Things You Need to be Aware of Before Building a Custom Home

Do you want to design your home to your taste but don’t know how to go about it?

Building a custom home can be very intriguing; it is a dream come true for many. Rather than buy a pre-designed production home, you want to make a home that is one of a kind. Yet, the process from conception to the actual building requires a lot of time and effort.

Nonetheless, building a custom home is not impossible. Armed with the right tools, you will find this process thrilling. Your dream home is achievable, but you must have the correct information.

Here, we will break down this process and help you understand all you need to know about building a custom home. We will walk you through the entire process and get you on the right track to building a true custom home.

Best modern custom home design features

What is a modern custom home without contemporary design features? Building a custom home affords you the privilege of personalizing every single detail.

Unfortunately, people often get stuck at this stage. You must choose the interior and exterior details; too many possibilities and confusing options can paralyze you.

Besides hindering the design process, this can also limit the ultimate vision for your home.

We’ve compiled a list of modern ideas to ease the process and make your space the best on the block! 

Smart Home Living

Automated homes have made life much easier for many. It is the use of a system of Internet-connected devices. With these, you can remotely track and manage your home appliances, such as lighting and heating.

You can control your smartphone’s intelligent bulbs, speakers, and security cameras.

Outdoor Living Space

Outdoor living rooms are an incredible feature in new homes, and they help achieve a blend between the indoors and the outdoors.

Built-in Shelves

Built-in shelving is a modern standard in most custom homes. But you can take it further and experiment with built-in tables and bookshelves.

This feature will add so much organization to your home.

Large Mudrooms

Modern homebuilders are now switching from small hall closets to expansive mudrooms. With more space at your disposal, you can now house all your shoes, coats, and sporting equipment.

You can also add built-in lockers and shelves to give your mudroom a distinguished look.

Innovative Stair Design

Stairs are an essential feature of your home and should contribute to the overall aesthetics. With modern funky designs, you can get very creative with your stairs.

Skylight/Sun Tunnels

Skylight and Sun tunnels are terrific ways to illuminate your home. We can all use some more light! They can also give your home a lovely sky view from the insides.

Secret Rooms

Secret rooms are the new cool for your custom home and add a mystery/magic effect to your home.

This private place could be a home studio, hidden library, home office, movie theater loft, or a classic hidden spa. This feature will also afford you much privacy.

Heated Floors

Besides extreme weather, building materials such as floor tiles and cement slabs can make a home cold. Heated floors help keep the chill away and maintain an even warmth around your house. This feature is an efficient heating system that requires no radiators or vents that take up valuable space.

Heated Driveway

This characteristic is a must-have if you want to build your custom home in a city that experiences heavy snowfall and chilly winters. Installing a heated driveway will save you long hours of shoveling snow.

Some other unique modern custom home design features include:

  • Three-car garage
  • First-floor primary bedroom
  • Central Vacuum system
  • In-house slides
  • Innovative ceiling design
  • Kitchen nook
  • In-house Spa
  • Upstairs laundry room
  • Master bathrooms with separate tubs
  • Home gyms
  • Dual Master suites

Why are custom homes an exciting opportunity to create?

Building a custom home is like creating artwork; you are the master artist and are at liberty to suit your interests. Inspiring, right?

Unlike production houses, nothing is pre-designed or prebuilt. You can plan, design, add, remove, change, or reconstruct to fit your taste.

Building a custom home allows you to

Match your unique needs and taste

You have total control over your and can customize it to your work, family, and lifestyle demands. For example, a pet suite if you have one.

Add special design features like:

  • Front door style
  • Windows
  • Countertops
  • Heating system
  • Room arrangement
  • Parking lot
  • Outdoor facilities
  • Eco-friendly features

Choose your location

You do not only want a lovely home; you want it in an area of your choice. You can build your dream home in your desired neighborhood, state, or country with a custom home. It will also help if you take into account proximity to conveniences.

Avoid the cost of repairs and renovations.

With evolving building engineering systems, expert contractors build custom homes. They use new and durable materials. A well-constructed, new custom home will likely not need repairs anytime soon.

Use modern home automation systems.

