By following a checklist, building a custom home can be simplified into a series of simple steps. By far, custom homebuilding is one of the most satisfying forms of homebuilding, both for the home builder and the home owner. Custom home building can also be risky, both for the home builder and the home owner. It is important to rely on the expertise of the home builder and the architect. Listen to their advice when designing your custom home.

Top Checklist Building a Custom Home

Checklist Building a Custom Home: Selecting Materials and Building Techniques

o It is important to research building materials to discover new developments in building materials.
o There have been many new innovations in the past two decades that might greatly influence your choices.
o Choose materials to enhance energy efficiency, as well as on the basis of appearance.
o For more information on building materials and home planning, read the many articles on this site, and download our 98 page guide.
o Investigate specific material brands on line for information on R-values.
o Research home building steps
o Research home building procedures and techniques
o Consider insulated concrete, modular homes, shell kits, and other options, as well as stick built construction.

Checklist Building a Custom Home: House Plan and Layout

o How many bedrooms do you need?
o Choose a range of sizes for each bedroom, for example, 100 to 175 square foot per bedroom.
o How many bath rooms do you need?
o What is your ideal kitchen size?
o Do you want an island in your kitchen?
o How many Cabinets will you need, and how much countertop surface?
o Do you want a great room or separate family room, living room and dining room?
o Do you want your kitchen open to the family room?
o Do you need a breakfast room, or eat in kitchen?
o Do you need any specialized rooms, such as an office, sewing room, play room, game room, or music room?
o How many closets do you need?
o Write down your range of sizes for each room you want, and add together a minimum and maximum square footage.
o Adjust your room sizes to fit within your desired square footage and budget.
o Look for house plans on line that fit your requirements, to formulate ideas for a floor plan.
o Sketch out a rough floor plan.

Checklist Building a Custom Home: Choosing a Custom Home Builder

o Make a list of custom home builders.
o Visit each of the custom home builder’s websites.
o Google each home builder and look for complaints and lemon home claims.
o Visit open houses for sale and ask who the builder was.
o Evaluate existing construction by various builders.
o Take an informal poll of local realtors, loan officers, subcontractors, building inspectors, appraisers, and other construction related professionals. Ask as many as possible to recommend builders.
o Narrow your choices based on research
o Select three to six custom home builders to interview and ask for bids.
o Choose a custom home builder.

Checklist Building a Custom Home: Supervising your Construction

o Visit your construction jobsite once or twice a week
o Make sure your footings have time to cure before the foundation is laid.
o Examine your footings and foundation for cracks.
o Insure that your floor joists are at least 2 by 10 and that they are placed 16 inches on center.
o Insure that your floor joists are level and evenly spaced.
o Make sure that your subfloor rests evenly on the floor joists.
o Your wall studs should be at least two by sixes and placed no further apart than 16 inches on center.
o Walls should be level, and square.
o Insure that your roof trusses are adequate and correctly installed.
o Notice the quality and thickness of sheathing.
o Make sure that roofers use roofing felt under your shingles. Some contractors feel this is not necessary, but it is.
o Inspect all other aspects of construction, being careful to research how each should be done.

With careful planning, extensive research and supervision of your jobsite, you can have the home you want. It is important to the entire process for you to inspect your home frequently, but do not stay too long or impede workers. Fifteen minute to half hour visits are sufficient, but make sure you are there for each stage. Following a checklist for building a custom home can help insure that your home is well planned and well constructed.

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