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The 7 Steps to Building a Custom Home

building a custom home - vancouver home designer - draft on site services inc

The 7 Steps to Building a Custom Home

Building a custom home is exciting! At the same time, the process can feel intimidating, especially if you have not been through it before.

In our experience, there are seven important steps to building a custom home with your Vancouver Home Designer… and an additional 10 steps to take BEFORE you begin the building process.

The 10 Steps Before You Begin Building A Custom Home


1. Research

The first step of custom home design is research. Look at homes and decide what style you are looking for. Also, if you don’t already own a Site you should do research on what each City tends to allow and in which neighbourhoods. If you do own a Site then research what you are allowed to build in your Zoning and on your Lot. Remember to think about any specific site features, such as large trees or extreme slopes, that could impact a build process.  

2. Set a budget

When building a custom home, the next preparation step is setting your budget. What is manageable for you? Do you want to take advantage of incentives to build a Passive House or adding certain energy efficient materials? Remember to include a contingency fund in case issues arise during your build process.  

3. Talk to a Professional

Meet with a Designer to ensure the Sites you are considering are appropriate and that your budget is workable. Things to keep in mind are how are you going to Heat and Cool your House, do you want drafts or cold areas and how much do you want to spend each year on Heating and Cooling. This will help your Designer to determine what is the best House design for you.

4. Choose a Build Site

Once you have discussed potential sites with a Designer, it is time to make a choice. Think about the Site you genuinely love and will enjoy for years to come.

5. Secure financing

Apply for pre-approval for your financing. Depending on the financing you receive, you may need to adjust your budget.

6. Purchase the Build Site

Now you are ready to buy your Site! Do not forget to take a moment to celebrate this monumental step.

7. Set a construction budget

This is the time to lock to budget down. This will help you and your Designer make appropriate choices while designing your Custom Home.

8. Choose a Builder

Choosing a Builder can be a difficult process. If you have a good relationship with your Designer, you may want to ask for Builder recommendations. Always conduct an interview as well, making sure that you and your Builder have a good rapport.

9. Design your custom home

This is one of the most exciting steps as you see your Custom Home starting to become a reality! By the end of this step, you will have Floor Plans and Permit Drawings ready to go.

10. Iron out the details

This is when you resolve all the fine details. Permits need to be acquired, documents need to be signed, and professionals need to be engaged. A good Home Designer will help you navigate all these details, ensuring you are ready to move forward with your build.  

The 7 steps to building a custom home


1. Foundation and framing

The first part of building a custom home is always laying the foundation and setting up the framing.

2. Enclosing

This is when your house begins looking like a home. Walls, doors, and windows all go in during this step. This is also when you will want to put a Building Wrap / Paper on your House and how well this is done will help determine how comfortable your House is and make a major difference in your home’s energy efficiency.

3. Insulating

Once the bones of your Custom Home are in place, it is time for insulation. This is a vital step as thick, good quality insulation that is properly installed will make a major difference in your home’s energy efficiency.

4. Exterior finishes and mechanical installation

Exterior finishes allow you to add the style to your home. While these are being installed, the mechanical aspects of your home – including pipes, plumbing, electrical, ducts, and your heating system – will also go into place.

5. Drywall installation

The drywall going in is the last step of the build proper. Once the drywall is in place, your home will be constructed!

6. Interior Design

Now, the Interior Design elements can be added. This will add personality to the inside of your house, turning it into a home.

7. Final walkthrough

This is our favourite step of all – when clients are able to see their finished Custom Homes! It’s a gift to know our hard work will be enjoyed for many years to come.

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