Custom Homes 101
With a custom build, the design possibilities are endless, but the process can seem daunting. We talked with custom home experts to shed some light on how to have a successful project that results in the home of your dreams.
Photo by Starboard & Port Creative
Choose Your Team
To select the right professionals, builder Rick Ramsey of Ramsey Building Company (201 N. Main St., Nixa, 417-725-5545, ramseybuilding.com) recommends reviewing builders’ portfolios and asking for current and past clients that you could speak with. “It’s important to know that they’ve got a good overall track record with customers,” Ramsey says.
Consider Interior Concepts Early
If your team includes an interior designer, Arianna Stanley Mueller, an interior designer with Slone Architects (1200 E. Woodhurst Dr., Suite J-100, Springfield, 417-887-4575, slonearchitects.com), advises including them in the early planning stages. “Whether you are remodeling or if you are doing a new construction and building from scratch, including your interior designer in the planning stage makes sure that the whole team is on the same page design-wise from the very beginning of the project,” she says.
Use sources like Houzz, Pinterest and magazines to share concepts you like with your builder. “Gather information that would help me to better understand some of the things that you like and why you like them,” Ramsey says.
Talk openly with your team about the financials of the project and be sure to leave a little budgetary wiggle room for any changes or additions that may arise down the line. “What I would recommend is, on the budget estimate process, that there is area of cushion,” Ramsey says.
Allow your team the time to carefully consider every aspect of the project before jumping ahead. “Plan enough time for planning,” Mueller says. “A smooth project is a well-planned project. And a budget-friendly project is one that makes changes on paper, not in the field. It’s a lot less expensive and time consuming to move a wall on paper than it is to move one after it’s been built.”
Find Your Priorities
Your priorities may affect the progression of the project and the order of the steps that need to be taken, so highlight the features or elements that are most important to you. “If you know from the beginning that you have found the most fabulous bed that you will ever find in your life, and you absolutely want that one, the benefit of working on a new construction home or even a remodel is that you can custom tailor that room to that piece of furniture,” Mueller says.
Ramsey recommends reviewing selections and celebrating accomplishments with your team along the way to help you see the light at the end of the tunnel and look forward to the final product. “It at least allows you to check off items and have closure to some of those areas,” he says. “That closure tends to relieve the pressure to some degree.”