Getting A Custom Home Built is Daunting. You Will Survive!

photography by Lisa Russman

Let’s face it, it takes a lot of organization, planning, and general stick-to-it-ness to build a custom home. From start to finish, building a custom home is like managing a three-ring circus, planning a giant event, and taking care of a litter of puppies all at the same time. Learning how to tame the chaos and stay on top of the details can help you not only survive the process but also finish the custom home of your dreams both on time and on budget.

You need four essentials when building a custom house. These include land, a plan for your home, money, and a reputable, licensed contractor to build it for you. Choosing the right custom home builder is perhaps the most critical decision you will make in this process, so choose this person wisely.

Get Ready
A significant part of the work of building your custom home actually happens before you even break ground. Researching how to build a house will be the first step, as the more familiar you are with the entire process, the more you’ll know where you’re re required to pay attention and ask questions.

Picking a site for your new home is an important step in the process. You and your family will need to consider your needs now as well as in the future to determine what you’re looking for in a neighborhood. Are good schools important? How about walkability? Or are you after solitude and space?

Do extensive research before selecting your residential architect. When choosing, consider your architect’s personality and approach to design. Do they seem to get you? Are they listening to your needs? Give your architect as much information as possible about your family’s must-haves, plans for the future, and visions for your dream home before the process begins.

Some people spend a year or more researching and planning for the build of their custom home. Select the right person to build your home, as they should guide and inform your research and design process, as well.

Get Organized
Custom homes allow you to select everything in your new home, from where to hang cabinets to how many windows you have. But, like a kid in a candy shop, it’s important not to get too carried away with customization that translates into added expenses and changes to your designs during the build.

When researching how to build a house, be sure to note all the different phases of the build and how each depends on others. This will help you understand when and if changes are possible during construction.

Tracking and monitoring all the aspects of your build is perhaps the most daunting part of the project. Get to know your phone apps well, set reminders on your calendar, and start to think of spreadsheets as your best friends. These tools can help you keep track of everything from inspection schedules to payments on materials, from permits and insurance to clean-up and utilities. The best way to tame the chaos is to keep it from ever starting.

It’s vital that you inspect your home regularly throughout the build process and are aware of all changes, expenses, and significant decisions along the way. Clear communication with your contractor will help avoid potential problems and unintended modifications.

Get Packing
While the process of building a custom home can be stressful, starting early, doing your research, having a definitive plan and budget, and staying on top of the details can help reduce that stress a lot. Working with trusted professionals helps tremendously, as does involving yourself in every step of the process.

Before you know it, you and your family will be moving into your newly built custom home. While there may be headaches, delays, and surprises, it will be worth it when you can turn your new house into a home.