You can enjoy the ease of an automated residence.

Working with an Architect

As earlier established, building a custom home is grueling, and you can not achieve it alone. You should work with an architect early on in the process. They will make the process easier and faster. An architect will:

  • Provide expert advice
  • Help determine the size of your house
  • Clarify the amenities you need
  • Determine the rooms you want and how best to design them
  • Help you outline what is crucial for you in your lifestyle
  • Design the aspects of what to build into your home
  • Suggests structural features such as:
  • Green design
  • Modern sustainable features
  • Solar panels for sustainable energy
  • Adequate insulation

Yet, to achieve all this, you must have a clear picture of what you want your custom home to look like and confidence in knowing what to do next.

What to consider when choosing an architect

Choosing the right architect is critical to the success of your construction project. There are lots of architects out there operating at different levels of experience. You want to have the best on your team. Here are some factors you should look out for when choosing an architect to build your custom home:

  • Find out the architect’s specialization
  • Research his region of operation
  • Review your architect’s portfolio
  • Ask for references
  • Book an appointment to discuss your plans

Book an appointment with us

Whether you already have a clear plan for your dream home or are still confused about your choices, we’ve got you covered! Contact us today and be one big step closer to building your luxury custom home.

We will:

  • Help you overcome every single challenge
  • Offer you the best suggestions
  • Ask creative questions that would inspire designing
  • Build your dream custom home

UBuild Custom Homes

At UBuild Custom Homes, we aim to help you make your dream apartment a reality. We have a solid commitment to providing you with their exact desire for custom home building. We do it at an unmatched price and quality level.

We have helped individuals and families from different places build their custom homes. Our hands-on consultancy will help you understand all you need to know about building a custom home.

Our custom-made homes are affordable, innovative, and designed to suit your demands. We use our expertise to meet your unique needs and desires.

With UBuild Custom Homes, you can:

  • Determine your location
  • Choose your home design
  • Build your custom home on a property you own
  • Help get well-serviced land plots
  • Get the best cost-effective plan

We are the one-stop design-builder you can trust. You can commit your building project to our hands and rest.

We have:

  • Extensive experience building homes
  • Licensed, bonded, and insured
  • Excellent delivery
  • 5-star review rating

What customers rave about our services

  • Effective customer service
  • Expert advice
  • We give you lots of design options
  • We walk you through the process every step of the way

What is a custom home?

A custom home is a unique residence type. Designed and built specifically for an individual. It is a one-of-a-kind plan that meets the client’s specifications and needs. An authentic custom house is the exact representation of your ideas, achieved by working with your builder every step.

Building a custom home gives you the privilege to:

  • Work with the builder on the floor plan
  • Determine the interior design features such as paint colors, countertops, furniture
  • Map out the layout and determine the size of the rooms
  • Choose interior and exterior design features from flooring to fixtures, and room placement
  • Suit your home to your lifestyle

Designing a custom home gives you and your family the same house you have always wanted. You can incorporate modern design features into your building plan.

Building a custom home has many opportunities for home buyers. and it affords you less competition, minimal maintenance costs, and high energy efficiency.

But, there are also some downsides to building a custom home.

These include:

  • The difficulty of finding suitable developed land
  • Relatively pricey compared to production homes
  • It can be pretty drawn-out
  • The wrong hands can easily ruin it

Step-by-step process of building a custom home

Building a custom home is a process that demands the involvement of homeowners every step of the way. Hence, you will need to take some critical actions.

If you want to build a custom home, the next step is understanding how to go about it.

The process of building a custom home occurs in four major phases:

  • The preparation phase
  • The design Phase
  • Gathering your men
  • Monitoring phase

The Preparation Phase

It all begins with a dream, a picture, a plan. Before employing an architect or contractor, you must visualize what look you want in your property. It is the first step in putting the bits together and writing your plan. You must know how you wish to use the various spaces in your home, requiring many preconceptions, charting, and planning.

During the planning phase, you should:

  • Write out ideas and elements you envision for your “ideal home.”
  • Collect images and make sketches
  • Study completed homes
  • Visit related web pages to view options
  • Speak with interior designers and architects.
  • List your preferences about:
  • design elements
  • architectural style
  • product features
  • room placement and function

Having done all these, you should also define your budget, determine the time frame, and find a property to build on.

