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Before You Build – 5 Steps for Building Your Custom Home

Long before the foundation is poured, the process of building a new home begins. Before the construction process starts, you will need to develop a solid plan and find a competent builder you can trust. Avoid costly mistakes by following these five important steps.

1. Plan Your Budget

From the moment you start thinking about building a custom home, a critical first step should be to develop a realistic idea of how much you can afford to spend. The budgeting process is key when determining your wants and needs and understanding what you realistically can afford. Although it seems obvious, many people do not start by determining a budget. Rather than seeking the advice of your family or friends, take the time to talk to your lender, broker or financial

adviser. These professionals can quickly and simply let you know how much you can safely and responsibly spend on your custom home. In most cases, you will need a construction loan and a mortgage, and it’s not too early to find out how much you can qualify for, based on your income and other financial obligations.

During the budgeting process, you’ll want to consider the different elements of your new home and what those costs are, including the land itself. This can be a time-consuming process and should begin months before any contracts are signed or construction begins. Ultimately, knowing your limits will help you modify your building plans to meet your budget.

2. Choose Your Lot

If you haven’t decided where to build, or you haven’t purchased a lot for your new home yet, it’s recommended to drive through open developments and see which communities work well with your lifestyle. Take the time to talk with realtors and builders to get an idea of land and building costs in the areas you are considering.

Whether you are building your home out on rural land or in an existing community development, you will almost always need to choose the lot or land before you pick out your floor plans. Additionally, it’s important to have an idea of the architectural style you prefer to determine the size and characteristics of your lot size. Choosing your land before the floor plan will help you avoid problems regarding how to situate or fit your home within the confines of the lot. You can always design a home to suit a specific piece of land, but you may not be able to alter a landscape to accommodate the specs of a floor plans.

3. Select Your Team

After you’ve established your budget and selected your building site, you can start assembling the team of experts to design and construct your custom home. When choosing your builder or contractor, it’s recommended that you do your research. Look through a number of builder websites, being sure to review their portfolios and look at what customers are saying about their work. Be sure to get referrals from not only your real estate agent, but also others, including your friends and family. Those who have dealt with a home builder and have been through the process can give you good advice on things to consider when you choose to build your own home.

One big question you’ll want to consider is how involved you will be (or can be) in the process. When you work with Paul Gray Homes, we assume the role of general contractor and coordinate most or all of the work; however, we welcome our homeowners to be part of the process— including meeting the concrete contractors, framers and carpenters yourself. Regardless of the team, participating at any capacity is a rewarding way to build your home.

4. Pick a Home Plan

We invite you to view our award-winning home plans as you envision and design the new home of your dreams. All of Paul Gray Homes’ designs are thoughtfully created, but can be customized for the family who will live there and for the building site it sits upon.

Finding the right plan can take some time, but a good place to start is usually deciding on your favorite style of home. Get ideas from the many floor plans we have available, and if necessary, have one of our experienced designers assist with modifications to fit your lifestyle, including room size, window styles, or other details.

5. Obtain Estimates & Negotiate a Contract

Once your home design, building plans and price sheet are finalized, the next step is to write a contract. It is so important to get the proper written (and signed) contracts in order for successful financing. A Paul Gray Homes contract describes the project in detail and includes a list of all parts to be included, also known as “the specs.” Should your project require any changes, we’ll be sure to provide you with an amendment for your records. Open communication and transparency is key to a successful builder-homeowner partnership.

After the contract has been signed, and the financials are in order, we’ll form a team of experts to manage your project, working with you throughout every step — from start to finish.

Are you ready to discuss your new home project? We would be happy to talk with you about the building process. Please contact Paul Gray Custom Homes to schedule a FREE, no-pressure consultation at 316-978-9047 and schedule a time to meet with us!