Meeting a Northern Virginia Custom Builder For the First Time and How To Be Prepared For It

Meeting a Northern Virginia Custom Builder For the First Time and How To Be Prepared For It

When meeting with a custom builder for the first time it is a good idea to have information gathered beforehand so that the meeting can be as productive and useful to you as possible.  

During your first meeting the builder should be able to explain how the process works, the types of costs associated with home construction and how long you can expect the process to take.  The more information you can provide your builder, the better he can inform you of what to expect.  

If you have already purchased a lot, hired a civil engineer to design a site plan, or hired an architect/designer to design your custom home you should bring a copy of all of this with you for the builder to keep.  

Purchased a Lot?

If you purchased a lot you should have a received a plat when you closed on the property.  A plat contains a lot of basic information the builder will need to assess your lot.  A title search should have also been performed and information within that report will tell us if there are any restrictions, easements or other impediments that may affect the construction of your home.  

Spoken With a Civil Engineer?

Although we do not recommend that a client engage a civil engineer before meeting with a builder in some cases a client has started or completed a site plan, which consist of plans needed to complete the land development work.  If you have had any work done it is important you bring a copy of these drawings with you.

Spoken With an Architect?

Often times clients come to us after having hired an architect to design the home they wish to build.  Weather or not these plans are completed, if you have any, you should bring a copy for the builder.  

Now don’t worry if you don’t have some or all of the above completed before you meet with a builder.  We actually prefer that you don’t.  The earlier we are involved in the design process the better for everyone.  

If you don’t have any of the plans above and/or haven’t purchased a lot here is some information that you will need in order to provide you the best feedback in regards to overall estimated costs, timing and a path to move forward with designing and building your home.

Locating a Lot For You To Purchase

If you haven’t purchased a lot yet we can help locate one for you.  We do have a licensed real estate agent on staff or we can work with an agent of your choosing.  Here is what we will need to know.  

-Where do you want to live?  

-Is there a specific county, city or town that you would like to live?

-Is there a specific school district you want your home located in?

– Do you want to live in an established neighborhood or a more secluded area?

-How much land do you want? ½ acre or 5 acres or in-between?

-Do you want lots of trees on your property?

-Do you want to live near commute corridors like route 66 or route 7 for your commute to work?

The cost of land in Northern Virginia varies greatly depending on what school district or town/city you want to live in so knowing this information is critical in establishing a budget.  

Architectural designs

Depending on what you are trying to accomplish we may recommend using our in-house designer or engaging an Architect to complete the design of your custom home.  In order to determine the best course of action and approximate costs of this work we will need to know the following:

-Size of home?  How many sq. ft. roughly do you want your home to be?  If you are having trouble determining this we can help.

-How many bedrooms and bathrooms would you like?

-What style home are you interested in?  Traditional? Contemporary? Craftsman? Just to name a few…

-What types of finishings are you looking for?  Siding or stone?  Hardwood or carpet?

Pictures speak a thousand words so if you see something online or in a magazine you like bring a copy with you.


What are you looking to spend in order to complete your dream home?  In order for us to design and complete a custom home that fits within what you are comfortable spending we need to know this upfront.  

Far too often clients don’t share this information and end up spending thousands of dollars designing a home that exceeds what they are willing to spend.  If we know what your budget is upfront we can guide the entire process from purchasing land to designing the home to meet your budget.  

If you follow these guidelines, then you should be well prepared for your meeting with your custom builder in Northern VA. Please feel free to give us a call at 703-359-6880 if you’d like to have a conversation with Kyle, the managing partner at Foley Development Group, LLC and set up your appointment.