1. ASK QUESTIONS AND DO YOUR RESEARCH
Since custom home building requires a myriad of decisions by you, the homeowner, we recommend gathering a significant amount of information before design and construction start. You could leave everything in the hands of the builders and architects, but if you want your new home to reflect your individual desires, you need to be familiar with the options available to you.
A good place to start is with materials. Inquire about design trends, durability, and costs. Then move on to other aspects of your custom home. If you have trouble finding information, don’t be afraid to contact experts. Ask them everything that interests you…and keep on asking.
2. THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE
Try to make a rough plan of your next few years. How will your new custom home play a role in the next chapter of your life? Ask yourself important questions like: Do I plan to extend the family? Will I retire here? Do I plan to work from home? Should I start prioritizing my health?, etc.
Plan your budget and the layout of your house based on the answers to these questions. For example, if you want to improve your health, you can build a small gym, private sauna, or a plunge pool. If, on the other hand, you want to have more kids in the near future, you might think about adding an extra bedroom.
3. INVESTIGATE THE SURROUNDINGS
Whether you plan to build a house in the city or the countryside, it is beneficial to familiarize yourself with the features of the area you are considering.
A visit with a real estate professional could uncover any plans for future development in your area. Has the highway department projected a major expansion affecting your accessibility? Are any large residential developments on the horizon?
Be sure to check out the proximity of grocery stores, the level of care available at the nearest hospital, the response times on EMS and police calls, and the utility providers for water, sewer, gas and electricity.
Often overlooked is the school district of your proposed site purchase. In Texas the majority of your property taxes come from your school district assessment. Collaterally, in case of a resale, the school district’s reputation can be a beneficial factor.
A good source is neighbors. After all, they have experience in your area that no one else has.
4. HIRE A LAWYER EARLY
Building a custom home is a large investment. If something goes wrong, financial trouble is almost inescapable. In order to protect yourself from these unwanted scenarios, it’s best to work with a lawyer as you begin the process. They don’t have to be present during the construction. However, some legal explanations at the beginning of your project, along with the availability of consulting services through to completion will increase your confidence and enjoyment as you build your custom home.
A lawyer will come in very handy for evaluating the construction contract and the building regulations. Apart from working with reputable and experienced building companies, this is the second best way to protect yourself from scams, mistakes, and amateur companies.
5. CHOOSE YOUR BUILDER WISELY
Like any construction project, your choice of builder should be based on their experience, customer ratings, applicable certifications, and the quality of their portfolio. More specifically, their experience and portfolio should be in-line with the type of custom home you desire.
For example, If you intend to design a modern masterpiece using exotic materials, you need a builder who is experienced in such designs rather than one that primarily builds traditional structures with traditional materials.
The builder should also be up-to-date with trends and innovations, and should provide materials of your desired quality that are backed by reputable manufacturers.
The builders should also offer workmanship warranties and have a proven customer service record. There must be clear and transparent communication between you and the company. If you sense that the builder does not understand or approve your vision, feel free to look at some of their competitors.
Building a house from the ground-up is a tough process, and the custom home building company you choose will determine your satisfaction for many years to come.
6. GOOD COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Once you have decided on a builder, discuss the appropriate lines of communication for you to interact during the building process. Larger companies may have lead project supervisors who they entrust with your project. Understand how the builder views the role of the person in charge of your job site. Before you begin, define who the builder authorizes to talk to you and honor that person’s position.
A word of caution: Don’t interact with the workers at your job site. They work for the builder, not you. Your interaction will be a distraction and may delay the timing of your project. Recognize that your contract is with the builder, not the workmen.
You will have questions. You may have problems. You might want to change some specifications. Things will go smoother if you and the builder have agreed at the outset who your contact person is and what level of authority they can exercise.