On paper, the process of building a custom home seems straightforward enough. You just adhere to the basic principles outlined by Home Builder Digest, right?
The reality is that building a custom home - one that truly reflects your unique personality, tastes and lifestyle needs - can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. It can also be one of the most stressful, time consuming and exhausting experiences of your life. Not to mention expensive.
So before you decide to take the plunge and build a custom home, consider just how much you are willing to take on. For instance, you’ll need to be able to visit the homesite often, to be sure things are getting done as you expected. It will also seem like money is flying out of your pocket, creating potential financial stress. The myriad design decisions are another source of stress (and conflict if there is more than one decision-maker involved).
Here's what you really need to know about building a custom home:
Selecting your builder is the single most important decision you will make in the building process. You will spend considerable time with said person, and trust them with a huge emotional and financial project. Research, interview and meet with as many builders as you need to before deciding on someone you connect with and who understands your vision. And of course look for glowing referrrals!
Hiring a designer might seem like an unnecessary expense, but while your Pinterest board may show exactly what design style you are going for, you probably don't know how to pull it all together. Or how to translate what you want to your builder in a language they'll understand. A designer can also help you plan ahead for furniture placement and can help you adjust your floor plan if necessary.
If you’re going to spend the money to build, do it right and hire a designer.
A solid vision of what you want in a home before you commit to the building process is essential. This is where that Pinterest board, where you can save all your ideas and refer to them later, comes in handy. Time is money when you are building a house and you don't want to delay things deciding on guest bath fixtures. Pick out as much as you can before you start: flooring, countertops, backsplash, light fixtures, paint colors, etc. Back to that Pinterest board!
Understand that mistakes will be made. They just will. And while there is no way to avoid mistakes entirely, you can minimize them by being VERY specific about EVERYTHING. The more specific you are in describing your vision, the less likely it is that a miscommunication will occur. (Back to Pinterest!) You can also lessen the chance of mistakes - or at least catch them early enough in the process to rectify them - with frequent visits to the homesite. Good communication is everything in the building process!
Mistakes, stress and exhaustion aside, when the building process is complete you're going to have the home of your dreams. Which will make the entire experience worthwhile!