Defining your custom home budget

Because custom homes are one of a kind and we don’t build them in volume, they are often more expensive than production or prebuilt houses. Hence, you must be clear on how much you are willing to spend on building and furnishing your custom home. Knowing your budget will help you decide how large of a home you can afford, your home location, and what design features are achievable.

Things to consider when making your budget include:

  • The cost of the property
  • Landscaping costs
  • Home construction
  • Design fees
  • Taxes
  • Interior decorations costs
  • Engineering dees
  • Miscellaneous

Designing and building a custom home can be quite draining on your purse. Most people do, and you might need to take a loan or consider mortgage options.

Determining Time Frame

You must set up a timeframe for the completion of your building project. You should have a definite deadline for each activity and a due date for completion. Not only will this keep your team on alert, but it will also help you track progress per time.

Yet, when mapping a time frame, make allowances for contingencies. There could be occurrences never seen before that could alter your timeframe. You should also consider some factors. These include:

  • Significant family events or plans, for example, when does your kid’s school close for the session?
  • Due date of your current lease
  • Seasons and weather conditions, e.g., a rainy or snowy climate
  • Other factors that may delay or speed up your construction project

Finding a property to build on

Choosing the right property is an essential step in a building project. Your home’s area will affect your building and your lifestyle. Building a new home often requires relocation. nd significant life changes, and choosing the right place can make the process much easier.

Your geographical position also contributes to the house’s orientation and aesthetics. You should consider:

  • Surrounding scenery
  • The topography of the parcel
  • Location and size of the land
  • Proximity to the workplace, school, and health care
  • Natural properties of the plot
  • The direction your terrain faces
  • Access to resources
  • Environmental features

If you haven’t received training in these fields, we tell you to seek the service of a professional when acquiring your parcel.

The Design Phase

The designing stage of the custom home requires the professionalism of an architect or designer. You will have extensive discussions to:

  • Test various options
  • Decide the most cost-effective way to build your home
  • Complete specific design ideas

Depending on your building, this process can take some time, ranging from months to years.

At this stage, you will make critical decisions about:

  • Building materials
  • Architectural style
  • Structural features
  • Arrangement of rooms
  • Needed rooms, e.g., mudroom, living space
  • Layout
  • Style preferences
  • Colors and products
  • Unique features like Green design

Gathering your Team

The hands you choose to work with for building your home will determine its success or failure. Seek to work with competent people. When hiring builders and architects, test previous jobs, recommendations, and ratings.

The best team might not be the cheapest, but they will deliver the correct value. To find these experts:

  • Ask people you know for recommendations
  • Check with local realtors and building associations
  • You can check the AIA (American Institute of Architects) or similar societies in your area
  • Search the internet

Your home building team should consist of:

  • Architects
  • Interior designer
  • Structural engineer
  • Electrical engineer
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Environmental engineer
  • Contractor
  • Construction manager
  • Kitchen and bath designer

You should hire professionals that suit your budget and can execute your home plan.

Monitoring the Process

When building a custom home, your job is not complete until you get the certificate of occupancy. You should pay constant visits to the construction site and keep up to date with every progress made. Have regular conversations with your builder to stay updated. It will help you ensure quality at every step. Also, when city inspectors request modifications, you should know the construction code. You must understand how they interpret the requirements. 

You have designed your home and put a team together, and now you must make many selections and give approvals during construction. Throughout the process, you will have to make significant buyer input. You must contribute to design decisions, color, and product selections. Your dream home is like a new baby, requiring much monitoring.

Post Construction

You still have to do a few things when your apartment is complete. They are:

  • Tidying up
  • Landscaping
  • Move-in

Custom Home vs. “Spec” Home

Custom and Spec homes are modern construction plans; but, they differ significantly in many ways.

A custom home is where the buyer is actively involved in the building process, and the contractor’s goal is to make the client’s dream real.

On the other hand, a real estate broker and a planner develop the land, and a construction company builds the custom home.

