5 Tips for Navigating a Custom Home Build

Custom Home, Building, Wood

5 Tips for Navigating a Custom Home Build

We all want to find the right home, but for some of us the right home simply isn’t on the market. When this happens, building your home becomes a legitimate consideration. Custom home builds are the perfect option for those who want to invest in something you essentially get to create. While custom home builds may sound like a no-brainer, there are some major things you need to prepare for before deciding if building is right for you.

1. Budgeting

Before you begin the process, it is important to sit down and establish a budget. Your budget should be realistic and affordable. It should also be able to withstand any unforeseen circumstances that may arise.

The average cost for a custom home build relies heavily on the square footage. The average cost per square foot is about $100-200, according to Home Advisor. The average range for a custom home build is between $80,000 and up, although, it all depends on the lot you decide to have it built on along with other expenses such as taxes, labor, fees, and finishes on the home. Of course, the more space you want the more money you will need.

2. Time Frame

As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. A custom home build will take time, so have realistic expectations. The average time span to complete a custom home is anywhere between 9-12 months, and it could be longer if any issues were to arise. Many builders offer standard floor plans and options that they have completed before which can speed up the process.

Other time frames to take into account include  when your lease will be up, start/stop school dates for your children, or expecting a new child. These things are important to think about before you secure an exact date.

3. Designing

If you are going to do a custom home build, make sure that you take time to really think about the design you want. Consider the architectural elements, décor, and details you want incorporated within your home.


Architecture aspects bring in some major considerations. When looking for a land lot, make sure you check for any slopes in the land, how close will you be to your neighbors, if you will need to create your own resources such as a well, septic tank, phone/power tower, and will there be enough natural sunlight, etc. These are all things that are very important to consider before deciding if a piece of land is right for you.

Décor/ Necessities

Other key things to consider are how you want your home to be laid out. You need to think of how many bedrooms/bathrooms you will need.  How do you want your home to look in terms of style? Will you want to add other things such as a mudroom, a dedicated playroom, an office, or an eat-in kitchen? Will you need a garage? If so, how big? This is the time to think of everything you want.

4. Finding the right professionals

Once you have what you want narrowed down, it’s crucial to take your time and research legitimate professionals to get the job done. There are numerous ways to find reliable contractors. One of the quickest ways is through word of mouth, but if you aren’t having much luck there you can always search online through the Better Business Bureaus. It is a good rule of thumb to obtain quotes from at least 5 different contractors and make sure they have the necessary permits and licenses before you make an official agreement.

5. Monitoring progress

It’s important to keep track of the progress throughout your custom home build. Ensuring you are active in the building process will allow you to know what is going on and what work is being completed.


Getting an inspection done is a must. With a custom home build, having routine inspections are more relevant since it is a brand-new home and there are certain requirements that must be met for it to be considered safe. Communicate with your contractor to see the scheduled dates of inspections and keep track of them, making sure they are completed in a timely manner.


You should never pay before a job is completed. Make sure that your payments are not being paid before the job is finished, and you are satisfied with the results before your final payment is made.

Overall a custom home build will take a lot of thought, preparation, and time. However, it is a great choice if you want to be in control of how your home will look and function for you and your family.


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Shamara Glover
Marketing Assistant
Shamara joined Rockford Mutual in November of 2019 with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Robert Morris University in Chicago.