The building process

How to Build a Custom Home: Our 8-Step Guide

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of coming home to a space that is yours and has been completely customized to your tastes. From selecting land to drawing up home plans and watching the build take shape, a custom home build is truly a rewarding process, that not everyone gets the joy of experiencing.

But for those lucky enough to be considering a custom home build, it’s important to fully understand the building process and the steps involved in making your dream a reality. In this article, our expert new home consultants delve into the general stages you can expect to encounter on your custom home-building journey. As these stages are meant to be a guide only, please ask your custom home builder if there are any additional items to be aware of.

Step One: Preparation is Key

As the saying goes, preparation is key and the same applies to the custom home-building process. Before contacting a home builder, it is important to break down your budget and building time frames to determine if this avenue of home building is suitable for you.

Types of custom home budget costs to consider include:

  • Land cost
  • Local taxes, permits, and fees
  • Home builder and construction costs
  • Landscaping costs
  • Home furnishing costs
  • Mortgage and loan payments
  • Initial down payment
  • Padding (money set aside for unexpected costs during the build)

This budget breakdown can assist in determining the realistic size of your new home, locations, and land you can afford. On top of this, you should determine the desired timeframe for your custom home build and if you have any restraints. This could include finding and buying your land, end-of-home leases, school, new family members, and more.

If you are still researching the type of custom home build you are looking for, our Custom Home Designs page details the different levels of custom home builds and is a great guide for beginning your home build process. 

Step Two: Choosing A Custom Home Builder

Before deciding to embark on the custom home building journey and rushing into a decision, it is important to conduct research into home builders and find a reputable one that meets your needs. Whether you have an existing plot of land you’re building on or need help finding it, are looking to customize a standard plan or make some changes to an existing home design, different home builders offer different types of services.

Research online first by investigating the home builder’s experience, custom home expertise and previous completed projects to get a better idea of their capabilities and expected outcomes for your custom home build. This can set your expectations going into initial consultations with your chosen builder later and glean insight into the parameters for your custom build project.

For example, at G.J. Gardner Homes, our expert custom home builders and new home consultants are readily available in-house. This saves you the trouble of putting together a custom home-building team with a range of third-party contractors. Simply attend an initial consultation to determine the degree of customization required and the team can provide design plans, assist with permits and other building needs including helping you locate your land to build on.

Step Three: Design Your Dream Home

After selecting your home builder and securing your land, it is time to start drawing up your dream home design and future floor plan. For your first consultation with your home builder, it is important to bring to the meeting a list of wants and needs with a level of importance in mind.

Consider the following:

  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Garage size
  • Room arrangements and preferred floor plan layouts
  • Overall size of the home
  • How many stories are in the home
  • Budget
  • Architectural and interior design style
  • Negotiable inclusions (e.g. pool, covered patio, fireplaces, wine cellar, media room)

Alternatively, if you don’t want to start your home design from scratch, it is likely your builder will have existing home design plans to choose from and further customize.

Following this first meeting, the home builder will draw up your custom home design plans into a floor plan along with an estimated price of the complete custom home build called a purchase agreement. Upon review of these documents, you can provide feedback, edits, and changes to the floor plan and materials used to reduce costs if needed or add new features to the home.

Step Four: Obtain Financing

Upon the completion of the home floor plan and cost estimations, it is time to consider how you will finance your home build. This could be through a construction loan, cash, or a combination. It is recommended if you are planning to secure financing through a third party, you speak to your local lender or mortgage broker to explore the most suitable options available to you.

Step Five: Finishes & Fixtures

Arguably the best part of the design process, it’s now time to select your preferred finishes and fixtures. This includes countertops, flooring, hardware, lighting, windows, trim, cabinetry and more. Your new home consultant should walk you through the options available depending on the level of customization desired.

Step Six: Construction Starts

Once the final floor plan and purchase agreement are signed and settled, the construction and building phase can begin. This tends to happen in stages but, you can expect the following:

  • Site clearing and preparation
  • Foundations, framing, and roof
  • Utility installation
  • Insulation and drywall
  • Flooring, lighting, paint and millwork
  • Fixtures and appliances
  • Finish work such as final paint, wall coverings, trim
  • Landscaping

This is such an exciting time in your custom home build journey as you can see your plans come to life in physical form!

Step Seven: Final Walk-Through

After the custom home build has been completed, you will do a final walk-through. This is an opportunity to inspect the home and ask questions before the official closing of the home. In addition, during this walk-through, you will go through each room of the home and do a final check.

Step Eight: Closing The Home

Following your final walk-through and closing your home builder will hand over the keys to your new home and you will take possession of the property.

At G.J. Gardner Homes, we specialize in custom home builds with extensive and proven experience in creating tailored home solutions for customers across the country. If you are considering a completely custom home design or a semi-custom home, our team is here to help. Benefit from our stress-free build process honed with decades of building experience.

Want to learn more? Contact our home design experts today by visiting our website.