Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Hallmark Communities?
Hallmark Communities has been a San Diego family-owned builder of quality homes and neighborhoods for more than 20 years. We prove every day our commitment to exceeding the expectations of our customers by the quality of our work and processes. Many of our customers turn to us first when it is time for them to move to a different location, or change to a larger or smaller home.
Why is Hallmark qualified to help rebuild after the fires?
Mike Hall formed a special company with a staff of dedicated professionals in the aftermath of the 2003 Cedar fires and helped more than 50 households restart their lives. Our first-hand experience with issues related to lot clearing, lot preparation, insurance, permitting, city and county processes, allows us to provide fast and reliable rebuilding services. Our rebuilding program is already well-established and we have a specialized team that is committed solely to meeting the needs of residents who must rebuild today.
How can Hallmark help me?
As a homebuilder of proven integrity as well as experience, we will help you understand the intricacies of the rebuilding process with helpful tips and information. Our rebuilding team will meet with you and conduct a thorough needs assessment to identify the best solution for you and your family. We have 30 floor plans that you can choose from (subject to your lot size), or we can rebuild the plan you previously had if it is on record. Our rebuilding team can also offer customized solutions and upgrades.
Should I settle my insurance claim quickly?
Your first step is to speak to your insurance agent and get a claim number. Second, read your policy carefully and understand its scope of coverage. Policies may also be subject to interpretations that can result in additional coverage or that add multipliers to existing coverage. If codes have made rebuilding more expensive, some policies may include a 10% to 25% increase in coverage. Third, having a thorough needs assessment completed by Hallmark’s rebuilding team may provide valuable information to assist with your claim.
Do I need to obtain a building permit?
Building permits are required for all ground-up construction. Of course, decisions have to be made as to what will be constructed before application for a building permit is made. Hallmark will streamline the assessment, planning and permitting process for the reconstruction of your home.
Should I take advantage of the offer by the City or County to clear the debris on my lot?
Absolutely, but understand that this service is the clearing away of surface debris and NOT preparing your lot for new construction. Clearing the lot should also include removal of the slab, driveway and any toxic materials. Be aware that sewer, water and dry utility lines are underground and connected directly from the house to utilities in the street. Removal work can cause unseen damage to these lines. Remember that underground utilities must be capped and identified (located) for the builder to connect to when construction begins.
After my lot is cleared, is it ready for construction?
No, it is not. Once cleared, your lot must be carefully prepared for new construction. This includes soils testing to determine chemical content and soil characteristics before a new foundation can be engineered. Lots must be recompacted to a depth of at least 3 feet to accept a new foundation and many will require imported fill dirt to bring them to their original height for drainage.
What can I expect to pay for my new home?
You should insist on a thorough estimate and review the scope of work carefully along with the finish schedule and allowances. Some builders will charge $120 per square foot, but may add $50 per square foot to upgrade flooring, counters or cabinets. Be sure that your landscaping, fencing, decks and outside concrete are addressed. Other things to consider:
• Does the estimate cover lot preparation, which can add $5,000 to $50,000 to the overall replacement cost?
• Does it specify who pays for utilities during construction?
• Does it clarify the builder’s responsibilities and the owner’s responsibilities? What about insurance during construction?
Can I increase the size of my home?
Hallmark will work with you to increase the size of your new home based on the lot size relative to the footprint of the plan you selected, and such pre-established limitations for the neighborhood as height restrictions. We also offer 30 ready-to-build plans with sizes ranging from 1,600 to 4,500 square feet, subject to your lot size.
How soon can construction start and how long will it take?
After the 2003 firestorms, owners were able to return to their new homes within 10 to 11 months of the beginning of the permit-acquisition process.
How do I set up a needs assessment and lot analysis with Hallmark?
It’s easy – simply call us at 760-644-1803, or visit our website at www.hallmarkcommunities.com and click on the contact us link.
We will call you promptly to set a no obligation meeting.