Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Custom Home

May 23, 2024

Building a custom home is an exciting journey that needs careful planning and detailed execution. You’ll select a perfect piece of land, plan your budget carefully, and work closely with a design and build team. Then, you focus on designing your home, understanding each step of the process, and watching as your dream home becomes a reality.

This guide highlights six crucial steps in building a custom home. These steps help make sure your move from initial idea to the final phases is smooth and fulfilling. At Clyde & Co. in Northern Utah, we use our expertise and dedication to help you through this complex process. We aim to create a home that matches your style and meets your needs. Let’s dive into the details of building a custom home, giving you the knowledge and tools to create your dream space.

Key Takeaways

  • An 83% increase in single-family home sales by Russell Wing in Union County, North Carolina shows people want unique homes.
  • On average, a home construction project needs about 22 subcontractors.
  • Costs for permits can vary: building permits range from $1,200 to $2,000, and electrical permits from $10 to $500.
  • Designing a custom home can take 4-8 months, while building it can last 12-15 months.
  • Meadowlark Design + Build offers a three-year warranty for their custom home clients, adding extra peace of mind.
  • Important lot selection considerations include buildable space, existing infrastructure, green building priorities, and any pre-existing structures.

Choosing and Purchasing a Lot

When you’re picking a lot for your custom home, many things matter. Choosing the right spot makes building easier and keeps costs down. You’ll dodge problems and extra costs with careful selection.

Understanding the Lot’s Buildable Space

First, know how much of the lot you can build on. Local rules and the environment limit usable space. Hiring a pro to check the land helps you follow these rules. Also, people often choose bigger lots for more privacy and less noise.

lot selection for custom home

Checking Existing Infrastructure

Checking a lot includes looking at water, power, and other basics. In remote spots, setting these up can cost a lot. Keep your lot cost under 20% of your budget, unless paying in cash.

Considering Sustainability

Thinking green is key in picking a lot. It’s not just building materials but also using sunlight and wind well. Such choices lower your home’s impact on nature. They can also raise your home’s value for green-minded buyers.

Dealing with Existing Structures

Old buildings on a lot can be tricky. They may need tearing down, which costs time and money. Checking this early helps keep your home project on track. A local builder can spot issues like land slope and tree locations. These can affect your project’s price.

Focusing on buildable area, utilities, green design, and old structures is smart. It sets a solid foundation for your home project. This approach makes building smoother and leads to a lasting, green home.

Deciding on a Budget for Your Custom Home

Understanding your money situation is the first step in budgeting for a custom home. It’s important to know what you can comfortably spend. You should also think about your family’s needs. What the homes in your area are worth matters too. Making sure your budget fits with these points will help you make smart choices when building your custom home.

Dreams are important, but so is being smart with your money. Once you’re aware of your budget limits, talk to financial experts. They can explain your options for financing a custom home. You might consider a Construction-to-Permanent Loan or a Construction-Only Loan. Knowing your options is a big part of planning well.

budgeting for custom home

Knowing how much things cost is key to designing a home within your budget. For example:

  • Down Payment: Usually about 20%, but it can change depending on the lender.
  • Design-Build Fee: Normally between 15-20%.
  • Site Preparation: Makes up 3-5% of your budget. This includes costs for water, surveys, and making the site level.
  • Exterior Finishes: Account for 15-17% of the budget. This includes the outside walls, windows, and roof.
  • Interior Finishes and Fixtures: These are the biggest part of the budget, at 25-30%. It covers countertops, floors, appliances, and lights.
  • Major Systems Rough-ins: About 10-12% of the budget goes here. This is for HVAC, water pipes, and wiring.
  • General Conditions: Usually 5-7%. This is for making sure the construction crew is safe and comfortable.

Always plan your budget for the highest costs to avoid spending too much. And don’t forget about landscaping. It can also be a big expense in building a custom home.

In short, planning a budget for a custom home is more than just working out the numbers. It’s about making your dreams a reality in a smart way. Every choice should lead to a home that is as beautiful as it is budget-friendly.

The Custom Home Building Process: How to Build a Custom Home

Starting to build a custom home means diving deep into teamwork, planning carefully, and managing time well. We’ll simplify the basics to make your journey easier and more fulfilling.

Finding a Reliable Design and Build Team

Having a strong team is key to a great custom home. Working with a trusted design and build team turns your dream into a reality carefully and skillfully. Companies like Toll Brothers and Pulte Homes offer great teamwork between architects, designers, and builders. This ensures your home comes to life smoothly.

