Tips to Building a Custom Home

We have been so blessed to be able to build our third home in the almost 24 years Bill and I have been married. Our first home was a tract-builder home. Our second one was a semi-custom home. Now that my husband is a contractor, we decided to sell that home and custom build our dream Farmhouse. We are building it ourselves. See my post on Why We are Building a Farmhouse.

tips on building a custom home, new home construction, custom home builder

We love building homes. It’s so much fun to put your imprint on it and literally make it fit your family.

Here’s a few tips that I’ve learned from over the years and I’d love to pass them along to you!

  1. My very first tip is to sketch out a drawing that you like so you can take it to your architect/designer. Going to the first meeting prepared will save you a lot of time and money. You can even print off a few floor plans and cut out the pieces that you like and make your own floor plan that fits your family.
  2. Create a binder. This will be a notebook so you can keep your home building organized during the entire build process. I make tabs for each room and get inserts with pockets so I can stick samples or quotes in. This will come in so handy!
  3. Rough-ins: Make sure you know exactly where you want your plumbing fixtures to go like your sinks and if you are incorporating a claw foot tub. You’ll need to know if you want floor or wall mount faucets. Also, think about where you want your shower valves ahead of time. As far as electrical goes, this one is important! Make sure you center the wiring over your kitchen table not the room. Same goes for island lights. Draw out your island on the slab and measure how you want to place them. This goes for anything else throughout the home. If you have an open concept in the living room, don’t forget about a floor outlet so you can have a side table with a lamp. Also, be thinking about your blower that goes over the oven. You’ll need to do your research and see if you want an in-line blower or a standard one. The A/C guy will be the one to install it. Once drywall goes in, things like these cannot be changed. Well, they can LOL, but will be costly.
  4. Start selecting your paint colors early on during your build. Do sample paint swatches on the exterior material that you are using. You will get a true color of what it will look like on the house. Your builder may provide this for you but do it yourself if they don’t. Just grab a piece of the material from the job-site. Most paint stores offer small containers now of samples for less than $10. It’s so much less costly than going off a swatch and having them paint everything and then you don’t like it LOL.
  5. Take pictures/video of everything once the house has been framed. You will be able to see all of your wiring and duct work. This will be helpful if you ever need to find something due to an unforeseen problem down the road once you are moved in. It’s also a great way to make sure the drywall guys didn’t cover up any outlets.
  6. Drywall/Wall Texture: Decide ahead of time where you may want to add things like wainscoting, shiplap or bead board. I would start planning for this when it’s during the framing stage. Take a copy of your plans and start sketching where you think you might want it to go. You can hang all of these directly to the framing and that way you won’t waste money on buying extra drywall for this space.

Building your own home can be stressful at times. Subcontractors don’t always show. Material arrives damaged. Wiring gets buried under the drywall and so on. Things can go wrong, but remember, this is your house. If something’s out of place, tell your trades about it and if it’s their fault, they need to fix it at their expense.

It should definitely be a fun experience. Have your kids get involved, if they are old enough, helping make selections. Embrace every decision together and think about all of those memories you are going to make in your beautiful new home!

Deuteronomy 24:6

“You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.”


tips on building a custom home, new home construction, custom home builder

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9 thoughts on “Tips to Building a Custom Home

  1. This is a smart list of information. I never thought about all these different things you have to think about. Thank you for sharing. Hoping to build a house in the future.

  2. Wow! So much fabulous information! Thanks for the helpful tips

  3. Love the idea of building my own home! Isn’t that something that all little girls dream of?? Really love your scripture addition!

  4. Great tips! You are so lucky to be building now that you have had all that experience!

  5. These are great tips. We have toyed around with the idea in the past but it always seems like such a stressful undertaking!

  6. Jayme Marquez at Reply

    If we can’t find the perfect farmhouse when we move we plan to build one. Thanks for the great tips!

  7. arrowhillcottage at Reply

    Great tips! I have designed homes for clients for over 15 years, but Arrow Hill Cottage will be the FIRST, and hopefully only, that I ever design for my family. I am so excited to break ground this spring. I have been following along your blog and it is making me even more excited!
    As an architect, I can definitely verify that coming to that first meeting with at least a general idea of what you are looking for in terms of style, size and layout will DEFINITELY save you $$$!

  8. Love this. We would love to build a house in a few years, these are greats tips!
    I can’t wait to see it all finished!

  9. My husband and I plan to eventually build. I need to save this post! Thanks for the tips!

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