Archives January 2018

Habitat for Humanity

As I reflect on how meaningful it is to have a home to call my own, I felt compelled to share with you a little about a wonderful organization who has made it their mission to provide people with a place to call home, called Habitat for Humanity.

If you have not heard about Habitat for Humanity I would be super surprised. They are worldwide and, it seems, in every town across the US. Habitat for Humanity started with a community farm near Americus, Georgia by a farmer and biblical scholar named Clarence Jordan. To find out more about this great organization visit

Habitat for Humanity has served 9.8 million people in 70 countries and over 1400 communities in the U.S. Their mission is “Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.” Can you believe that this not-for-profit organization can provide such provision and touch!? Where their testimony truly impresses is the extent of the services they offer and the many branches within the company.

Just to point out a few:

Home building; neighborhood revitalization; financial classes; disaster response; merchandise stores; Community support options; many volunteer programs

DreamWood Builders (DWB) first made the connection to this great organization back in 2012 when Caleb donated his time in helping a family build their first home. He has also donated several hours of his time working in their ReStores, receiving donations and serving those purchasing goods. Caleb also donated his truck to the nonprofit in 2015.

In 2017 DWB purchased a home in Fair Oaks Ranch that became their first home flip as a company. Along with the house came a car that was left by the previous owners, providing the opportunity to participate in HH’s donation car program. Their contact, Don, was a complete joy and truly made the donation opportunity seamless and enjoyable.

As a company, DWB plans to continue interactions and efforts with Habitat for Humanity through goods donations, man power in building, and especially advocating for the work that they provide to those in need. We have a duty as a nation to help each other in our own unique way. Not everyone has the same need which makes giving so heavenly. If you have a desire to find out more about this particular organization please check out their web page Jesus instructs us to Love our neighbors as ourselves and HH provides opportunities to do just that.

How Long will it Take?

When working with our company, other than “How much will it cost” the biggest question people ask is “How long will it take. Whether it’s a new house or a remodel, people always want to know “when will things be done so we can move in”.  The answer is somewhat of a moving target.  With the labor pool shrinking, material shortages due to hurricanes and / or any number of other uncontrollable factors, it’s getting harder than ever to predict an exact date. Because of this, it’s important to plan ahead.

In order to plan ahead you need to know a few things about your project.

  1.     How long it takes to get material?  Lumber, windows, doors and fixtures all have a lead time (the time it takes after the order is placed).  In order to keep the schedule moving, all of these items need to be ordered ahead of time.
  2.     How long it will take to complete each task?  Each task in the timeline relies on the subcontractor before them to be completely done prior to their start date. Planning ahead means having a schedule and understanding the relationship between each of the trades, what goes first and who’s next.  We all know that the concrete foundation needs to be completed before you can start framing but what goes first with the rough mechanicals .
  3.     Will the project require inspections from a governing agency?  Where it’s important to have inspections from a 3rd party, this adds time to the schedule waiting for inspections, making corrections and then re-inspecting.

Another area that many don’t consider when taking on a project, is having enough material on site for each trade to complete their task.  It’s always harder to get a sub back to the project once they’ve started something else. This again results in added days to the schedule.

Managing the process is also a key to having a good schedule. If the framer builds a window opening too small, the cornice crew can’t install the window.  If the window doesn’t get installed, the stucco crew can’t complete the lathe install, if the lathe isn’t installed you can’t dry in the house, so on and so forth.  It’s important to make sure each subcontractor knows what they need to do and then being actively present to make sure they do it correctly.

Another area that we think of but don’t really understand how it affects a schedule is the weather.  Yes, it’s hard for the framer to work while it’s raining but the mud around the house, that is there for days after it stops raining, makes it difficult for them to get around.  This could add a couple of days as they struggle to get material and equipment around the project. This could also delay deliveries of material needed to move the project forward.

Taking all of the information listed above, it should take about 7 months, give or take a week or two either way, to complete a 2,500 sq ft house from the time the concrete is poured. This time can be shortened if everything goes well.

Remember to find a contractor that understands the importance of a schedule.    

San Antonio Housing Market

If you are in the market for buying a home in the San Antonio area, or most major metropolitan areas in Texas, you probably have found yourself in multiple bidding wars ending up disappointed and losing the house you were hoping to buy! There is a high demand and the supply is having a hard time keeping up. This equals our current situation: very few homes, an abundance of buyers, and a lot of headaches. Continued population growth into the greater San Antonio area will further the supply problem as well.
According to the SA Tomorrow Comprehensive plan, “Projected growth for Bexar County is expected to add up to 1.1 million new residents, with 500,000 new jobs, and 500,000 new dwelling units by 2040.” In Bexar County alone they are expecting another 500,000 dwelling units in the next 20 years. In 2016 the greater San Antonio area issued 12,241 building permits (texas a&m real estate center) at that rate it would take around 40 years for 500,000 units to become available, we only have 23 years.
So how do we know the supply of houses is so low right now, besides how hard it is to buy a home? It is a number referred to as “Months of Inventory.” When speaking of housing they use months of inventory because it refers to how many months it would take to sell all available houses if all production stopped and the selling rate continued at the current pace. That number right now according to Texas A&M’s real estate center is 3.6. Meaning, that if no more homes were built and people continued to buy houses at the rate they are today there would be no houses on the market in 3.6 months.