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The Ultimate Guide to Custom Home Building


Building a New Home is a very exciting and rewarding experience. The opportunity to personalize your home and build your new dream home from the ground up. Every detail just as you envisioned. You will be involved from the beginning with the design process to ensure your home fits your needs and lifestyle.

Here are a few tips for planning and designing your new custom home.


  1. Plan a budget.

Determine your “all-in” range that you are comfortable with that includes land, land prep, and all the building costs. Be sure to account for some unplanned cost and also any cost overruns on some of your design selections. Coming up with an accurate budget is important. Your Builder will help you with this. If you are talking per square foot pricing , then new custom home pricing can range between 180 to 500 dollars per sq ft, depending on the quality of finish, complexity of design, energy package, type of foundation, and your features and finishes.

No matter how much planning you put into the project, and how much skill your builder has, delays are always possible. Account for that in your budget to ensure that you will not be unduly affected by any hiccups from the weather, delays in materials, shortage of contractors, or inspection bottlenecks.



2. Choose and purchase your homesite

Selecting the right lot and location to accommodate your needs is important. Some homeowners desire to have a golf course view, others prefer a private lot, some love a particular community for amenities and a close commute to work. Other things to consider include location in the community, orientation of the lot, gated or non-gated , HOA or stand alone lot.

3. Choose your builder

Once you’ve locked down your homesite, it’s time to decide who’s going to build your home. Choose a builder you feel comfortable with, and someone with the experience and expertise to help you get everything you are wanting. Select a Builder and Architect carefully and never hesitate to ask questions or make your needs known. The right team is there to create the home you and your family desire. If they are the right fit, then you will feel a strong sense of partnership instead of just a transactional relationship.


4. Design your floorplan

It’s time to schedule your initial design meeting with the Architect and the Builder. This is where the fun begins, since your vision will soon become reality. The architect takes the lead to create a preliminary design, then the builder builds a preliminary estimate to ensure that it is aligned with your desired budget. Early collaboration between your architect, builder, and yourself helps to create and refine a home design that meets your needs and wants while also successfully staying on budget.

As your architect is perfecting your home design and finalizing your architectural plans and engineering, you and your other team members are also hard at work. You and your Builder and your interior designer if you choose one, are making the first phase of design selections, while your custom builder is providing options, and building a construction schedule.

Many homeowners are prepared in advance with a scrapbook of pictures from Pinterest, Houzz, and Google showing styles, ideas, and features for their new home they want to incorporate. Other items to consider are:

  • The size of the home

  • The number of bedrooms and bathrooms

  • One story or two?

  • Any other needs or necessities, like a wine cellar, gourmet kitchen, hidden room, multigenerational

  • The general look and style of the architecture

  • Material must-haves

  • How the home will sit on the land

  • Your budget




5. Secure financing

Now, it's time to get financing. Your Builder should be able to refer you to a lender if you don’t have one in mind. You might consider a one-time close for your land loan, construction loan, and home mortgage, which will streamline paperwork.


6. Architectural Review Committee

It’s almost time to start building, but first you’ll need to have your plans reviewed and approved by the ARC. It’s the committee’s job to make sure your plans are sound and everything complies with the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) of the community. Your builder will submit for you and keep you updated on the progress.



7. Pre-Construction Phase

In this phase, your custom builder helps you with all the paperwork that is part of every construction project. Neighborhood association approvals are obtained, building permits are secured, necessary insurance coverage options are analyzed, and financing is secured and approved. Now is also when the key subcontractors for framing, roofing, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical work are locked down, so they are available at the right time. Your custom builder will schedule all of this.


8. Construction Phase

The lot is cleared, construction starts, the house takes shape as the foundation is poured and the framing starts to go up.

An experienced construction manager ensures all goes smoothly to avoid mistakes and rework, and to keep everything on schedule. After the frame is complete, the MEP’s of your home are installed, from plumbing and electrical to insulation and finishes.


We want you to have the greatest homebuilding experience. Your homebuilding journey should be an exhilarating and rewarding process. Let us show you how.