As new home sales have plunged this year, the rate of custom homes being built has remained steady. Many homeowners are looking for more than a box in a master planned community but rather a home that has their own personal taste built right into it and from the ground up.
Depending on the upgrades and amenities selected, custom homes don’t have to cost significantly more but homeowners should be aware of the time and energy it will take to make it through the home building process.
We’ve identified 6 steps to building a custom home that you should be aware of before considering this exciting but challenging venture.
Don’t get in over your head which is very easy to do when building a custom home as costs rise quickly and time will fly.
You can scale down the most in the kitchen and bathroom and opt-out of expensive windows and flooring.
Lots that require grading or use of heavy equipment to take down trees or boulders will increase your costs.
A rule of thumb is that the more angles in a house, the higher the price. Stick to an easy rectangular home.
2. Purchase the land.
If you are buying in a custom home sub-division it should already be prepped for water, electric, phone and cable.
If you are buying raw property you need to determine the costs associated with bringing utilities to you.
Also check with the city in regards to residential building on the property and make sure you are aware of the zoning and setback requirements.
3. Create House Plans
You can hire an architect or buy generic home plans. Check out houseplandesignworks.com, edselbreland.com, stockhouseplans.com.
4. Apply for a Building Permit
You will need a blueprint and an architect or skilled general contractor can help you with the proper documents that need to be filed with city, county and state offices.
5. Hire a Builder
You have the option of acting as your own general contractor but you’ll need a lot of time and it helps to have connections for subs.
There are many services you can use to find independent builders but make sure the lines are clear as to who is responsible for what.
A design/build firm covers everything from the plans to construction which is a definite advantage when you need everything to run smoothly.
6. Secure Financing You’ll need to apply for a 30 or 15 year fixed or adjustable rate loan.
The builder will need to submit a resume, credit and banking references, cost breakdown, materials list and construction contract.
You’ll also have to workout construction and general liability insurance.
Once you’ve got financing you are ready to roll and can start down the path of building your very own custom home.