A House of One’s Own: How to Build Your Custom Dream Home Made Simple

A house of one's own

It’s relatively easy to buy a production home and it doesn’t require much effort, nor challenge. All you need to do is follow a few conventionally straightforward steps. You choose a community and builder that you like. You pick the house model that you prefer over others. You sign a contract and wait for the house to be built. Then essentially you move in to your brand new home.

Planned to perfection

However, building a custom home calls for significantly more energy and innovation. It’s a major endeavor that requires your time, effort and resources – as well as your passion.

To build a custom home, you need to be forward thinking and ready to be actively involved in every aspect of its design. There are several crucial steps that require your full attention and choice-making skills as you go.

Foremost, the steps include finding the best location, while knowing the pros and cons of building in your desired community, for designing and building your dream house.

When building a production home, you only need to monitor the actual construction of your house. But with a custom home, you’ll have to start from scratch. Inspiration and invention are your toolset here.

When there’s no option to choose a pre-planned or pre-designed home, you have freedom of choice – which is why conceptualizing and completing a custom home takes more devotion than purchasing a production home.

Below are the quintessential steps you need to build a custom home:

Liberate your imagination to access your inventive side

Envision your dream home

Liberate your imagination. Before you start construction of any kind, you need to gather your best ideas and elements for your ideal home. You can do this by collecting photos for reference and making a collage with the images.

Gather images into a collage

Or by touring completed houses that you like or don’t like – asking yourself why you like or don’t like various features along the way. Talking with an interior designer to get more ideas is a very generative strategy. Those with expertise often have truly useful insight.

When you’ve amassed ideas from these resources, you can start choosing the architectural style of your perfect home. Confidently, you’ll decide on the features, elements and requirements of for this dream to come true.

Create a dream team

Set your sights high. Working with people who share your vision allows you greater opportunity to realize it.

You can do this by choosing an architect whose work meets and exceeds your highest standards. This same architect will likely be able to help connect you with the most suitable potential builders for your project.

Or you can select homebuilders who have their own internal design service. If they don’t have their own, they can help refer you to a selection of architects they’ve worked with previously.

Ask for recommendations from the people you know, including local realtors, lenders, associations and friends who are recent homebuyers.

Ask for references

Trust your instincts … and your sources. The next step is to ask potential builders for references from past clients, suppliers, lenders and subcontractors. Contact these references and ask them the following questions:

  • Were they satisfied with the builder’s service?
  • Did the builder manage the project effectively?
  • Did the builder pay the suppliers and subcontractors on time?
  • Did they provide quality construction?

You can also request the builder to provide sample contracts, warranties and schedules.

Select the best location

X marks the spot. Finding and purchasing a land for your home is a wholly important step to building your custom home. It can be a treasure hunt to find the hidden gem when it comes to location – but the hunt is worth it.

It’s important to consider the best neighbourhoods for your needs. You will surely feel most at home when your dream home matches the landscape of your dreamland.

You can enlist the help of professionals to evaluate potential sites for your dream home. For any property, they can check the sustainability, the available utilities and potential views.

Decide on the design of the house

Decisions, decisions, decisions. You’ll need to have extensive discussions with your designer or architect to finalize the design of your custom home.

This involves making a cost/benefit analysis, establishing a budget and finalizing the specific design of your home. It also includes deciding on the salient features and product elements that fit your dream home to make your dreams come true.

Drawings by Architects and Builders

Take your time. It’s important to note that there is no time limit to the steps above. The time it will take to accomplish each step depends entirely on you.

The inventiveness and playfulness of your own imagination can be boundless. Choosing a team, finding a site and designing a house could take a few months to several years. So allow yourself the privilege of a loose schedule and flexible goals.

Monitor the construction

After the thinking cap, it’s time for the hard hat. During construction, you’ll be required to make several important decisions. For example, your input will be needed on the design, color selection and the products that will be used.

Building a Custom Home in Phases

Phase 1: Discovery

This is the part when the builder gets to know the client and what the client wants to accomplish. The builder asks clients their needs and desires, providing references and showing them completed homes.

During this phase, the builder also helps the client choose and hire an architect. The builder schedules several meetings with potential architects to find the right one.

Discovery is the key to innovation

It’s important for clients to feel that the builder is with them through every phase of this project. And most clients prefer to deal with the same people throughout the whole process. They don’t want to feel rushed.

Phase 2 and 3: Design and Building

Both these phases include the pre-building process of designing and budgeting. The builder helps the client finish the site analysis, as well as the schedule for construction and budget. The builder also discusses with the client the different options for the home.

Most architects tend to over design and exceed the budget so its important to work with people who can confidently address your financial stipulations. The builder needs to make sure that the architect designs the home without going over the budget.

During this phase, the client will continue to make significant decisions. For example, the client will decide on the finishes, colors and other features. And many will consider more practical needs for their home, such as a conditioned crawl space or, say, a dedicated pantry or built-in refrigerator.

Phase 4: Construction

The construction begins at this phase, and it will go smoothly if the previous phases have been successful ones.

But delays can happen when the architect doesn’t meet deadlines, or when the client doesn’t make selections on time. When changes need to be done, there should be a signed document and purchase order from the vendor involved so that things can proceed in a timely fashion.

Phase 5: Final Steps

This includes giving the client a walk-through of the property one week before the move-in date. And it also includes a review of the products and warranty, as well as the completion of a punch list.

Building a custom home isn’t instantaneous, of course, and it involves several steps which you’ll get to be actively involved in. It’s a major endeavor and one that you’ll want to pursue wisely, with the people who have your interests at heart.

The final steps before you welcome yourself home

We know that there is immense satisfaction and fulfillment once you’re able to bring to fruition the home that you’ve been picturing in your dreams. And at Idaho Impact Construct we custom tailor our needs to yours.

by Idaho Impact Construction September 14, 2020

Author: Idaho Impact Construction

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