Perhaps you’ve scoured local listings for your dream home and came up short or decided that your dream home will be custom-built. While it doesn’t matter how you’ve decided to build your own home, it can be an overwhelming process if you don’t know what to expect. Here are some of the essential items that you should plan to consider as you go through the building process to help you plan and navigate through what can ultimately be an incredibly rewarding experience.
Determine your initial budget
Setting an initial budget is imperative when you set out to build your own home. Without a finite budget, costs can mount quickly. If you exceed your budget without a significant cushion to fall back on, you may be forced to forego certain features. Figuring out how much you can spend will help you prioritize what you need so you achieve the exact look you’re going for. It also gives you the peace of mind that you are prepared to finish your build. Make sure your financing is in place. And be sure to add a reasonable contingency to your budget to cover any unexpected costs.
Decide where you will build
Use local real estate listings to find your perfect plot of land. This part is critical to your build, so you may need to spend more time looking for your ideal location. Make sure to verify the following before you settle on a purchase:
- Environmental considerations: type of terrain, grade, and elevation
- Local environmental concerns—if earthquakes, tornadoes, or flooding issues are a concern, you should plan to address them when you build
- Local statistics on crime, schools, transportation/walkability
Obtain required building permits
Getting the right permits can be time consuming, but it affects the entire process. Ensure that you allow plenty of time to observe local procedures for obtaining your building permits, approvals, and inspection processes. Knowing what you can or cannot build in a given area will save you time and frustration early on.
Hire your design team
Choosing the right architect is vital to the success of your build. Decide whether you want a home builder taking care of the entire process from the design to the finished product or whether you want an architect designing your home with a local builder carrying out the project. If you choose to hire separate contractors, compare at least three bids, and look at references. Consider whether floor trusses and/or roof trusses may be a viable way to save time and money and enhance the structural durability and aesthetic of your new home.
Build your home
With all of your decisions made, you will get to watch your build come to life. From floor joists to roof trusses, each piece brings you toward your goal of a custom home. Though the process can be taxing, the end result makes it all worthwhile.