What to Consider When Building a Custom Home

  • By Jeremy Thompson
  • 15 Dec, 2015
Inspiration What inspires you? Start thinking now before you commit to building a home about your inspiration and how you can use it in your home design. Creating a Pinterest board is a valuable tool to keep all your photos and ideas together in one place. You can even organize boards by different rooms. Use […] The post What to Consider When Building a Custom Home appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
A magnificent outdoor living area was created for this custom Colorado Chalet home

A magnificent outdoor living area was created for this custom Colorado Chalet home


What inspires you? Start thinking now before you commit to building a home about your inspiration and how you can use it in your home design. Creating a Pinterest board is a valuable tool to keep all your photos and ideas together in one place. You can even organize boards by different rooms. Use your board to start planning your custom home, and share the boards with your builder.

blueprint-964629_640Room Placement and Necessity

The ideal placement of rooms may vary a bit based on your personal preferences and how your family functions. But for most families it’s ideal to place the laundry room near the bedrooms, to situate bedrooms as far away from noise and traffic, to locate the kitchen near the main entrance to make it easier to carry in groceries, and to place the garage near a mud room and the kitchen to keep dirt, sports attire and other daily attire such as backpacks contained to one area.
Consider room necessity. What rooms do you use on a regular basis? How much storage do you need? If your family never eats in a dining room you may only need a kitchen with a dining nook. Or if the idea of a fitness room or a game room sounds enticing, consider if you will really use it before adding it into your plan.

Your Lot

While you may have an existing house plan in mind, it may not fit on the lot well. Consider modifying or invest in a custom home plan in order to maximize the views from the lot or to consider the landscaping, including if there is current landscaping such as mature trees.
Source Flickr/aeu04117

Source Flickr/aeu04117


You can almost never have too much lighting. Take advantage of natural light whenever possible by including lots of windows in your home plan wherever possible, including skylights if possible. And add light fixtures and outlets in every spot you can.


If you plan to sell your home eventually, and even if you don’t, keep resale in mind. Even if the plan is to stay in the home forever, life circumstances may change the plan. Good design sells, and so does a energy efficient, low maintenance home.


Consider how your family will change throughout the years. What will your family need in a home plan now, and in 5, 10, 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years?


Make a list of non negotiables (i.e. things you require to be included in the house such as a walk-closet, or a mudroom). Because you likely do not have unlimited funds, you have to make compromises on what you want, and what you are willing to give up. If you have a list of non negotiables, you can give the list to the builder so they can make sure those items are included in the plan.
Source Flickr/Nils Vik

Source Flickr/Nils Vik

Energy Efficiency

Choose energy efficient appliances with the Energy Star logo. You’ll save money in the long run by lowering your utility bills. You may also qualify for energy efficiency rebates if you install energy efficient equipment in your new home. Often you can receive a federal tax credit for installing Energy Star appliances. You city, state or local utility company may also offer rebates and tax credits.


Design your house for low maintenance. Cheap materials will cost you more throughout the years. Invest in quality materials from the beginning to save more later.
Source stockmonkeys.com

Source stockmonkeys.com


Before you get too far into the process determine your budget. Consult with a financial advisor to help you decide what you can afford.
When building a home financing may be different from a traditional home mortgage. Shop around to save money and understand the difference between a construction loan and a home mortgage. Often a construction loan has a shorter term and may have a higher interest rate. You will usually need to refinance the construction loan at the end of the term into a home mortgage.
Source Flickr/CarbonNYC

Source Flickr/CarbonNYC


Ask your builder for a realistic move-in date. Have a back-up plan in case the date is moved later. Make sure you line up temporary housing plus ample storage space, if needed.

The Contract

Read all contracts over and over, and over again, before you sign. Make sure you understand what you are signing. Make sure the contract includes everything you’ve discussed. Once you’ve signed a contract, you may not be able to make changes.
Take a look at our custom home gallery for some ideas of what we can accomplish for your home building project!
Next Steps

J. Thompson Builders Blog

By 7052540976 15 Nov, 2017
Some of these considerations may not be in the forefront of your mind, but there is a long list of aspects you need to consider when building a new home. These should help to get you started thinking about some of the most important pieces of the home building process.
By 7052540976 15 Oct, 2017
This home is being built with our client’s specific wants and needs in mind. The homeowner
requested a single family home with a modern contemporary house design. Previously, he lived
in a townhome and desired a more private, spacious residence. A main floor living with a large
space to entertain and big volume ceilings were a must on the client’s list.

The client decided building as opposed to finding a pre-existing home was a better solution for
him because he wants something specific to his needs. He already had the perfect location in
mind and it was time for him to own his dream home.

The area is ideal for this client because it allows him to live in close proximity to his hobbies and
interests and it also allows him the ability to walk to nearby restaurants or bike to the
surrounding shops. This homeowner will be close to everything. He truly loves the location!
The design concept picked is pictured below. In sticking with a contemporary influence, the
design has clean, simple lines that will result in an extraordinary modern home. We combined
elements of residential and commercial materials and design to bring our client’s unique requests to life.
By 7052540976 15 Sep, 2017

You decide that you are ready to build a custom home for you and your family. Now it is time to figure out how to finance your dreams!

Let’s start with the basics. As with any loan process, do your research. Talk to several mortgage companies that specialize or have a strong understanding/history of working with construction loans. Ask questions and voice your concerns. Companies of course want your business, but they also want to make sure they are a good fit for you and what you are wanting to accomplish. Reviews and referrals are strongly regarded these days. They want to make sure you have the best experience possible.

There are several main differences between a construction loan and a regular existing home loan. An individual construction loan may require a longer credit history  or a higher credit score as well as more money down and along the way. It is more of a process, but it is most certainly worth it. With the right builder, the more involved process becomes a piece of cake; but, that is an article for another time.

Home loans can have a 30 year term whereas a construction loan typically has a max of 1 year. “The rates on this type of loan are higher than rates on permanent mortgage loans. To gain approval, the lender will need to see a construction timetable, detailed plans and a realistic budget, sometimes called the “story” behind the loan,” as reported by  bankrate . While your home is being built, it is typical to make interest-only payments. 

If you are thinking, “I don’t have enough money to pay off a newly built home in 1 year!” Don’t panic.

A popular option is the construction-to- permanent financing sometimes called “one-time close,” a “single close,” or an "all-in-one" loan. Upon completion of construction, the remaining loan balance is converted into a permanent mortgage with terms up to 30 years. Like most loans, “the rate and other terms of the permanent mortgage are set up-front when the entire loan package is closed” according to the  National Association of Home Builders .  Construction/permanent loans are offered by many different lenders, including banks and mortgage companies and are a great option for those of us wanting to finance their home purchase over an extended period of time.

Another option is a stand-alone construction loan. This type of loan can be beneficial if you currently own your home and want a smaller down payment option.   Read more about stand alone construction loans.

There are many different loan options. What makes sense for one person doesn’t make sense for everyone. Make sure you find the right product for you and your particular project. If you want to talk over some options, contact us! We would love to hear your ideas and figure out how we can build your dream home.

View our work , read our reviews on Houzz.com , and visit our Facebook page to get inspired!
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By Jeremy Thompson 15 May, 2017
Building a new home is an exciting time, filled with anticipation and satisfaction as you watch your vision come to life. However, it can also be a little overwhelming when you’re unfamiliar with some of the technical terms. To help remedy this we’ve defined a few of the custom home building terms you may hear […] The post 5 Key Terms to Understand in Custom Home Building appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
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