Discussions regarding the conceptualization of your new home, architectural design, engineering, permitting processes and uses of panelized homes to control your budget, save money and build your new home. Visit https://www.LHLC.com
Discussions regarding the conceptualization of your new home, architectural design, engineering, permitting processes and uses of panelized homes to control your budget, save money and build your new home. Visit https://www.LHLC.com
Kit Homes, Working With Building Departments & Their Quirks
Kit Homes, working with building departments and their quirks! Unique sites and neighborhoods and designing your home fit within them. Discussion of zoning issues as well as more details on energy codes and mechanical systems.
Steve Tuma: It’s also good to have the plans clear so that your contractor knows what’s to be built because amazingly, yes, we have seen this, people don’t always believe that a building department will approve a set of plans that can’t be built.
Interviewer: Hey, everyone. Thank you for joining us for Episode 41 of the Panelized Prefab Kit Home Building Show. With me as always is the President and Founder of Landmark Home and Land Company, a company which has been helping people build their new homes where they want exactly as they want nationwide and worldwide since 1993, that man is Steve Tuma. Steve, how’s it going buddy?
Steve Tuma: Excellent. It’s another great day helping people design homes and build homes. It’s always fun.
Interviewer: [Laughs] And it’s always busy. You guys are really busy over there at Landmark.
Steve Tuma: Yeah, but it’s a good time. It’s kind of neat running into and helping customers figure out different things that they want to build, where they want to build, how they want to build it, how it works in the budget, how it fits on land.
Steve Tuma: Then there’s always building departments in there working around their parameters as well.
Interviewer: Always something. So I thought today we jump into some questions that have come our way regarding issues that often arise during the designing and building phases of a panelized home building project. Are you good with that?
Steve Tuma: Yeah, I probably have a few ideas.
Interviewer: [Laughs] Awesome. So start with, give us some background. What are some of the issues that you and your customers have had dealing with building departments? I don’t necessarily mean like major sort of – the kind of issues that would stop a project but I mean just some of the basic issues that people run into.
Steve Tuma: Well, you bring something up there because stopping a project, it’s – Building Department is not there to stop it. They are just there to make sure that it meets codes and safe and works well on the community. But what’s interesting is a lot of people come to us for the help of getting through the building department, understanding what goes on and what they need, when they say something, what does that interpret to. And some building departments are very good at communicating what they want. Other building departments are exceptionally bad. So they can vary where they are at. It really runs into the way that building department decides to communicate. So in some places – first of all, we contact the building department on any of our customer’s projects to see what’s required. But some building departments will say things like, “Well, just get me plans.” I’m like, “OK, well, that’s an interesting one. Plans. You just want floor plans, electric, plumbing, mechanical, energy, what is it?” And then others will give a list of 200, 300, 400 items saying, “We need this, we need this.” And it’s pretty interesting. The nice thing about it is we can work with any of them and go through. We’ve got the experience. We talk the same language. So we can go through and figure out what the situation is that building department needs.
So it’s really just finding out what they need and how it applies to them, because we are all under a code when you are building that covers the nation. It’s that application of the code to your building site and your building department’s interpretation of that code that can be interesting. A lot of people will say, “Hey, how can you engineer a house in Florida? How can you do one in Washin
Kit Homes and Difficult Building Sites
Unique and difficult building sites and how to design a Kit Home for these beautiful areas. Taking advantage of great views, sun and how Landmark helps you make it happen!
Interviewer: Hello, folks! Thanks for joining us for Episode 40 of the Panelized Prefab Kit Home Building Show. With me in his usual spot is the President and Founder of Landmark Home and Land Company, a company which has been helping people build their new homes where they want exactly as they want across the nation and worldwide since 1993, Steve Tuma. Steve, how are you today?
Steve Tuma: I’m doing great. Another good day as they all are and it was a busy day working on some really, really interesting projects, different types of building sites, different building department concerns, different customer design concern so it has been really cool day.
Interviewer: Whenever we start the show, Steve always is very enthusiastic. And you always start with it has been good day. Not, hopefully it’s a good day. We should get t-shirts made, “Landmark, it’s a good day to build.”
Steve Tuma: Yes, something like that.
Interviewer: That would be great.
Steve Tuma: Well, it’s kind of interesting because we are not doing this because it’s a job. We are doing it because we like it.
Steve Tuma: We have been doing it since 1993. We started the company. And it’s kind of fun so you would jump out of bed every day and say, “Let’s go build a house.”
Interviewer: Oh, that’s nice. That’s a nice way to put it. Cool!
