14 Useful Custom Home Building Tips

March 12, 2020

Building a home can be stressful if you don’t work with a reputable and reliable builder and properly plan the layout of your house. Once you have an overall idea of what you want, the best thing to do is go room-by-room and work through each aspect you want in your new home with your custom home builder. Working with an experienced custom home builder, especially one that has an in-house design/build process can help you handle these details and help ensure you end up with a home that suits your needs. Here are a few custom home building tips to help you get started:

1. Find the Perfect Location

Location is one of the most important parts of building your home, which makes finding the right location one of the best custom home building tips. You will want a view you will love for a lifetime, wonderful neighbors, and a safe and fun town. While looking for a location visit possible neighborhoods and walk around. There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a neighborhood and you can experience some of them simply by spending some time there.

Consider whether the neighborhood is located near your job, shopping, and other things that are important to you. Location matters and can make a difference in your daily life. Make sure the lot or neighborhood you’re looking at has the right “feel” for you. If you prefer something more suburban or rural, you likely won’t enjoy a neighborhood in the middle of the city. Nearby access to major roadways can also make a difference in your access to outside amenities and commute.

Try to have a meal at a local restaurant and walk around the town to get a feel for what it would be like to live there. This will help you have a well-rounded, detailed opinion that will help you make an educated decision. Whether you have a specific location in mind or not, a good custom home builder can help you find what you need in that area or help find the best location for you when looking for land.

2. Evaluate a Homeowner’s Association

Another one of the important custom home building tips is the evaluate whether you want to live somewhere with a homeowner’s association. Will there be a homeowner’s association present in the neighborhood? A homeowner’s association serves to keep things in order within a particular community.

However, they can also be quite limiting at times. For instance, some associations will dictate the style of your home or what kind of fencing may be used. While these may seem like trivial issues, following someone else’s rules in regards to how you live on your own property can become cumbersome for some homeowners.

If there is a homeowner’s association in the neighborhood you love, make sure you review all the documents carefully and understand the terms. HOA documents are boring – there’s little question about that – but you shouldn’t rely on a real estate agent’s or even your lawyer’s summary of the terms.

Neither of those parties will be living in the community, but you will. Make sure you understand all the clauses so that there will be no surprises later on. A custom home builder with plenty of experience can help you navigate some of these details.

3. Choose Your Contractor Wisely

Another one of the important custom home building tips is to choose your contractor wisely. No matter how involved you plan on being in the building process, you will want to choose a reputable, reliable, and experienced contractor. There are a lot of things to look for in a custom home builder.

Check your builder’s reputation and financial status. You should ensure that your builder has a track record of on-time delivery and quality construction. Finding the right builder for you can be the difference between your dream home and a nightmare. You may love a neighborhood or a floor plan, but you won’t be happy if you move in and find that the builder cut corners on quality.

A custom home builder with an impeccable reputation and an in-house design/build process can help bring multiple phases of your home build under one roof. Plus, a good custom home builder will help you handle all the details that can make the home-building process stressful and overwhelming.

4. Get Permits, Flood Plans, Etc.

When you’re planning to build a home you will want to make sure you have permits, flood plans, and all other necessary paperwork in order. A good custom home builder will often manage as much as this as they can for you in order to save you a lot of headaches and stress. This another reason why finding the right contractor for you and your home is one of the most important custom home building tips.

5. Start with the Basics

Some people have been thinking about their dream home for years and know exactly what they want. Even if you don’t have every detail figured out yet, you probably have some ideas about what you do and don’t want in your custom home. Being able to communicate these ideas to your builder during the design process can help them get a feel for your tastes and style.

Working through these ideas on paper ahead of time can help you get your thoughts in order. You may even discover you have a better idea of what you want in a custom home than you initially thought! You can even attend open houses and local home shows to get even more ideas. Evaluating what you don’t like about your current home can also give you some ideas for your custom home.

Grab a notebook and pencil and start with the basics. What types of rooms do you want in your custom home and how many? Are there any amenities and premium features that are must-haves? What about those that would be nice to have?

As you work through thinking about your home and getting your ideas on paper, you may be able to revisit and rework them as you add or remove things. This is also a good opportunity to prioritize items. All of this can help you work through and organize your own thoughts and it’s useful information for your builder as well.

6. Plan for the Future

Evaluate the future as you decide how your house will need to grow along with your life. Do you have plans to expand your family? Perhaps you have a child away at college who could possibly return to the nest one day. Maybe you have an aging parent who may eventually need to move into your home.

