A happy married couple looking aa piece of land possibly for a custom home building project.

How early in the custom home building process to hire a residential designer

Keystone Creative offers comprehensive home design services. We take care of homeowners during every stage of the custom home construction process: from dreaming and budgeting to purchasing materials and building your new home.

Milestones in the custom home building process

Here is a really simplified timeline of the steps involved in building your dream home:

  1. The very beginning: When you are first considering the idea of starting a custom home building project.
  2. Land acquisition: Picking the ideal empty lot.
  3. Concept: Choosing the overall style and architectural feel.
  4. Home plan: Developing a detailed house plan with functional features.
  5. Interior design: Choosing the materials and furnishings.
  6. Finalizing the budget: Once you know all that will go into your home, you’ll know its true cost.
  7. Construction: Putting all the puzzle pieces together and ensuring a quality build that is completed on time and on budget.

Some people are surprised to learn that the best time to contact a residential design firm is at the very beginning – before you even buy a piece of land. Here’s why …

Start your new home building project off on the right foot

It’s worth the investment to hire a qualified designer just to explore the idea of building a custom home. There are important questions to answer before working with a realtor to buy land:

  • How much money will this really cost? Without proper planning, custom home construction budgets can balloon fast. Working with an expert from the beginning can help you understand the true cost of building your dream home from scratch. When your life savings are on the line, don’t proceed with a vague guess of how much this will cost.
  • How large of a house are you hoping to build? There may be building codes or neighborhood regulations that limit how large a home you can build on a piece of land or how close it can be to the road. A qualified residential designer can make sure you buy a lot that fits your goals.
  • What kind of view would you like? If you’re hoping to watch the sunset over the lake during dinnertime, we need to plan that in advance. We can help identify obstacles on a specific piece of land that need to be overcome.
  • Is the land going to be difficult to build on? Unlike most residential designers, I also have decades of hands-on experience in custom home construction. I’ve dealt with many challenges related to elevations, slopes, and rock obstructions.

At Keystone Creative, we take these things into consideration from the very beginning. We can help you choose the ideal piece of land, or we can at the very least highlight expensive challenges from the beginning so you get a more accurate budget.

More than a home blueprint service

Discover your style

What style of home would you like? Architectural Digest says the most popular home design styles include: 

  • Scandinavian
  • Mediterranean
  • Country House
  • Midcentury
  • Industrial
  • Minimalism
  • Traditional

If you’re not an expert in each of these industry terms, that’s okay. At Keystone Creative, we get to know you on a personal level to discover your favorite styles. You may be surprised by what we find.

Interior design goes beyond decorating

Think about interior design style as early as possible.

Some people contact us after they’ve purchased a basic house plan, either online or from another local home designer. They might have even started construction before asking our design firm to give the property a specific style, such as “modern farmhouse.” In their mind, that might mean simply choosing paint colors and cabinet styles. But there is often more to a style than just paint and furnishings. Custom architectural features also help develop a home’s style, and those features are ideally designed before construction begins.

If you get too far into the building process, you will lock yourself into certain architectural features. If you contact us late in the game, that’s okay. We don’t mind a challenge. But understand there may be certain limitations.

Your new house can improve your lifestyle

Beyond style, we also take a deep dive into how you live. We want to find out all about:

  • Your lifestyle and hobbies
  • Your cooking style
  • How you socialize and entertain guests
  • What problems you face in your current home

We then develop solutions to meet all your needs. We want every aspect of your home to function in a way that makes your life better. And we want each feature of your home to complement and coordinate with all the other features of your home for a cohesive design.

Know your real budget before spending $1 on new home construction

We can offer a basic estimated budget in the early stages of a custom home design project. But there are thousands of decisions that need to be made throughout the entire process. No one can provide an accurate budget until those decisions have been made.

Here’s just a sample of the choices that affect your final home construction budget:

  • Window performance
  • Cabinetry design
  • Appliance selections
  • Tile and marble quality
  • Siding and roofing materials
  • Floor Covering choices
  • Furniture and accessory selections

The only way to know for sure what things will cost in the end is to go through the entire design process ahead of time. The more information you have, the more control you’ll have, and the more satisfied you’ll be with the final result.

Who will make sure your custom home is built correctly?

After we design your dream home and set the budget, you can use our construction team or you can select your own home builder. Either way, our project management service can make sure your project is completed on time, on budget, and with the greatest quality.

We make sure the right items (fixtures, tile, floor coverings, siding, paint colors, etc.) are selected and delivered. And we make sure each piece is installed correctly.

Sometimes subcontractors will try to adjust building plans to make things easier or more profitable for them. But I advocate for you. If there’s a problem on the job site, we make sure revisions are made with your needs and wants in mind.

I understand the construction lingo. I can step in and decide if a change is really necessary and appropriate. We won’t let construction hiccups diminish the quality of your project.

Thinking of building a custom home? Start the process today

It’s ideal to hire a qualified residential designer as early in the game as possible. The later they are hired, the more challenges they have to overcome to achieve great results. But a talented designer can pick up anywhere in the process and find a path to success.If you’re thinking about building a dream home, schedule a free consultation with Keystone Creative today.

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