If you’re in the early stages of considering building your own home, chances are high that you’re wondering where to start.

What can you expect the process to look like? What is a normal timeline? Who all is going to be involved?

We’ve broken down the complex process of building a custom home into four general steps that you’ll be taking to reach your goal — and, best case scenario, we’ll be doing it together.


1. Find the Land


In an interview on homebuilding with U.S. News, architect and author Duo Dickinson shared: “The thing that you have to pay the most attention to is the site. You can’t build the site. You can only make something that exists in the place.”

That means that the importance of finding the right plot of land couldn’t be overstated.

It’s likely that you don’t have a lot of experience assessing the building potential of lots yourself, so this is where an architect comes into the picture.

The right architect will help you choose the right plot and establish what kinds of floorplans you can build on it.

In this early stage, you’ll also want to land on a budget, and take out a construction loan if need be.


2. Hire a Builder


As you’re finalizing your land plans, the next crucial step will be contracting the right builder.

Make sure you choose a builder who is experienced and well-reviewed, who has a documented history of building the kind of homes that you are envisioning.

Most builders have a set of pre-established floor plans that you can choose from with help from an architect.

Even pre-made floor plans can usually be customized a significant amount to fit your needs (though keep in mind that more customization equals a higher cost). Builders are able to handle most of the logistics heading into the construction phase.


3. Ready, Set, Build


Once you have the right team behind you, it’s time to get your dream home started!

Depending on your builder, weather and specific project needs, the timeline will vary. Every situation is different, so good communication will lead to realistic expectations — usually between several months and a year. We’ll make sure you’re well-informed.

The building process begins with clearing and preparing the land itself. After the ground is ready, construction workers will lay the foundation. The frame comes next, the skeleton that will reveal your home taking shape.

Windows and doors are usually installed next, followed by roofing and siding. Electricians and plumbers rough in wiring and pipes (which will be inspected along the way to ensure they meet code). Insulation, drywall and cabinet work complete the main structure of your new house.


4. Dress It Up


When the drywall and any texturing of ceilings is complete, it’s time to paint. The final stages involve laying flooring, baseboards and trim, installing any other aesthetic elements and finally decorating.

A professional (like us) can help you make decisions in all of these areas, choosing the right color schemes and extras to keep your house looking cohesive, fresh and 100% your own.

Final touches like curtains and furniture make your home ready to live in.

Now that you know a little more about what the process looks like, are you ready to tackle your own homebuilding project with us? Find out how WillowTree can help