Fishertown Office: P.O. Box 184, 2262 Quaker Valley Road, Fishertown, PA 15539        814-401-1063
Ebensburg Office: 3135 New Germany Road, Suite 37, Ebensburg, PA 15931       814-846-5189
TM Homes

Ask the Builder

Many of our satisfied customers had questions prior to their TM Homes building experience. We are providing the questions and the answers to assist you in your research and give you peace of mind during the construction process of your TM Home.

Question:Will you build other plans or designs besides a TM Homes plan?

Answer:Yes, as a matter of fact, we build more custom homes than our own. This is a niche for us and you will find that we have the most competitive prices in this area. We provide the same or higher quality than the "big name" custom builders, but at a much lower price because we rely on volume rather than just a few homes a year.

Question:Do you need a full working set of blueprints to quote me a price?

Answer:No, all we need is a floor plan and front elevation like you see in builder's brochures, plan magazines, or on the web. We will give you a quote based on our standard specifications and if you decide to build with us, we will get a full working set of prints with any or all of your modifications drawn up at no additional cost to you. These are also needed for obtaining a building permit. We will help you with that process too.

Question:Do you have allowances for Kitchen, Flooring, etc. in your price or do I have to use only materials supplied by TM?

Answer:All our homes come with a standard kitchen, lighting, flooring, etc. package. These are really nice upgraded products with a lot of selection. If a client wants to supply their own material and or labor, we will credit them our cost. If they're supplying materials only, we will install it. "Allowances" are the most common cause of construction over runs. This is because most people have no idea what they can get for the amounts offered. It is difficult to compare builders if one if offering a kitchen in the price and the other has an allowance. Another down side to allowances is a lot of extra work on the homeowners part. In addition to researching and pricing, a degree of control is lost and the possibility for error and longer construction time is higher.

Question:Why is a TM Home more energy efficient than other builders, wouldn't code requirements make every builder's home similar?

Answer:All homes are required by code to have a minimum total R and U Value and use a weather infiltration wrap. It's a good start but that's where the similarity ends and many builders stop. 60% of heat loss in modern homes comes from air infiltration. Air moves quite easily through fiberglass. It needs a "dead" Air Space to work properly. The two most important things we do to make this happen is to spray the exterior thermal envelope with approx. 1/2" of polyisanurate foam before back loading with insulation and caulk all the cracks and joints in the exterior wood plates. Even holes for wire and pipes that go through floor and ceiling plates are filled. There are many other techniques recommended by energy star that involve air stops, raised heel trusses and sealing the back side of an insulated wall that is exposed vertically to unconditioned attic space on one side and finished interior on the other side. Heating and cooling equipment is also another key element to home performance. A heat pump is the most efficient heating & cooling source available today. Code requires a 14 seer rating. We supply a 16 seer. Probably the most important consideration is the way equipment is installed. You must have as much air returning to the unit as is being supplied. That's why we put individual returns to all areas v/s pulling air to one large return which many builders do to save labor and material costs. It also distributes heating and cooling more evenly, thus improving comfort levels.

TM Homes


Question:Will TM Homes build just a "shell" and allow me to complete the rest by myself?

Answer:Yes, we can do a foundation and frame or to any point past that. Banks generally aren't too keen on the idea, but we have built a number of shells for customers and have worked with several banks that can accommodate you under the right conditions.

Question:Will TM Homes do remodeling work?

Answer:Yes, but we limit ourselves to larger jobs. Our prices are very competitive in this area. Because remodels are more labor intensive in terms of oversight, we tend to keep these types of jobs closer to our office. Call us to check on availability and scope of work for your area.

Question:Does TM Homes require any up-front money or payments in advance?

Answer:At time of sale, we require a $1,000 good faith deposit which is applied to the over-all total. We do not ask for any advances on construction until the work is actually in place provided we have a bank commitment or escrow agreement. The deposit may be refundable if you cancel depending on the progress and cost of prints.

Question:How long would it take to build my new TM Home?

Answer:There are many factors involved. Weather, size of home, and sub availability are the predominant considerations. Since we use only the best subs (some have worked for us for over 20 years) there can be limitations in availability depending on construction volume and time of year. Two things we do to minimize this is tight scheduling and limiting the amount of projects we take on so there is consistent product quality. A typical average time of construction is four months, but we ask for six to take the above into account.