13 Custom Home Building Tips

Before You Start:

Avoid costly and frustrating pitfalls

Building a custom home on your lot or land in the Greater San Antonio, TX Area: Including Boerne, Helotes, Canyon Lake, Pipe Creek, Spring Branch, Sisterdale, Bergheim, New Braunfels, Comfort and Texas Hill Country should be a very exciting and rewarding process! Take advantage of some of these tips to help assure it is as smooth as possible without too many unexpected surprises or expensive headaches. 

Going in with the right state of mind and preparation will help remove stress and give you stronger piece of mind during every stage of the process. Get a guide sheet emailed over to help with the initial planning process and take a look at these 13 tips we put together...

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13 Tips


1. Develop (adjust) your plans based on your lot:

 The actual build site and envelope might determine favorable or cost effective options. Walk the lot with your builder to discuss options while keeping all factors in mind including items such as the sun, HOA restrictions, foundation elevation and water drainage. 

2. Remember utilities, foundation and framing can make up a large portion of total cost:

 Utilize cost effective measures when deciding on your final blueprints and dealing with foundation placement, lumber packages and remember if need to install a water well or septic tank it needs to be accounted for in your overall budgeting. 

3. Work with a builder that has open direct communication:

 When building a custom home having good communication at every step is crucial for a successful build, this will help assure your expectations are met with minimal frustration. Also, working with a builder you are comfortable and get along with can make all the difference in your experience being enjoyable or not, take the time to meet with your builder beforehand. 

4. Account for the unexpected, miscellaneous and human factor:

 Understand there are going to be items that are out of your control along the way that are going to need to work with, your can’t be a perfectionist in the process or you will stress yourself out and/or drive yourself and every one else crazy. Bad weather causing initial target dates to be missed, electricians truck breaking down, the generator going out, framer missed mark by 6 inches, etc. A good builder will make sure everything is addressed and gets done accordingly, quality over speed is important. Remember this is a custom home.

5. Have a reasonable time line expectation:

 As mentioned above, things out of any ones control will likely happen at some point in the process. A good builder will provide a reasonable time frame to be complete, any one who offers you an exact date is over promising. You don’t want to be stuck with costly broken moving or storage plans. After drywall is complete a more exact date can start to be targeted. 

6. Make visuals - illustrations and samples:

Besides just the draft blueprints, utilize technology available today to come up with a rendering before finalize your blueprints. Get a flow for the house as much as you can, walk the land with plans in hand. Get material samples along the way at every stage a selection needed, not just for color but texture as well. Change orders can get expensive, avoiding them is key.

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7. Start with an "idea" binder early:

It is never to early to start in this process, it will help avoid change orders along the way drastically. It will also allow for every one in the family to be on the same page before the construction starts. It will also help display to the builder what you are going for along with all trades and vendors involved to help assure end up with what you intended the first time around. 

8. Remember the changeable items for budgeting:

When working on your budget keep in mind there are items that are changeable or can be adjusted down the road. You want to focus more attention on the structural or mechanical items involved that are not as easy to change after construction such as fixtures, appliances, paint, landscaping, garage doors that are interchangeable for example where items such as drywall, cabinets, fireplace, outlets, etc are more set items. Discuss with your builder. 

9. Take video before closing up the walls:

This will allow you to have “x-ray” vision though your walls for future reference if ever needing to make adjustments further down the road or something as simple as hanging a large painting or center piece to make sure there is nothing behind the drywall. Also, have your builder add blocking for items such as towel holders, curtains, TV mounts before closed in. 

10. Don't forget about closets and storage space:

One item that often gets over looked in the excitement of planning until it is too late is closets and storage space, plan accordingly and utilize any unused space if you can such as additional attic access or under the stairs for example. If going to put in a storage shed or similar make sure your build envelope allows room for any easements. 

11. Budget for non construction cost too like moving and furniture:

 Remember there are going to be additional out of pocket cost outside of the construction you will be dealing with such as moving cost and furnishing your new home. Keeping this in mind on your final price will help keep it comfortable.

12. Hire a third party inspector for phase inspections:

 A good builder will invite a third party inspection to be completed because they have nothing to hide and happy to address anything needed. A 2nd set of eyes can be nothing but a good thing as they will be able to see the house from a different and fresh angle and more importantly give you piece of mind. Again, dealing with more of the human factor when building custom.

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13. Make sure your custom home builder uses local trades and vendors:

 With mobile and online options available in today’s industry it is important that local vendors and trades are being used for a number of reasons including accountability, warranties, quality assurance. You want to know the owner of a company can be onsite with your builder next day if there is an important issue or a local rep that can come by to look at a trouble window for example if needed without holding up construction. 


 Have a complete turn key build price from your builder before construction starts with detailed specifications (spec sheet) and know the cost / procedure associated with change orders if any should come up. A good builder will be able to offer suggestions upfront at the initial consultation or plan design to cut down your budget if needed. Email us today to schedule a complimentary consultation or build site evaluation: Joseph@TrueStoneHomes.com

Initial Planning Guide Sheet

Take advantage of our complimentary guide sheet that will come along with PDF to help use as a starting point for planning your custom home build on your lot or land.

Building Custom Homes On Your Lot in the Greater San Antonio, TX Area: Including Boerne, Helotes, Canyon Lake, Pipe Creek, Spring Branch, Sisterdale, Bergheim, New Braunfels, Comfort and surrounding TX Hill Country areas.  

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Guide Sheet For Initial Planning

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No matter how early in the process...it is never to early to start planning for your custom home build.

Tips and notes based on industry experience over the years. PDF will also include an initial planning guide sheet to help give a starting point for your custom home  layout. No cost, no phone number required.

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