7 Things to Consider Before Building a Custom Home

Designing and building a custom home is quite the undertaking. So there is so much possibility. From combining ideas off of Pinterest, to choosing a pre-built floorplan, there are a lot of important details to consider in the building process.

From breaking ground to moving in, here are 10 things to consider for building your custom home in Northwest Arkansas.

Location matters.

From schools to the grocery store, your location is incredibly important. Are you going to be close to highways? How much traffic will you hit on your commutes? Will there be any issues of construction you have to navigate?

TIP: Prioritize the most important locations in your life and draw a map if you have to.

Lot Quality

Whether you're developing your own piece of land or purchasing a ready-made lot in a subdivision, the lot size and slop will determine a large portion of the cost and options. Engineering will layout the property differently if the land grade is steep. It also will significantly impact your initial costs for grading, blocking, and landscaping if your yard is Mount Everest 2.0. It's crucial to think about the proximity of your water, gas, electric, and sewer before you purchase and/or break ground.

TIP: Be sure to ask your builder for a consultation before you close on your lot purchase.

Consider the Size

The size of your home will determine a lot of important build factors. For example, if your lot is narrow, you may need to build two stories or dig in a basement to accommodate all of the rooms you want to have. It's wise to think through each room and how large each space needs to be. Another question to ask is, "What space do we need vs. want?" This will help you assess the importance of certain rooms.

TIP: Buy some yardsticks and some rope and measure out the size of each room on your lot. This will give you a good idea of what kind of space you're working with.

Hire a Great Team

Building a custom home relies on the success of an entire team. It's a joint effort to make things happen, look good, and get done in an efficient manner. Here's a list of team members you'll need along with their responsibilities.

Architects design the interior layout and the exterior of the home. They make things look pretty and work with the engineering team to ensure a safe and beautiful project. Architects are logistical and important for designing to solve problems.

Builders are more about getting things done and taking the architect's plans and making them a reality. Execution and efficiency are the builder's focus. While builders do get credit for making things look good, they are more project managers than designers.

Engineers are all about safety, codes, compliance, and stability. They will help you assess your build for any weaknesses and help to design your property in a way that ensures your home will last a lifetime.

Interior Designers are focused on function, finishes, and details. Their job is to walk you through the entire inside of the home and help you make choices that compliment one another and promote balance. A great interior designer will help you shape your home so every room is built with purpose.

TIP: All of these roles are vital. Be sure to interview each role and to ask your builder who they would recommend.

Be Reasonable with your Timeline

The truth is that high-end, luxury, custom homes are never fast builds. They require precision and they often take longer than expected because of quality demands, material delays, and scheduling specialized sub-contractors. From ordering rare wood beams to specialized cabinets, there are many variables outside of the builder's control that may delay your project finish. It's wise to set your expectations back by a few months... and be patient with your builder! 

TIP: Unless you're paying with all cash, it's best to budget in a few extra months of payments on your construction loan.

Floor Plan Functionality

Think of your floorplan room by room. What doors will you use the most? What rooms do you spend the most time in? How much storage do you need? Consider where you'll entertain. A great exercise is closing your eyes and envisioning yourself doing things in each room. From the kitchen to the bathroom, where does it make sense in your house. Prioritize each room. And think down the road... as your children get older and move out, how will things need to change? Design for your future.

TIP: Take time to talk with your interior designer and architect about their recommendations on floorplan adjustments.

Anticipate Extra Costs

No build is perfect. Thus, don't expect your costs to stay the same. Wood and cement prices fluctuate often. And so do the costs of sub-contractors. There's also small costs that add up such as insurance, permits, landscaping and more. Be proactive and overestimate your budget by a little margin so you're protected in case something happens.

TIP: Create a contingency budget and ask your builder for regular draw reports.

NWA Custom Home Builder

If you're considering building a custom home in Northwest Arkansas, our team would love to walk through the process with you and guide you from idea to reality. Give us a call or fill out a contact form today to get started.

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