One of the unique aspects of building a custom home is that you get to select all of your own finishes and décor items. You are involved in designing and defining your cabinets, you choose each of your plumbing and light fixtures, you pick your fireplace types and styles, you select your appliances, you select your tile – well, you get the idea. Unlike in a production home, existing speculative home, pre-existing plan, or model home where most if not all of those decisions are made already, you have complete control.
Many people like that aspect of building a custom home. Some are overwhelmed, however, by all of the decisions that are required. As an experienced custom home builder, we at Forner – La Voy Builders have tried-and-true methods for helping you, as the old saying goes, “eat the elephant one bite at a time”. And overwhelmed or not, many homeowners choose to involve a professional designer and interior decorator to assist with the selections and decisions.
In all honesty, there are a sizable number of decisions to be made. But, when working with a professional custom home builder and, recognizing that the decisions are made over a six- to eight-month timeframe, the task is much less daunting.
When we begin a project, we develop a very detailed project plan that depicts all of the tasks that must be completed to construct a home. From that project plan we derive a selections schedule that gives due dates for all of the decisions that need to be made during the project along the way. For each selection task, we spell out the decision needed, the process for arriving at a decision, how much earlier than the due date you should plan to begin the decision-making process, your budget or allowance, and a contact list of the vendors to contact to review your options.
Some people like to be given that complete list (some 50+ decisions) and some like to be fed each decision as they are coming due. Either way, we work closely with you to get meetings lined up with vendors, make sure you understand the decisions you need to make, and help keep you on track. And staying on track is vital since our number one reason for project delays is late selection decisions.
For the Outdoor Living Show Home, we provided the Smith’s and their decorator, Carla Rieke with their full list of required selection decisions. That list included selecting or developing the following:
As we progress through the building of the Outdoor Living Show Home, we will take you inside many of the above decisions, including: (1) what specific decisions we need, (2) why we need it by a certain deadline, (3) considerations and tips from a professional designer, (4) considerations and tips from the product/service provider, (5) the experience had by the Smith’s, and (6) what construction considerations we as builders inject into the decisions.
Building a custom home is appealing to many people because of the flexibility they have in designing and outfitting their home to their specific tastes. Due to the many decisions required and the intricate way in which those decisions fit together and affect the overall project, a plan and an approach must exist to make the process run smoothly; and to make it a productive , positive experience for the homeowner.
Get a taste of what it is like making those decisions by following along here with the Smith’s and us as they undertake the process for their custom home. At the least, you will find a tip or tidbit to help you when making a design decision for your home, but it also very well may help you decide if building a custom home is right for you!