Pre-Construction Considerations For Building A Custom Home

Building a custom home can be a daunting task if you’re not prepared and willing to put forth the time and attention required to select the property, style, size and features that fit your desires and budget.

I believe the most important phase of any construction process is always the Pre-Construction phase because that is when the goals, expectations and design concepts are worked out prior to any shovel hitting the ground. That’s why I developed this “Pre-Construction Considerations for Building a Custom Home” guide. This guide is meant to provide you a framework or checklist of items that must be considered prior to ever breaking ground.

Property Selection

  • Does property meet my location, size, accessibility and budget requirements?
  • Are there extraordinary conditions on property that limit development?
  • Is there developed road and utility service available for construction?
  • Does the property require special preparation in order to gain access?

Pre-Construction Considerations

  • Realistic budget including all related development categories, such as:
    • Lot purchase: Lot cost, real estate agent, bank, surveys, inspections, etc.
    • Site Work: grading, fencing, landscaping, exterior amenities, etc.
    • Water Features: Swimming pool, hot tub, Koi Pond, water fountains, etc
    • Driveway, Flatwork, walkways, pathways, etc.
    • Residential structure and interior improvements.
    • Utilities: Municipal connections, septic, water supply, power, etc.
    • Soft Costs: Construction Rep, Designer, Engineer, Permitting, etc.
    • Furnishings.
  • Do I need help in making pre-construction decisions?
  • Will property be financed with home or two separate transactions, cash deals?
  • Pre-approved for home construction and budget amount and selected bank?
  • What is my expected project duration? Lot Selection, Pre-construction, Construction.
  • Style of home and grounds.
  • Custom design or standard plan.
  • Placement or layout of Home on property.
  • Impact of sun and seasons on placement of home.
  • How many floors - Single-story, 2 story, basement, attic do I desire?
  • Preference with slab-on-grade, piers or stem wall construction?
  • Particular views or property characteristic I want to take advantage of
  • Septic and well locations relative to home, driveway and site improvements.
  • Municipal building permits and inspections or private inspections, associated costs.
  • Are there any tasks I want to perform or manage myself?
  • How does on-site and off-site drainage affect subject property and home placement?
  • Any special features that must be included in home or property improvements?
  • What home features do I want to be contiguous to one another?
  • What size garage, carport? Any exterior or separate sheds/shops?
  • Fireplace (s)
  • What level of finishes, including flooring, tile, etc. am I expecting?
  • What level of kitchen and bath cabinets, countertops, appliances, etc. am I expecting?
  • How much landscaping and exterior improvements am I desiring?
  • How flexible is my budget and selections? Prioritize desires by High, Med and Low
  • Do I require or welcome representation during any portion of construction?
  • Have builder create design or separate architect/designer?
  • Develop preliminary conceptual floor plans, sketches and layouts for review and pricing.
  • Pre-qualify, Interview and select builder.
  • Value engineering aspects of project that appear to be out of budget allotments
  • Are there any conflicts between site work, home, budget and adjoining properties?

Now that you’ve worked through all of the Pre-construction considerations, you are ready to embark on the next great adventure of your life... construction.

The construction phase is not included in this guide as construction is a much more exhaustive process and is addressed in a separate guide. Please contact Mahan Construction Consulting & Management for a copy of the construction guide.

Please do not hesitate to contact Mahan Construction Consulting & Management for support with any or all of the above items noted in this guide.