The custom home building process should be savored, as a major milestone in life. It is a time of fulfilling your dreams and seeing the fruit of your hard work and savings. You will be making decisions that impact the rest of your life, as you live in the dwelling you create. As we discuss the steps of the home building process I want to stress that each one should be enjoyable, and that every single step should be the fulfillment of your wishes. At every turn ask yourself, “Is this what I want?” and discuss each of these decisions with your spouse.

Custom Home Building Process Steps

Custom Home Building Process: Research and Preparation
The first step is to begin thinking about what you really want in a house. Consult all the family members and think of all the activities which might go on in the house over the next 50 years. Maybe you are only in your 20’s, and have no children, but this home will serve you for the rest of your lives unless you decide to move. Therefore consider the unborn children, the possibility of elderly parents coming to live with you, and the elderly you who may not feel like climbing three flights of stairs to reach that master bedroom in the attic. Consider what activities and parties you might host in the future, and how future co-workers might view your house when you invite them over. It is OK to daydream because this is a process of dreaming, as well as planning. The important thing is to be able to plan a home that will fit your lifestyle, now and in the future.

Consider the budget carefully and estimate what you can afford to spend. Consider the area and the lots available, and how you want your home to look. Plan in detail the number of rooms necessary, and the space you’ll need in each room. Research building codes, various development restrictions, and what school district the lots under consideration are in.

Custom Home Building Process: Pre Construction
The first step is to select a lot. In many ways selection of the lot is the most important step of the building process. After all, location is the number one factor determining the resale value of a home. Consider school districts, the neighborhood, and if the lot is large enough to afford the degree of privacy you want. Do you want to live where utilities are provided by the city, or where you will be responsible for drilling a well, and putting in a septic tank? If you want a septic tank you must order a perc test before you purchase the lot. If you already own a lot many home builders and contractors are very willing to build on your lot.

Custom Home Building Process: Select a Custom Home Builder or Contractor
Next select a contractor or home builder. There are many and you should meet with at least three before deciding which builder to go with. During your meetings discuss the budget and floor plan. Most contractors and home builders have a stock set of house plans or floor plans which they can customize to fit your needs. Most people find selecting one of these floor plans easiest and most cost effective. If however you have something different in mind, and cannot fit it into their mold, then you will need to look for a home builder or contractor who can execute your plan. Some custom home builders have house designers on staff or know designers who can draft up your plan. Some people purchase stock plan. And others hire an architect to make their rough plans into a workable house plan. There is a lot more to a house plan than a mere floor plan. Specifying roof angles and the location of each stud may be beyond your scope. It is quite possible that the home builder or contractor will have a preference in selecting the right architect to help you. You, the home builder or contractor and the designer or architect must work together closely, to make sure that the final version of your dream home is within your budget. While stepping away from the stock set of plans is a lot more costly, it might also be more satisfying.

Custom Home Building Process: Selecting Building Materials
After you have selected a custom home builder and have a plan, the next step is to start considering building materials and exterior and interior finishes, moldings and the overall look of the house. It’s about taste and the overall emotional feel of the house, so only you and those who will be living with you should decide how the house should feel.

Custom Home Building Process: Discussing the Custom Build Budget
The next steps in very important and it is discussing the budget in detail with the builder or contractor. Actually budgeting is an on going process up to this point, as each phase of the pre process determines cost. Lot and floor plan are huge factors in the budget, so by now you are merely finalizing the price, and determining that you can get a loan for this amount. In my experience home buyers have no idea which things will cost more than others. It pays to research the costs, and to discuss less expensive ways to achieve the same look with less money. Most custom home builder or contractor will help you deal with the bank, and may recommend a specific loan officer if you do not know any. They may even help you set up the appointment with a loan officer.

Custom Home Building Process: Signing the Custom Home Building Contract
The fifth step includes the proposal. A couple of weeks after meeting with the contractor to discuss the budget, plan and materials, he will come up with a final quote, which includes all the things you wanted at the price given. Any compromises will be worked out and the contract and paperwork finalized, and signed. Tip: it’s a good ideas and I always recommend that you have an attorney review the contract before signing.

Custom Home Building Process: Finalize the Loan
This can sometimes be a painful waiting game, because all your hopes and dreams are just waiting for that final signing of papers. When the bank has finished with all the paper work, you will sign it and suddenly you’ll have enough money to give the contractor or home builder. In many cases you can have much of the paperwork completed early on in the process.

Custom Home Building Process: Construction of the Home
While the custom home building schedule will take six months to a year, the time will fly by because you will be actively involved in making small selections, and watching your home take form. The contractor or home builder and his extensive staff of sub contractors will do all the work, but you may be as involved as you like in visiting the site, observing the processes and occasionally even lending a hand if you like. It is a good idea to understand the process of construction as well, so you should do extensive research on line, and ask questions if you like. It is important to stay involved in the home building process and enjoy this important life experience to the fullest.

Let’s recap…

Custom Home Building Process Overview:

1. First think about what you really want in a house.
2. Next select a lot or land to build your custom home on.
3. Research and select a contractor or home builder and have your home plans drafted up.
4. Start considering and selecting building materials and exterior and interior finishes, moldings and the overall look of the house.
5. Discuss the build budget in detail with the builder or contractor throughout this process.
6. Finalize the estimate and sign the contract.
7. Finalize your loan.
8. Construction begins and ends and can take anywhere from six months to a year depending on numerous factors.
9. Learn more about the steps involved to build a custom home and the overall custom home building process by downloading the free New Home Steps Guide above and become savvy on new home building from start to finish.

I hope this information on the custom home building process was informative for you. Good luck with your custom home building dream. If you have any questions let me know.

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