Steps to Building a Custom Home Checklist | Everything to Keep in Mind

Building a new home is an exciting, life-changing experience. For many people, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that has been on their bucket list for quite some time. If you’ve made the decision to pursue a custom home build, congratulations! You may feel nervous about what to expect while simultaneously jumping for joy at what’s to come. Alair Kirkland is here to put your mind at ease and break down the lengthy, complicated process of building a custom home with this simplified list of steps. With this handy checklist, you’ll be able to alleviate stress, feel more prepared, and better enjoy the building process.

Determine Your Budget

First and foremost, you’ll need to figure out how much you want to spend on your future custom home. It’s important to base your budget on what you can comfortably afford, the type and size of home you envision, and the costs of land in your preferred area. You may need to meet with a few professionals, such as your builder, architect, financial advisor, and mortgage brokers, to determine the ideal budget for your financial situation. Overall, your estimated budget will serve as the foundation for your custom home-building journey.

Secure Financing

Once you’ve projected your budget, you will want to research financing options. Unless you’re paying for every aspect of your custom home in cash upfront, you’ll need to lock in a loan. Many people opt for a construction loan, which is a short-term loan that’s designed to cover building costs. Once the construction period comes to an end, you can finance your home with an additional mortgage. To land a mortgage with a low rate and favorable terms, you’ll need solid credit and a stable, verifiable income. It is recommended that you meet with a mortgage advisor or mortgage broker so they can advise you on loan options and help you select the best one for your needs. 

Purchase Land

Now, the fun part begins! After you figure out your budget and how you are going to pay for your custom home, you’ll need to purchase land. If you already have a plot of land, you’ve been waiting to build on for years – great! If not, keep in mind that this is one of the biggest advantages and also potential frustrations of building a custom home. 

For some, it can take months or even years to find the perfect piece of land that meets all their needs. If you have been searching for a while and can’t seem to find just the right fit, reach out to a land acquisition manager or custom builder that specializes in land acquisition. They’ll take your list of specifications and help you hone in on the perfect piece of land.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to rush this step, as one of the biggest benefits of building a custom home is being able to settle down in your dream location. As you are shopping around for options, consider factors such as lot size, proximity to neighbors, the slope of the land, the neighborhood, and the style of other houses in the area.

Hire a Custom Home Builder 

As you do some research, you’ll find that there is no shortage of custom home builders out there. However, not all of them offer the same quality of service or work. The builder you choose can make or break the success of your project, so it’s important to be picky. Interview multiple builders and opt for one that is reputable, experienced, flexible, connected, and has plenty of positive reviews and references. If working with one of the largest and most prestigious network of custom home builders is of interest to you, we encourage you to reach out to us here at Alair Kirkland. With 1000+ years of combined experience, a highly standardized process, and a focus on transparency and communication, we can offer you a white-glove experience that is second to none. 

Choose a Timeline

When it comes to custom home builds, flexibility and preparation are key. This means that while it’s a good idea to have a sample timeline to keep everyone involved on track, you should expect construction to take longer than planned. Your timeline should include steps such as pre-construction, inspections, design, foundation, framing, internal components and drywall, interior finishes, and finishing touches. On average, the timeframe for building a home typically takes up to two years from start to finish. At Alair Kirkland, we strive to provide all our clients with a realistic timeline of their projects upfront. 

Design Your Home

Custom homes offer limitless design and customization possibilities. You can design a space to accommodate your personal style, family size, lifestyle needs, and desired upgrades. At Alair Kirkland, our team of designers is dedicated to ensuring every single detail is perfectly in place. Once you inform us of your needs and wants, we’ll draw up a design plan that brings it to life. If you’re unsure of exactly what you’d like, we’d be happy to make recommendations and show you various features and design choices you can implement into your new home. 

Obtain Necessary Permits

Permits are required in order for your custom home to be built. Your custom home builder will apply for permits on your behalf. Depending on where you live, this process can take some time, so be patient. Ideally, your builder will begin the process as soon as possible and educate you on all of the permits that are mandatory for your local area and particular home build. You can rely on our experienced construction team here at Alair to make your permitting process smooth and easy. Once we obtain all your permits, the construction phase can officially begin. 

Prepare the Site

Now that the construction phase has begun, the first step is for the building team to prepare the site ground. This may involve removing any structures that are unnecessary and grading to create a level ground for the foundation. It might also require drainage work that will help prevent water damage in the future. After the site has been graded, the building team will pour the foundation for your new home!

Frame the Build

If the foundation is level and good to go, the framing process can begin. During framing, contractors will build the shape of your home by framing the subfloors, walls, and partitions. Typically, wall sheathing will be added to prevent the bending or swaying of walls and shield against moisture. The framing stage isn’t complete until an inspection has been passed to ensure the integrity of the home.

Install Key Systems

Next, it will be time to focus on the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. Contractors will install all of them, wire your home, adding vents, and route water supply and sewer lines. If your home will feature bathtubs or other large plumbing add-ons, they will get installed during this step as well.

  1. Add Insulation – Not only will insulation reduce your heating and cooling costs, but it will also keep your home comfortable for family and guests. While there are a number of insulation options to choose from, contractors typically opt for cellulose, foam, and fiberglass. You can trust your contractors to pick the ideal type of insulation for your particular property.
  2. Complete the Interior – While this step will vary, it usually involves laying down floors and carpets, installing baseboards, putting up cabinets, and caulking. This may also be a time to complete driveways, walkways, patios, and landscaping. These final construction elements are sure to make you feel like your new custom home is truly taking shape.
  3. Add Personal Touches – Once your custom home is almost complete, you’ll want to incorporate the personal touches that truly make it yours. Personal touches might include but are not limited to mirrors, fixtures, artwork, wallpaper, lighting, furniture, and other accessories. Many opt to work with a team of professional interior designers, artists, or painters to ensure that everything they want comes to life beautifully.
  4. Perform the Final Walkthrough – Perhaps the most exciting part of building a custom home is the final walkthrough. This is where you take in the beauty of your new space and ensure it’s everything you’ve ever wanted it to be and more. At Alair Kirkland, we remain committed to our customers long after the key is handed over by offering top-notch warranty options and continued customer service. When we say that you are a part of the Alair family for life – we mean it!

Build Your Custom Home With Alair Kirkland 

As you build or wait to build your new custom home, keep this checklist in mind. Having these clear check-in points throughout the process can help you feel more confident and in control of your situation, allowing you to keep track of what’s been done. With Alair Kirkland by your side, you can be sure that we’ll flawlessly hit all these checkpoints, exceeding your expectations every step of the way.

We invite you to reach out to us to learn more about our seamless custom home-building process and determine whether we’re a good fit for your future project. For more information about Kirkland custom home building and how you can get started, contact Alair Kirkland today!