Ready to Build Your Own Home? Here's Where to Start

S&R Development Custom Homes


Step 1: Define Your Goals and Priorities


Before starting the process of building your dream home, it is important to define your goals and priorities. Ask yourself questions like:

  •  What type of lifestyle do I lead, and what kind of home would best support that lifestyle?
  •  How many people will be living in the home, and what are their needs?
  •  Do I want to be in a certain school district, or close to certain amenities?
  •  What features are important to me, such as a pool, outdoor living space, or a home office? Refer to our Custom Features page for additional ideas.

By answering these questions and others, you can get a clearer idea of what you want in your new home. This will help you communicate your needs to your builder and ensure that the final product meets your expectations.


Step 2: Determine Your Budget


Establishing a budget is one of the most critical steps in building your dream home. Your budget will guide all decisions, from the location and size of your home to the materials and finishes used in construction. By determining your budget upfront, you can work with your builder to create a plan that fits within your financial means. It's important to be realistic and honest about your budget to avoid any surprises or delays later on in the process. So take the time to carefully consider your financial resources and set a budget that works for you.

Step 3: Research Builders Online


To find the right builder for your dream home, research is key. You can start by browsing online or on social media for builders in your area who have experience in building the type of home you want. Take a look at their portfolios and see if their style matches what you envision for your own home. Be sure to read reviews and testimonials from past clients to gauge their level of satisfaction with the builder's work. You can also check if they have any industry certifications or awards, as these can be a good indicator of their expertise and quality of work.

Step 4: Set Up Consultations with Your Shortlisted Builders


Once you have a list of potential builders, it's important to ask them a few key questions to help narrow down your options and find the best fit for your needs. During your initial consultation, in addition to asking about their experience, process, and timeline, consider asking how often they will be on-site to oversee the project. This is an important consideration as you want to ensure the day-to-day responsibilities are not relegated to someone young and inexperienced.

Another important factor to consider when choosing a builder is their style and capabilities. Ask the builder to show you some of their recent work in-person to get a better sense of their approach and determine whether it aligns with your vision for your new home. Reviewing their portfolio can give you an idea of their capabilities and expertise.

Additionally, ask for references from past clients and take the time to reach out to them to gauge their satisfaction with the builder's work. This will give you valuable insights into the builder's reputation and track record, helping you make an informed decision.

Taking the time to ask these important questions and review the builder's portfolio and references can help ensure that you find a builder who is not only experienced and skilled, but also a good fit for your project and someone you feel comfortable working with.

Step 5: Get an Estimate


After narrowing down your list to a few you want to work with, it’s time to give them a high-level idea of what you want in your new home. This doesn't have to be extremely detailed, but it should include your preferred size, style, location, and any important features such as a pool or outdoor living space. This will give the builder a starting point to create a plan that fits your needs and budget.

After the builder has a high-level idea of what you want, they can provide you with an estimate of the price, timing, and other details of the project. This estimate will help you decide whether the project is feasible within your budget and timeframe. By getting an estimate, you can ensure that you and the builder are on the same page and that the project is headed in the right direction.

Step 6: Select Your Builder


After reviewing the portfolios and reviews of several builders and determining their experience and style, it's time to select the right one for your project. Choose a builder who has experience building the type of home you want and who is responsive to all your questions and concerns. Look for a builder who communicates well and has a proven track record of quality work and satisfied clients. Ultimately, the goal is to select a builder with whom you feel comfortable working and who will bring your vision for your dream home to life.

Step 7: Secure a Lot for Your New Home


Once you've decided on a builder, it's time to secure a lot for your new home. If you don't already have a lot in mind, work with your builder or real estate agent to find one that meets your needs. Consider factors such as location, size, zoning restrictions, and proximity to amenities when selecting a lot. Keep in mind that the lot you choose can impact the cost and design of your home, so take your time and choose wisely.

Step 8: Work with Your Builder and Architects on Design Plans


Now you are ready to start the design and build process. Once you have selected your builder and secured a lot, it's time to work on the design plans for your new home. Collaborate with your builder and a team of architects to develop detailed blueprints that outline the size, layout, and features of your new home. The design phase is a crucial step in ensuring that your home meets your needs and budget, so be sure to communicate your preferences and vision clearly to your team. This will help them create a plan that fits your unique style and specifications. Keep in mind that changes to the design plans during the building process can be costly, so it's important to finalize the plans before construction begins.


We are recipients of numerous awards for the design and quality of our custom homes including being named one of Dallas' Best by D Magazine.

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