At the Craftsmen Group, we feel that building a custom home should be a creative and rewarding experience.
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 finished 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. However, it may not be for everyone. 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.
We encourage all homeowners to make an informed decision. And we are here to help. Below we have outlined 12 general steps of building a custom home. We hope you to review them and if you have any questions and/or are considering building a custom home, please feel free to contact us for an initial consultation.
1. Big Picture Review: The first step is to determine the major elements you are looking for in a home, including:
Use these elements as guiding posts when beginning your research into what to expect in the custom building experience. This will help you ensure 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. In many communities, it is also 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. You will also want to make sure that you focus your lot search on properties that are well suited for your desired house-plan.
3. Surveying of Houseplans and Features: Having a general idea of what type of floorplan will meet your needs and what features you desire will enable you to develop a realistic budget.
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 project’s specifications, this could include an Architect, Realtor, Attorney, Interior Designer, Lender, etc.
It is important to be sure that you have confidence and a 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. At the Craftsman Group we know several local real estate agents that have vast experience in the local vacant land market, and can assist you with structuring a sound agreement for a building site.
6. Designing the Home: Many times, you can find an already existing house-plan that is well suited to your needs and budget. However, depending on the specific project, you may need to work with an architect to draft a house-plan. At the Craftsman Group we have a strong working relationship with many local Architects and can help you find one best suited for your project.
Hint: Make sure you consult with your builder as you design your house-plan, 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 recognize that we may not be best suited for every project.
Three tips here:
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: For most projects, it is 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 finishing 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.