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Things to Consider Before Building A Custom Home
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Things to consider before building your custom home

The Essential List of Things to Consider Before Building A Custom Home


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You know you want to build your dream house, but don’t know how to begin? Not sure about the things to consider before building a custom home?

Getting started can seem like a daunting task to build a custom home. We are here to help!  The following guide is aimed at getting you on the right track and providing an overview of the process.

Our Essential List of Things to Consider Before Building A Custom Home

Before you get ahead of yourself with all the things you are excited to incorporate into your new dream home, you are going to need to address the basics:

  • Make a budget – Knowing your budget is essential. You have to know how much you can spend to decide how large of a home you can build and where and what design features can be included
  • Determine your timeframe – Of course, like everyone you want your new home finished as soon as possible. Is there a specific date you want your project to finish by? Are there anything specific factors you should take into account when determining when you need to start and finish by like a baby on the way or a new school year?
  • Find the right property for your custom home – The location of your new dream home is essential to everything you want this home to be. Read our post on finding the right location for your custom home build.

The Essential House Plan Details to Consider:

Develop a house plan defining your wish list, must have’s and goals for your custom home You should have this started before hiring a custom home builder, so they can help you refine your house plan in a way that fits your budget, your personality, and your family needs. They are professionally trained to know what is possible and how to incorporate your ideas into a functional house plan design. When making your dream house plan, keep the following in mind:

  • Dream big. This is your dream home after all. It is your chance to make your new home uniquely yours. At the start – go big on ideas. As things move forward you can adjust these ideas to the budget, zoning, timeframe, land and other realities.
  • Define a “Must Have” List, a “Wish List” and a “Don’t Want list.” 
  • Create a Vision Board of things you like (and don’t like). Websites like Pinterest and Houzz are great places to start.
  • Do you want an open interior design or separate spaces?
  • How many stories do you want? Do you want a single-story home or a multi-story home? If you want a multi-story home, what needs to be on the first floor? what do you want on the second floor?
  • What Rooms/Features Do You Want? Will you want a custom home office? A children’s playroom. A Media room? A Home Gym? A luxury laundry room?
  • How Do You Want to Arrange the Rooms? What should be near each other? Do you want separation for the master suite from the other bedrooms (or on a separate floor in a multi-story design)? Do you want the laundry room near the bedrooms? Do you want the home office near the entryway?
  • Decide which rooms are most important to you. If you have to make choices (and you likely will) how would you prioritize things?
  • Have You Considered Flooring Options? Hardwood flooring, tile & stone? Carpeting? What do you want in what room?
  • Rank your desired features in order of importance. This will help you make difficult choices later on.
  • Prepare for the “unexpected.” Prepare for the fact that some unexpected things may happen. Ask yourself: “What if XYZ happens?” What is your next choice /option?

Fundamental Considerations

  • Think about the width of your hallways, factoring in forever home future living needs
  • Determine the number and placement of electrical switches and outlets
  • How important are ceiling heights
  • Which way do you want your doors swing?
  • Do you want Energy Star certified things?
  • The lighting of your home, both natural and artificial
  • Make sure you have enough storage for everything.
  • Any interior design ideas?

Kitchen Wish List

  • How do you want the big appliances placed?
  • Do you want an island? A Butler’s Pantry What storage will you need and where?
  • How much prep/counter space will you want?
  • What materials and finishes will you want?
  • Do you want the refrigerator in the cabinets or jutting out?
  • Charging hub for phones and tablets
  • Pantry space or a Butler’s Pantry
  • Wine/beer storage
  • Will you want a wet bar?
  • Eat-in kitchen or separate dining space?
  • Will your kitchen have TV, radio or sound system needs?
  • Installing lights under cabinets to light up your counters

Great Room Questions

  • Do you have a list of must-have great room features? Fireplace? Vaulted ceilings? Walls of windows?
  • What are your entertainment needs?
  • Is there a separate playroom for the kids or will they use the great room area?
  • Work and play space for adults?

Bedroom Considerations

  • What master suite features are must-have?
  • Other bedrooms connected to a bathroom?
  • Are bedrooms separate from noisy areas?
  • Place enough outlets in the room

Closet Design Concerns

  • Master Suite walk-in closet? How many closets?
  • Do you have enough storage space?
  • Consider the lighting in your closet. TIP: Motion sensor lights are awesome.
  • Outlets
  • Built-in storage racks
  • What are the closets used for in each room TIP: Cleaning items closet?

Bathroom Features 

Outdoor Living Needs

  • What features are important for your outdoor living needs?
  • Will you want a full outdoor kitchen?
  • What about grill placement
  • Outdoor speakers
  • Where are sidewalks, porches, decks, or patios?
  • Outlets and faucets
  • What type of outdoor lighting do you want?
  • What are your outdoor living furniture needs/ideas?
  • Will you require an irrigation system
  • Where is your garage? Can it withstand high traffic?

Mudroom/Entryway Thoughts

  • Where is your mudroom or entryway?
  • Will you want a chandelier?
  • Will your entryway have double doors?
  • Do you want a calendar/desk/organization station?
  • Will you need a luxury laundry room and mudroom space

Other considerations

  • Safety features for children
  • Plan out an area for pet things
  • A saferoom for emergencies
  • Dimmer switches
  • Under stairs storage

Now that you’ve thought about your wants and needs, and developed an initial house plan, it is time to find custom home builder. Do this early in the process. Your custom home builder can help you draw up plans. A good builder will direct your vision, listen to your ideas, needs and they help you sort through what is and isn’t possible based on your land, budget, and timeframe. You will work closely with your custom home builder, so make finding the right custom home builder for you a priority.

We hope this checklist made you think more about how to get your custom home dream started. Interested in talking about building your vision? Use the button below to request a free, no-obligation consultation with our team.