The builder determines the plan and designs the home. He designs and builds it in a way that will interest a wide range of buyers.

Spec homes often have very few customizations as the contractor does not yet know who the buyer may be. You do not have the option of determining the design of the house.

Yet, spec homes save you a lot of time and trouble as they are often move-in ready. You do not have to worry about finding land, drawing designs, or hiring a workforce; all you have to do is pay and move in.

Custom and spec homes differ in more than one way. These include:


Relative custom homes are sometimes more expensive than spec homes. It is due to their unique features and the fact that they need special design features instead of mass production homes.

Contractors often charge more to create a new design. Also, because it is a single project, the cost of materials might be higher. But, spec homes might also incur extra charges if you desire to change or remodel them to suit your taste. When all the modifications are complete, some spec homes cost much more than custom homes.

Time frame

If you need a home in a hurry, a spec home will be your best option. It is because they are often readymade or near completion.

If you have about a year or two to spare (or more, depending on your building plan), you can build a custom home. Custom homes take quite some time to finish. From mapping out your blueprints to moving in, many time-demanding activities exist.

Design Choices

Custom homes afford you complete control over your home. You can choose everything from location to materials to design and floor plan.

With a spec home, you do not have as much liberty. The builder is the only one who determines everything. Also, you might not get all the modern design features you desire. To ensure sales, spec home builders often use basic, neutral materials that appeal to more people.

Custom Homes Pros and Cons


  • Bring your dream home to reality
  • Total control
  • Choice of location and design plan
  • Choice of all materials and fixtures
  • Active involvement in the building process
  • Opportunity to add unique features to suit your family’s demands.


  • It can be pretty pricey
  • It might take a more extended period
  • Requires some engagement from homeowners
  • Plan can go wrong with incompetent hands.

Yet, hiring the right builder can fix all these issues in no time.

Spec Homes Pros and Cons


  • Affordable
  • Readymade
  • Can move in within a short time
  • Time and cost-efficient
  • Easy to resell
  • Opportunity to remodel to suit your need


  • Basic and neutral design
  • Little or no unique features
  • Limited control over how to build the house
  • High cost of remodeling and upgrades
  • It may not be in your desired location

What homeowners think about custom homes

Custom homeowners are often people who want luxury, first-of-its-kind residences. These are people who desire to have special comfort features in their homes. And can afford it.

These buyers often focus on clear design features. They pay attention to finishes, fixtures, and appliances instead of more important features such as floor plans.

People with special needs, lifestyles, or disabilities also prefer custom homes.

What homeowners think about “spec” homes

Alexia Bertsatos, a real estate agent with EXP Realty, said:

“Overbidding and high prices are making spec homes a great alternative for buyers if they can get one.” Spec homeowners seek to avoid the high cost and effort required for a custom home. They want a beautiful property as soon as possible and at a minimal cost.

Wrong thought processes some homeowners have

Home buyers often misunderstand the process of building a custom home. Many home buyers never achieve their dream home or anything close to it. At best, they end up with an already built “spec” home or a poor version of what they had in mind.

It is due to one major factor; wrong thought process or sequencing. According to most uninformed home buyers, you have to:

  • First, find the perfect land
  • Buy the plot
  • Have an architect draw up their dream home
  • Take the architect’s design to many builders
  • Sample various proposals for the project
  • Pick the most affordable builder

Unfortunately, this plan will lead them nowhere near their dreams. Doing it this way often gets the opposite of what they intended.

To build your dream home, you should improve on this process by:

  • First, choosing a trusted builder
  • Together identify the lot
  • Hire an architect
  • Build the house

This method makes the process much faster, smoother, and less expensive for you.

Here’s why:

When you first identify a builder, you get professional information about the construction market. It will help you make informed decisions and choices from the vast majority of options.

Builders also have experience working with architects. They have better connections to recommend who should be on your team and who should not.

Your dream home is achievable, but you must go through the correct process.

Property Owners, Home Builders, and Developers

Builders and Developers are at the core of the construction industry. They are the brains behind every admirable structure. While there are many other professionals involved in home building, Builders and Developers are the ones who bring the ideas to life. We’ll probably have no houses to live in without their hard work.

