Scott Brothers Homes

Building a Custom HomeWhat goes into building a custom home?

Having your dream home built from the ground up should never be a nightmare. If you know what to expect during the process, you can enjoy watching your vision become a reality. Here are a few of the milestones:

Engaging a contractor - Your general contractor will be your eyes and ears both onsite and off. Be sure to hire someone whom you trust and who will listen to your needs and concerns. Even something as simple as returning phone calls in a timely matter is of utmost importance.

Obtaining a lot - Do you already have a piece of property in mind, or will you need the assistance of a realtor to help in your search? Your general contractor plays a critical role in determining how land conditions will impact both the design of the finished home and the building process itself.

Selecting a floor plan - Do you want to combine elements of several house plans you like, or have yours drawn from scratch? Either way you will need to engage the services of an architect. Try to determine how you plan to use your home. Will you be entertaining a lot? How many bedrooms and bathrooms would you like? Do you expect frequent visitors? Do you need a separate home office or studio?

Establishing a budget - The bottom line is impacted by every doorknob and ceiling fan. Your general contractor will do his utmost to negotiate the price of materials and services on your behalf but you need to decide in advance how much you are prepared to spend.

Drawing up a contract - This is between you and your general contractor. The contract is your agreement about how long it will take to build your house considering weather conditions and the time of year, what the schedule will be and how much everything will cost.

Arranging financing - This is between you and your bank or credit union. Enough said.

Getting building permits - Your general contractor is familiar with this process. Follow his lead.

Engaging an interior designer and a decorator - Chances are you already have a vision but these two types of professionals can enhance and refine what you already have in mind as well as offer options and ideas you might not have thought of.

Making selections - The list is a long one but you don’t have to decide everything all at once: interior and exterior fixtures, hardware, paint, stain and lighting; flooring, fireplaces and window treatments; kitchen and bathroom cabinets, countertops and appliances. You may find it helpful to create a tabbed binder to collect notes, flyers, magazine pictures and brochures. And get a basket or container to hold those paint chips and tile and carpet samples.

Getting a Certificate of Occupancy - Your general contractor will take care of this when the house is completed. This document ensures that the property is clear of liens, that your new home is clean and free of defects and that everything in it is working properly.

Moving in - The best milestone of all! Be sure to keep a detailed punch list to note items that may have been overlooked, anything in need of repair, or any changes or upgrades you might want.

Following up - Ask your general contractor how long you can expect your relationship to last. Will he come by for a walk-through three months after you move in? How about after six months, or ten months? When a new house settles the sheet rock may need to be repaired, the counters re-caulked and the paint touched up. It’s important to know your general contractor’s level of commitment to your custom home after he presents you with the keys to the front door.

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