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What you need to know before building a custom home



The process of building a custom home can be complicated. Building your dream home requires a lot of time, detail, and experience, and attempting to build one without a well-developed design will result in delays and unnecessary expenses. To help get you started with your Tampa Bay custom home, we’ve outlined the following tips and things to consider.



ESTABLISH A BUDGET

Knowing your budget is essential. It’d be impossible to make any decisions without knowing the budget that you’re trying to stay within. The basic questions like, how big do you want to build, and what kind of fixtures do you want, will be very difficult to answer without having a set budget. Custom homes can range greatly in cost depending on location, finishes and design. Construction projects are notorious for unexpected costs, so plan for a contingency budget of 10-15%.



START SIMPLE

The best way to start designing a home is to sit down with a pencil and paper and start drawing. This is the best time to idealize your home, and to design for what you want, rather than worrying about your constraints. Consider what features you want, the type of layout you like, how many rooms you need and the size of the home. Try visualizing yourself doing a walk-through to get a feel for the flow.



THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE

Think about the future when designing your custom home. Don’t be short-sighted. Consider a 5-to-10-year perspective and envision the future needs that you may have. If you plan on starting a family, consider the number of bedrooms you’d want, design for a more functional laundry room, consider a play space etc.



MAXIMIZE THE LOT

It helps when designing your custom home to have the layout of your lot in mind, so make sure to research what your setbacks and vertical limits are for your property or neighborhood. Once you know what your space looks like, you can make sure to design your home and landscaping to maximize the value of the lot, as well as provide beautiful natural showcasing for your home. This increases your overall curb appeal, and helps improve the value of your home, but more importantly it gives you and your family a beautiful outdoor space to enjoy.



PRIORITIZE FEATURES

Once you have an idea of what you want in your home, it’s important to prioritize those features to fit your needs and budget; making sure you have enough bedrooms for your family might be a little more important than that home media center, after all. List your needs in order of importance, and then consider the costs associated with each feature against the needs met to determine what’s most important to you and cut out the excess until your design fits your budget. You can also prioritize to stay within budget by determining what may be more difficult to change later. Things like flooring, pre-wiring and countertops are more difficult to incorporate or upgrade later than fixtures.



TAKE YOUR TIME

Spending the time to ensure that you do your due diligence helps protect you from mistakes that could be costly down the line. It pays dividends to have an engineer look at your plans and to get a good architect to draw your home design, but the easiest thing in custom home design is to be up-front about what you do and do not like. Take your time to design your dream home to your exact vision, don’t rush to build and be forced to renovate later.


Planning, planning, planning is the key to successful custom home construction. The experience and collaboration that comes from working with a design build firm will ensure that you get exactly what you want in a home and will save you time and money. Our team will guide you through the entire process, from start-to-finish. If you’re looking to build a custom home in Tampa Bay, contact our team today to schedule a complementary consultation.



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