The 3 Most Important Decisions You Need to Make

Designing and Building a Custom Home

The 3 Most Important Decisions You Need to Make

When You Build a Custom Home

Once you’ve decided that you want to build a custom home, you have some weighty decisions to make. With some work up-front, you can ensure that the process is actually enjoyable and that you end up with the home you’ve been wanting.

If you want to ensure that you end up with the home you want, in the ideal location, and within your budget, you’ve got 3 really important choices to make:

Choosing a builder,

Choosing a designer, and

Choosing the right property to build on.

See our previous article: How to Pick a Good Lot to Build On

We highly recommend choosing a builder and choosing a designer right off the bat. When your builder and designer work together from the get-go, you win. Throughout the design process, your builder will offer the hands-on expertise as well as pricing details. Through the building process, your designer will keep construction on track with the vision you have for your home.

Questions to ask your potential builder and designer:

Choosing a builder and designer

  • What’s their current resume of projects include?
  • Do they have experience with projects of similar scale and detail?
  • What is their communication style and abilities?
  • What are their organizational skills?
  • Will they share client references?
  • What are their project management tools and skills?

Some people may tell to you to wait on selecting a builder, but we disagree. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what local designer Christian Gladu says about the process:

A good custom home builder is an advocate for the homeowner as well as an integral and collaborative member of the design team. They work with the homeowner and design to team to help establish a realistic budget for the project and then monitor the cost and scope through the design and construction process.

Our recommendation is that you hire your builder early in the design process so that they can help monitor and control the cost of the project. Negotiate how the builder will be compensated up front and rely on the builder’s expertise to solicit multiple bids from suppliers and subcontractors rather than bidding the project to multiple builders. A custom home requires that you work to a budget to get the full value out of it. Custom homes are one of a kind, so it is wise to have the builder and designer work on the project together as a team and leverage their collective knowledge and experience.