Essential Checklist for Building a Custom Home

Building a custom home involves so much more than the construction phase. There are numerous details that need to be worked out long before you break ground on your home site. While building a custom home can be an exciting process, it can also be a lengthy one that will require many considerations and compromises.

There are many steps that need to be taken to build a solid home project. Jumping into a home build without the right planning can be disastrous. With the help of a qualified and experienced home building contractor, you can create the plans that you need to have the home of your dreams.

Choosing the perfect home builders will help you to feel confident and assured that your vision for your home will become a reality. Let’s take a closer look at the essential factors to consider when building a custom home.

Finding a Home Builder

Unless you have the ability and knowledge of our ancestral pioneers, it’s not likely that you will be building your home on your own. There are many phases to building a house that requires specialized experience and knowledge. It’s best to work with a reputable home builder that will help you through the process of designing and constructing your custom home.

The process of finding a home builder can be lengthy but requires the proper research to ensure that you end up working with a professional. You should be researching several building companies to help you find one with a solid reputation and experience with your dream home’s style and vision.

When vetting different builders, you should focus on their experience, take a look at some of their past projects, and talk to former customers about their experiences. Once you narrow down your choices, it can be helpful to have an initial consultation with each to help you make your final decision.

Set Your Budget

Building a custom home is likely to be the largest financial investment that you ever make. It is important to set a solid budget at the beginning of the process to help you stay on track with your planning. Once you narrow down your choice of contractor, you should ask for a general estimate of their costs to help you know what to expect for your budget.

It’s important to factor in more than just the cost of construction and the land purchase into your budget. There will be dozens of expenses, including buying appliances, adding fixtures, flooring, lighting, electrical wiring, and plumbing to add to your budget.

Find Land

You will need to search for an appropriate piece of land immediately. You may have an idea of where you want to live, whether it is close to the city, or in a rural setting. When looking for the perfect plot for your custom home, you will need to consider these factors:

  • Size of the land
  • Zoning
  • Available utilities
  • Slope of the land
  • Neighboring homes
  • HOA requirements

Design Custom Plans

The next and most time-consuming phase of your custom home build will be to work with an architect to figure out the basic plans for your home. Having an idea of the type of floor plan that you would like will help facilitate this process. Once you have your general outline completed, you will need to make decisions about many other home details, including:

  • Number of stories
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Need for a basement
  • Total square footage
  • Complimentary spaces include but are not limited to a home office, workout space, entryway, Laundry Room, or Guest room

During this part of the process, you will need to decide on your layout style, whether you prefer separate rooms or an open concept design. Each room of your home will need special considerations ranging from general design to add-ons that require specific notations in your blueprints.

The Kitchen

Your kitchen planning is one of the most important parts of your home design process. Most families spend much of their time gathered in or using their kitchen space. A significant portion of your design budget will be spent in your kitchen. From cabinetry and appliances to lighting and flooring, there will be many choices to make when designing your kitchen.

Your general lifestyle will also have an impact on your kitchen design. Do you enjoy eating together as a family and need room for a dining table? Are you an amateur gourmet chef that will need the highest quality appliances? Do you prefer to have a kitchen island? Do you prefer excess counter space or more cabinet storage? All of these factors will need careful consideration before you start the kitchen design process.


The number, style, and placement of your custom home’s bathrooms will be an essential part of your design process. You will want your bathrooms to reflect both your needs and your lifestyle. You may want to have connecting bathrooms to all bedrooms, or connected to more than one room, or individually placed throughout the house.

Your bathroom placement will greatly impact your architectural and technical design due to the necessary plumbing and wiring. Once you set the layout for your bathrooms, you can start with the interior design. You will need to decide whether your bathrooms will be full ensuites with both a shower and a bath or if you will have only the basic toilet and sink.

Home Design

Once you complete the technical issues and choices for your custom home, you can start thinking about your design and finishing touches. These may seem endless as you will need to make decor decisions for each room of your home. Some of the features you will need to consider include:

  • Lighting
  • Flooring
  • Wall coverings and paint colors
  • Appliances
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Hardware
  • Doors & windows
  • Fireplace placement
  • Basement design
  • Laundry facilities


The process of building a custom home can be both exciting and overwhelming. The best way to proceed with your project is to surround yourself with qualified team members with the expertise to give you the best advice. Take your time choosing your home building company, architectural firm, and interior design to ensure that they will make the creation of your vision a priority. Consider these factors when you are preparing to build your dream custom home.