Steve Tuma: What other people are doing on TV shows, we get to do every day.
Interviewer: I want to talk today about building sites, specifically unique building sites. And I want to start with views because if you’re building a house let’s say on a big piece of land, having a great view is an amazing thing. But I think I’ve seen houses where you look at the front door, the front deck of the house and it’s looking the wrong way. And I always think the view is over there, why would you build that way? So, let’s talk about what you can do when you are building to take advantage of a great view?
Steve Tuma: Well, it’s one of the interesting that you bring up because I’ve seen that myself where someone has got this great view and there’s like a mini window or something where there is facing and it’s kind of like strange. And sometimes that might have been some of those building the home for other reasons other than to live in it. So what we are able to do is work with people on the design. So a lot of people think, “Hey, there’s a view. Let’s just put a big window there.”
Steve Tuma: Well, sometimes there’s a little bit more to that. There’s where is the window facing, how are you sitting on the land, the sitting it on the land and it’s not just the big window, it’s what’s around it. So if you have a big porch going across the front of your house and you have a big window, well, the upward view might be limited. So if you are looking at a tall mountain, there might be limitations there. So we might have to design a porch differently or the whole home if you are looking more across like a lake, that upward view may not be as important. So what we like to do is kind of understand what the view is and what they are looking at. Sometimes it’s a city view. Sometimes it’s mountains. Sometimes it’s lake. Sometimes it’s just an open field. Who know what it may be. But also, it’s not just the view. Sometimes people want light in their house. They want ventilation.
Interviewer: Grow some plants kind of thing.
Steve Tuma: Yeah, do that. Just enjoy it. Enjoy the light. There might be a family room where they want it bright. Other times, people want it dark if there’s a home theater situation.
Interviewer: Right. Right.
Off Grid Kit Home Design and Building
Off Grid Kit Home Design and Building! Sun, Breezes and Natural Benefits of home design! Organic Design concepts.
Interviewer: Greetings everybody and welcome to Episode 39 of the Panelized Prefab Kit Home Building Show. With me as always in his special president seat is the President and Founder of Landmark Home and Land Company, a company which has been helping people build their new homes where they want exactly as they want across the nation and worldwide since 1993, and that man is Mr. Steve Tuma. Steve, how is it going, my friend?
Steve Tuma: It’s going great.
Interviewer: Now, everybody is going to be envisioning you sitting on some kind of throne.
Steve Tuma: The pedestal.
Interviewer: Game of builders.
Steve Tuma: Yeah. Well, yeah. We try to help people have the knowledge base so that they understand how we are trying to help them and what we are doing to help them.
Interviewer: Right. Well, it makes sense. You’re the guy that they’re going to come to so you’re the one that needs to have the knowledge and you seem to know what you’re talking about after 39 episodes.
Steve Tuma: Yeah. Well, also, been doing this this since 1993 helping people design and build their homes.
Interviewer: Yeah, not podcasting but building.
Steve Tuma: Right.
Interviewer: So, we are going to talk today about something that we touched upon from time to time. And that’s the phrase, owner/builder. And a lot of people probably wonder exactly what we are talking about. It may seem like it’s sort of self-explanatory but we are going to get into it today. So why do people own or build? Let’s get into that to start with.
Steve Tuma: Well, it’s kind of interesting because own or build, we’ve been talking about it so it seems kind of specific to us. But a lot of people call it self-build. There’s a variety of different words that can be used. But the owner/builder can go range from the person that’s just managing a crew to build and it could also mean the owner is building, digging the hole, pouring the foundation, framing the house. We’ve had customers of all ranges like that. Some of them hire a contractor to build it. Some of them act as the general contractor so they coordinate the building but they don’t actually do any of the building processes. We have some families of friends that get together and they do the work out on the home that they know and then they hire people to do other components. And we have had customers that literally build the whole home. They’ve got friends or family that can literally do the whole process. So the idea of owner building is just – I would generalize it to the point of someone wants to know what they are doing, why they are building a home, they want specific details, they want to know it’s done to a certain degree, and a lot of times, they just don’t want to pay someone for what they can do themselves.
Steve Tuma: They want to have an involvement. They might be a little skittish as to the margins that contractors can make and they say, “Hey, why should I pay someone for what I can do myself?”
