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Building A Barden Home

My step by step experience with Barden Homes

First Material Selection Meeting

clock October 22, 2008 18:04 by author Donny Kemick

We met with our General Contractor and Barden Homes Sales Rep late last week to go through our 1st round of materials selection.  Wow, what a process!  I don’t think there is any way we could have been totally prepared for that session.  So many decisions to make, and so many options for each decision.

Luckily, the GC made it very easy and applied zero pressure to us to make permanent decisions.  Thank goodness, because we’ve already changed our minds on a few things!  To get started, why don’t I provide some links to suppliers that Barden uses.

Barden Homes Materials and Suppliers



Alside provides the siding, as well as trim for the exterior of the site.  They have some really nice tools on their site for picking colors of siding, trim, shutters, doors, and shingles.  This was very enjoyable for my wife and I, especially before we met with our GC.  The Alside Design Showcase even allows you to choose between a 2-Story Colonial, a 2-Story Cape Cod, or a 1-Story Ranch.  Our GC had sample materials in his office too, which made picking colors easier.  The screen is one thing, but having a piece of the siding, trim, and shutters in your hand, in the correct colors, really helps.  Here’s what we came up with, tentatively:



BlueLinx Company is the company responsible for the wrapping that goes around the outside of a Barden Home.  They also distribute a variety of Microposite sidings.


CertainTeed is a building material supplier for Barden Homes.  One look at their site, and you’ll see that they provide a ton of different materials.  At this point, I’m not clear on what all they provide to Barden Homes.


HomeCrest Cabinetry is the kitchen and bath cabinet supplier for Barden Homes. The kitchen is one are that we want to put our money into.  The kitchen in our last home was a big reason for us deciding to build.  We spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so we want a bigger, more livable kitchen.  We also want it to tie into the family room, or be close to it.  I think we’ve achieved that.  This was another area where it was nice to have the GC available, because he had some samples on site.  We were in love with some Cherry cabinets, and he showed us some Maple cabinets that looked almost identical, but were significantly cheaper.  I think we’ll be going with the Maple :).  We still haven’t put any thought into the vanities in the bathrooms yet, but HomeCrest will supply them as well.  Here’s a sample that is pretty close to the style/color/wood that we’re going with:




Integrity from Marvin is the Door and Window supplier for Barden Homes.  Most of the windows in our Barden Home will be double hung windows.  We were able to pick the exterior and interior colors, as well as the color of the hardware


James Hardie is a backerboard and Weather Barrier supplier for Barden Homes.  This supplier is pretty strait forward and not all that exciting.


Jeld Wen is another window and door supplier for Barden Homes.  We are still working on picking our front door, but i think we gave the inside doors all picked out.  The Jeld Wen site has some nice pics to give you a feel for the looks of their products.


Overhead Door is the supplier for garage doors in a Barden Home. They have a nice selection of styles for garage doors.  Usually, when you’re building a home, the garage door isn’t necessarily the a high budget item, but that’s not the case for everyone.  In our case, it certainly is!


Therma-Tru Doors supplies exterior doors for Barden Homes.   They have some really beautiful styles to choose from.  We are currently trying to narrow down our front door selection.  It’s very difficult with so many great designs!

What Now?

Once we’re able to narrow down some of our selections, we will get some initial pricing.  I’m greatly looking forward to that!

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Robar General Funding Corporation

clock October 9, 2008 21:27 by author Donny Kemick

Now that we’ve finalized our floor plans and have the GC establishing a final cost, we need to secure or get preapproved for a construction loan.  I plan on having multiple banks pre-approve me; some local, some online, and some on the recommendation of the Barden salesman.  At this point, I have gone through Lending Tree and Robar General Funding Corp..  You’ve probably heard of Lending Tree before, but maybe you haven’t heard of Robar.  Unless you’ve searched through this site and found my Barden-Related Links, or have spoken with a Barden Salesman, you probably haven’t heard of Robar.

I was a bit skeptical when my Barden Rep highly recommended Robar.  My first thought was, any funding source that has a main navigation link to Barden on their site, probably has some commission deal with them.  Untrue.  I asked my rep and he set me at ease.  They just like working with Robar, and for good reason.

Advantages of Robar

In my opinion, there are two overwhelming advantages of working with Robar.  The first is that they act as a mortgage broker as well as a construction loan provider.  What this means is, they provide you with the construction loan, and also find a final mortgage provider.  If you need a refresher on the financing process for a Barden Home, take a look at my last post on Paying for Your Barden Home.  You DO NOT have to use Robar to line you up with a mortgage provider, but they can.

Let’s think about why they want to be a mortgage broker for the project.  One reason may be that they get some commission or deal for passing along mortgagees to banks.  That’s pure speculation on my part.  Seems like it would make sense though, considering the massive amount of money a lender makes on a mortgage.  The second reason is that they are ensured their payment at the end of the construction process that way.  If they line up a mortgage for you, they solidify the odds of them getting paid back.

The second MAJOR ADVANTAGE, in my opinion, is that Robar will allow you to take as many draws against your construction loan as you want.  If you remember from my last post, I mentioned that Construction Loans incur interest based on the amount of many you’ve taken to date, much like a credit card.  So, having the flexibility to make as many draws as you want against your loan, allows you to take out smaller amounts of money at a time, saving you interest during construction.  Some banks limit you to 5-8 draws.  Robar would allow 500 if you wanted, or even more.

Contacting Robar General Funding

I finally contacted Robar about a week ago, and they started the process with me.  Because I don’t live in their area, it was important to me that they would work with me remotely.  Luckily, they were happy to work with me remotely.  The person I spoke with at Barden referred me to their online application to get started.  So, I completed the application and heard back from my rep the next day.  She had some follow-up questions to ask and wanted to clarify some of our information.  She was very pleasant and easy to work with.  Because I’m self-employed, they needed copies of my last two years’ tax returns, but my accountant was able to email them directly to her, saving me time. 

The next day I heard back from my rep again, and she told me they needed to do some research into my credit history and would get back to me.  That was on a Friday, so I said, I would look forward to hearing from her next week.  Much to my surprise, she said she could call me the on Saturday (the next day), if I wanted, so I took her up on that.  She waited until a reasonable time to call for a Saturday, and gave me the details (most importantly, that I was approved for enough money).  She even took as much time as needed to explain the whole process to me, and work through some of the details of what I would finance versus pay down.  I was surprised to find out that they actually pre-approved me for the final mortgage, which therefore, preapproved me for the construction loan. 

The Bottom Line

Overall, I have been very impressed with Robar and will likely use them for the construction loan.  I have a few more banks to talk to, then I’ll make my final decision.  My bet is that it will be Robar.


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