You may often use these two terms interchangeably, and many confuse them. These two are different and play very different roles in house construction. Builders literally “build” while developers actually “establish.”

Some developers now offer building services, and some builders also delve into development. Nonetheless, both have distinct functions.

A developer performs as a policy maker and planner. They:

  • Finds and acquires land for new developments
  • Acquires government approvals
  • Liaises closely with the government to zone, design, and plan new construction
  • Sells lots directly to builders or prospective home buyers
  • Envisions and plans properties or entire communities
  • Works with planners to lay out public facilities such as streets, parks
  • Oversees the installation of infrastructure to lots in the area

By contrast, the builders, on the other hand, are the ones who have their hands in the dirt. They take care of the “nuts and bolts” of the building process. They perform all the mundane tasks involved in homebuilding. They:

  • Lay the foundation for the building
  • Perform framing
  • Lay the bricks and raise the building
  • Hire contractors to do the remaining work, such as plumbing, electrical, roofing, and painting
  • Follow established government policies and architectural design plans
  • Interact with the government to get building permits and site inspections

Property Owners are the ones who fund the whole process. They:

  • Hire architects, builders
  • Provide the funding for the project
  • Walk with the other parties to achieve desired home
  • Handle insurance
  • Are in charge of home repairs and maintenance
  • Bear other housing-related costs

As a prospective homeowner, you should pay proper attention to your relationship with your developer and builder. It goes a long way in contributing to the success of your construction.

This relationship begins when you hire an architect to design your house and a builder to find a plot. Whether you are acquiring your land yourself or through a builder, you will most likely have to deal with a developer.

Strong Real Estate Markets

The rising demand for custom homes presents a promising market for builders and Developers in real estate. There is also an increase in demand for spec homes.

Developers have significant investments in real estate. They:

  • Find the best properties to build on
  • Prepare a detailed offer to the original land owners
  • Buy the land
  • Get all necessary approvals and documents to finish the deal
  • Develop the lot
  • Sell it

Developers make most of their money from the lot sale. The quality of the lot determines how much risk the developer takes. The poorer the land, the higher the risk. If the lot is good and the developer can attract good buyers, he gets good value for his lot.

Yet, the developer is not alone in the money-making business. Builders may also pre-sell the new homes before they even build them, making a profit.

How Do Builders Identify and Price The Plots They Want to Buy?

Having acquired a plot, a developer carries out the subdivision of land. It is a term that covers most of the developer’s work. Subdivision entails all the legal and physical steps a developer takes to transform raw land into developed land. Subdivision goes beyond the development of a single plot of land. It is the way planners build communities. It determines the following:

  • Appearance
  • Land uses
  • Infrastructure
  • Roads
  • Drainage systems
  • Water
  • Sewerage
  • Public Utilities

When a subdivision is complete, the land owner puts it for sale. Then the developer markets the land to prospective buyers, usually home builders. A builder’s responsibility is to keep abreast of happenings in the real estate industry. Then seeks out available lot sales.

After finding land, the builder determines costs and commences negotiations. The cost of land depends on several factors. These include:

  • Location
  • Form
  • Size and Accessibility
  • Proximity to Infrastructure
  • Proximity to Transport Links
  • The General Condition of The Property
  • Happenings in The Property Market
  • The developer
  • Existing use value and hope value

Having determined his budget for a particular property, the builder goes ahead with land acquisition. This process starts with the “outside” price.

The List Price and the Sale Price

The list price is the amount a developer puts up on a property for sale and the cost written in every advertisement for the parcel. The goal is to inform potential buyers of where the developer’s price for the plot starts. Developers don’t usually sell their lands at the list price. Depending on current market conditions, they could get more or less than the list price.

How Developers Determine Their List Price

The list price is the bait that attracts buyers to make offers for a property. Developers determine the price by evaluating the estimated market value for the land. We can determine the cost based on recent comparable sales.

They use several methods when deciding on a list price. These are:

  • Pricing Below Market Value
  • Competitive Pricing
  • Pricing at Market Value

The Sales Price

The Sale Price is the actual selling price for the land. The land sale often involves a lot of back and forths, and builders meet with developers several times to negotiate the price.

