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How to Make Custom Home Building Become an Exciting Journey

by Posted on September 21, 2021

Many homes sold in the US real estate market are mostly ‘cookie-cutter homes’ or tract homes and production homes. Homeowners who are a little more discerning and wish to have their dream homes built can opt for custom homes.

Tract homes are houses built using a similar plan so they all look the same, hence the term ‘cookie-cutter homes.’ These houses usually have very little room for redesign or customization. Because tract homes are affordable, people tend to overlook the fact that tract builders can up-charge for any modification. 

Production homes are similar to ‘tract’ homes. The only difference is production homes are based on stock plans but there are several plans used as references to build homes and customization is possible. These homes are built on land that the builder owns.

Custom homes are self-explanatory. These are customized houses built using home plans based on the homeowners’ preferences. They are built on the land that the homeowner owns. 

Choosing a custom home is like having your dream house built. You can choose home features and designs based on your standards and lifestyle. Wouldn’t it be ideal to have a house that speaks about who you are? You can also choose to maximize functionality. 

However, before deciding to have a custom home built, you need to know what to expect and what you are getting into. First, you have to hire the right people. Choosing a custom home builder with a remarkable track record is recommended. Even though home plans will be based on your preference, it will be wise to work with the experts. You will need to set a budget and discuss the timeframe. Before you start, it is advisable to look through some custom home-building tips.

New home built by WD Smith Construction

Understand the Phases Involved in Custom Home Building

Building your dream home isn’t done on impulse. Before diving into it, you need to know the steps and phases involved in custom home building. Thorough planning is necessary and you should be actively involved in all phases.

First Phase: From Idea to Planning

You may already have a basic idea of what you would like your home to look like, including the number of rooms and function of every area. Gather photos you can use as references so you can show them to your architect and designer. This is the phase where you can start outlining architectural style preferences, design elements, room functions, and features based on what your lifestyle requires.

The next thing on your list is to gather a team. The first person you may want to hire is the architect because this person can help you with getting bids from builders. Some custom home builders already have a designer working for them but you have the option of hiring a separate interior designer to become part of the core team. One way to find the right builder is to ask for recommendations.

You may also want to hire a landscape contractor to work on your garden or landscape in general.

After you have decided on a builder, you need to know how much money is involved. Builders can give you an estimate of financial feasibility. When you have this information, you can approach a lender or a bank to discuss the budget. 

Second Phase: Acquiring Property

You may have inherited a tract of land where you would want to build your custom dream home. But that is not the case for most people. The size of the house you wish to build should be taken into consideration when buying a property. 

Third Phase: Working on the Design

Once you have the land, you can start with the pre-building process of working on the home plan with the architect. The process includes site analysis to make sure the plan coincides with the land acquired. Creating a construction schedule falls into this phase. You will need to develop a budget and discuss your options with the architect and the rest of the team. 

There are critical decisions to make during this phase. You need to select finishes and colors and other materials needed to fashion your idea of a dream home. 

Fourth Phase: The Actual Construction

The design should be finalized at this point and you should have the building permit for the construction to begin. Depending on the agreed time frame based on the design of your home, the construction stage can last from 12 to 18 months. At this point, you can simply sit back and watch the builders work. 

Fifth Phase: Moving In

Once construction is completed, it is recommended you do a final walk-through with the builder to make sure everything is satisfactory. Clarify everything that is covered under the warranty with the builder. Should you encounter any building issues with your home, it is important that you know how to contact the builder.

Someone should be responsible for cleaning up after construction. It should be indicated in the contract. Once everything is cleared, you can start working on the finishing touches with your interior designer as there may be details that can’t be accomplished during construction. This process can include getting furniture and appliances in place.

As soon as your home is declared to be ready for occupancy, you can start moving in.

Custom home in Raleigh NC

Tips for a Successful Custom Home Building

The thought of building your dream home is indeed exciting but doing everything on impulse may end up with a disastrous result. It is important to seek proper guidance from an expert custom home builder to avoid mistakes.

1. Assemble Your Team Early

It is important to assemble your team early on so you can start collaborating, even during the planning stage. 

2. Study the Potential Site

Prior to purchasing your land, if you have not acquired one already, consult with the builder if there is any feature on the site that can potentially cause problems during the construction stage. Gaining knowledge about the site features can help you determine if it will be an ideal place to build your home. You will likewise know what probable issues to expect and expenses you may incur.

3. Stick to Your Decisions

Being indecisive can prolong the project and can aggravate the people involved. Avoid causing delays. You should stick to your decisions and trust your team. It is normal to be uncertain but constant changing of your mind can cause a rift in your working relationship with the team.

4. Check Out the Subcontractors

The builder you hire may have an excellent track record but you need to make sure they choose experienced and superior subcontractors who have worked on a similar project like your home. You may be working on the best builders but the subcontractors they use may end up as your worst nightmare. It is advisable that you discuss the selection of subcontractors with your builder.

5. Monitor Construction

Trust goes a long way, especially if you are confident that you have the best team working on your home project. However, it is recommended you do regular visits during construction to make sure things are running smoothly and on schedule.

6. Expectation Versus Reality.

There is no such thing as a perfect construction process. You should expect that things can go wrong such as having defective materials or delays in the inspection or even accidents with subcontractors. You need to be prepared for any situation that may arise. This is one reason why you should hire a builder with an excellent track record for success. They should have the ability to solve any problem that may arise.

7. Don’t Panic, Stay Positive

Despite any odds, you may go through, it is important to stay calm and remain positive. The journey to building your dream home can be overwhelming but do not lose trust in your team. It is your key to survive through the whole process. 

In Conclusion

If you are about to go through the exciting process of having your dream home built, remember these custom home building tips. Knowing what to expect and understanding the phases and stages involved can make it all less stressful.

Are you planning on having a custom home built in the Raleigh NC area? Contact WD Smith Construction to get started.