Congratulations! You’ve decided to build your first custom home. Choosing to go the custom route and not the spec home route is a huge decision, and you can finally put that behind you. The road ahead is still long, but this is where the real fun begins! When you choose Secure Built, you have a great team alongside you to help every step of the way and guide you through each custom home decision.
The idea of building a custom home from the ground up is truly a daunting thought and task, but we’ve been in the industry for so long that we have all the experience it takes to help you in any way we can. We know you’ve already done tons of research (and probably created countless Pinterest boards) on first-time custom home building, but below are a few of our favorite tips on the subject.
Set a higher budget
Items in a custom home add up quicker than ever, and you want to make room for all the things you want your home to have in your budget. And, regardless of what you think something might cost you, it almost always ends up costing more. There will also be things you’ve simply forgotten to budget for – small details like windows, concrete or doors that can eat up your budget faster than you can say “custom home.” There will also more than likely be a few extra costs coming from your builder that weren’t included in the initial estimate. Fences and gates, landscaping and decks are examples of finishing costs that can often bite 15 to 20 percent of your budget.
Aside from unforeseen costs, you’ll also want a bit of wiggle room in your budget in case something happens. If you change your mind on any materials or appliances, having the luxury to stray from the plan takes a bit of stress off.
Communicate with your builder
We know you’ve conducted countless research on every aspect of building a custom home. This does make it easier for the builder you choose, but be sure you’re constantly in communication with them. This is their expertise, and should you have any questions, your builder will have the answer. Find a contractor you trust, and you shouldn’t have any hesitation reaching out with any concerns or changes to the timeline/layout.
Prepare for endless decisions
This is often referred to as design fatigue – a time when many first-time builders are drained from making multiple design decisions on a day-to-day basis. Every tiny detail needs to be thought about before the builders can continue their job, and that is up to you. Many large builders are aware of design fatigue and try to avoid this by streamlining decisions where they can. They might give you three choices instead of the multiple there really are simply so you don’t get overwhelmed too quickly.
Visualize your future home often
Imagine walking into your already built custom home. What room do you walk into first? Where is the kitchen in relation to that? Should you add more windows if you like lots of natural light? Mental walkthroughs of your home can really help with the layout based on what naturally comes to mind. It will also help you determine the must-haves in your home which are critical to know before you begin the build.
Visit the site as much as possible
It’s probably not possible for you to visit the site every day, and that’s okay! But try to stop by as often as makes sense to catch any mistakes before they get too far. It’s also wonderful to see your dream home come to life every step of the way!
Hire the right people
This is one of the most critical steps in creating a successful building experience. It’s almost a requirement to get along well with all people involved in the process. Find people that have the same vision as you and you can be upfront and honest with. This is your home, your money and your decisions. Your experience with your builder will determine how the entire process goes. Don’t hesitate to interview builders until you find the right one, ask for references and even the numbers of people they’ve worked with in the past. Look for someone who answers your calls and emails quickly and efficiently, and find someone you click with.
Be kind to everyone involved
A simple act of kindness can really go a long way and brighten someone’s day in a heartbeat, so don’t hesitate to bring the crew muffins and coffee on your way to work. This certainly isn’t a requirement, but you might be surprised at just how grateful the crew is for a quick breakfast or snack midday. You work so closely with these plumbers, builders and electricians that you want them to feel valued for their hard work.
We hope these tips help you along the journey of building your first custom home. Remember it can be overwhelming and stressful, but it will all be worth it once you see how beautifully your home came together. Enjoy the process, as it’s not one you’ll do often! And, should you have questions, you can always contact us at Secure Built and we’ll be your guide. Happy building!