Customized Homes: Building New and Remodeling in Houston

07:57 Jun 2024
Customed Homes in Houston

The primary reason that most owners are attracted to customized homes for either building a new house or remodeling their existing house is the ability to personalize the dwelling.

The idea of customizing one’s home is a very attractive and compelling motivation. The ability to customize their house improves the usability of the space while increasing the value of the house allowing owners the ability to fit their lifestyle.

We will explore the many factors that owners need to understand in order to plan and execute their strategy for customized homes in Houston.

Customed Homes in Houston


New Construction Customized Homes

New construction customized homes require the owner to prepare for a long and exciting journey that begins with purchasing a house site, preparing a plan design, selecting a custom home builder, creating custom home building cost and the new construction of a customized home.

One of the more important things for an owner to realize is that the plan design and new home construction process can take up to 2 years or more. The process can test the owner’s commitment to the whole idea of building a new house as well as being emotionally challenged by the roller coaster ride of new customized homes construction. 


There is no perfect way for owners to approach the preconstruction process for building a custom home. What’s required is that the owners need to do the research on their housing needs very early in the building process.

Collecting inspiration images to communicate with the design team, collecting product specs for material and equipment they what to use are an example of just a few of the preconstruction steps.

The two most important preconstruction tasks are selecting a custom home builder and find a building lot for your house.

Selecting a Custom Home Builder

Selecting a custom home builder is a time-consuming effort. It requires preparing questions, interviewing prospects, inspecting previous work and developing a carefully defined scope of work.

Depending upon the owners selected choice of the house delivery method, the election will determine the course of the selection process for the house building company.

If the owner is hiring an architect directly, the house builder should be interviewed as both expert adviser and solicited bidder.

If the owner is hiring for as a design build contractor, the selection process is more complicated. We will cover that in the following topic custom design.

Creating an open dialog between the custom builder and the owners can give the owner a better idea of what it will be like to work with the contractor. The owner should look for a home contractor like minded in their business acumen.

Discussing how the custom home builder will resolve difficult issues that develop will go a long way in the owner’s assessment.

Customized Home Design

The owner generally has two paths to create a customized home design. The first is the traditional method of directly hiring an architect to prepare a customized home design and create construction documents. This method is referred to as the design to bid method.

The second most popular approach is hiring a home builder as a design build contractor. This is when the custom home builder’s firm is responsible for both the architectural design and the construction of the house. This known as the design to build method.

There are some differences between these approaches, but generally the design to build method is the fastest and least risky method for the owner. It eliminates the bid solicit phase, design error expenses for the owner and avoids the owner being placed in the center of disputes between the builder and architect.

One of the other benefits of the design to build approach is that the house builder who assist in developing the concept construction cost budget, manages the architectural process with the budget in mind. This eliminates the common problem of the owners having the home plans redesigned because bid prices came in over budget.

Customized home design is developed by the designers around the lifestyle of the owners and the inspiration images collected during preconstruction.

Customized Homes by Design Build Contractors

Customized Home Building Cost

The actual customized home building cost consist of labor, material and equipment consisting of direct and indirect construction cost.

The customized home building cost are calculated by taken measurements and calculating quantities from the construction documents. The measurements are used to estimate the number of materials specified by the plans.

The labor cost is calculated by applying manhours toward the square footage of each task or estimating the number of manhours that each task will take to complete the required activities.

The cost associated with developing the house site are also calculated to add to the total building cost. These are improvements like utility lines, grade soil, the driveway and landscaping.

In most cases the custom home builder will calculate these expenses to arrive at a total customized home building cost and add a multiplier for profit and overhead. This total is used for the contract lump sum total amount to build a house for the owners.

New Construction for Customized Homes

The new construction of customized homes is the phase were all of the hard work for preparing to build a house materializes.

The construction of a custom house takes time and skill to follow the specifications of the construction documents for a unique one-of-a-kind house.

From the placement of the foundation through the completion of the walkthrough punch list, the custom home builder will coordinate walk through inspections and review of detail mockups for phases of the construction.

Remodeling Customized Homes

The remodeling of customized homes is similar in nature to the new construction of customized homes. The primary difference is that during the construction phase of home remodeling the development process works backwards before following the normal house building process.


The preconstruction process for remodeling customized homes is similar to that of a custom house. The owners need to collect inspiration images and identify the products that they wish to use for their house improvements.

It is also common when remodeling a customized home to relocate existing load bearing and non-load bearing walls. This will take careful planning and some structural engineering planning.

When exploring these types of options its best if you have an experienced remodeling contractor to evaluate and discuss your options.

Preconstruction is about developing a vision for the owners remodeling ideas to make them a reality.

Customized Homes Remodeling Contractor

Hiring a remodeling contractor early in the planning stage is always a wise decision. They are there to discuss your plans, provide trusted advice and provide well defined guidance to the remodel process.

The selection process for hiring a remodeling contractor for customized homes is again similar to that of new home construction but differ in that a remodeler should have experience with the details of house construction of 50+ years of age and older.

This provides them with the knowledge and insight to anticipate what they might have to repair and how to repair it for conditions that are not readably visual during the preconstruction phase.

Customized Home Remodeling Design

As we have mentioned, there are many conditions to plan for that are different than designing new construction.

Although the owners have the same options for delivery methods as new construction, remodeling customized homes lends itself to the design build approach as an efficient and cost-effective solution.

The major disadvantage in remodeling design from new home design is that the owners and designers are restricted to a large extent by the existing envelope and interior structure. It makes it both difficult and expensive to make radical design changes to the existing house.

This is where that experience remodeling contractor becomes a viable asset to the owners. During the design stage the owner has a reliable experienced adviser to discuss viable options with.

Customized Homes by Remodelers

Home Remodeling Cost

The home remodeling cost depends on many factors such as the scope of work, the magnitude of the project, the replacement products selected and condition of the existing structure.

For instance, the renovation cost for just a kitchen or bathroom will cost more per square foot price than remodeling a living room or bedroom.

Whereas, if you remodel the entire house back to the studs, the cost is less than building new construction and less per square foot than a complete kitchen.

As one might expect, the more structural changes that are incorporated into the house remodel the greater the remodeling cost.

The more complicated your home remodeling is the more you will need the services of a professional remodeling contractor. These are improvements like replacing hidden components like plumbing lines and electrical wiring and/or foundation repairs.

Having a professional experienced remodeling contractor involved with developing the concert budget and preparing the construction budget from the building documents is an owner’s interest if you want to control your remodeling cost.

Remodel Construction

The actual home remodel construction is much different on the front end of a project with the need to demolish the existing finishes in order to rebuild to the construction documents.

Some other notable differences of custom home remodeling than new construction is that the owners may wish to remain living in the house during the remodel. This works only if the utilities will only be interrupted for short periods of time.

Other differences are that even a major whole home remodel that the time frame is generally half of the time as new house construction.

During remodel construction the remodeling contractor needs to continue to inspect the structures existing conditions for distress or the likelihood of non-performance.

As adverse conditions are revealed during stripping the house back to the studs, the remodeler is responsible to identify and bring these findings to the owner’s attention.


Developing customized homes for new construction or remodeling is a common method to personalize an owner’s house.

As the price of homes continue to rise it is natural that owners will invest in their houses and make them fit their family’s lifestyle.

Understanding the process and benefits of customized homes will assist you in making the necessary decisions for the best results.

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