Thank you for taking the time to consider a Pistro Builders Home for your family or business. We have organized the site so that you can easily find answers to many of your questions. If you do not find what you are looking for, please call us at (989) 737-7751 or email us at so we can find the information you need to make an informed choice about your building needs.

Everything we do at Pistro Builders revolves around helping you make highly informed home-buying choices so that you are completely satisfied with your decisions once your home is completed. That’s why so many families and businesses choose Pistro Builders for a second time when it is time to build again.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a lot of different methods for determining square footage and you really need to ask which method your builder (seller?) is using. Most common is the out to out method — outside of exterior wall to outside of exterior wall. This would include the thickness of the walls, duct chases and chimneys, of course, so you can’t go on inside room dimensions alone.
For example if the foundation measures 40′x 26′ and the house is two stories high then the square footage is 40x26x2=2080. This would include only “finished space”–i.e. insulated, heated, sheet rocked area. Crawl spaces, unheated attics, garages etc. are usually not included (except by sellers who are trying to “hype” the property). Two story foyers or vaulted ceilings may or may not be included.
The cost per square foot is a rough “ball-park” figure used to calculate approximate building costs. Each builder bases the cost on actual materials and fixtures to be used. Obviously if one builder uses only hardwood flooring and another always uses economy grade carpet the “cost per square foot” will differ significantly.
Not entirely. You are certainly entitled to an explanation of how the square footage is calculated (and by whom). An existing house which you’ve seen and walked through probably wouldn’t be disputable. However a purchase and sale for a house to be built should be based on actual final plans–(with dimensions!) Dimensioned plans should be part of the “contract documents”- and will certainly be required by most mortgage lenders and building departments (at least in my neck of the woods).

If the price is based on “square footage-to-be-built”- by all means clarify BEFORE construction begins.

Get everything in writing! I mean everything! In addition to dimensioned plans, your contract documents should include specifications for materials, fixtures, appliances and finishes such as: carpets, wall paper, cabinets. Many builders also offer warranty programs which need to be specified in writing.
Yes, Absolutely. You may have 3 to 8 months between signing your P&S and closing. A house is a very complex assembly with many components. Some products may become unavailable during that time. Just be sure that substitutions are “equal or better” than those originally specified, especially with large ticket items like siding or flooring.
Don’t focus exclusively on the manufacturer and overlook the more important selection of the builder, the actual dealer for the manufacturer who will assemble, and finish the home for you in your location. Your ultimate “home building experience” is more dependent on a really good builder.
Assembling a log home does require specialized skills and experience, and is not something you’ll want to trust to a builder who’s never worked with log kits before, no matter how good their reputation as conventional builders.
Yes, if you like the location and the quality of the homes being built, you should consider a development. Remember a builder who is building a lot of homes must be doing something right. A well planned development will assure you of the quality of the whole neighborhood and should be a good investment.
Many Builders will offer “free plans” as part of a package deal. You won’t get detailed plans to shop around with. You may even be getting into a vague open-ended project where your builder is thinking of one house and you expect get something entirely different.
It’s always cheaper to make your mistakes on paper than during construction.
Something you think you might like could be unworkable, too expensive, or unattractive when you actually see it on paper.

You should ask several builders for estimates. With your own plans you’re sure everyone is estimating the same job, not comparing apples and oranges. Also with detailed plans a builder can give a more accurate estimate. Most builders add in a “fudge factor” or contingency fund to cover possible changes when the customers are vague about what they want.

Working with an architect or home designer can save you thousands of dollars on construction.

Another option is a “stock home plan” from a plan service such ours, CADSmith Studio . If you find a stock plan which only needs a few changes your builder will probably be able to accommodate you for no additional charge. See our Portfolio of Plans for ideas.

The three most important choices when buying real estate are: Location, Location, Location

What Items are not Included in the Price Per Square Foot Package?


We work with real estate agents and developers who can help you to find the perfect land for you and your home anywhere in the Great Lakes Bay Region of Michigan and beyond!


Pricing varies depending on the size and type of the lot, utilities may need to be brought a great distance.


Pricing for drafting blueprints for Pistro Builders home varies ($ per square foot of living space, garage, and patios). You may either use our existing prints as a model for your home, or come up with your own unique design.


Your lot may require a septic instead of sewer connection. The septic system is designed case by case in order to best serve the needs of each home and terrain, and thus a definite price will vary from place to place.


The city or county in which you build will require the purchase of several permits in order to build. Because these charges vary according to location and the home itself, we include this in the overall price but does vary by location and size.


We will of course include final grading to meet city or county codes, and will reseed any areas that were damaged by construction. We also offer custom design landscaping services as an upgrade.