Your Guide to Building Your Home from Scratch
As many homes as there are, there just might not be the right one for you. You may not like certain neighborhoods, or styles, or houses that are a little old. Building your home from scratch may be the only option to make sure you get exactly what you want.

Your Guide to Building Your Home from Scratch

Buying Land to Build your House

Before you can build a house, you need land to build upon ad this can be simple or challenging. If you are prepared and know what to expect, then the process of buying land is less difficult. There are a few important things to remember before you close on a plot.

  • Zoning and condition: The last thing you want to do is buy the perfect piece of property only to discover it cannot be built on because of zoning laws. Make sure you research the area first to avoid zoning issues or problems like soil contaminants. Even if there are already homes in the area, you want to check these just in case anything has changed since those houses were developed.
  • Utilities: A dated house or vacant land may require additional work when it comes to getting utilities connected. You need to be sure that electricity, gas, and plumbing are available and if not, consider the additional expenses required to reach them. There may also be permits required to construct hookups for certain utilities, depending on the location.
  • Demolition: If there is anything on the land that needs to be demolished first you need to contact professionals to get the job done right. Smaller-scale tams can tear buildings down by hand which is cheaper but it takes more time. Mechanical demolition with excavators is much quicker, but also more expensive. Professionals are required for this to make sure utilities are properly shut down and to make sure all permits are in place before work begins.
  • Cost: The price of land varies depending on size, location, and if there is already a house there. If there is a home, you cannot just pay land value and there will be additional costs for the structure regardless of its condition. Property owners that know they have a teardown building will often consider lower offers. Demolition projects are not cheap, costing an average of $18,000.

Building your Custom Home

When you have a vacant plot you build your own home once you have secured all permits and approvals. Your home needs to meet all local zoning and code ordinances before construction can begin. The first step is to hire a team of professionals to build a custom house. It is even a good idea to hire this team before buying land to make sure you can fit everything in your budget before you start. The team will include an architect, a builder, and subcontractors and you will want to hire those with solid reputations.

You can hire them individually or through a design-build firm that hires specialists to keep the process efficient and to stick to your budget. Always research companies first, asking around for recommendations. Positive referrals from others who have invested in similar projects are a great place to start. You also want to collect several bids before deciding and beware of bids that are too low. These may end up costing more you later on if materials are cheap or if they decide to add charges as the project progresses.

Time to Design your Home

After you have the team, you get to select the style of home you want including your room preferences. Just make sure you include all the basics like electrical and HVAC systems. Whatever design you want, you must first have it approved for construction with regards to structural and code requirements. You should consult with an architect before and during the design process to ensure you stay on track with structurally sound design.

Before construction starts make sure to get all zoning permits approves. As construction gets underway, city inspectors will need to sign off on various steps of the process such as making sure the foundation was laid properly. Getting municipal approvals can add to the timeline significantly for new construction projects but they are a necessity and you cannot build or live in your dream home without them.

The average cost of building a custom home is between $350,000 and $1.5 million depending on labor costs, materials, permits, size, and style. Paying for a custom build is different from buying a home in that you pay throughout the process rather than just one payment upfront. When budgeting for a building project, be sure to prepare for possible changes and alterations along the way.

Buying a New-Construction Home

The easiest way to buy a new home is through a new development in your area. Find a builder who already has the land and purchase a home through them to meet your specifications. All design-build developers offer different home types, styles, and floor plans so you can pick a hoe to meet your needs without the hassles and costs of construction. You can find lots for sale in the communities you like and real estates in the area can also help you locate these developments.


When you buy a house this way, you will not officially close on the house until it is built but the builder will not start work until you have signed a contract. You need to make sure your lender or title company are flexible and can work with this. National and regional builders that own thee developments will have preferred lenders they work with in the event yours does not want to accept these terms. Purchasing from a developer can cost between $50,000 and $1.5 million depending on style, add-ons, and luxury features.

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