Building a custom built home can be both an exciting and daunting venture to those who dare to dream, but it really can be one of the best decisions you will ever make. A little planning goes a long way in building a custom home and can save you from making some far too common mistakes in the process. Follow these ten steps to make building a custom home as stress free and rewarding as possible.
What you would like to see in the overall look of your home? So many resources are waiting at your fingertips these days to inform and inspire you about styles that are trending and what is available for custom built homes. Ask other members of the family what’s important to them, and come up with a list together of options that are important to you and which details cannot be compromised. Use various websites such as Pinterest and Houzz to come up with the looks and details that appeal to you, and you can even print these off to bring with you or save them and bring along your laptop when meeting with your builder.
Know what you can afford based upon the size and type of home that you are wanting to build. A good thing to know that will guide this process is how much your bank will allow you to borrow based on your income, assets, etc. Getting pre-approval will allow you to have concrete numbers and takes the guesswork out of this step.
- Choose a Builder
Be thorough in picking your building team and in getting the building process right. Something so precious as planning your custom built home isn’t something to take lightly. Find a builder that you like and can have a great working relationship with. Have interviews and ask for references, and make sure your builder is someone that you can talk to easily and invites your questions. Communication is of the utmost importance for both sides. A willingness to speak up and be thorough will save everyone many headaches as your dream home comes to reality. Both you and your builder are going to want to get it just right. So know that it will take time, and it won’t necessarily be easy, but it can still be a memorable and enjoyable process
- House Plans
Bring a plan, or if you don’t have one choose one with your builder. Your custom home builder can help you with nailing down more definitively what layouts and square footage would best align with your individual preferences further in the process based on what you will be wanting to spend. Work together with your builder to come up with the style of your home, the size and number of bedrooms/bathrooms you are needing, and other details such as should it have a formal dining area or not.
Pick your land lot, or let your builder know what area you would like to build in and the size of the lot that you need. Your builder can be a great resource in this area. Since this step greatly impacts and is affected by step two, these steps can even be simultaneous. For some buyers, having their land picked out and even purchased sometimes comes years before the building process ever begins. If you have found the perfect location, don’t wait to purchase it. Great locations are rare, and the chances of that spot remaining long are very low.
Don’t overspend on your budget. At first glance this may seem repetitive, but costs tend to fluctuate slightly during the course of home building projects. Plan for what you really want to spend from the beginning. A good rule of thumb is to add 30% to the cost just to make sure you are well below your maximum budget. Sometimes buyers picture details in their home that end up being overly expensive and not that really important to the overall picture they are hoping for in the end. Give yourself some wiggle room in the costs you incur.
Don’t underestimate the impact on your calendar. Just like the costs the amount of time it sometimes takes to complete can exceed what you were planning for. Give yourself room in terms of your expectations for completion. Don’t sell your current home 3 months before your new one is going to be completed for instance. Make sure that you have time in case of any delays with the building of your home.
Iron out the details in the planning process. Pick out finishes and the like as these will greatly impact any additional costs incurred.
- Confirm Financing
At this point your financial details should be firm and your loan cemented. Check to make sure everything is good to go with both your bank and with your builder.
- Begin to build!
This last step can seem both the longest and yet be the most rewarding as you watch your forever home come to fruition. It will culminate at the very end to the best part of all, move in day, and may you enjoy the results of that for years to come.