To help dispel some of the anxiety you might feel about choosing to build a custom home, our team put together a complete guide describing every step of the building process. By brushing up on what to expect, you’ll not only gain a clearer understanding of all that’s involved but will also put your mind at rest knowing exactly how the project will move forward.
How to Build a Custom Home in 8 Steps
Step 1: Custom Home Research
The first step in any custom home building project should be thorough research. You want to make sure you understand the subject thoroughly before reaching out to a custom home builder in your area. By doing your homework now, you’ll be better prepared to answer important building and design questions, including:
- What’s your project budget?
- What kind of home are you hoping to build?
- What type of materials do you wish to include?
- Where are you looking to build your home?
- What building codes will need to be followed?
- How involved do you want to be in the project?
Obviously, there’s much more to consider than just these few questions. As you conduct your research and start to dream up your unique vision, be sure to write down the things you wish to communicate to your future builder. Additionally, write down any questions that may pop up during your searching so you can plan to ask them during your initial consultation.
Step 2: Finding a Builder
Once you’ve done a substantial amount of research and feel comfortable enough getting started with your project, it’s time to find a builder. While some choose to work with separate home design and construction teams, we recommend choosing a custom design-build contractor instead. This eliminates any miscommunication and separation between teams that may negatively impact your project.
When choosing the right custom home building and design contractor, it’s important that the team you choose has pre-established relationships with experienced architects. This way, all elements of your home building process are essentially handled under one entity so you have more peace of mind and free time to focus on other aspects of your build — like where your new home will be located!
Step 3: Finding a Location
After finding the right contractors for your custom home build, the next step is to find the right location. Finding a builder that’s deeply familiar with the local real estate market can help you gain a better understanding of what’s available in the area. Sometimes the vision that a client has for their home doesn’t mesh well with the location they choose. For this reason, it will be important for you to consult with your builders when choosing a suitable spot for your build. When selecting land for construction, consider the following questions:
- Is the land hilly or flat?
- Are there rocky regions of the property?
- Are there gullies, and if so, where are they?
- Is there surface water present?
- What kind of soil is there?
- What access restrictions exist, if any?
Once you’ve selected the perfect place for your home, it’s time for the real fun to begin: the design phase.
Step 4: Creating Your Blueprints
By this point, you’ve almost certainly communicated your vision on some level to your building and design team, but now it’s time to hammer out all the fine details. Together, you and your builder will review your ideas so that each expert can provide their recommendations for execution. During this phase, your custom home contractor will make suggestions for how to bring your vision to life in the most realistic, functional manner possible. Structural engineers and architects may also be brought in to offer additional expertise should your build include particularly unique architectural aspects.
Step 5: Choosing Your Materials
As you and your team work together to solidify the home layout and construction plan, you’ll need to select the materials that will be used to bring the blueprints to life. While you may have already discussed this with your builder, doing so again after finalizing your location will help you select materials that are better suited to your environment.
It’s important to keep in mind that building a home requires thousands of items, and each one will need to be approved by someone on your team. Whether or not each item is directly approved by you is up to your desired level of involvement. That said, it’s always helpful when clients come prepared knowing exactly what they want out of their build so their team can prioritize accordingly and make selections and suggestions that align with their stylistic preferences. Communicate clearly with your construction crew — especially for must-have items.
Step 6: Starting the Build
With Step 5 fully underway, now your team can break ground and start building! While every home build is different, a few of the key processes to expect include:
- Clearing away trees, debris, and other large objects from the property
- Digging into the ground far enough to build a solid foundation
- Bringing in materials to lay the foundation
- Adding specialty installments for crawl spaces and basements (if applicable)
- Having a framing crew finish the floor decks
- Constructing the walls
Once the framing crew comes in, you’ll be able to actually walk through the basic structure of your home and watch as all the details come together before your eyes. For the first time, you and your team will have a life-sized view of the size and shape of all the rooms in your new home.
Because change orders are so difficult to achieve once the framing has been complete, it’s uncommon for such requests to made during this time. This is why it’s critical to be completely open and honest with your builder about all materials and selections made prior to the building stage.
Step 7: Installing Your Amenities
After the foundation has been laid, it’s time to install your interior fixtures and furnishings. From plumbing and internet to HVAC and lighting, all the amenities you need to enjoy modern living will be installed during this phase. You may even work with an interior designer to help make your custom house feel more like a home as you get accustomed to the new space.
Step 8: Finishing Things Up
Hooray! Your custom home is now complete and the only thing left to do is a final walkthrough with the construction crew. Paint touch-ups and landscaping services usually comprise the final stages of your home building process as your team works to make your home move-in ready. At Lee Builders, we offer our clients a one-year follow-up appointment to touch up any paint chips or cosmetic repairs that need to be made. This is how we ensure the highest degree of quality in every project we finish.
What Does Your Dream Home Look Like?
If this step-by-step guide got you ready to take the next step in your custom home building journey, don’t hesitate to reach out to Lee Builders today. Our team has helped South Carolina and Georgia families build their dream homes for decades, offering the personalized design-build services that residents need to bring their unique visions to life. Allow our team to make your dream home a reality by contacting our home builders online!