Congratulations to steve jones!!

We are proud and excited to announce that Steve Jones has been elected as Vice Chair of the Leading Suppliers Council for the National Association of Homebuilders .   Steve is one of the principal owners of both Merlin Custom Home Builders and
Blue Heron.  These two companies have designed and built an unprecedented FOUR  New American Homes®, the official and trend setting show-home of the world’s largest annual homebuilding convention.  Through these inspirational homes, Steve built a relationship with Tucker Bernard, based in Washington DC as Director of the NAHB Leading Suppliers Council.  Steve, as Vice Chair of this influential home building materials council, is now in a primary position within this great organization which represents his views and goals for the home building industry. Steve’s tenure as Vice Chair complements his passion to build beautiful homes, designed with generations in mind, built with state-of-the-art materials that encourage
environmentally safe, sustainable and lasting products.

Building Success 101


Q: What’s the paper-like wrapping I see on new homes before the exterior siding goes on?


A: It is increasingly common for quality-conscious builders to add an extra layer of weather protection around the outside of the house. Called an air barrier or “housewrap,” this layer is installed as a continuous material just behind the siding, stucco, or brick finish. The housewrap provides a barrier blocking the exchange of air through the structure, thus reducing heating and cooling costs. Housewrap also blocks moisture from getting into the walls where it can damage the insulation and framing.

Building a new home is a dynamic and exciting process. As professional custom home builders, Merlin Custom Home Builders’s goal is to make the process smooth and transparent for our clients. Once the job is underway, things happen quickly, so we work with clients to make decisions well ahead of time to help ensure they get their new home on schedule and within budget.

Most of the big design decisions are made before the first mound of dirt is moved, but that is rarely the end of the decision-making process. Once construction is underway, owners often think of a few things they’d like to change. Adjustments may range from adding a room to a change in kitchen cabinets, choosing different flooring in the bathroom, or just adding an extra light switch or two.

Merlin Custom Home Builders documents such requests, called “Additional Work Authorizations” (AWAs) more commonly known as change orders, to make sure that all parties have a clear understanding of the scope and cost of the changes. It is important for the homeowner to understand how AWAs affect the building process. When homeowner and builder communicate well, the impact of AWAs on the construction schedule and budget can be minimized.

An AWA made after construction begins always has a cost. The cost may be the time and labor to make the change or it may be the price of additional materials or products required—sometimes both.

In addition, the timing of an AWA affects the cost. Changes late in the building process typically cost more than earlier ones. Some AWAs may be cost-prohibitive, such as altering the foundation or adding a basement once we’ve started building a home’s structural frame.

We respect our clients’ desires to get exactly the house they want. And we know that some finishes (or even floor plans) may be hard to visualize until they’re actually installed or built. From long experience, we know that AWAs will happen and, consequently, we aim to be systematic about managing them. Our process ensures good communication and provides assurances among everyone involved. It also helps us stick to the schedule and minimize additional costs.

The Additional Work Authorization (AWA) process: The most effective AWA processes follow a general pattern that creates a paper trail and provides reliable cost information up front, including:

  • Centralization. Change order requests are managed by one person to help ensure effective communication between everyone involved. This includes specialty trade contractors, suppliers, our job site superintendents, and, of course, our clients. We strongly discourage homeowners from making special requests directly to a trade contractor, as this is a quick route to misunderstandings and disrupted schedules.
  • Documentation. Client requests are transferred to an electronic or paper-based AWA form that initiates a paper trail and helps ensure greater accuracy and clearer communication.
  • Terms. We anticipate the types of changes our clients may make. We have a good idea of the estimate and time most changes require. As a result, we can often communicate the terms quickly so that homeowners can make an informed decision in plenty of time to make the change or decide against it.
  • Confirmation. It’s important to everyone involved that no change occurs without a client signature. Clients must approve the cost and terms, as well as the style, finish, or other details about the change. This also ensures that clients are made aware of how the AWA may affect their move-in date or other aspects of the construction schedule.
  • Inspection. We may ask clients to visit the new home’s job site when the AWA is being made to make sure they are satisfied and don’t have any questions.
  • Payment. Costs for AWAs may be billed separately, usually as soon as the change has been made and the work is completed to a client’s satisfaction. Sometimes we ask for a percentage of the cost or full payment up front before making a change, depending on the type of request.

By following this simple but thorough AWA process, our clients can be sure that any changes they consider—whether minor or substantial—will be handled in a timely fashion without confusion, miscommunication, or unnecessary cost.

Warm Regards,



Steve Jones & Bart Jones
Merlin Custom Home Builders
6408 S. Arville Street
Las Vegas, NV 89118

702.257.8102 – Phone