Steve Tuma: Sometimes it’s financially driven that you can get more of a home for the same price or you can save money building it. Others just desire. People have just always wanted to do it. We do have some families that work with every adult in the family to get a house, do a new house every year or two. Others just build a house and in two, three, four, five, ten years, they move out and want to build again. It’s just kind of something that people want to do. So that’s what and owner/builder is. It’s someone that wants to, in our perspective, someone that wants to have an involvement in the building. Now, a lot of people think that hey by going on a contractor, you give the job and th
Budgeting Your New Kit Home
Budgeting your new Kit Home! What if a building department asks for more information than they initially requested. Do building departments need HVAC, electrical, plumbing and gas piping design? How is a foundation designed?
Interviewer: Hello everyone and welcome to Episode 38 of the Panelized Prefab Kit Home Building Show. With me in the studio is the President and Founder of Landmark Home and Land Company, a company which has been helping people build their new homes where they want exactly as they want across the nation and worldwide since 1993, and that man is Mr. Steve Tuma. Steve, how are you doing, amigo?
Steve Tuma: Doing well. Staying busy as always. Having a good time helping customers get through permitting processes, design issues, interesting land situations so …
Interviewer: All the usual stuff.
Steve Tuma: Yeah, keeping on our toes and we are having some fun.
Interviewer: Good. I thought today, we might get back to something we like to do every third or fourth episode or so is look at some interesting inquiries and questions from customers that we received. So why don’t we just get right into it?
Steve Tuma: Yeah. Throw some questions at me.
Interviewer: I thoroughly throw you for a loop there.
Steve Tuma: Yeah, I thought you were going to say more and then you leave me hanging. It’s like OK.
Interviewer: I just like to keep you on your toes like you just said. So let’s talk about – let’s talk about quotes for a sec. Now, how do customers know if a quote for let’s say, a heating or an air conditioning system that they are having installed, how do they know that the quote they are getting is correct and they are done right and equally, apples to apples? How do I know the quote I get for a system such as that is good for a properly designed house?
Steve Tuma: Well, that’s an interesting situation because it’s not just like heating and air conditioning system. It could be your foundation, your electric, your roof. And what we always suggest is make sure that you’ve got an accurate set of plans to go through and get quotes. Now initially, you might work off of just rough concepts and get rough ideas to make sure that a house is going to fit in your general budget, kind of a target situation. But when you are actually going through and getting the quotes that you need to actually go through and execute the building processes, it’s good to have a good set of plans. The reason being is the set of plans is a communication tool. We could draw the house up that you want and then you could use those plans for permit applications so the Building Department knows what you want to build. But also, the contractors know what’s to be built so that you don’t end up in a situation where sometimes people work in other ways and say, “Hey, I bought these plans but do this change. Do this 2000-square-foot home but make the garage bigger.” What does make the garage bigger mean? Is it a foot bigger? Is it 10 feet? Is it 10-car garage instead of 2-car? So it gets rid of the nebulous ideas and miscommunications so that contractors can do their jobs. And that way, it’s very clear as to what is to be estimated and then you could verify that the estimate comes back accurately. It also limits the errors. And sometimes people taking advantage of the situation where they say, “Well, I didn’t know you wanted that.” Well, in this case, it’s right on the plans. It would show, “Hey, you want cement board siding or you’re going to need a foundation for a 1200-sqaure-foot ranch with a 3-car garage.” It would be very accurate. Now in some cases, there are technical sides to this. So you brought up the heating and air conditioning systems, sometimes people work off of rules of thumb. And someone might say, “Well, I’ve been in the heating business for 30 year
Prefab Homes and Custom Design Capabilities
Architectural design and all of Landmark Home and Land Company’s custom design capabilities. Designing for unique sites and how to make a challenging site beneficial. Technology and safety items in homes.
Interviewer: Greetings folks! And welcome to Episode 37 of the Panelized Prefab Kit Home Building Show. With me in studio as usual is the President and Founder of Landmark Home and Land Company, a company which has been helping people build their new homes where they want exactly as they want across the nation and worldwide since 1993, Steve Tuma. Steve, how are you doing, buddy?
Steve Tuma: I’m doing great. I just thought you always ask me how I’m doing. I don’t think I’ve ever asked you how you’re doing. And 37 episodes, isn’t that cool?
Interviewer: The listeners don’t know that you just keep chained to a chair and then keep on working on recording all this stuff. [Laughter] I am enjoying these podcasts. I do podcast on other topics, entertainment field and stuff. But I really enjoy these. I learn a lot. I’m interested in architecture. I’m pretty like you, I’ve travelled around the world a lot and I do observe how other cultures, not just feel but look what their houses and their buildings look like and the history of these places. And when I come on here with you, I just learn a lot. It’s great. I really appreciate that. So I thought for today’s show, we get into just some general questions regarding panelized home building. So yeah, let’s just start with some real basic stuff. Like say, a Landmark customer wants to build a truly unique home, what support does Landmark provide from the get-go?
