Planning ahead is key for your new home construction!

This year has been another busy one.  Here we are in October and if you want to order a home we are looking at late January or early February before it will arrive from the factory.  So if you are thinking of building in the spring, guess what, you need to order soon!
At Pine Ridge, we are here to help you every step of the way.  From planning and property visits, to floor plan design, to site improvements such as the utilities and concrete excavation……..Pine Ridge can handle your entire project.  We are a “one stop shop” builder offering everything required to build your new home.
The hurricane season and price increases have certainly been a topic in the news.  All year long we have fought price increases on building materials and now with the hurricane season in full swing we are subject to fluctuating building costs once again.  Remember, at Pine Ridge Homes, once you order your home you are locked in and guaranteed that your pricing will not change.
Interest rates have increased some during 2018 and that is also something to keep in mind if you are thinking about building.  The sooner you decide to move forward with a new home the better.  Interest rates are expected to rise again in 2019.  So let’s get started and avoid those future rate increases!
The time for planning is now.  Pine Ridge is not a high pressure sales atmosphere.  We want to help you make the best decision for your family.  The comments above are true in the sense that if you are considering building, the sooner the better.  But, it’s a process.  It still takes time.  We would love to sit down with you and begin that process.
Please come visit us at one of our locations in either Vandalia or Benton.  Our quality and value is second to none.  We’ve been in business over 20 years and would love an opportunity to earn your business.
Take care and God Bless!

What does cost per square foot have to do with the actual value of a house or investment property?

What does cost per square foot have to do with the actual value of a house or investment property?

The answer……..nothing!  Square foot cost analysis is a marketing ploy created years ago by realtors to make “selling” easier.

Think about it.  What does square foot cost tell you about the construction of the structure?  Does it tell you that a home has 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 exterior wall construction?  Is a high quality grade of lumber being used?  What grade/quality of flooring and cabinetry is being used in a home that costs…..say $90 a square foot?  You don’t know.

The only way to measure a structures value is to research the building specifications to determine the type and quality of materials being used in conjunction with the quality control of the building process.

Square foot cost analysis is simply a measuring tool to sell.  Pine Ridge could say we cost less per square foot, or more per square foot, to build in a factory than building on site and both statements would be a true.

Every project has individual characteristics that determine the price to build.  Pine Ridge uses 2 x 6 exterior wall construction in every home.  Our factories use only the highest grades of lumber.  We build indoors in a controlled environment with rigorous inspection processes.

I’m in the market for a new home, but where do I start?

The home buying and building process can be daunting and sometimes a simple question like “How do I start?” seems like an almost embarrassing question to ask.  But, in reality, it’s an excellent question and one that should be asked more often.

At Pine Ridge Homes, we consider ourselves an authority at guiding you through the buying and building process.  With over 20 years in business, two locations and over 50 years of combined construction experience, our team is here to assist you every step of the way.  And speaking of steps, or visits, as we like to call them, let’s get started.

1.  Let’s talk!  The first step is we want to hear from you.  So schedule a visit to one of our locations.  We want to hear about your likes and dislikes, yes I said dislikes!  Sometimes learning what you don’t like helps us more than a wish list.  We want to LISTEN to you and get to know you.  As we learn from you we’ll also discuss our products and building processes.  Education is the key.  We learn from you and you learn from us.  You’ll learn realistic expectations of the building process.  You’ll also learn about the quality and value that is in every Pine Ridge Home.  We’ll learn about you and your needs and we’ll begin to consult with our team about how to best approach your project.

2.  We customize!  Pine Ridge wants to custom design a plan to meet your wants, needs and tastes.  We don’t just show you a model home and try to “make you a deal.”  That’s NOT what we want.  We want to help you with plan development specific to you and your family.  So the second step, or visit, is narrowing down a conceptual plan.  We listen to your ideas, coupled with our construction expertise, to help you find a sense of direction.  Then we utilize our architectural software to draw a plan especially for you.  Sometimes we start with one of our plans “tweaked” to accommodate your needs; sometimes it’s one from scratch that we design with you.  Either way we want and need your involvement.  Sometimes this second step in the process takes a couple of visits until we get a plan or design that starts to “click” with you.

3.  The third step in the process is discussing more specifics inside and outside of the home.  Inside colors and amenities are determined.  Outside options such as garages, porches, decks, etc. are also discussed.  This step in the process can be a lot of fun!  Your personal touches really begin to show as you customize the interior finishes and exterior looks that appeal most to you.

4.  The next step is typically a site visit.  With all the plan development up to this point, we now need to look at your home site.  This is when we “dial in” such details as concrete, power and water line sources, septic or sewer locations, and home delivery and equipment access.  Pine Ridge is a turn-key builder with a vast amount of building experience.  We need to see your property and individual site characteristics so there aren’t any surprises down the road.  The site visit is free of charge and it helps us, help you.  This is an information gathering session for us and helps us provide you with accurate pricing.

