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10 Tips for Building a Custom Home from Scratch



The idea of building a custom home in Dallas is both intimidating and exciting. Unlike buying a readymade construction, you can design and construct everything according to your needs when you build your home from scratch.


From hiring a builder of your choice to picking the right set of colors and the type of wood you want to use in your kitchen cabinetry, you can decide everything on your own.

If you have made the exciting decision of building a custom home in Dallas, you have come to the right place.


In this post, we’re going to highlight 10 tried-and-tested expert tips for building a custom construction that will help you build your dream house without wasting any money. So without any ado, let’s get started!


1. Everything Starts with a Plan

Prepare yourself both financially and mentally before you even start thinking about building your home. Similar to any other thing, custom home building projects also demand in-depth research and planning.


Create a list of things you want in your home project, be it a customized staircase, a custom ceiling or a dedicated parking space, or a backyard.


Having a written plan will make things smoother, and it will be easier for you to explain your requirements to the builder when you attend your first showroom meeting.


2. Find Your Lot

Once you know your needs, the next step is to find a perfect lot according to your plan. You have to check your local laws to see whether you can build a custom home on any specific lot.


Know the dimensions you want for your custom home so that you can determine the footprint of it on your chosen lot. Both regular and premium lot options are available.


Make sure you choose something that goes well with your requirements and budget.

Also, get a builder’s perspective and carefully check out the neighborhood to know whether building a custom home in that locality will be convenient.


3. Check Out a Model House and Choose Your Floor Plan

Builders usually have a model house to display all the best features one might be looking for in their home. You can visit that house and see what you can expect in terms of design and features.


It is essential to understand that these model houses showcase possibilities, and they’re not free. Builders only bear the base costs, and whatever else you need in your home will be counted in the upgrades.


Do not hesitate to ask a lot of questions upon your visit to the model house. Also, discuss the floor plan with your builder to communicate what custom changes you need in your home.


For instance, if you want to build two master bedrooms on the first floor instead of one, you can discuss it with the contractor.


4. Upgrades Are Not included

As mentioned earlier, the model house you see before finalizing your contract with a builder only covers the base price. All the other custom additions you want to include will be counted as upgrades.


Upgrades are part of the house building project. Just ensure you’re mentally and financially prepared for it to avoid any surprises in the end.


5. You Can Buy or Build Your Home Much Sooner than You Think

The general misconception about securing a house loan is that you have to put a 20% down. But the fact is that you can get a loan for as little as 3.5%. So there’s no need to be debt-free or hold tons of money before you start thinking about building a custom home in Dallas.


Dissimilar to prebuilt constructions, there are so many unknowns in the custom home building project. Ideally, you should start a project when your credit score is good enough to satisfy the financer’s requirements.


The credit score you will need depends on the type of loan you’re securing. The better the credit score you hold, the lesser interest rate you have to pay on your loan, and vice versa.


Apart from that, your constructor will offer a few extra incentives if you go with their financer.


6. Purchase Agreement

Signing a purchase agreement means you’re now in a legal relationship with your contractor. You also have to deposit some upfront money (a certain percentage of house cost) at this point. Make sure you read your agreement carefully and request changes (if any) at this stage before you proceed further.


7. Ask Lots of Questions

While you sign a purchase agreement and your builder will send it for approval, you’ll have enough time to work on the design elements of your home. Your contractor will arrange design showroom meetings for you (one or two depending upon your needs).

Ask lots and lots of questions. At this point, you can request custom changes for your home. For example, you can choose your custom doorknobs, shower, countertops, etc. Again, none of these upgrades will be free. But, since building a custom home is already an expensive investment, these little changes here and there are worth it.


8. Take Pictures of Everything in Your First Showroom Appointment

Another thing you should keep in mind is to take lots and lots of pictures and videos of the things you have finalized during your showroom meetings.


The thing is that the contractors are handling several house building projects simultaneously. It’s easy to forget minor upgrade requests. So it’s better to have all the evidence at hand that you can show them if anything goes in an unexpected direction.


9. Do not Touch Your Credit During the Process of Getting Pre-Approval to Locking in a Rate credit

Do not touch your credit during the process of getting pre-approval to locking in a credit rate. Do not increase the balances you have on your credit card or do anything that could poorly affect your credit rating.


10. Be Diligent During a Pre-Close Walkthrough

One week before the closing, you’ll be doing a pre-close walkthrough. This is typically an hour or two walkthrough of your newly-built construction so that you can have a close look at everything and compare it with what you had discussed in your meetings and finalized in a purchase agreement.


That goes without saying that you have to be super diligent during this process. Any imperfections that need to be fixed should be highlighted before you close a deal.

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