They both reach an agreement on the price of the land. The sale price is the amount the buyer pays for the land plot, as shown in the sales contract.

As part of buying or selling real estate, you may need to determine the value of the land for tax purposes. That process can be tricky, but there are standard methods of calculating it. You can use a land value estimator or calculator to help you. Once you understand the different methods government officials use to calculate the current market value, it’s not a complex process. The sole purpose is to determine the land value for tax purposes.

Builders in the Spec and production markets have more to consider when acquiring land. For custom home builders, the only primary concern is the profit made on the resale of the parcel. The buyers then foot the cost of designing and constructing the house.

Spec and Production builders must consider the building’s design and construction costs. They reach this conclusion based on current home prices.

The builder:

  • Calculates the eventual price they will be able to sell a new home based on current market conditions
  • Factors in the hard and soft costs of building and selling
  • In the end, arrived at the profit margin he hoped to capture

Hard costs are the actual construction costs. They refer to expenses in direct connection to the building project. They include:

  • Payment of construction labor
  • Pieces of equipment
  • Scaffolding
  • Interior fixtures
  • Costs of machinery rental

Soft costs are all other costs, excluding the cost of the physical building. They are costs of activities indirectly connected to the construction project. Such as:

  • Legal fees
  • Logistics
  • Safety inspections
  • Architectural fees
  • Engineering fees
  • Other real estate commissions

A builder can determine his offer for the lot by calculating these costs.

This process has excellent risks for builders. The builder suffers a loss if you don’t do these calculations well. Also, there are often unforeseen changes in production costs or the real estate market, which are risks the builder takes.

When the builder works in a neighborhood with already constructed buildings, his work becomes safer. Without previous construction, there is no precedent to determine the selling price in a community. The builder’s risk is much less when there are many new buildings in the area. It is because he will have enough current background data to compare. Also, the more recent home sales there are, the better. This sales trend is often a sign of a booming market.

Yet, this is not a foolproof method as there are always unprecedented changes in the real estate market.

For example:

A neighborhood with 500 homes built in the 1980s had ten new built custom homes and 24 spec homes.

The current list price of these new homes ranges from $1.9 million to $2.1 million, with an average sales price of $2 million.

Based on this observation, a custom home builder can project their sale price at $2.0 million. He can also assume it will cost him $800,000 in hard costs and $200,000 in soft costs to build a home in the neighborhood.

To make a profit of $200,000, he can then afford to pay $800,000 for the lot. Expenses:

  • Land – $800,000
  • Hard costs – $800,000
  • Soft costs – $200,000

Selling price

  • $2 million

Builder’s profit

  • $200,000

A builders job is a tedious but important one. Hiring a builder early in your planning phase will save you time and effort.

The 1/3-1/3-1/3 Rule

The ⅓-⅓-⅓ Rule is what builders use to calculate expenses and cut down costs when acquiring a property. Yet, this Rule is no longer relevant in the real estate market. According to this Rule, builder budgets:

  • 1/3 of the hard and soft building costs
  • 1/3 for the lot
  • 1/3 for profit

What does this mean for a custom home buyer?

Most custom home buyers want to buy their property all by themselves. While this might save you much money, it is often not worth the effort and time it demands. You should complete this task with builders already established in their professions. You will have to:

  • Find a good lot
  • Write a competitive offer
  • Make long-winded bargains
  • Replicate the same process with many developers

This situation is an uphill battle for several reasons.

First, buyers do not get a fair playing field in securing land. It is because it has become challenging to secure a suitable property. Builders, by profession, have spent years mastering their crafts. They have established themselves in the industry. To ensure good plots, they:

  • Run many letter campaigns
  • Door knocking
  • Have one-on-one meetings with potential sellers of lots (developers)

Builders and developers go to any length to find and secure properties before they reveal them to the general public. A plot will likely be off the market long before you hear about it. Builders go through a lot to find suitable properties. And they do find them.

Second, most home buyers do not have the necessary know-how and tools to judge the value of the land. Without the help of an experienced builder, you risk making the wrong choices and ruining your home plan.

