Custom in itself, is a beautiful word; representing freedom of choice. Be it custom clothing, furniture, or in this case, custom homes. But with the decision to go this route of unique design and build comes many, many choices. What we intend to do today, is be a helping hand on the “dos” of building your own home. The very first thing one should do is create a pool of builders.
These builders must possess the proper licenses, certificates, permits and knowledge, to make sure your home is up to code. Any contracts that you sign with a builder should include the following :
1. The costs involved
2. A payment schedule
3. Due dates for each milestone
4. Your role in the process
Now, besides having the proper credentials, you also need to choose a home designer that matches your style. Experienced builders can give you great recommendations as to who will be the best fit for the style of custom home you are going for. This is very important! As in anything, communication and a unified vision are crucial in achieving the desired result. The next thing on your list, should be to check relevant references. What does this mean exactly? You need to check out homes that your designer ( general contractor) in question has built; but most importantly, is to check if they have built similar home designs to the one you intend on.
And what about the land?! As stated in one of our previous articles, on choosing the best land for your home – you need to consider the preparation costs of the land of your interest. Consider environmental factors and municipal zoning. The other point to consider are the costs and any complications associated with connecting to municipal services, such as water, gas and electricity. When your heart is set on a specific piece of land, you must absolutely request a geotechnical/ feasibility report. Keep in mind that it is much easier to adapt the design of your build to the site, as opposed to the other way around. It will be a much happier, smoother and cost effective road, if you harmonize the design of the space with the elements of its chosen land.
Don’t forget as well, the importance of considering and incorporating green factors into your building. Choosing to go green in some aspects of the home, will save you money over time and protect your health; and when these practices are built in at the design stage, the costs are little to nothing.
Now before moving ahead with any form of building or designing, you must first create a budget! This is by far the best way to keep from escalating costs, as you and your designer will have the budget plan to refer to. This is definitely where a good contractor comes in.