Our Approach

Solluna is a design-build-consulting company.

We build custom homes, additions, and whole-house renovations in Austin and the surrounding central Texas area.

Planning a custom home or major home renovation project can get complicated. What information do you need? What steps to take? Who needs to be involved? How do you know what you don’t know?

No worries. Our design-build-consulting process gives you one-stop shopping for design and construction.

 
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The Solluna team works with you from beginning through completion.

  • Bring us an idea. Bring us a budget.
  • We will assemble a hand-picked team to turn your ideas into a harmonious, comfortable, lovable home.
  • Our process offers you greater convenience. You can minimize your time investment and maximize your input to the project.
  • Integrated, top-to-bottom communication makes it easier for us all to ensure your project stays within budget.
 

Part of our mission is to educate you about the building process.

We want to make sure you know everything you need to know to make smart, informed choices about the best way to meet your needs, control costs, and add value to your home.

That’s why the design-build process works. It saves time and lowers your risk, and it can take away a lot of the worry.

We plan for your needs, wants, and wishes while respecting your financial requirements.

 

 
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Consulting

To start, we listen. We want to know:

  • What are your goals?
  • How do you want to live?
  • What do you want?
  • What do you need?
 
 
 

Solluna helps you by . . .

  • Assessing the scope of your project.
  • Thinking strategically about the best use of your property.
  • Looking for hidden gotchas.
  • Proposing solutions to problems.
  • Analyzing the feasibility of building within your budget. If you don't have a budget in mind yet, we can help you zero in on a likely target.
  • Researching and analyzing requirements of home owner’s associations, architectural review committees, city codes, deed restrictions, and so forth.
 

We can also help you . . .

  • Find a lot.
  • Evaluate a lot you're considering purchasing.
  • Evaluate the cost to develop raw land for building.
  • Evaluate the feasibility of renovating a home and the best use of your renovation budget.
  • Arrange for topographical surveys, tree surveys, soil tests, engineering, and septic design.
  • Find and select a lender.
 

 

Planning and Design

Our philosophy is simple: beautiful, energy-efficient design right from the start.

The design-build model is a structured, team-based approach to discovery, design, and decisions about your project.

Before the designer ever puts pen to paper, we want everyone on the team to understand the requirements, budget, considerations, and constraints that affect your property and project.

 
 

Architectural design

Solluna partners with a number of talented, experienced architects and certified building designers. They’re knowledgeable about construction, building techniques, and green, sustainable, energy-efficient design.

We match you up with the professional who’s a good fit for your project.

If you already have a project architect, we’re happy to collaborate with them.

 

Other professional experts

Solluna brings in other trusted team members as needed, such as:

  • Surveyor
  • Structural engineer
  • Arborist
  • Interior designer
  • Rainwater collection expert
  • Solar energy expert
  • Septic engineer
 
 
 
 

Before we ever raise a hammer

We work with you and the team to:

  • Make decisions.
  • Spell out detailed specifications.
  • Flesh out costs.
  • Develop a production schedule.
 

A shared understanding

You and the entire team will have a common understanding about:

  • Exactly how your home will be built.
  • The components and materials that will go it.
  • How much it will cost.
 

 

It takes a team to build it

Just as Solluna uses a team approach to design and consult while planning your project, we also take a team approach to manage your project once construction begins.

We’ve honed and streamlined our tools and management practices to keep projects moving swiftly and smoothly, forestalling delays and keeping costs in check.

 

On-site supervision

Our Solluna production manager coordinates and oversees the work on the job site. He keeps you up-to-date with reports and meetings at least once a week.

 

 

Purchasing and finances

Money, information, and detailed record-keeping are important tools when it comes to building your home. Our operations staff manages business relationships and purchasing with trade contractors, vendors, and lenders, providing you with up-to-date reports and information. We use sophisticated computerized accounting, record-keeping, and scheduling tools.

