quote to final price variance, and very frustrated clients.

We have heard nightmare stories about builders who go way over the original estimate. How do we avoid this?

In an industry where the average difference between estimate and finished cost exceeds fifteen percent, we are extremely proud of the fact that the average difference between our initial estimate and the finished price is is between one half of one percent and three percent. To accomplish this, we spend a great deal of time with each client at the beginning of the project and we include realistic and accurate allowances for appliances, lighting fixtures, flooring, etc. Our exceptionally accurate quotes are due to Michael’s proprietary planning process honed over decades; a process that includes specification of all the important details from trim work, to door and window options, allowances, and much more. Because of this careful and thorough process, Michael avoids cost overruns and few change orders. This is one of the many reasons that people wish they had built with Machin!

We know that some changes are inevitable. How do you handle those?

Given the creative nature of the design/build process, most clients change their mind about something. If this happens, we are happy to facilitate the change. We will provide an estimate of the cost and upon approval; we will bill you for the changes before installation.

What is your payment schedule?

In general, we request a series of six payments at various stages of progress, such as the completion of the foundation or the roof. We will work closely with you to determine a specific payment schedule for your home. If you are paying for your home without a loan, you are responsible for making payments according to the agreed-upon schedule. If you are getting a bank loan, the bank will make progress payments upon each inspection.

Who takes care of all the permits?

We handle all the necessary permits, which include a building permit, a DEP permit from the State of Florida for some oceanfront sites, plus separate permits for pools and fire sprinklers. All permits are included in our quote.

Is Machin Design Build fully insured?

Yes, we carry Workers Compensation, General Liability, Builders Risk and Products Completed Liability insurance. Our staff has OSHA Safety Training and we maintain a company Safety and Health Program.

Is Machin Design Build fully licensed?

Yes, Machin is fully licensed in the state of Florida as a General Contractor and Residential Pool Contractor.

We will not be living in Palm Coast during the design/build process. How do you handle out of town clients?

We are well versed in the art of digital communication, as many of our clients work with us while living across the country or around the world. Depending on your preference, we will keep you updated and informed with phone calls, email, digital photography and video.

How many times will we need to travel to Palm Coast during the process?

We request a minimum of three to four visits to review details, make material selections and finalize choices, review and adjust scope of work as necessary, conduct an electrical walk-through and a final walk-through and new home orientation. However, because the process is so exciting and rewarding, we find that many clients make additional interim visits to the site.