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The 5-Step Guide to Building a Custom Home
Building a custom home is the dream, right? You get to create your perfect space, fitted to your unique specs and needs, resulting in a personal oasis of your own making. But custom builds can be daunting too – there are plans to create, contractors to hire, materials to procure, and (lots of) delays and hurdles to account for.
Preparation is the key to navigating your home-build journey. Below, the Reviews By Kathy Blog shares the five-step guide that will have you breezing through the process with ease.
Step 1: Plan Out Your Project
Planning will be the name of the game for your upcoming build. It will be critical that you know what you’re looking for instead of trying to wing it along the way. After all, you don’t want to land up with a home you don’t love many thousand dollars down the line, right? Here are a few factors to consider when planning:
- What is your budget? Be sure to allow for some leeway to exceed said budget too.
- What is the approximate timeframe or timeline for the project?
- What are features non-negotiable in the home (such as accessibility, a luxury bathroom, or any other features)?
- Which features are you willing to compromise on a little bit?
- How much help from contractors, designers, and architects are you willing to spend, and how much of your build will be DIYable?
By considering these factors upfront, you’re setting yourself up for smooth sailing down the line. Consider the benefits of an online calendar for planning, which include being able to customize your milestones and check off tasks from any device with an internet connection. Others can also access the calendar so everyone stays on the same page.
Step 2: Develop Your Program
Once you’ve decided on the parameters of your project, it’s time to get started on the fun stuff – the design! This is the stage of the process where you can begin incorporating your dream into reality. Gather lots of inspiration and reference images to get an understanding of what you’re going for. If you haven’t yet purchased your property lot, look for options that offer the features you’re looking for.
You may then want to tie the various design elements into a theme for a cohesive and consistent finished effect. You’ll be planning out the particulars here – like the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, layout, and more. However, you will also need to consider minutiae and details. For example, which of your rooms do you require maximum light in? Which rooms need connectivity to the backyard or balconies? Do you need an outhouse or guest room?
All these questions can get confusing, so architect Michael Graves suggests separating the ‘needs’ from the ‘wants’ from the ‘dreams’ and then from the ‘don’t wants.’ Hiring an architect at this stage will be critical to gaining clarity and creating an architecture program that makes sense while being aesthetic and convenient. After all, these studios are professionally trained to incorporate your ideas into a functional design!
Step 3: Consider Your Lifestyle
A custom home is a custom because it is built to your specifications. Sterling Homes notes that you’ll be able to design and accommodate your lifestyle, which is a massive advantage. Don’t be afraid to think big here – for example, if you love woodwork, you may want the perfect fitted-out workshop. Love to bike? Create custom bike storage! Then think about the particulars of your lifestyle. Here, consider practical elements like a storage room, display space, pantry space, and more.
Step 4: Build Your Team
According to Eye on Housing, approximately 180,000 custom homes are built each year. However, none of these homes would be remotely possible without the right team for support. After hiring an architect for the planning stage, you’ll need to set up a partnership with a general contractor. Your GC is the key to bringing your home to life – they ensure your vision is being met in the smallest of details. Thus, trust and communication will be critical in this relationship. Be sure to ask for referrals from friends and family before hiring a contractor, and look at photos of past projects to ascertain efficacy.
You may also need to hire additional team members for your project. A landscape architect’s services may come in handy if you’re planning for a lot of outdoor space. Similarly, an interior designer can help with picking out the right furniture to help your area truly shine, as well as deal with the right fixtures, finishes, materials, and millwork to accentuate the architectural details.
Step 5: Build the Backbone of Your Home
Every home needs a solid foundation. And while a literal foundation is essential, do you know what else is foundational to a fantastic living experience? Yep, we’re talking kitchen and bathrooms! These two rooms require great care during the building process as they are high-traffic areas that need essential functioning for living.
Set your home up with the necessary plumbing systems and features in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry room, so you don’t face hitches down the line. A reputable plumber will be essential here, and you can find the right professional for the job by searching via online service directories like Angi and Houzz. Go through reviews and ratings diligently before deciding on a plumber for the job, and be sure to work only with licensed and insured professionals. Getting an upfront quote will also be prudent before they get to work. Hiring a specialized kitchen and bath designer may also be the right move here to ensure these key spaces are precisely how you need them to be.
Buying a property is the easy part. It’s the building of the home that demands your time, effort, and yes – money. A custom build project has many moving parts that require you to make difficult decisions. However, it can be a gratifying process, too – after all; you’re likely creating the dream home you’ve spent so many years envisioning! Good luck with your new journey, and don’t forget to enjoy the process!