What is the Process of Building a Custom Home?

general contractor media

A custom home is the ultimate luxury — it’s something everyone wants but few will ever realize. Building a custom home is also a journey, one that takes perseverance and a fair amount of time. The more you know about the process, the easier it will be to navigate, and the more patience you will have when you hit the inevitable rough patches.

Start with our overview of the process, then contact Mancill Builders so that we can answer any questions you have and get you on your way to living the dream!

The Research Stage of Building a Custom Home

Before you get underway with planning your new home, there are some big decisions that need to be made. Of course, the budget is a defining factor in building a custom home.

  • Will you be living in or around a city, or are you planning to settle in the suburbs? What stage of life are you in? Do you have a young family with school-age children, or are you closer to retirement?
  • What do you like? What can’t you live without? Use friends’ or family members’ homes for inspiration.
  • What style home appeals to you – traditional, contemporary, or another? Almost any style you choose can be integrated into your future home.

There are, of course, practical concerns as well. It’s important to know whether public utilities are readily available for the plot of land you’ve chosen. You will need to check zoning restrictions, future development plans, and accessibility for contractors and their equipment. Observe the property during heavy rain, and knock on the doors of your future neighbors, who will have valuable information about the area that you wouldn’t be able to find out elsewhere.

A good rule of thumb to remember while building a custom home that your floor plans should be 95 percent complete before construction begins.

Paying for Your New Custom Home

custom home budget

You’re probably aware that financing a custom home is quite different from buying an existing structure. In the beginning stages, you will need two separate loans for the land and the construction work. Sometimes the latter can be converted into a normal mortgage once the project is complete. It is likely that you will need to put 20 percent down on the land, although this will vary depending on your lender.

From the lender’s perspective, a new build is a risky proposition, as there is always potential for the project to run into problems. The builder wants to be sure that there will be enough money available to complete their work. In order to keep tabs on the process, the bank grants “draws” on the loan at varying stages in the construction process. You or your builder will request these payments, and the bank will likely send a representative to the building site to confirm that the project is progressing as planned before the money is released.

The Planning Stage of a Custom Home

custom home architect

Here’s where the fun really starts. This is your chance to create the living space you’ve always wanted. Do you want a wood-burning fireplace in every bedroom? An outbuilding for your home office? Three stories instead of just two? The possibilities are nearly endless.

Now is the time to decide whether or not you will work with an architect. If your vision is very specialized, you may well need one. Architects aren’t cheap, so budget for enough to cover the costs of a good, experienced architect. One who is worth his or her cost will actually save you money. Another consideration is the time that you have available to devote to this project. Hiring an architect may be in order simply because you don’t have time to scour websites looking for the perfect set of plans or to adjust those plans to the plot of land you’ve chosen.

Otherwise, you may well be able to work through a plan on your own and with your general contractor. You can choose from thousands and thousands of floorplans online for a very reasonable price. Homebuilding software and books are other sources of sample floorplans. Knowing exactly what you want should make finding a suitable pre-existing plan fairly easy. Contractors and builders will also have resources available for choosing the layout of your new home.

Site Work and Foundation

builder media pa

There’s much work to be done before the construction of your dwelling will begin. This includes clearing trees, rocks, and debris from the site; digging the septic system and well where applicable; and removing tons of soil in order to pour the foundation. The foundation construction is not the time or place to cut corners, since a house is only as durable as its foundation.

Once the foundation is dug and the concrete is poured and has cured, the foundation walls are waterproofed, plumbing is installed on the lower floors, and excavated earth is backfilled around the foundation.

Finally, a building inspector will visit the site to ensure that the work has been done according to regulations.

New Construction Framing

framing for new custom home

Your home will really start to take shape during the framing stage, in which walls, the roof, and windows will be installed. This is also known as the “shell” or “skeleton” of the structure. It may take anywhere from a week to several months to complete this stage, which will also include applying plywood or oriented strand board sheathing to the walls and the installation of exterior doors. Siding and roofing can now be installed as well.

Be aware that some adjustments to the floorplans may happen at this stage as it is now possible to actually see and touch and therefore evaluate the skeleton of what will be your home.

The Rough-In Stage

Building a custom home involves several months of various contractors doing the work necessary to install the “nervous system” of your home. The things that you will take for granted, such as plumbing, heating, air conditioning, water lines, computer networks, phone lines, cable, and much more will be added at this stage. Optional features such as fireplaces, central vacuum systems, and security systems, as well as large fixtures like bathtubs, will also be installed during the rough-in stage.

The rough framing, plumbing, and electrical work will also be inspected at this point, prior to the drywall installation.

Drywall and Interior Finishes

Next, your home will be insulated and drywall will be hung. A coat of primer paint will be applied to the walls. Other finishes such as wood floors and ceramic tiles will be laid. Kitchen and bathroom cabinets and interior doors will be hung. Once paint is applied to the walls, light fixtures, appliances, counter tops, toilets, door knobs, and more will be installed. Your new house is really starting to look like a home!

A final inspection will be conducted around this time, certifying that the home has passed all inspections and is ready to be occupied.

Exterior Finishes on Your Custom Home

new home builder media pa

Now is the time for the exterior finishes to go up. These may include brick, aluminum, stone, stucco, concrete, vinyl, wood, or a combination of materials. When considering the exterior finishes, think about practicality as well as beauty. Other work that will be completed at this point includes driveways, walkways, and patios.

The property will also be landscaped at this stage. When choosing plants and trees, keep in mind the existing flora on the property, the look of surrounding properties, the plants that are native to the area, and how your choice of plantings can aid in shielding the home from the elements or creating privacy from neighboring homes and structures.

Completion and Delivery of Your New Home

Conceiving, planning, building, and completing your dream home has been a journey, but the end is finally in sight! In the walk through, your builder will lead you around the home, drawing your attention to all the features and systems you so meticulously selected, help you to understand maintenance procedures, inform you about warranties, and fill you in on any other items you will need to know before moving in.

Building a Custom Home with Media’s #1 General Contractor

general contractor delaware county

Whether your dream dwelling includes lots of land for horses, a tennis court of your own, a chef’s kitchen to accommodate your huge holiday family gatherings, or a spa retreat bathroom to let you pamper yourself on a daily basis, Mancill knows how to make your vision a reality. Because we specialize in custom projects, we know the process of taking you from conception all the way through to finished product.

You’ve worked hard to earn the privilege of building a custom home just the way you want it, and we’ll be there every step of the way with full knowledge that the job isn’t done until you are 100% satisfied. Visit us at www.{{{REPLACE_HOST_NAME}}} to see a sampling of our custom projects, and call us to find out more about the services that have made us Delaware County’s most trusted home builders for more than 4 decades!