How To Decide If You're Ready To Build A Custom Home

by Grace Motley

Custom homes represent significant investments in terms of time, money, effort, and attention. While it can be immense fun to work with a custom home builder, you still want to be sure you're ready to tackle the project before starting.

How do you decide whether you're ready? Here are three ways to figure it out.

Vision for the House

This doesn't necessarily mean you have to have plans for the house down to the square inch. However, you should be able to state clearly what your preferences are.

For example, are you looking for an open or closed floor plan? Would you prefer something ornate and traditional or simple and modernist in terms of design? Are there specific features the house has to have, such as aging-in-place elements or work-from-home capabilities? Your work with a custom home builder will be much more fruitful if you address these concerns before getting started.

Engineering Studies

It's easy to focus on the house part of building custom homes and lose track of how properties can change things. The terrain can create major problems or opportunities. If you have a location that has drainage issues, for example, you'll want to address those through engineering work before taking chances with a house's foundation. Similarly, it's not a bad idea to look for positives that can be accentuated, such as a view of the woods.

You should also think about seemingly small things. How the sunlight will come through the windows can positively or negatively affect your enjoyment of the house over many years. It's also prudent to think about how these factors will play in different seasons and conditions.

Financing the Project

Custom homes tend to cost more than projects that follow predetermined plans. Not only will you need to ensure there will be enough money for the job, but you should plan to have 20% extra to handle overruns or to take advantage of opportunities. This financial wiggle room will make it easier to adjust to circumstances on the fly, and you can always invest leftover money in furnishings and accessories for the house.

Likewise, you'll want to have financing lined up in advance. Ask a loan officer from your bank, credit union, or finance company to meet with you. You can then establish what level of financing is available for the project and how to put it to the best possible. Not only will this help you avoid surprises once the job is moving, but it can open your eyes to chances to go bigger or better.

Contact a local custom home builder to learn more.