BuilderFish

(434) 299-8633
www.BuilderFish.com

Services Provided
We build dream homes and estates. Our pure custom construction includes gut-new construction, knockdowns, log and timber frame homes, historic restoration and dream projects (e.g. high performance garages, barns/stables, gourmet kitchens, golf simulation and game rooms, bowling alleys). Our minimum standard is Mercedes.

Areas Served
DC Metro including Maryland and Northern VA as well as Central VA and Shenandoah Valley. Specific locales include Arlington, Fairfax, Leesburg, Loudoun County, Middleburg, Upperville, Sugar Loaf Mountain (MD), Charlottesville, Harrisonburg/Elkton

Business Description
Todd Hawkins is President and Preacher of Universal Design. Jonathan Fishbeck is CEO.

BuilderFish is a pure custom builder of high performance, "Lifetime Homes", specializing in dream homes and estates, including log homes. We adhere meticulously to best practices in building science and Universal Design for projects within the DC Metro, Northern and Central VA and the Shenandoah Valley.

Certification and Awards
Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists (CAPS), Certified Green Professional (CGP), Lead Safe Certified, Accredited by Better Business Bureau of VA
Location:
Ruckersville, VA US 
Contact:
Todd Hawkins 
Type:
 
Address:
Available Upon Request
Ruckersville, VA 22968 
License #:
Licensed in VA and MD. 
BuilderFish tagged a photo with: "Curve on Curve"
5 hours ago
BuilderFish tagged a photo with: "Curved Arch"
5 hours ago
BuilderFish tagged a photo with: "Groin Arch Ceiling (barrel vault framing"
5 hours ago
BuilderFish uploaded 3 photos
5 hours ago
BuilderFish commented on an ideabook

Contractor Fees, Demystified

Learn what a contractor’s markups cover — and why they’re worth it Full Story
     Comment   July 6, 2014
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BuilderFish
I wrote an ebook above that I'm not sure many read but I'd like to emphasize to the consumers. Share your budget from the start. Be clear that's your max whatever that number is. That figure at least provide the contractor with an idea of whether they can perform to that number.
All this number talk (e.g. square ft price, margin, markup, etc) is irrelevant because you don't buy a house by the pound, your budget is what it is/will be and drives the train. Stated another way, if you're getting more for way less, I'd say that's a red flag 9.5 times out of 10.
By sharing your budget and wish list, the contractors can more readily know what they can and cannot provide. I don't see any benefit in hiding that info. What you're attempting to find out, aside from personal fit, is can I get the quality of what I want for my budget? (And the quality you desire could depend on the project and your time frame for holding the property.)
July 6, 2014 at 8:55am     
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Michelle Portesi
@mylilremodelproject - That is a GORGEOUS staircase. And it's one I wouldn't have attempted to design construction wise myself. That's why God created architects! Or even better, the craftsmen who specialize in building staircases. Having truly knowledgeable and skilled tradesmen are invaluable to construction companies, designers and homeowners alike. I have certainly relied on a master staircase builder on a few projects.
July 8, 2014 at 9:32am     
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qofmiwok
Michelle Portesi Thanks for the input. I am very aware of what products cost and am great at choosing just the right thing to buy that is the best value (for me at least what that means is it looks good and is good quality, but I'm not paying extra for bells and whistles or for status.) And you are right that when you're talking about a high end house, nobody can get it through their heads that I don't want a $5000 commercial stove plus $5000 double wall ovens when I've used 2 ovens at once only a handful of times in my life.

One reason I would go with a higher end contractor is to get high quality work. Do lower end contractors have as good of subs? Or do the better subs work on the more expensive projects? I suspect the latter, and I do like attention to detail as we're talking about a $2m home. But also, there are numerous large picture windows that need to be replaced, large beams which are needed to make longer spans, etc. Seems like the higher end guys probably have more experience with that type of thing. But maybe you're onto something, and I should look for at least a mid-range contractor rather than a high end contractor. Maybe cost-wise I don't want someone who also works on $5M homes.

But I'm surprised to hear you say labor is cheap, because what I learned in my bathroom remodel is the opposite. What I came away with is to spend any amount of money you can on materials to make the job easier for the contractors, because at $55 an hour (or whatever your labor cost is), it adds up quickly. For example, solid surface shower wall panels seem expensive, but they are so quick to put up compared with tiling, it ends up way cheaper than tile. And spending more on rectified tiles (which are perfectly flat) is worth it compared to cheaper ones which are not perfectly flat. You quickly make up for the extra cost with less labor.

Lastly, the 10% figure is interesting but leaves a lot to be desired. In some areas $2m is considered a lower end home, for example when it's in a desirable location and the land itself might be $1m or more. That would imply an average $200,000 kitchen; I don't think so. 10% of construction costs would be more realistic for an average. Maybe that's what you meant?
July 13, 2014 at 6:43pm   
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BuilderFish commented on an ideabook

How to Build a Better Shower Curb

Work with your contractors and installers to ensure a safe, stylish curb that keeps the water where it belongs Full Story
     Comment   July 1, 2014
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BuilderFish
@gentlekitty, your fears aren't irrational but I want to make you feel better.
Anything installed on any home can be a disaster if the installer doesn't know what he/she is doing. Even insulation and air sealing get fouled up.
Find someone who specializes in bathrooms and ask about their experience in older homes. See examples of their work, talk to references, etc. Simply complete enough due diligence until you are comfortable, get everything in writing including detailed estimate and don't do a thing without a contract fair to both parties.
And there are curb-less inserts if custom work is outside your budget or comfort zone. Everything will be fine if you take your time, study all your options and complete your due diligence finding a talented contractor you can trust.
July 1, 2014 at 3:43am   
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John Whipple - By Any Design ltd.
You Australians have access to these great blocks from Hebel.
last Saturday at 8:49am   
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John Whipple - By Any Design ltd.
In Vancouver I cut done regular grey bricks to roughly this size.
last Saturday at 8:49am   
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BuilderFish is following Mike & Katy Cashman
June 30, 2014

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Review by acbphillips33:

BuilderFish was there for us through every step of redesigning and rebuilding our home. They took the extra time to get to know our vision and went to great le...
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Review by tomgilbride:

My architectural firm has had the pleasure of working with BuilderFish on a number of projects. I have found them to be professional, considerate and very thor...
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Review by The Gaines Group, PLC:

BuilderFish is not your typical contractor, in fact, they look for ways to be different. I am impressed with their focus on getting the details right in the beg...
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Reviews by Todd Hawkins (1)

Review for The Gaines Group, PLC:

Charles is passionate about his calling, yet he listens and doesn't force his views. Most importantly, Charles is honest, stands behind the advice he gives and ...
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