5. The next step is when we meet to review initial pricing. We analyze the home itself, the scope of utility work, on-site carpentry work, concrete and other site improvements that may be part of your home package.  We also review the individual home option pricing and make any necessary changes per your instructions.  This step in the process gives you a true indication of the complete home package pricing.  We have plenty of white out on hand to make deletions or changes!

6. Visit number six is when we transition to final pricing. Any changes we have made along the way are revised and a complete type up of your entire package is reviewed with you.  Loan preapprovals have most likely been discussed in previous meetings.  Whether you are utilizing a bank of your own or one that we may have suggested somewhere along the way, this final pricing is typically what the bank needs to get appraisals moving forward in the loan process.  Home prints may also be available at this time depending on your banking needs.  This is when everything we have worked towards finally comes together and we can move forward with building your new home!

So……… that you know how to start and a little more about the process, don’t be scared or intimidated.  We have plenty of tools available for you to learn more.  Our website is filled with information.  Our Facebook page is a huge source of pictures and information as well.  We also have a Buyer’s Guide publication that has been a great resource if you want to stop by and pick one up.

Most importantly, VISIT US!  We do not bite and we are not high pressure!  A home purchase is most likely the largest purchase you’ll ever make.  Pine Ridge Homes does not take that lightly.  We want to earn your business.  So visit us, get to know us, see what we have to offer……and let us demonstrate what we can do for you!

Introducing The St. Paul

Pine Ridge Homes prides itself in our turn-key home packages and with 5 homes in various stages of construction it’s easy to sometimes lose sight of promoting homes with a smaller scope of work.    Basements, garages, porches, decks, HVAC systems, utility work….Pine Ridge offers it all.  But for some, maybe you’re not interested in a larger scope of work.  Perhaps a home, some utilities, and a crawlspace is all you need.

Today we would like to introduce you to the St. Paul.  At 1,560 square feet it’s not too large and not too small.  With three bedrooms, two full baths, and an office or fourth bedroom, it’s use of space is exceptional.  The living room, kitchen and dining room offer the spaciousness and open feel that so many of today’s buyers demand.   The St. Paul is large enough to accommodate a growing family, yet small enough for downsizers.  There are plenty of rooms to accommodate belongings, guests and private space without breaking the bank at real estate tax time; adding yet an another element of affordability.

st paul floor plan social media.JPG

The St. Paul with an excavated poured wall crawlspace and utility work will start at $139,000.  That’s a tremendous value considering the quality you get with a Pine Ridge Home.

Our homes come with a 6/12 roof pitch, architectural shingles, 2 x 6 exterior walls, 2 x 4 interior walls, 5/8 ceiling drywall, 1/2 inch drywall throughout the rest of the home, Kohler faucets, Anderson windows, Tyvek house wrap, 12/2 wiring, R-21 wall insulation, 2 x 10 floor joists, 3/4 floor decking……..ALL STANDARD!  There are many more quality oriented, standard construction features as well.  But you’ll need to visit to see for yourself.  If we tried to list them all we would have a book instead of a blog!

Where else can you find a quality home package starting at $139,000 that includes this kind of quality?  We don’t think you will.  Pine Ridge builds throughout the entire Central and Southern Illinois region for a reason.  Simply put, we are the best combination of quality and value in Southern Illinois.  Check out our website and testimonials to learn more about Pine Ridge Homes.

In the meantime, check out the St. Paul and see if it might be the home for you!

What Does Turn-Key Mean?

What does turn-key mean?

The term turn-key first started out in the car business.  Car dealers wanted you to turn the key and drive off in your new car.  Over time the housing industry has borrowed the term and has no intentions of giving it back!  In the home building industry turn-key means move in ready.  When your home is completed you turn the key, walk through the door, and start enjoying your new home!

At Pine Ridge Homes, we feel like we’ve mastered the turn-key process.  Through our staff and network of subcontractors we are able to offer you a turn-key home package.  Our home projects require you to move in food, furniture and clothing.  And, if you don’t want to mess with furniture, Pine Ridge is an Ashley furniture dealer as well!

At Pine Ridge Homes, we are on point, not you.  Your lives are busy with work, kids, school, grandkids, etc.  You don’t have time to make trips to flooring stores, Lowe’s or Menards, lumber yards, etc.  We are the builder and we assume those responsibilities.  Our showrooms are a one stop shop.  Anything from trim, to cabinetry, to flooring, etc., is available through our manufacturers and suppliers.  Our turn-key services include items such as foundation work, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, septic systems and wells, interior and exterior finish work, stone or brick applications, construction of garages, porches, decks, breezeways, patios or any other site improvements you may need to complete your home.

