Building a custom home is one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences a homeowner can have. As thrilling as it is, there are still a lot of decisions to be made that require careful thought and consideration. The process demands focused attention to detail – most of it before you even think about breaking ground.
Creating a house checklist is one of the easiest ways to make your custom home building experience as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Use these five tips to ensure you have a smooth homebuilding process. Checking each one off will move you ever closer to realizing your custom home dream.
Step 1: Goals and Guidelines
Be clear on what you want from your new home from the start. Write down your answers to these questions. They’ll help you focus on what your true goals are for your new home.
- What do you want your new home to look like?
- What are the must-haves in your new home?
- Where do you want your new home to be located?
- What will your new home cost?
Step 2: Determine a Budget
Ideally, you should make a budget in consultation with whomever you choose to design and build your custom home. One of the greatest benefits to working with a design build firm like ours is that the level of coordination between all involved parties keeps your design and budget realistic. In other words, there’s no “sticker-shock” because the design build approach makes sure your budget is an essential part of the design process, included in all design and building decisions.
Don’t forget line items like:
- The cost of your lot
- Local taxes
- Building and permit fees
- Engineering and construction costs
- Site preparation
- Landscaping and hardscaping costs
A spreadsheet can help you keep track of expenses and makes for easier adjustments as the project moves forward.
Step 3: Choose the Perfect Location
The location of your new home is just as important as its physical features. Consider the following:
- What are your favorite neighborhoods?
- What is your ideal setting? Do you want plenty of established trees, or do you enjoy the wide-open look? Will you be building on a sloped lot?
- What is your family’s lifestyle? Whether you spend a lot of time outdoors, want to be close to urban amenities, would like to eventually install a pool, the location, size, and shape of your lot will affect these needs and wants.
Be sure to do a walkthrough of the lot with your builder who can help you find a site that requires minimal work while giving you everything you’re looking for.
Step 4: Select Your House Plans
The more detailed your houses plans are, the more you’ll fully understand what your new home will look like. Plans and specifications are the directions a builder uses to construct your new home, so having complete plans reduces unforeseen change orders or delays.
Things to keep in mind as you’re choosing a plan:
- The size and layout of rooms and how they complement your family’s lifestyle. Does your family entertain a lot? You might want an open concept plan. Will you be bringing furnishings from another home? Make sure the new rooms will accommodate them.
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms you want
- Weigh the pros and cons of features like bay windows, skylights, outdoor living areas, finished basement, or luxury master suite.
Finally, make sure the plans you choose will suit the lot you’ve chosen.
Step 5: Establish a Timeline
No building a house checklist is complete without a timeline. Work with your design build team to create a realistic schedule:
- How long will it take? While the average time to build a custom home is six months, homes with custom features may take longer.
- When would you like to move in? If you’ll be selling your existing home, it can help to know when you might need to list it. Do you want to move in before school starts? Prioritize your reasons for completing your new home by a specific date.
- When’s a good time to start? A home can be built at any time of the year, but rainy or colder seasons may mean more delays than if you build in the warmer months.
Find Your Dream Design Build Team
Of course, selecting the right design build firm is one of the most important steps for any custom home project. The one you choose should understand your unique building situation and be able to provide you with the skills and experience that it takes to deliver a quality custom home to your family.
To learn more about creating a checklist that keeps your custom home building process on track, schedule a conversation with us today. We look forward to meeting you!