Custom Home Building – It’s a process!


Modern two-story home with pool illuminated at twilight.

As a potential homebuyer, you’ve likely viewed many homes already on the market. In the process, you discover they don’t quite fit your needs in terms of features, layout and energy efficiency. After doing some research, you find that having a custom home built would resolve many of your concerns. Between designing and building a property from the ground up, what should you know about the process?

With a typical property, the cost encompasses the existing structure and surrounding land. With a custom home, the price tag includes more factors:


  • Individually sourcing all materials
  • Designing and building the property
  • All appliances inside
  • Breaking ground and construction

As a result, you’ll need to procure a construction home loan before the process takes off, to finance both the home and the land you’re purchasing. For lenders, construction loans come with more risks, so you should be prepared with:

  • An excellent credit score
  • A deposit between 20 and 25 percent
  • Cash reserves to finance any issues that extend the construction period


Generally, the first step is to draw up house plans, taking every aspect of your vision and budget into account. Since your home doesn’t exist solely on a flat plane, all parties need to consider the land early in the process. As such, you should ideally walk through the site with your builder to factor in any design and structural issues. Together, determine how much pre-construction work is needed and figure out where utilities and driveway should be placed.


Your budget influences much of the planning stage: The type of dwelling, how many floors your property will have and which materials you’ll use. As such, you should discuss every detail with the builder before the project begins and prepare for any issues that may impact cost, such as structural changes or an unavailable material.


Pre-construction begins once the builders break ground, then start the excavation process. Excavation involves clearing the building site of trees, rocks, and debris, leveling the ground, and digging a hole for the foundation. At this point, the builders will run any water and sewer lines to the basement they’re about to construct.

The foundation comes next. The builders pour concrete over the hole they’ve just dug and from here, your basement, underground plumbing, and floors take shape. However, the concrete must cure. In colder weather, the concrete takes a couple of weeks to set. In summer, only a week may be needed.

At this point, your home’s foundation is set for framing and construction and slowly, you’ll start to see the home materialise. Upon completion, the builder should do a walkthrough to ensure the property suits your vision, discuss any warranties and touch on general maintenance and upkeep. From start to finish, the process of constructing a custom home generally takes at least a year.

Are you in the market for a custom home? Consider GW Homes range of custom homes. To discuss our range, call one of our property consultants today.

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