Building a custom home? Consult this step-by-step checklist first

Date published:
January 2, 2022

In order to help them find the property of their dreams, realtors often ask prospective homebuyers what their “dream home” might look like. How many bedrooms do they need? What amenities are must-haves? And how large of a yard do they want? Naturally, the homebuyer isn’t going to get everything they want. But the realtor will work to find a space that meets as many of their requirements as possible.   

But what if the homebuyer didn’t have to sacrifice anything? What if they could have everything they wanted — just the way they wanted it? 

That’s the power of building a custom home. If you’ve got a specific vision for how you’d like your home to look and feel, it’s time to work with a contractor to make your dream home a reality. Whether you’re just getting started with custom homebuilding or you’ve been considering the prospect for a while, the following checklist will help you get started. 

1. Reach out and establish a homebuilding team

The process of building a custom home is exciting. You’re probably itching to get started right away — but it’s important to resist that initial urge until you find a reputable team to work with. Why? Simply put, if you don’t have previous homebuilding experience, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

Finding the right property, establishing a budget and drawing up blueprints are just some of the many things you’ll have to consider when you start on your custom home journey. In order to avoid costly mistakes that will hurt you down the road, it pays to work with a reputable contractor from the start — one who will help you navigate and avoid early-stage homebuilding pitfalls. 

2. Work to create a budget and timeline

Before you can get started creating your custom home, it’s important to establish a preliminary budget and construction timeline for your project. What is the minimum — and maximum — you would like to spend? Where do you want to allocate the majority of your money? Are you willing to go over budget if the project ends up costing more than you initially thought?\

These are all questions that should be answered before you show up on-site. If you’re feeling lost and don’t know where to start regarding a budget, contractors can help you put together a plan that’s in line with the scope of your ambition. 

Similarly, a great contractor will give you an honest answer about how long a project will take to complete. Many different factors can get in the way of a speedy construction process — permits, insurance and city statutes, to name a few — but a reliable contractor will plan for these and build a timeline that works for you. 

3. Find the property that’s right for you

It might sound obvious, but in order to build a custom home, you’ll need a suitable property to build it on. Unless you’re dead-set on a specific piece of land, you can always work with your homebuilding team to find a property that meets your needs. 

When researching different properties, look for aspects that will help you and your family live the way you want. What yard size, surrounding community and nearby amenities do you want? Are you looking to build on land that’s being newly developed, or would you rather have your custom home erected in a more established area? These are all questions to consider as you begin planning your new living space. 

4. Hone your style and home requirements 

While detailed home planning is best left to an architect, you should already have an idea of what you want before you start drawing up building plans. What is your preferred home style? What kind of kitchen, laundry, bedroom and living space do you need? Do you need a two-door garage? How large of a basement do you need, and what will it be used for?

Think critically about these questions before settling on specific choices. Knowing exactly what you want beforehand will help contractors and architects take your vision to the next level — in fact, they’ll be able to work with your ideas and make them even stronger than you might’ve previously envisioned. 

5. Leave the rest to the pros 

If there’s one thing to remember when it comes to custom homebuilding, it’s that the process encompasses many different variables. Although you may be sufficient at putting together a budget and choosing the property you want to live on, it pays to leave the rest to those who engage in custom build projects for a living. 


More than simply saving you on cost, a great homebuilding team will help you bring your project to the next level. They’ll take your plans and improve upon them until they’ve helped you achieve what you first set out to build — your dream home, just the way you imagined it. 



Interested in getting started on your custom home? Start your application and get a custom quote today.