Also, due to ignorance, home buyers move very slow. Builders already have a team at their disposal to close deals on lands right away.

This team is always ready to help the builder secure a plot immediately after it hits the market.

As a home buyer, you most likely do not have all these hands at your service. Buyers only begin to put together their men after finding the plot. They do this to prevent unnecessary high expenses. To assemble a team, they often ask for extended evaluation periods. They take a longer time to:

  • Prepare the purchase contract
  • Assemble their team
  • Perform the due diligence

Unfortunately, many sellers do not favor extended evaluation periods, a risk they are unwilling to take. They would rather sell their plots to the highest bidder as soon as possible as real estate is a risky business. Lot sellers are also looking to cut down on risks involved in plot sales.

When acquiring a lot for construction, you must understand that not all lots are alike. There may be problems or challenges unknown to you. Such as:

  • Setbacks
  • Storm easements
  • Topography issues
  • Poor soil quality
  • Ownership issues
  • Poor public water and drainages system

An experienced builder will look out for these issues when acquiring a plot. These problems may lead to extra costs and delays in construction. They may even prevent construction altogether.

Yet, it would take a novice buyer over a month to navigate this path and move on with the actual purchase. It is a long time in a competitive market like real estate, and a skilled builder will complete the whole process in seven days or even less.

Third, most buyers lack “vision.” It is near impossible for a lone buyer to see the prospect of a significant construction project in a vacant or worn-down lot.

For example, most buyers look for a perfect plain property. Keep in mind that not all lots are flat. Some of the best lands have raised areas towards the house front. This grade has some advantages for positioning the house entrance. It levels up above the street level.

Some other lots have a downhill grade towards the back, and this ground level tends to allow for better drainage. Also, some lots with topography problems may have great potential for building projects.

A builder can identify these potentials at a glance, while a buyer will require an eye opener to see them. It is already late when the buyer sees the potential because a more proactive client would have acquired the land.

Another reason why a builder has a better position to acquire land lots is financing. Expert builders have access to several financing plans for house construction. Such as:

  • Public financing
  • Tax increment financing
  • Tax abatement financing
  • Equity financing
  • Build cooperative agreements

Most home buyers are only aware of the traditional mortgage. In a mortgage plan, a lender requires you to legally agree that you will live in the house as your primary residence. However, If you plan to tear down or reconstruct the property, you will be denied access. It limits your options as a buyer to two:

  • All cash
  • Construction Financing


Cash is king. An all-cash financing plan is one in which a buyer brings the money to the sale. During the sale, you pay for your lot upfront. This liquidity has its benefits. An all-cash purchases:

  • It gives you an edge over lot sellers
  • Allows for a quick closing
  • It provides an advantage during negotiation
  • It does not need mortgage paperwork
  • Allows you to compete with builders
  • Allows you to keep full ownership right from scratch
  • It saves you the time and struggle of acquiring a loan


  • There’s financial risk. You might have to spend all your savings building a house
  • Growth can be slow

Construction Financing

Construction financing is a bank-issued, short-term loan. Designed to help build a new house or another construction project.

A traditional mortgage or permanent loan will help you buy an already built house. On the other hand, a construction loan covers all the costs of building a new home right from scratch. It covers the cost needed to buy raw land. Construction Financing:

  • Allows you to pay for your land and fund the house’s building
  • Lets you create milestones for your building project
  • Monthly payments
  • No interest payments while the construction project is ongoing
  • Deduct interest only on the loan amount you got
  • It can cover the cost of equipment, building materials, and labor costs

Yet, construction financing is not open to all. There are requirements you must meet. To get a construction financing plan, you have to:

  • Make a down payment of about 20% or more of the entire amount
  • Have a solid personal credit score
  • Provide necessary financial documents, such as:
  • Proof of assets
  • Tax returns
  • Financial statements
  • Have a commendable reputation
  • Conduct an appraisal of the completed building. The appraiser will demand evidence, such as:
  • The house design
  • Floor plans
  • Fixtures and facilities

Construction financing is an easy way to deal with home financing issues. Nonetheless, this option can be more problematic than All-Cash purchases. It is because:

  • Many owners don’t often favor it
  • It’s riskier as you may lose the house if you miss payments
  • It demands that you already have an agreement with a contractor or builder
  • Has higher interest rates

Construction financing might be difficult to get for a buyer working without a builder’s help. It is because, at this stage, they likely haven’t identified the lot, the builder, or the design.

