Things to Think About When Building a Custom Home
When you start thinking of getting your own home, there are usually two options open to you. You can buy a preexisting home, or you can build a completely new home.
Most people choose to buy a home that is already built because it is less stressful and saves time, explains Windermere Management in Spokane. But for others, building a custom home is the preferred option. If you are reading this, it is possible that you fall into the group of people who would rather build their own homes.
Given that there so many homes out there looking for buyers, why would anyone want to build a custom home? There are good reasons for wanting to build your own home, such as:
- Customization: You have the freedom to decide every single detail of the home. You are not boxed into what a previous owner decided.
- Functionality: Because it is designed with your specific needs in mind, a custom home is more functional.
- Quality: You can never tell the quality of materials and workmanship that went into an existing building. But with a custom home, you control all the factors.
- Money: Buying an already built home locks you into what is available in the market, price wise. But when you build a custom home, you construct it within the limits of your budget.
There is a lot to be said for building a custom home. But there is also a lot that can go wrong in the building process. Unless you do your homework thoroughly, your attempt to build your own home could end in a huge disaster.
What are the important things you should know before undertaking to build a custom home?
1. Location before everything
For most people building a custom home, location is not the first consideration. But the land where you plan to build your home determines much of what you can or cannot do with the house. There will be questions about zoning issues, soil quality, the incline of the land, availability of utilities, and specific building codes and regulations for the area.
If you go ahead to design the home without taking into account all possible limitations imposed by the land, you may waste money. Ideally, you should not purchase a piece of land unless you are sure you can build the home you want on it.
2. Think about your home design
This is can be the most problematic part of the building process, but also the most fun. If you do not know exactly what you want in your home, you will end up making too many changes during construction.
This will affect the cost and schedule of the whole project. To create a design that is pleasing and functional, ask these questions:
- What are the things you wish were better in your current home?
- What is your daily routine and where do you love spending the most time?
- What is your lifestyle? Do you host parties or have hobbies?
- How much storage do you need?
- Where do you see yourself in five years? Married or living with teenage children or dealing with an empty nest?
Look over your answers and separate the needs from the wants. Consider things like ventilation and air quality; energy efficiency and lower utility bills, as well as the future resale value of the home. And make sure you hire a professional to design the home.
3. Expect to spend a bit of your own money
The financing process for building your own home is different from the financing process when buying. Usually, to finance a custom home, you will need a construction-to-permanent loan. And these are structured very differently from the traditional mortgage.
Moreover, many banks prefer not to issue these types of loans. Additionally, there are parts of the pre-construction phase that you must pay for out of pocket before you can even start to think of financing. This means you must have a substantial part of your own money set aside for the project.
4. Your builder is your partner, so choose wisely
A builder is the person who translates your design into a structure. Communication between you, the designer and the builder is critical. The builder is also responsible for obtaining permits and submitting documents to the local authorities.
The wrong builder can delay or even derail your project. Before you hire a builder, do your due diligence, talk to many companies, evaluate how promptly, and clearly they communicate with you, visit their current projects, talk to past clients, look at their history, and find out if they have handled a similar project recently.
5. Have a contingency fund and expect the unexpected
Your schedule is a guideline at best, events will happen that will throw your timing off. Some of them will be beyond your control, like bad weather. Others will be the result of human errors. But a good builder will help you navigate all of them.
Additionally, the builder should know what supplies and contractors are needed for every phase of the project and they usually do. But sometimes unexpected situations will occur or there will be an oversight. Those are the times when the contingency fund will come in handy.