 

 

Trade contractors

Solluna’s loyal cadre of professional trades contractors are the best – foundation, framing, roofing, electrical, plumbing, and more. Like us, they’re very picky, they believe in quality, and they deliver outstanding workmanship. Savvy and experienced, they work closely with us and with each other to coordinate the work and make it run seamlessly.

 

Communication

Our online web-based software program keeps you and all team members on board and up-to-date with schedules, files, photos, and other information we need to share.

We’ll schedule progress updates, walk-throughs, and other on-site meetings with you as needed.


FAQs

 

Is Solluna insured?
Yes. Solluna carries insurance coverage for both general liability and worker's compensation. We require that all our major trade contractors carry general liability coverage too.

Do you offer a warranty?
Yes. Through Bonded Builders, we provide a warranty that protects your home for one year on workmanship, two years on systems, and ten years on the structure.

Do you have stock house plans I can look at?
No. Each of our projects is unique, designed and built specifically for a particular family and location.

Can’t I just buy architectural plans off the Internet?
Please don’t do that. Any architectural plans you buy likely won’t take into consideration our central Texas hot, humid climate. They might not be correctly oriented for your lot, might not conform to local codes and requirements, and will likely need to be revised to fit your needs. Our experience is that it’s easier (and often less expensive for you) to start with a local designer who knows how to design for our local conditions and codes. But please, browse and bring ideas that can help us understand what you’re looking for.

I already have architectural plans. Will you bid on them?
If you already have an architect, we’re happy to collaborate with them to plan and build your home. However, if you’re seeking competitive builder bids, we’re not the builder for you. Our business model is design-build – we believe it best serves our clients.

How should I prepare when I come to see you?
Have an idea of what you want. And know how you plan to pay for it. Be thinking about how to prioritize your must-have’s, your want-to-have’s, and your nice-to-have’s.

I know what I want, but I don’t know how much it will cost.
[How to answer this one, Wayne?]

What does it cost per square foot for a new home?
Unfortunately, pricing a home by the square foot is like pricing a car by the weight. It depends on so many variables – size, complexity, terrain, features, and the level of finishes you want. Plus, we must consider infrastructure costs such as utilities (water, electrical septic), driveway, and so forth. Still, we know you need a rule of thumb to start with, so start with $200/square foot. It could be more or less. Keep this in mind: When a realtor talks about square feet, they’re usually talking about air-conditioned space. But a builder has to build everything, so when a builder talks about square feet, they’re talking about everything they have to build: house, garage, porches, auxiliary buildings, etc.

 

Can you help me find a lender?
Yes. We can introduce you to a number of banks and mortgage brokers who can help you with financing.

I’m thinking about buying a lot. Can you help me evaluate it?
Yes. [Expand on this, Wayne.]

I’m looking at buying an existing house that will need an extensive remodel. Can you help me evaluate it?
Yes. [Expand on this, Wayne.]

What do you mean, you’re a “last-time home builder”?
Ah. Many of our clients are last-time home buyers. They tell us, “This is the last house I’m going to build, so I want it to be right, and I want it to last.” These homeowners are interested in low utility bills, a home that’s easy to maintain, a place to age in place, a forever home.

How will we stay in touch during the project?
We provide each of our clients with access to a secure website with all of the details about your new home or renovation. That’s where we put information about your selections, upgrades, financial decisions, questions, and more. All of your communications are kept organized in on place: questions and answers, comments, photos, documents, and project milestones. See this video. [link to video on YouTube]

What kind of contracts will we sign?
First, a services agreement begins the planning-design-consulting phase of the project. This work proceeds in an organized, step-wise fashion:
Step 1 -- Discovery, program development, and schmatic design.
Step 2 --Rough estimate, to ensure the design fits within your budget.
Step 3 -- Detailed estimating, specifications, final architectural plans and construction documents.

At the end of the planning-design-consuting phase -- when we’re all satisfied that we’ve fleshed out all details, specifications, and costs – then we’ll we sign a fixed-price contract for the actual construction.

If you’re financing the project, Solluna will work with your lender to make sure they have all the paperwork they need. Typically, they need the architectural plans, specifications, construction cost, and a copy of the signed construction contract.