That said, a home buyer has advantages over builders securing lots from developers. A buyer often:

  • It pays more than a builder can afford when purchasing a lot
  • Is not trying to make a profit from the building project
  • His main goal is to build the house of his dreams at a reasonable cost
  • This readiness plus gross lack of experience makes the buyer willing to pay more

A builder:

  • When submitting an offer, he must consider a lot for making a profit
  • He makes many calculations to come up with a profitable deal

The most successful course for a buyer building a custom home

  • Find a good builder you can trust
  • Together with your builder, find and buy a suitable land
  • Build your dream custom home

At UBuild Custom Homes, we have all it takes to walk you through this path.

When it comes to choosing a builder, buyers often fear:

  • Choosing the wrong builder
  • Losing negotiation leverage
  • Ending up with a bad deal

While these concerns are very valid, it’s also true that good builders value loyalty. They love helping buyers build their dream homes. There are good builders, and they deliver real value. Officially committing to working with a builder takes the uncertainty out of the picture. With a good builder, you can rest assured without fear that you will save some cost.

Working with a builder is like playing a baseball game. The best builders look to hit singles and doubles with each project. If the builder is looking to hit triples and home runs, they’re looking to take advantage of the buyer. Even with a firm building contract, a builder can take advantage of you in many ways. Hence, you should pick a trustworthy builder with a well-thought, well-written contract.

How to identify a good builder

Builders with solid reputations:

  • Show genuine interest in your building project
  • Own relevant qualifications and licenses
  • Have experience in custom building
  • Introduce you to their past clients (check references!)
  • Involves you in the entire building process

These are qualities you should look out for in your builder.

You should also look beyond price. If you only focus on price, you’re making a big mistake. You will find the cheapest builder with the poorest service. Instead, you should look for compatibility with your prospective builder. Building a home can be an exciting process, so choose a builder you will enjoy working with in the long run.

General Contractor vs. Custom Home Builders

A building contractor coordinates all the resources needed to undertake construction works. These include:

  • Contracting several trades required to execute the actual works
  • Overseeing construction from start to finish
  • Ensuring safety on site
  • Supervises labor
  • Manages subcontractors

In contrast, a custom home builder has the training and experience to build custom homes. He plans and executes special building projects and is directly involved in the actual construction from start to finish.

But, only as with developers, there is no clear distinction between the roles of contractors and builders. Many builders now provide contractors’ services while some contractors also build.

Finding a contractor who enjoys building your home is significant.

A good contractor will:

  • Have extensive technical skills in directing, monitoring, delegation, and communication
  • Know certain legal aspects involved in home construction
  • Be able to guarantee the safety of workers
  • Be proactive enough to identify problems and provide them with expedited solutions
  • Have a good sense of ethics
  • Deal with transparency and accountability

Assemble The Right Team

Building projects often involve large numbers of people and a variety of skilled personnel. Depending on the size and nature of the project, this can range from hundreds to thousands of people.

The composition of the project team is crucial to the project’s success. Some team members are professionals who bring specialist knowledge to the table, while others provide labor.

Ensure that you have the right men on your building team. 

Remain Realistic With Your Expectations

As much as you want your home to be the first of its kind, ensure you work within the boundaries of what is achievable.

Most home builders have utopian notions of what their dream custom home should look like in real life. Often, these builders get disappointed at the end of the day.

View a wide range of options and discuss with professionals the possibility of your choices.

In Conclusion

As earlier stated, building a custom home is hard work, and the number of decisions and choices required are innumerable.

Yet, with the right approach, you will for sure achieve your goal.

Remember, significant steps include:

  • Making a budget
  • Finding the property
  • Securing the lot with a contract
  • Employing an architect
  • Employing a builder
  • Planning the home
  • Determining features
  • Monitoring project
  • Moving in

Cheers to an exciting custom homebuilding journey!