Consider the possibilities of your occupation. Have you ever considered working from home, in which case you would want a private home office? If you are nearing retirement, having a separate woodworking area or craft room might be ideal. Thinking about the future and how your home may need to support you 5 or 10 years from now will help you plan out what you need for your changing lifestyle.

7. Consider the Amenities

Another thing to consider is the kind of amenities that come with your custom home package. Obviously, there are certain amenities that are standard and will automatically come with the home. But, what kinds of upgrades are available that might suit your lifestyle better? If you find that there are certain upgrades you prefer to the standard version, then maybe upgrading is the best option for you.

Not only will some upscale amenities make your home a more enjoyable space for you and your family, but it will dramatically raise the market value as well. Two of the most important rooms to think about amenity upgrades are the bathroom and the kitchen. These are the rooms with the most appliances and water fixtures.

While it may not be necessary to have the best of everything, it is necessary to think about which upgrades might be useful in the future. Consider how living with the upgrade will better your lifestyle and if you will be okay with your decision down the line if you choose to forego the upgrade.

8. Keep Energy Efficiency in Mind

Homebuilders are doing whatever it takes to please an increasingly environmentally conscious housing market. Eco-friendliness is more than a hot new trend. If you think green while you design your custom home, you will end up with many smart features that will make your home more comfortable and valuable.

It all starts with the many ways you can save energy, from the latest energy-efficient appliances to using innovative new materials for insulation. You may also consider using building supplies from sustainable sources as an added eco-friendly boost.

These are just a few tips for building an energy-efficient custom home. Not only does this make your home more sustainable, but it can also keep heating and cooling costs under control to provide savings long-term and a good return on your investment.

9. Think About Aesthetics

The color, light, and flow of a home play a major role in the atmosphere of the home and can also affect mood. For instance, each winter, millions of Americans struggle with the “winter blues” because of a lack of natural light. Having plenty of well-positioned windows can remedy this issue.

Room colors can also play an essential role in a person’s mood. While certain colors elicit feelings of happiness and peace, other colors can excite and energize. Taking the psychology of color into account when picking a color palette can help you create the atmosphere you want in each room.

10. Beware of Over-Customization

One of the common mistakes that custom home buyers make when building their own home is going overboard on customization. What this means is that the owners build the home with great specificity to their particular preferences.

To a certain extent, this is fine. However, when some of the customizations are beyond unique and uncommon, it could have a negative impact in the long run. No matter how much a family insists that they will never sell their home, the numbers show that they most likely will at some point.

When you over-customize your home, you could be adding elements that will make it extremely hard to sell. You don’t want to end up with a home that someone would have to totally rebuild before they would be willing to move in. It will be almost impossible to sell if/when that day comes. Your custom home builder will be able to help you navigate some of these things should they come up during the design process.

11. Add an Element of Outdoor Living

Gone are the days of wide expanses of untouched lawn and modest flowerbeds around the house. Make a cozy outdoor living space for yourself. You will enjoy evenings with your family under a starry sky or hosting your guests in the fresh air.

The choices for outdoor amenities let you get creative. You could start with a nicely landscaped patio or deck for entertaining or try some “aquascaping” for a private, scenic getaway. Many people are building outdoor kitchens, spas, showers, and more.

12. Go Over Blueprints With Your Designer

Sit down with your contractor and go over blueprints before moving forward in the design process. It gives you the chance to add on or remove space wherever you need and to adjust placement as needed.

Is the laundry room in the best place for you? Are the bedrooms and bathrooms placed for your convenience? You can discuss, rearrange, and rework anything well before things are finalized and construction begins

13. Map Out Electrical Outlets and Plumbing

Mapping out where to put electrical outlets and plumbing is so important in any modern home. You want to make sure you have easy access to outlets for your items big and small. At the same time, you want to make sure you have plumbing where you need it and placed in a way that makes sense for the current and future of your home.

You will want to make sure there are ample outlets for your desktop, a place to charge laptops, tablets, and chargers, and you will also want to have a few for appliances, electronics, and other miscellaneous gadgets. You may also want to invest in outlets that have USB ports installed, so you can charge your phone or tablet without desperately searching for the wall adapter. Taking some time for planning electrical outlets in your custom home can make life living in it a lot easier later.

14. Determine the Best Stud Placement

Like mapping out spots for electrical outlets, finding the best places to put the studs can help keep your home safe and beautiful. Again, you will want to work with your contractor to find the best options for the room. This ensures you have what you need to be able to hang up things and decorate your rooms the way you want.

Thankfully, the custom home builder you partner with will handle a lot of the details associated with these custom home building tips. If you’re ready to make your dream home a reality, contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090!