How to Build the Custom Home of Your Dreams

New house frame at sunrise

You've made the first difficult decision on your home buying journey – to build a custom home instead of buying a production home.

Now, your second difficult, but more exciting, decision to make: How are you going to build the custom home of your dreams?

Where do I want to build my home? What kind of floor plan do I want? Do I want any extras added to my new home?

You probably have these and other questions circling around your head right now, which is perfectly normal. NewHomeSource will guide you through the major steps of building the custom home of your dreams.

1. Figure out Your Price Range

Before you start planning your dream home, you have set a budget. How much can you spend? Designing a custom home is more expensive than a production home because you're building from scratch instead of selecting a set floor plan from a builder. We break down the cost of building a custom home here, to help you create your budget.

In short, make sure you factor in the estimated costs of the following into your budget:

  • The lot you will be buying to build on
  • Fees and taxes
  • Design and engineering fees
  • Construction fees
  • Landscaping costs
  • Interior Designing and furnishing

2. Assemble a Team

Your most important task here will be to find a custom homebuilder to guide you on your home building journey. They will be your most important advocate, so make sure to find a builder who understands your needs, and fits within your price range.

There are several roles your custom homebuilder will play. They work with your bank or mortgage company to collect payments and process lien requests, obtain your certificate of occupancy, coordinate and install the building components of your home, and offer education and guidance throughout the whole process.

You may also decide to hire an architect to make all your design dreams come true. They can draft your floor plan according to your families needs and choose the right materials for your home.

Architects see the big picture when it comes to your project. They help you explore what appeals to you aesthetically and what you require functionally, said Charles Hultstrand, an architect in South Carolina speaking on behalf of the American Institute of Architects.

If necessary, you need to hire a land surveyor to do a topographical survey, to prove to the city that the lot is safe to build a home on. You may also want to hire an interior designer, who can make the inside of your home look like what you've always imagined.

3.Choose Your Dream Lot

Building a custom home means you will more than likely have to buy your own lot. While purchasing a lot may seem daunting and expensive, it also means you get to build your home, essentially, wherever you want! Production homes are usually built on land owned by the builder, and there isn't a way to build a community home outside the set community.

Find land that fits your criteria; meaning a location that you love, with a good school district for your children and enough land for all your needs.

4.Create Your Perfect Floor Plan

One of the top reasons a homebuyer decides to build a custom home is because they want a flexible floor plan. Custom homebuilders are experts at designing and creating a floor plan that not only works for you now, but for the foreseeable future.

Ask yourself questions such as these while considering floor plan options:

  • Do I want more space in my new custom home than I currently have in my home?
  • Do I want extra rooms? How would I like my rooms arranged throughout the house?
  • Do I want a large backyard?  How about a pool? Or do I want an expansive, inviting front porch?
  • Should I put in extra closets for storage? An attic?

Visualize how you want your new home to look. What does the layout look like in your mind? Think about how you want the rooms to flow; do you want the master bedroom downstairs or upstairs? Do you want an open kitchen that pours into the living room? Draw it out, and then discuss it with your builder. That way, they can give you a clear idea of what's possible, and what isn't possible because of design or budget issues.

5.Design Your Dream Custom Home

Now for the fun part, designing your custom home!

If you purchased an existing home, or a production home, it probably isn't designed the way you dreamed of. Maybe it was the appliances, or the color of the kitchen cabinets that threw you off. With a custom home, you can pick out every single detail, down to the type of bathtub you want in your master bathroom.

Think about what design elements you want to incorporate and how it will ultimately look in your custom new home. This is where your interior designer will come in with their expertise. If you decided against hiring an interior designer, some builders have an in-house design team, or work exclusively with a designer. A good designer uses their abilities to not only design the home to be function and beautiful, but they also find special opportunities in designs that the homebuyer would miss. For more on choosing the right interior designer for you, read this article on NewHomeSource.

Your research beforehand is critical. Go through model homes, even production homes, and see what you like. Did you find a kitchen with appliances you liked in one home, but really appreciated the design of a living room in another home? Jot those designs down, plus the homebuilder and designer that they worked with to make it happen.

If you're looking for design inspiration for your home, check out a few of our design articles:

Tip: Think Energy Efficient

New homes are more energy efficient than ever before. Existing homes can be costly to run, especially with upkeep, maintenance, and equipment dying from old age. Quality, custom-built homes with energy efficient appliances mean lower utility bills. Not only that, but imagine being able to control the temperature of your home from your phone, how cool is that! Check out some of the smart technology for your new home on the market today.

Making your home energy efficient is cost effective and you will have less general upkeep of your home in the years to come.

After your new custom home is complete, show it off by having a housewarming party for friends and family. Don't forget to invite your new neighbors!

Shannon Wilson is a Digital Content Associate for Builders Digital Experience (BDX). Her main role is to create video content, write and edit articles for and Shannon graduated from Texas Tech University in May 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Electronic Media and Communications. 

Related Articles

Sign up for the Home of the Week

New Home 101
New eBook Available

Expert Advice on Buying & Building a New Home

The eBook will be delivered to your inbox. We will not share your email address.