Oh, and by the way……our homes are extremely energy efficient and built like a tank.  So yes, Pine Ridge Homes is a one stop shop offering turn-key customized home packages, but we are also building Quality Homes for Quality Living!

So……ready to build a new home with Pine Ridge Homes?  If you would like to learn more give us a call or message us on Facebook to set up an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you and would welcome an opportunity to earn your business!


Floor plans/Design Builders can provide 100’s of sample plans to help guide your home selection. Modular homes are highly customized in their interior and exterior appearances. Full custom modular builders offer design centers with 3D virtual walk through services, and the ability to design from scratch or accept private architect’s rendering. Most custom builders can provide sample plans they’ve built, offer design services, or direct you to plans on the Internet. You can also hire an architect to design your home according to your preference. In either case, full customization is offered. Larger builders/developers offer select plans only for their lots.
Building Codes Homes built in a factory are treated as traditional homes that follow and exceed both state and local building code and regulations. Conventional stick-built homes are subject to the local buildings code and regulations.
Energy Efficiency Part of the over-building process for roadworthiness includes screwing and gluing drywall and sheathing for tensile strength and reduced racking. This creates a tighter building envelope that is draft-resistant and energy efficient Heavier 2×6 exterior walls containing R21 insulation are standard, as are double-pane windows w/ low-E glass. Choices run the full gamut. In order to

compete with the economies of modular building, many stick builders will offer cheap “builder-grade” construction and material finishes. Builder grade insulation packages, windows, house wrap, lead to less efficient homes.

Time Frame This normal timeframe is 4-6 months. There are time savings since construction can begin in the factory at the same time your foundation is being created on your site. Weather has a small impact on the schedule. The normal timeframe is 8-14 months. Since all construction occurs on site, work projects can not start until the previous project is completed. The work schedule is dependent on weather conditions.
Resale Value Off-site built Modular homes increase in value. Once they are completed it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between Conventional stick-built homes and Off-site stick built modular homes. These homes can also be improved or expanded to accommodate new owners preferences. Conventional stick-built homes will increase in value over time. They can be improved and expanded to accommodate new owners preferences.
Appearance The same as any Conventional stick-built home. You can add any style of window, door, wall or architectural feature you prefer. Once completed you cannot tell the difference between Off-site built modular and Conventional stick-built home. The appearance can be customized to the home owner’s preference. Traditional homes can accommodate any architectural preference.
Building Process Assembly-line building in an off-site stick-built factory. This removes delays cause by the weather and vandalism damages. This more efficient process reduces the cost when compared to conventional stick-built homes. The costliest building process which requires almost the entire house to be custom constructed. It will require more people which will take more time since they do not work on the same type of house every day. It is also vulnerable to weather delays and vandalism costs. This process is the most likely to result in damaged building products like warped wood from rain exposure.




I enjoy watching HGTV, DIY and pinning my favorite looks as much as the next person! These creative outlets can lure us in with beautiful ideas. As wonderful as they are, they can be quite costly and we have to choose wisely, keeping our budget in mind.

For example, a very nice client came in to our Benton design center to discuss her future home project. For the purposes of this story we will call her Sally.  Just like most of our clients, Sally was looking for ideas for her kitchen. Cabinet style, cabinet color, islands, flooring, etc. Sally found the PERFECT kitchen on Pinterest. Sally was so excited to finally have that part of the build behind her. The kitchen decision in her mind was done. Sally called me up and scheduled a time that she and I could look over her new kitchen and put her plan into action. When Sally came in she showed me several pictures of the kitchen from every angle. In my mind I was on high alert. Then it happened. Sally asked me my thoughts on the kitchen. When I did not share in her enthusiasm her emotions dropped off the table. It was not the fact if I liked it or not, the fact of the matter was that it was awesome. It was beautiful and perfect for Sally. Unfortunately, I knew something that Sally did not, I knew what this kitchen would cost. I also knew Sally’s budget. So, when I explained the reasons behind my non-excitement of this kitchen that she had clearly taken mental ownership of, her body language changed and her excitement for this kitchen was gone. The facts on her kitchen…… counter tops – $6,000, cabinets – $20,000, appliances – $8,000, backsplash and flooring – $6,500. The total for this kitchen is over $40,000. HGTV, DIY, and Pinterest show you great things but very rarely explain to the Sally’s of the world the cost of these fantastic kitchens, bathrooms, walk-in closets, and living rooms. Affordability can affect people at all levels and it’s important to consult with us during the planning stages of your design.

This story does have a happy ending though, we were able to recreate some of the things that Sally liked in the kitchen and give her a great home that fit into her budget.  And, a home that she and her family will be proud of for many years to come. We can also report that Sally is now famous for being written about and put on Facebook and other social media platforms with her kitchen story. Good for you Sally and don’t ever stop pinning!