Custom Building: Plan and Execute a Unique Home in Houston

10:03 May 2023
Custom Building

Custom building a Houston luxury home requires expertise in both design and construction. Owners building a custom home without these skills must rely on hiring a professional custom builder.

Building a custom home takes an extreme amount of highly developed skill and experience on the part of the custom home builder and patience and discipline on the part of the owner.

Custom building your luxury house also takes a great deal of time and financial resources on behalf of the owners.

Collaborating with a master builder that possesses the necessary skill set and the owner’s commitment to due diligence is the successful formula for a rewarding high quality luxury house custom building experience.

The custom building takes time, commitment, and patience to traverse a journey that can take 18-24 months from the beginning of design through the completion of your Houston home.

It is not uncommon for finding a suitable home building site to take as long as the actual building process. Finding the right home building site is important.

So, all in you could be looking at the better part 2-4 years from the moment you get the inspiration to pursue this lofty dream.

Having a grasp of the realities of building a house is important as the actual custom building itself. This is not something that is for the faint of heart or a process that is friendly to start and stop like a hobby.

Once you have made the commitment to your home designer and your custom builder to emerge into the luxury home building process, you begin spending money and visualizing your home design reflecting your lifestyle.

Learn About the Professionals You Will Need to Hire for Custom Building a Unique Home in Houston

Custom Building

Preparing for Your Custom Home Design

Having made the commitment to yourself to build a home in Houston you need to start preparing and planning for this journey.

This can be an overwhelming number of tasks if not organized in your thoughts. When preparing you need to think about it as communicating your vision to your professional team.

So, we always recommend getting a fairly good idea in your mind of the type of luxury house and it’s details you want to build.

This does not mean that you need to have a clear image of the front elevation or even a floor plan rendering prepared.

What this means is that you have seen enough luxury houses in the area to first identified the preferable location area you wish to live in and secondly have recognized the architectural style of the home you wish to build.

Take some time to start collecting house ideas and architectural features you are attracted to.

Store these images to share with your house designer and luxury builders during the professional selection procedure and during the luxury home design process. Please visit the section on luxury homes in Houston for more information.

Finding the Perfect Home Site

If you are living in a metro area and do not want to commute from the suburbs, finding the perfect home site is going to take some time.

So, if you are focused on metro living you will likely be looking for a property with an existing house already positioned there to demo before beginning your custom building project.

This type of house for sale is referred to as a tear down. We recommend identifying several areas of the city that fit your needs.

This allows for the home site search process to be expedited and if the deed restrictions are not acceptable or the purchase falls through, you have not wasted your time waiting on a lot that is not conducive to your needs.

Having a real estate firm working in your behalf is also recommended. There are houses that are available through pocket listings that never go on the market.

It is through real estate networking that these properties are found. This will decrease the time it takes for your building site search.

But be mindful that you should provide the real estate firm with your general home site criteria and targeted areas so as not to have them waste your time on properties you would never consider.

For a greater number of resources on custom building, visit our link. 

Selecting the Right Custom Home Builder

Once you have launched your lot search it’s time to select the right home builder for you. Finding home builders is not the challenge, rather finding a luxury house builder that is like minded in their business acumen and that is a pleasure to work with can take some time.

There are a number of ways to approach this but what we recommend is to start with researching the internet.

Look at their portfolio and read some of their published materials. If their work speaks to you dive deeper into their profile like reading customer reviews and checking their DNB or Bloomberg ratings for financial stability.

Once you have created a general list of luxury builders have a phone conversation with them sharing your project vision, while discussing how they operate and some details of their custom building process.

From these steps, an owner can normally make a short list of possible home builders they want to interview further.

This is when the actual vetting process begins through detailed questions and situational scenarios to determine who you want to work with.

To learn more about questions to ask a builder, visit our link. 

Selecting the Right Custom Home Designer

We recommend selecting a custom home builder and house designer to work together. This develops a ground work for a working relationship beyond the design phase.

It also reduces the likelihood of a luxury house being designed substantially over your investment budget.

There are 2 design approach methods to achieve this result. The traditional approach is to hire the designer independently to create a house design and the construction documents. Then solicit your short list of luxury builders to provide you with a bid proposal.

The second approach is to select the design build approach toward your house design.

In the design build approach, you hire the builder to provide you with both the design and custom built house.

Your builder may work with an independent professional designer or have an in-house designer.

The benefits to you as an owner are that there is a single point of responsibility for the entire project and mitigates the owner’s risk for design errors and omissions.

To learn more about this custom home delivery method visit our link. 

Custom Building Houston

The Luxury Home Design Process

This is the artistic and imaginative stage of building a custom home. You have shared the images you have collected from the beginning with your design team consisting of your luxury builder and your designer.

The design process is generally developed as 3 phases of architectural design. There is a concept stage, the working drawings stage and the engineering and final plan development stage.

These are the progressive stages of creating construction drawings from imagination to specifications of a finely finished luxury house.

During the custom home design of your house, you will be required to identify product finishes that you will want to use.

Products such as flooring materials, windows, doors and exterior surfaces are required to know for creating the relevant schedules for developing construction documents.

In most cases it does not require that you have actually made the brand selection but rather you have identified the product such as; natural wood flooring instead of engineered flooring or stucco exterior instead of brick.

These types of selections are required to ultimately complete the home plans for engineering. To read more about the architectural process please visit our link.

Cost of Custom Building

The cost of building a luxury house is always a relevant and important topic during and after the design stage.

A word to the wise, if the owners do not work with the design team effectively to manage their home design, the design process will likely manage them.

That is if the owners are not aware of the cost of certain architectural features, they will not be able to make value based chooses about these features until after the fact.

We have found that it is not the actual cost built into the design that troubles owners about custom building, for they should have had these conversations with the design team before commencing the design.

But rather they object to construction expenditures that they cannot see the value in.

For each owner this is different and varies dramatically. It is the finish products that have the greatest impact on the total cost of building a custom home.

By proactively managing these types of potential issues while selecting house products during design, the owner can save both time and money during the construction phase.

Houston Luxury House Custom Building Process

Getting to the customs building stage of house construction is both electrifying and anxious at the same time.

On one hand, you are ecstatic to have finally reached this stage but you are anxious about what the luxury house you have toiled over is going to look like when completed.

This is natural and should be generally disregarded as a result of a new experience. If you have worked with your home builder to develop a trusting working relationship then those dividends will pay off.

Professional custom builders want the luxury home building process to progress smoothly with as few of interruptions as possible.

This means that they will schedule progress meetings with the owners on a structured schedule to review the progress and discuss decisions that are required to be made and the status of pending product selections that need to be ordered.

During these meetings while custom building, your contractor will have arranged samples to be prepared for the owners to see.

Your builder will also have material or color samples displayed on site to make decisions from.

The right builder for you will take a personal stake in the custom building of your house.

Luxury homes are not just another house but rather monuments to the profession of custom home building.

They are a collaborative endeavor between the home designer, luxury builder, and the owner that should stand the test of time as functional architectural artwork.

If you want to learn more about the relationship between house builders and luxury homes, please read our article on custom home builders.

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