What to Expect From the Custom Home Building Process
One reason many people put off building their custom dream home is that they’re intimidated by the building process. Committing to a custom built home can be scary if you’re unfamiliar with the process. However, uncertainty about the process should never be a reason to miss out on the custom home of your dreams. A little research up front, and working closely with a trusted custom home builder before and during the building process, can erase any fears you may have about what to expect.
In order to shed some light on a process that may be unfamiliar to you, let’s go through exactly what you can expect from the entire custom home building process, step by step.
Timeline of the Custom Home Building Process
1) Buy Your Lot. Some lots are available within communities that are already established with certain builders. This has its advantages, such as taking out one loan for the land and home together, having an easier decision as to a design/construction company, and a faster timeline. However, some people prefer to buy a lot separately, which allows them to find a bigger lot in a more personalized location and to choose any custom home builder and any home blueprint they prefer, rather than having limited options.
2) Design Your Home. This is arguably the most important step of the entire building process. Making sure the design of your home is flawless will save a lot of time, money, and headaches down the road as your home undergoes construction. If your lot is in a pre-established community, you may have a preset choice of home designs and layouts to choose from. Here at Picklo Homes, we offer completely custom design and can work with you to create the perfectly personalized home of your dreams. Or, if you prefer, we also offer customizable pre-configured plans. Keep in mind that you can sometimes work with a building company just for the design stage, then, if you prefer, use a separate company for the building phase.
3) Initial Walk-Through. Before construction begins, you should meet your builder on-site for a walk-through of the area to help you visualize exactly where the house will be, which direction it should face, and to help you visualize the entire structure. This walk-through should occur even before the clearing of the land, to make sure the lot is cleared according to your specifications. Otherwise, trees or other landscaping may be disturbed that you would prefer to keep as-is. At this point, your builder should be open to hearing any and all of your ideas, and show a willingness to work collaboratively with you to achieve your vision. If not, you may want to consider switching builders before continuing the building process.
4) Construction Begins. Depending on the complexity of your home plans, your own availability, and other extenuating factors such as seasons and weather, most custom homes take between 6-8 months to finish (Other Builders may take longer). Your builder should allow you complete access to your home during this time, accommodating your schedule to allow frequent observations and walk-throughs. If you visit frequently and notice an insufficient amount of progress being made, bring up your concerns to your builder right away. You may need to be proactive to make sure the needed work is getting done in a timely manner on your home in order for it to stay on schedule.
5) Formal Walk-Throughs. Along with allowing continuous access to the construction site throughout the building of your custom home, your builder should also schedule official walk-throughs with you to address specific areas of the building process. Since your needs and wants may change after the blueprint phase, meeting on location in the home itself allows you the opportunity to get a feel for the layout of the home and make updated decisions in key areas.
- Electrical Walk-Through. This should be scheduled with yourself, the builder, and the electrical contractor. You should discuss your specific electrical needs, such as media rooms, appliance locations, and outlet functionality in living areas and bedrooms. Poorly thought-out electrical arrangements can be a major frustration after your home is complete, so you, your builder, and your electrician should take extra care to make sure you’re all on the same page as to the electrical functionality of your home.
- Security and Media Walk-Through. Another focused walk-through with your builder should be with an Electrical Systems Contractor (AKA Integrator). This walk-through should focus on the digital features you may want to be installed throughout your home. You can choose components such as built-in surround sound, security systems, multi-room audio, CCTV, and choose specific locations for installation.
- Trim Walk-Through. The last planning walk-through with your builder should focus on the finishing touches of trim. Trim encompasses all of the built-in woodwork features of your home such as kitchen and bathroom cabinets, closets, crown molding, and door and window trim. You will identify your desired cabinet design and layout, shelving in closets, and any other built-in storage needs. Being in the home itself makes these decisions much easier to make and to explain in 3D, rather than drawing them out in 2D.
6) Finish. Congratulations—you’re nearly finished with the creation of your custom dream home! Once your home is almost completed, your builder should accompany you on one final walk-through to catch any last-minute problems and to ensure that you are completely satisfied with the result. This is the time to point out any unfinished areas, flaws or mistakes, or additional features that you would like to add before the home is completed.
A Word of Warning: Expect the Unexpected
While a quality custom builder will do their very best to keep your house on schedule and on budget, building homes is a complicated process that usually involves one or more unexpected obstacles. This is no reason to worry, however. Your building company should be one step ahead of any unexpected hitches in the process, and their expertise and experience should be able to guide you through them without too much stress or effort on your part. Adjusting your mindset at the beginning of the project, and consistently reminding yourself to expect the unexpected, will help you to accept these bumps in the road when they do occur. This flexible mindset will make the custom home building process more enjoyable and less stressful for you all along.
The Picklo Homes Building Process: What Makes Us Unique
If you’re considering custom home design and building in the Houston area, Picklo Homes would be happy to meet with you for a consultation.
Here’s what sets Picklo Homes apart:
- We have thirty years of experience in building quality custom homes with expert craftsmanship and take pride in operating as a local business within our community.
- We stand behind our work, and offer an Express Home Warranty on all of our custom built homes. View the details of our warranty here.
· Use our design services with no obligation to use us as your builder. If you do choose to continue with us as your builder, you’ll receive 50% of the design fee refunded after your home’s completion.