At the Craftsmen Group, we feel that building a custom home should be a creative and rewarding experience.
It may not be for everyone, and for the homeowner it involves a major time commitment, some visionary ability, and the skills to effectively communicate and work with a cohesive team of professionals.
But given those elements, it can provide the homeowner with the opportunity to create a classic residence for their lifetime. A home with a floor plan ideally suited for their needs, and with a finish look and style that is an expression of their unique interests and personal lifestyle. With careful planning, a custom home can also be an excellent investment, as most of our clients end up with completed homes costing much less than their appraised values. Below is an outline of a 12 step program that will provide an overview of the process of building a Custom Home.
If you have considered the idea of building a custom home. . . . Please feel free to contact us for an initial consultation.
1. Big Picture Review: The first step is to sit down and review what you are looking for in a home, including:
• Lot, setting, neighborhood
• Floor plan of home
• Quality & features
• Personal Budget
Then being sure you have an understanding of what to expect in the custom building experience, and that the experience is right for you. Most people who have horror stories about a building experience have not properly gone through this Step. Perhaps they have decided to custom build for the wrong reasons, had unrealistic expectations, or did not have the proper time to commit to the process.
2. Surveying potential building sites: Building lots are difficult to find, and expensive in the Puget Sound Area, also, in many areas it is difficult to find a lot for a custom home in a new subdivision. You want to make sure you have a good idea of realistic land costs, available locations, types of setting, and what permitting requirements you may encounter.
3. Surveying of Houseplans and Features: It is good to have an general idea of what type of floorplan will meet your needs, and what features you desire. That way you can have a general idea of building costs, to make sure you have a realistic budget. You will also want to make sure that you focus your lot search on properties that are well suited for your desired houseplan.
4. Assembling your Team: In addition to the Builder of your home, you will need to interact with many different professionals during the course of your custom home project. Depending on your situation this team could include an Architect, Realtor, Attorney, Interior Designer, Lender, etc.
Be sure that you have a confidence and trust level with all members of your team, and that they effectively work together.
5. Securing a building site: Locate and negotiate a contract for a suitable Lot. We know several local real estate agents that know the local vacant land market, and can assist you with structuring sound agreement for a building site.
6. Designing the Home: Many times you can find an exisiting houseplan that is available that is well suited to your needs and budget. Or, if you desire a home uniquely suited for youyou’re your property. . . we have a working relationship with many good local Architects and can help you find one best suited for your project. Hint: make sure you consult with builder as you design your home, to make sure cost estimates are realistic.
7. Arranging for Financing: Make sure you work with a lender who is familiar with construction financing. Terms will vary for these types of loans, and you will want to make sure you obtain a loan that is best suited for your situation.
8. Selecting a Builder: At the Craftsmen Group we would love to earn your business, but we are not best suited for every project. Three tips here:
Select a builder who is familiar with the general area and jurisdiction of your project.
Make sure they have time to give your project the proper attention.
Be sure to work only with a builder whom you Trust and can effectively communicate.
9. Obtaining Building Permit: Be sure to get sound advice on what is involved with this process. You will need to decide whether you want to take on this task, or delegate this to your Builder.
10. Finalizing Construction Contract: Best to use a standardized agreement. If the builder has his own personally drafted contract, review it carefully or have it reviewed by an attorney.
11. The Building Process: The fun begins. Be prepared to keep on the progress and be ready to make the many decisions and selections that will be required for finish details and features.
12. Moving In: The day you have been waiting for. . . . be sure to have a thorough walk-through and punch-list with your builder to be sure that everything is completed properly. Time to get settled and start creating a lifetime of memories.