Considerations to Make When Building a Custom Home

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Building a home is a very exciting yet stressful time. To give yourself and your family the best chances of a successful custom build, here are some considerations to make before and during the building process.


Your budget is going to be the most important thing to decide on before even consulting with an architect or contractor. There are a lot of things that will influence the overall cost of building your custom home, and this includes the price of the land itself, fees and taxes that will apply, the cost of hiring an architect and building team, the actual construction of the home including materials, landscaping fees, and interior furnishings and decorations. It is also a good idea to have a contingency budget in order to be prepared for the unexpected.

Since most people don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest in a custom home up front, you will most likely be acquiring a loan from a bank. A good credit score is crucial here for qualifying for enough money. You’ll have to decide on mortgage options, and you will also be required to pay a down payment. A financial advisor would be a great resource to help you make all of these important decisions and decide on a final budget that you can realistically afford, and qualify for.


While the process of building a custom home is a variable one, and you won’t be able to set a specific day for construction to be finished and expect it to actually be completed, there are some things that affect your timeframe for construction. For example, if a family is expecting a new baby, the home would need to be completed before the baby arrives. Similarly, the school year for older children may also affect your target move in date. If the end of a lease or a closing date on your current home has been established, it will be necessary for the construction of your new home to be completed prior to that date to allow you time to vacate your current residence.

There are a lot of things that can cause setbacks on a work site, and one you can plan around is weather. If you are located in a rainy or snowy climate, you can do your best to work around the weather patterns. Although poor weather won’t halt construction completely, it will certainly slow it down.

Target Area Characteristics

There are a lot of considerations to make when choosing where your new home will be, from the specifics of the plot of land to the overall characteristics of the surrounding area. You’ll want to consider several elements of your new area as well as the specific lot you choose to build your custom home.

When looking for that perfect spot to build your dream home, there are several aspects to consider. When looking at various properties, it is a good idea to consider the size of the lot, proximity to neighbors and other buildings, the slope/grade of the land, natural surroundings like forest or fields, the type of view or privacy the lot offers, and access to necessities like phone lines, sewage systems, and power lines.

Beyond the specific location of your custom home build, you should also think about broader generalities about the neighborhood you’ll be building in. for example, you’ll want to conduct research to investigate the school district, average home values of the area, access to amenities and services, zoning regulations, and the overall quality of the neighborhood.

House Specifics

Of course, some of the biggest decision you’ll make during this process is the design of the home itself. There are hundreds of decisions to be made when designing your home, so it is highly recommended that you work with an architect and a designer to achieve the perfect design. Before this, though, there are many things you can do to prepare for the actual design session.

The very first thing you should do is make a list of your wants, needs, dreams, and don’t wants. This way, you’ll know how to prioritize features in your home according to your budget and timeframe. You should also rank your wants in a prioritized fashion so you can plan accordingly and not lose out on features that are incredibly important to you. For all of your wants, you should also prepare a backup plan in case something is unfeasible down the line. Lastly, you should do some research and collect pictures of things that you like so your designer has an idea of the style you’re looking for.

You must also consider the functionality of the home. Is there anything in your current home you absolutely love/can’t stand? How big should your home be? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Will you prioritize an entertainment space, the kitchen, or a master suite? How many stories do you want? You should also plan out the layout of your home, such as the relation of rooms in accordance with each other (kids’ rooms next to parents’ rooms or laundry on the main floor).

house plan 1

Qualifications of the Architect and Building Team

Last but not least, you need to make sure you choose the right team for the job. If possible, choose your builder based on word-of-mouth recommendations from people you trust to guarantee that you’ll have a good experience building your home. Make sure that your architect is fully qualified and experienced in the style you’re looking for since some architects are better at other styles than others. When choosing a contractor for the build, there are many things to do before signing a contract: talk to previous clients, request pictures or a walkthrough of their latest projects, ask about suppliers and subcontractors to ensure you’re receiving the quality you want, and shop around for at least 3 bids before choosing someone.

If you’re interested in having a custom home built, reach out to San Rufo Homes to learn more or book a consultation.