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Custom Homes

Timberlake starts the process with you!

When designing a custom home, Timberlake intuitively understands that your home should be all about you…How do you live? What design style resonates with you? What do you like/dislike about your current home? There are many things to consider, and our personalized approach helps you confidently go through the process with as much ease as possible.

Budgeting for Site Work Expenses Video Link
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Financing Your Dream Home Video Link

Each Timberlake custom home is designed and built to suit your unique needs. Bring us your vision and we will be your partner in designing and building your dream! Many of our clients come to us with existing architectural plans from which to build. Others are just getting started and need us to help them find an architect to design their dream home. In either scenario, you will see Timberlake’s unique expertise at work. From site review and engineering to architectural design, construction, and customized interior and exterior selections, you are only limited by your imagination.

Your experience is supported by a well-organized and thoughtful process—personalized to your project—that can only be offered by a company with the proficiency, talent, and longevity Timberlake delivers.

Contact us today to discuss building your custom home!

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Custom Homes FAQs

What does Design/Build mean?

Design/Build is a method to deliver a project in which the design and construction services are delivered by the same company. The streamlined communication process from one team to the other provides an efficient, unified flow of work from concept through completion. This encourages innovations from the designer and builder working together to deliver a better home.

What are the benefits of building a new home?

The allure of a new home fires the imagination and ignites the spirit. We’ve all dreamed of living in a home with our version of the perfect gourmet kitchen, a beautifully appointed office, and a luxurious master suite. Having everything just the way you envision it is reason enough for most people to consider a new home over an existing property. 


Properly detailed insulation, along with careful sealing of the building shell and the HVAC ductwork, minimizes drafts and helps keep temperatures even throughout the home.


Today’s efficient heating, cooling, and ventilation systems are very good at removing unwanted humidity and other pollutants from the home, while bringing fresh filtered air in. Sealed-combustion heating equipment makes everyone safe by keeping carbon monoxide out of the indoor air.


Double or triple-pane windows, quality doors with good weather-stripping, and of course the air sealing and insulation already mentioned, make a new custom home naturally better at blocking outside noise than an older one. A new home also provides a certain peace of mind and confidence that everything in the home will work the way it’s supposed to for years to come. That’s why professional builders use proven products with good warranties, along with highly skilled installers. This superior performance is something an old house just can’t offer.

How long will it take to build my home?

Once the engineering and permitting phase is complete on your property, construction on your new home can start. Our construction process takes 14 to 16 weeks for most projects, barring unforeseen circumstances.

How much per square footage?

A question we get from a lot of potential clients is “What’s the per-square-foot cost of your homes?” Some clients arrive armed with numbers gleaned from internet articles. Others quote realtors who appraise and advertise houses by the square foot.

It’s an understandable attempt to simplify a complex subject—but when it comes to custom homes, this approach is too simple.

Production builders do often price homes by the square foot. What the potential client may not have considered, though, is that these companies are simply product manufacturers. They build the same plans over and over. Like car manufacturers, they offer relatively few models and limit the number of options available for each. This allows them to calculate the cost of each model and option to the dollar, leaving little to the imagination.

Custom building is different. While professional custom builders rely on proven, scientific management systems to finish a home on time and budget, creating an accurate budget is as much craft as a science. No responsible custom builder will quote a per-square-foot price without more information, because doing so would risk misleading the client.

That’s because a custom home is not a product; instead, it’s the physical realization of a particular client’s dream on a specific site. Because each client’s dream is unique, the only way to estimate the cost of its realization is to ask some follow-up questions.

How do I create an allowance?

In most cases, the best way to create an allowance budget is to visit the builder’s recommended supplier or showroom. The builder can work with the showroom after the initial visit to generate a realistic number for the grade of products the homeowners want. The time invested in this work will yield allowances based on real-world numbers, not on guesswork or wishful thinking.

What does a builder actually do?

The builder is the one who must coordinate the innumerable players and products needed to transform a set of two-dimensional drawings into a finished home. The builder ensures that everything happens just when it’s supposed to, and that the end result is exactly what you envisioned. Timberlake Design/Build focuses on your needs and desires. This personalized approach as well as our experience, talent, and longevity help you confidently go through the process.

Why does design matter?

The biggest variables in project duration are size and design. It’s no surprise that a big, complex home will take longer than a smaller and simpler one.

If homeowners already have a complete set of plans and specs from an architect, that will speed up the builder’s design phase. If not, they need to include time for that planning and design work. Timberlake Design/Build speeds up the traditional process with the collaboration from day one between the design and the building of the design.