Designing Your Home

Designing a custom home usually takes four to eight months. In this time, you’ll create detailed floor plans, pick out finishes, and make important decisions. You’ll choose eco-friendly materials and designs that fit your future needs. Ohio, with its low cost of living, is a perfect spot for building a custom home.

Understanding the Timeline

Keeping the building timeline on track is crucial for a stress-free experience. Building a custom home can take 12 to 15 months, based on how complex and big it is. Starting with site preparation and getting the right permits in Ohio is your first step. Always plan for extra expenses and think about having a real estate agent to help with any issues.

Building Your Custom Home

The journey of building a custom home starts with key steps. First, we prepare the site. This includes clearing land and setting up a strong foundation.

Next, we build the home’s frame. This is a big step in the custom home construction phases. We create the house’s skeleton which holds up the whole structure. As we build, the house starts to look like its final design.

After the frame, we put in the important systems. These are things like plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. They need to be put in carefully to make the home comfortable and work well. Then, we add insulation and drywall to protect the house from the weather.

During the build, we have many home building inspections. These check that everything is done right and follows the rules. Every inspection makes sure that we’re ready to move to the next step.

Once the big building parts are done, we focus on the finishing touches. We lay floors, put in cabinets, paint, and install fixtures and appliances. These details make the house match the homeowner’s style and needs.

The whole process of building a custom home usually takes 12-15 months. It depends on how big and complex the project is. From the foundation to the final details, every step combines skill and care. Working with great builders helps make our dream home a sign of quality and hard work.


As we finish building our custom home, the final walkthrough with the builder is key. It checks if every detail matches our vision and high standards. This important step happens after six months to two years of work. Then, we get the keys to our dream home.

Getting the keys brings a huge sense of joy as we move into our new, perfect space. Custom homes cost more but let us choose every detail. This includes the paint, floors, and even the garden.

Our happiness doesn’t stop when the house is done. Choosing experienced builders like Banner Custom Homes in Tulsa means getting a warranty too. This shows their promise for our home’s long-lasting quality and excellence. Walking into a home made just for us brings unmatched joy, showing the value of every effort in building it.


What are the primary steps involved in the custom home building process?

Building a custom home includes a few key steps. First, you choose and buy a lot. Then, you set a budget.Next, find a good team for design and building. Design your home and get a timeline. Finally, build the home and finish with closing and warranty.

How do we determine if a lot is suitable for building a custom home?

To check if a lot fits for a custom home, learn about local rules, environment laws, and zoning. A surveyor helps by looking into easements and building limits, which play a big part in deciding if the lot works for you.

What factors should we consider regarding existing infrastructure on the lot?

Look into if the lot has water, electricity, and sewer systems. These are vital and impact your building costs and plans.

How can we incorporate sustainability into our custom home design?

Think about the sun’s path, using energy-saving materials, and eco-friendly landscaping. These choices help lower the environmental impact and might allow for net-zero living.

What are the steps involved in preparing a building site for construction?

Preparing a site means clearing it, grading the land, and making sure big machines can get to it. Handling these early makes the building smoother.

How should we approach creating a budget for our custom home?

Creating a budget means knowing how much you can spend, your family needs, and your neighborhood’s value. Talking with finance pros can help you get loans, fitting your dreams within your budget.

Why is it essential to find a reliable design and build team?

A good design and build team makes your dream home real and well-built. Choosing a team that works together well means better planning and building.

What is involved in the home design phase?

Designing your home can take 4-8 months. This stage is about making detailed plans, choosing finishes, and setting specifics. It’s key for a home that fits your life and looks how you want.

How long does the custom home construction process take?

Building a custom home usually takes 12-18 months. This includes preparing the site, foundation work, building structure, putting in key systems, and adding finishes. How complex the project is and the site itself can change this timing.

What inspections are required during the custom home construction process?

The building process requires many inspections. These check that everything meets codes and standards. They look at the foundation, framing, plumbing, and electrical work, among other things.

What happens during the final walkthrough of our custom home?

The final walkthrough is your chance to check every detail of your new home. You need to make sure everything is as expected. Any problems should be fixed by the builder before everything is final.

What is included in the warranty phase after completing the custom home?

After building, the warranty phase covers fixing any issues that come up. This shows the builder’s commitment to quality and your satisfaction over time.

Need a Contractor?

We offer all things general contracting including remodels, new construction, construciton design, and more. Reach out now to get a free estimate.


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