Building a custom home is not an overnight process. It’s quite different than buying an existing home. It’s also more involved than building a new home that’s identical to all the others around it. So what does the custom homebuilding process look like? There are lots of details, but it is manageable (and exciting) if you approach the process properly—by taking one step at a time.
Start with a Realistic Budget
One of the first things you should do is establish a realistic budget. What you are willing or able to spend plays a big role in determining what you can build. Homeowners can get themselves in trouble by not being realistic. If you try to build more than you can really afford, you can end up “house poor.” You may have a fine house, but you may find yourself struggling to keep it. If you spend less than you really should you may save some money, but you probably won’t be happy with the quality, size, or features of your new home. Remember: Your goal is not to save money (or overspend!), but to get the best home you can at a fair price. And knowing what your budget is can help you make decisions when options to modify your building plans surface. Here's some help in setting a realistic budget for your Rochester-area custom home. Here's some help in setting a realistic budget for your Rochester-area custom home.
Select the Perfect Lot
Different homeowners want different things from their lot. Some opt for convenience (proximity to schools, work, or regular events). Some are more concerned with views or seclusion. But no matter what drives your choice, you’ll have to select your lot before you get too far down the road with specific design details because the physical characteristics of a lot can determine the structure of the house being built on it. Here's an article that offers help for this critical part of the custom home building process.
Find the Best Home Builder
Selecting the construction team that will be building your dream home is every bit as important as choosing your lot, your plan, and making your budget. Many homeowners begin by selecting the builder or contractor who then selects the other members of the team. The good news is that a good general contractor knows who the other best players in town are. Check out this article for tips on what to look for in a custom builder.
Determine Your Design
Gerber Homes offers an extensive collection of floor plans from which to choose! Options range from estate-sized acreage home sites to smaller single story homes. And each floor plan can be customized to give you the maximum number of options. And if you want something different, you can still enjoy the outstanding quality and craftsmanship of a Gerber Homes—built home that’s based on your own plans!
Understand the Construction Process
We’re not suggesting that you become an expert in home construction. At the same time, it’s helpful for you to understand what happens in the various stages of construction. There will be times when it doesn’t look like a lot of progress is being made. Despite appearances, there are important activities happening. Click here for a visual look at what happens in key stages of the construction process. It will help you to be more comfortable when it feels like things aren’t moving as quickly as you’d like.
Seal the Deal with a Contract
The final step to take before beginning to build is to secure a written contract signed and dated by both the builder or contractor and the architect or designer (unless the architect’s designer is a sub-contractor of the builder). A new home construction contract should describe the project in detail and should include a list of all the components included in the house. If you make any changes to the project, be sure to amend the contract, so there are no unwanted surprises later.
If you’re looking for more details (and ideas) for building a custom, we invite you to download our free 17-page Custom Home Guide.