Ball parking a timeline is straightforward when the home’s size, layout, and specifications resemble others the builder has completed in the area. For a unique custom home, however, the builder, the client, and perhaps the architect will need to work together to develop a realistic timeline.

An important consideration is when the homeowners would like the home to be ready. Do they want to move in by next August so their kids can start the school year in that town? Do they want it done by May so they can host a family reunion? The builder can work backward from that, but with a firm deadline, it’s best to start the project as soon as possible. That includes building in extra time to account for unexpected delays.

How long does it take to obtain a building permit?

Another scheduling factor is the permitting process. The number of permits and approvals required affect the time a project will take. Depending on the home’s location, you may need signoffs from the Zoning Board, the Building Department, the Health Department, the Fire Department, and possibly even a Homeowners Association.

The process is usually straightforward and predictable. The municipality might normally have a two-week lead time for reviewing and approving plans, but that time can stretch out if the building inspector has unexpected questions or concerns.

While the builder can’t eliminate permitting delays, it’s important to remember that bureaucracies are staffed with human beings. It is human nature to give better service to someone you know and who has made an effort to understand your processes and priorities. One easily overlooked advantage of working with an established professional builder, like Timberlake Design/Build is that our people have created a good working relationship with local authorities.

What can I do as a homeowner to help stay on schedule?

Prior to your project construction starting, you will have reached a number of milestone deadlines including meeting with our interior designer and other vendor partners, as appropriate, to personalize your residence with your interior and exterior selections. Once all of those decisions are made and confirmed, construction can begin and the project timeline will progress as outlined. Working within our schedule of deadlines will minimize the the chance of delays.

What does the design process look like?

Any successful project starts with a good design. We offer valuable assistance in this stage. We routinely identify cost-effective methods and materials to help bring a project within a homeowner’s budget.

If you already have plans and specifications in place, we will need some basic information so that we can provide you with pricing. We like to get together with our homeowners to make sure we understand their plans and specifications. We also like to make sure that our homeowners understand what has been designed.

If you don’t have plans, you may choose to build one of our home designs that have been value-engineered and can be fully customized. If you would like to design an entirely custom plan, we have relationships with very talented architects to collaborate in a design/build relationship.

What does the selection process look like?

Perhaps one of the most exciting periods of your home construction journey, the selections process is when your ideas come to life! We invite you to visit our model homes, tour online photo and 3D galleries, visit our Design Center and take some time to talk with our inhouse designer about your vision for your new home BEFORE your scheduled appointment, that way on selections day you’re feeling prepared, relaxed and ready to have some fun!

There are scores of selections that will need to be made and we’ll be with you every step of the way. Our goal is to not only help you make the best decisions but to make sure you love the end result!

What does the approval process look like?

Each county has its own set of rules and regulations that apply to any given project. Timberlake Design/Build has the expertise and relationships with civil engineers to help guide you through the process.

For large-scale renovations and new builds, there are a whole host of plans that need to be developed including a site plan, a sediment control plan, a storm water maintenance plan, and usually a forestation plan. For smaller projects, at a minimum, a site plan will be necessary. There can also be neighborhood or HOA approvals that may be necessary.

Proper planning is the key to successfully moving a project from design to approval. The approval process can take as little as a few weeks for relatively minor projects, to as much as a year if the site is waterfront or has other physical features that impact its development. Our land development expertise allows us to assist homeowners in both site selection and in winding our way through the process. Our homeowners appreciate our proactive efforts to help them through the process.

When does construction begin?

Once your permit is received and selections are complete, you will meet your Project Manager during a Pre-Con meeting to review your house plans and the selection package. Construction commences after this step.

What happens when my home is complete?

When your new home is complete you will meet with your Timberlake Design/Build Production Team for an orientation to your new home, learn about your home’s features, systems and maintenance requirements, and warranties.

What Our Customers Say

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Financing to achieve your new home dream.

Timberlake is proud to align with some of the best mortgage financing specialists serving clients in Maryland and Delaware. We trust that these experienced and qualified associates will treat you with the same respect and care that we are known for.

Portfolio of design work

We invite you to view our design projects and read client testimonials on our Houzz page.

Houzz Best of Service and Design 2024 Awards logos

In the News

Read the latest from Dave Lunden in the Severna Park Voice.

Bowie Lifestyle Magazine – See our story starting on page 8.

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Becca & Jenna Are Here for You

Contact our Internet Sales Consultants for answers or inquiries you may have about your new dream home. We’re always here to help!

How Can We Help You?

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