Front view white home at twilight

Make building a custom home a reality

Building a custom home is a dream come true for many people. When you can build that custom home in the Blue Ridge Mountains, all the better. When you know what you want, by that we mean when you have a vision for your dream home, then building a custom home makes perfect sense.

Where to start when building a custom home

It helps to start the process of building a custom home with a piece of land in mind. You might think the proper starting point is picking an architect to design your dream home. Yet an architect needs to know the topography of the land to site the home to ensure your dream home can be built on the land. A builder needs to understand how the home is sited in order to create an accurate estimate for building a custom home.

In reality, it helps to evaluate builders while you are looking for a piece of land. We recommend interviewing builders whose work you like to narrow down the top three builders that you can envision building a custom home for you. Once you find a piece of land that excites you, consider inviting those builders to walk the land with you. At this point, a builder can help you envision what is possible on the land, such as the best area on the lot to build your home (the building envelop) and what kind of foundation you’ll likely need.

Your top three builders will likely have strong relationships with architects in the area and can refer you to several who will understand your vision.

It’s important to collaborate when building a custom home

When building a custom home, most of our clients work with an architect to design the home. Some of our clients find house plans on their own and use an architect to customize the plans to suit their needs better. What’s important is to include your builder in the process of completing the design.

We recommend including us in the design process when building a custom home for a number of reasons, not least of which is developing a collaborative relationship with your architect. Projects often move more quickly and smoothly when the builder and the architect are familiar with each other’s processes and know each other’s needs. They can collaborate if any unforeseen challenges arise, too.

Most clients have a budget in mind to build their custom home. Yet, it is easy to design a home that will cost more than what you want to spend. We see this happening more frequently as material costs go up and supply chain delays occur. Including us in the design process can help keep costs in check to ensure you’re designing a home within your budget.

Is building a custom home expensive?

Expensive is a matter of perspective. Building a custom home or buying an existing home, for most people, is the largest financial investment they’ll make in their lifetime. It is easy to get carried away with all of the possibilities that come with building a custom home. That’s why we advise clients to set a realistic budget and honor it when building a custom home.

Ask your builder if they have an average price per square foot cost for building a custom home. A good builder is going to give you a range because there are so many variables to include in the cost per square foot.

For example, if you’re building a home with top-of-the-line materials and finishes, the cost per square foot will be higher than if you’re using middle-of-the-line materials and finishes. The size of the home also impacts the cost per square foot. Large homes require more materials and take more time to build than smaller floor plans. Time can also influence cost. Frequent fluctuations in materials costs can impact pricing as well.

Experienced builders can give you a good ballpark estimate fairly quickly based off the house plans and a solid understanding of the level of finishes you envision. However, an accurate, construction-ready estimate to build a custom home takes time. We get accurate estimates from vendors and subcontractors when creating a construction-ready estimate. These are numbers you can count on.

Building a custom home is an investment in time, too

How long it takes to build a custom home depends on the complexity of the project and the availability of materials and labor. As part of the estimating process, we establish a timeline for the construction process. This timeline accounts for the permitting process, ordering materials, the build time, and all inspections.

The building process is fluid, and we do our best to stay on schedule. However, inclement weather can factor into the timeline by causing delays. Unforeseen supply chain slowdowns and backorders can also impact the timeline, too. We do our best to communicate any schedule shift when it becomes apparent that the schedule for building a custom home may change.

How do you pay for building a custom home?

Some people have the ability to pay cash to build a custom home. Others chose to finance the project by obtaining a construction loan.

We can’t speak for other builders in the area, but our clients have complete transparency into the cost of building a custom home. They approve every estimate and can follow the numbers in our project management system. We do it this way to prevent surprises on our monthly invoices.

Thinking of building a custom home?

We put together a handy primer that goes into deeper detail about what it’s like to work with us to build a custom home. As always, we’re happy to meet with you to get to know you and your vision for your custom home. Click the contact us button below to schedule a free consultation.


RELATED ARTICLES