Steve Tuma: Well, we can help in a variety of ways because uniqueness could be in that it’s one of the most energy-efficient homes. It can also be the building site. It can also be the architectural design or features or blending of architectural features and design types. So we are fully capable of doing a typical American ranch home. We are fully capable of doing a whole variety of other homes. We actually have a customer, a repeat customer that wants to do one like the international style of Mies van der Rohe.
Interviewer: That’s interesting.
Steve Tuma: Yeah. So there’s a whole different situations that come into doing that. Some customers want to do something on the edge of prairie style. We had a Bauhaus project come through. Sometimes people get in a very modern types of design. So we are capable of doing all those details but what we found is a lot of our customers that do that, they kind of get into it themselves. It’s their hobby to say, “Hey, I like this.” And they understand what it is. So we work with them as a resource to take their ideas and mold it into a set of plans so that they can actually build a home with.
Steve Tuma: Yes. So there’s the technology or energy efficiency side. We could help with that. We could help on using a unique building site. We are getting more and more people in different rock areas or in the Western areas, in these beautiful red rock areas. When I meant rock, they are building like on hills, mountains that are granite, granite escarpments. There are a lot of different situations, a lot of people building on lakes or just raw prairie land where they enjoy the prairie land. So the ability to design something to work in that makes a lot of sense but I don’t want to take away from just a regular city lot as well because that can be unique and making it unique. It may just be a 50 x 100 lot but the way you put a house in there and dress it up and make it enjoyable is good. So basically, how we help is we got a good set of ears. We listen to what people say and kind of take their vision and put it on paper and run it by them to make sure they are OK. So I guess it’s the caring. One of our c
History of Landmark Home and Land Company
History of Landmark Home and Land Company. The desire to design a custom home specifically for each customer’s needs and building site. Custom plans for lifestyle and building sites. Review of Landmark Home and Land Company’s reputation for exceptional customer service.
Interviewer: Hey everyone, and welcome to Episode 36 of the Panelized Prefab Kit Home Building Show. With me in our studio is the President and Founder of Landmark Home and Land Company, a company which has been helping people build their new homes where they want exactly as they want across the nation and worldwide since 1993, Steve Tuma. Steve, how are you doing?
Steve Landmark: Hey, it’s always good. We are having a great day and again, a busy day working at some cool projects.
Interviewer: Good. Well today, I thought we do something special and talk about the history of Landmark Home and Land Company, the early days of the company way back in 1993 and before and how things went from the ground floor to the success you’ve seen over the years with panelized home building and all the way to where Landmark is now and where you plan on taking it. So let’s start with the early days. The company is actually a family venture I believe, is it not?
Steve Tuma: Right. My brother and I, Mike, started the company in I believe October 13, 1993. It was an idea that we developed as we realized that people were renting homes for a long time and not moving out of them or they’re always planning on getting a home, doing something, but for some reason they didn’t. So we are trying to figure out why. Sometimes they thought they were going to move, a lot of it was they couldn’t find what they wanted and some of these older communities or rural communities or even in metropolitan areas are – there just weren’t houses that they wanted. So the motivation wasn’t always there to move. So what we did is we started helping the people develop the process so that they could go get a house using modular systems. And what we eventually found is at that time the quality wasn’t there. Much less you couldn’t really get the person the house they wanted. So a price might be OK. The quality wasn’t where it should be, but they couldn’t get the house that they wanted. It’s kind of like a car, just pick a car. Which one do you want? You can’t really do any changes to it.
Steve Tuma: So what we evolved into was let’s sort out a way where these people could build a house that they wanted. So we figured a system out with the panelization system and working with owner/builders, we determined that this gives the people the flexibility if they want to be involved with the building, know the quality of the home, make it the way they want, put finishes in the way they want, and then also take advantage of the labor that they can provide themselves or friends and family or opportunities that they can develop by getting materials in different ways. They were able to control the cost. And what we noticed from that is there was a higher level of satisfaction. It’s basically they were getting what they wanted.
Steve Tuma: So Mike and I just worked regionally in the Midwest and it has spread around and then a customer called and said, “Hey, can you help my brother in California?” Someone else said, “Can you help a friend in Florida?” So we grew to a nationwide opportunity so we were then able to help people design their homes. Now obviously, you get in different areas, Florida, California, Colorado, New York, there are different concerns, different snow loads, different wind speeds with hurricanes, earthquakes, different soil conditions. So that’s when we started providing a higher level of architectural services and structural engineering so that we can then go through and make sure t