If you’re looking to have a custom home built, your first meeting with your home builder can seem overwhelming. There’s often pressure to have everything perfectly laid out to present to the builders, and many people aren’t even sure where to start. Luckily, perfectionism isn’t necessary; however, a little prep work goes a long way when it comes to building custom homes. Here are five things you’ll definitely want to bring to your first visit with a custom home builder:

1. Your Budget

The most important thing to bring to a meeting with a custom home builder is a copy of your budget. While you don’t necessary need an exact figure, you should be able to show the builders the price range you can afford to work with. This is because they’ll need to draft plans and purchase materials with your budget in mind; after all, the last thing you want is for a project to go way over budget.

2. Potential Floor Plans

Unless you have experience building homes, you aren’t likely to have a fully-formed floor plan to bring to your initial meeting, but you do want to show the builders your vision for your custom home. If you have ideas for potential floor plans or rough sketches you’ve made, talk your builders through them, or you might go online and find floor plans you find appealing. It can also be helpful to show the builders images of particular architectural features that you may want to include.

Photo by Alair Homes DallasLook for kitchen pictures

3. Records of the Building Lot

If you have any records or maps of the lot you’ll be building on, it’s important that you show them to your home builders. This will help them choose where on the lot to lay the foundation for your home, and also gives them a better of idea of what size the house should be and what exterior architectural features will be viable.

4. Financial Documents

You should also bring relevant financial documents to your initial meeting with builders, including loan documents if you’ve been pre-approved as well as personal bank statements. These documents will give your builder proof that you have the funds to back the construction of your custom home, and will also affirm the initial budget you’ll be working with.

5. Contact Information

Last and most importantly, you’ll need to provide your builders with contact information for whoever will be the designated point of contact. It’s best to have one person be responsible for this to simplify things, preferably the person who is most familiar with your vision for a custom home. To ensure you can be reached, it’s best to give them your cell phone, home phone and email.

As intimidating as the first meeting with a custom builder can be, as long as you bring these five things along, everything should go smoothly. Custom home builders such as Alair Homes in Dallas have extensive experience working with clients to achieve their vision for their custom home, and they’ll be able to help you through each step of the process. When in doubt, defer to the builders’ expertise and let them advise you on how best to build the home of your dreams.