What Does the Custom Home Design Process Look Like? 

As a homeowner, designing and building your own custom home is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. But before you start drafting up plans for that gorgeous house you’ve been dreaming about, you might have questions about what actually goes into the process. We have answers! 

Below, we’ll discuss some key components of the custom home design process, as well as some of the benefits you’d enjoy during and after it. 

Why Build a Custom Home?

When it comes to home ownership, you have a few options: buying or building, building traditional or building custom, etc. Out of all these options, building a custom home usually requires the most amount of time and effort. So why is it such a popular choice? 

The investment that goes into designing and building your own custom home is well worth it, for many reasons. Some of these are: 

  • You get exactly what you want. With a custom home, there are no compromises. The location, design, finishes, and amenities you want are the ones you get. 
  • You get to live the way you want. You design your custom home in a way that best suits your lifestyle. Whether that means implementing age-in-place accommodations, large entertainment spaces, or sustainable techniques and technologies, you pick!
  • You avoid navigating a congested real estate market. The real estate market has become incredibly competitive in the past few years. By building a custom home, you don’t need to compete with thousands of other families looking to buy. 
  • You pay less in maintenance costs. By building new, you don’t need to worry about spending time and energy on renovations or maintenance issues. 
  • You feel more connected to your home. Building your custom home from start to finish makes you feel more connected to your home and the surrounding community. The end result is a home that you’re proud to own and share with your loved ones.

What You Need to Know About the Custom Home Design Process

Sold on the idea of a custom home, but not quite sure what your next steps are? We’ll provide an overview of the process — focusing mainly on the design process, since that’s what makes building a custom home much different than building a traditional production home. 

How Long Does the Custom Home Design Process Take?

From securing your lot to having a fully built custom home, the entire custom home construction process takes about 12 months to complete. On average, this means about 3-4 months of design time and 7-8 months of construction time. This home-building timeline could vary depending on project size, scope, and details.

For some homeowners, 3-4 months of design time seems like a lot — but it’s all for a reason. The design process is extremely important when you’re building anything new, especially a custom home. It helps ensure you get exactly what you want, and that everything is as beautiful as you’d like and as functional as you need. It also makes for a smooth building process with fewer errors, better results, and, in turn, saved labor costs. 

7 Stages of the Custom Home Design Process

During those 3-4 months of design time, a lot has to get done in order to make your build a success. Here’s the custom home design process broken down into each of its seven stages, so you have a better understanding of what to expect. 

1. Initial Meeting

First, you need to find the contractor you’d like to build your custom home and set up an initial meeting, or interview, with them. During the interview, you should share a general overview of what you’d like to accomplish and a little about yourself. Then, you should ask for information about them, their work style, and their experience. 

When choosing a contractor, you should consider two things: 

  1. Find a contractor with relevant experience. Choose someone who understands the type of home you want and the area in which you’re looking to build.
  2. Find a contractor that you can (and want to!) work with. Everyone has a different home building style. Some may prefer a faster-paced contractor with a big crew and less outsourcing; others may prefer someone with a cool temperament that can deal with revisions and changes on the fly. Find one you’re compatible with. 
2. Choose The Location & Lot

Choosing the location and lot for your custom home can be difficult as you search for open lots that check off all the boxes on the type of home and lifestyle you’ve been dreaming of. It’s not a decision that should be taken lightly, so you should reflect on some questions to guide your decision-making, such as: 

  • Do you have a favorite place where you’ve always wanted to live?
  • Are you inspired by certain types of landscapes or scenery?
  • Do you enjoy plenty of peace and quiet or do you embrace fast-paced city life?
  • What are your hobbies, and what kinds of places would allow you to do them frequently?
  • Would you prefer an HOA that would maintain a variety of amenities within your community?
  • Is home security important to you? If buying a vacation home, will you want to ensure your home is secure when you’re away?

At The Vineyards at Stage Pass, we’re proud to be a master-planned community, which comes with many benefits. Our master-planned community has various lots with ready-to-build land, stable property values, enhanced security, HOA-maintained community landscaping, exclusive outdoor attractions, and access to a reputable builders network. We make it easy to choose a gorgeous lot that works for you and those you love. 

3. Discuss Your Goals & Budget

It’s important to get a clear picture of your goals and budget early on in the process. This helps you and your contractor get aligned and sets the tone for a successful project moving forward. 

Take some time to sit down, play with the numbers, and decide what you’re willing to invest. That way, you’ll be better prepared to narrow down design choices and you won’t suffer from any financial surprises along the way. 

At The Vineyards at Stage Pass, we can connect you with one of our Umpqua Bank representatives for help financing your custom home. They’ll ask you about your goals, then help you establish a solid budget and secure a loan. 

4. Create Drafts & Review, Review, Review

Once you’ve set your goals and given your contractor an overview of what you’d like from your new custom home, they’ll get started on drafts. An architect will create design blueprints based on your preferences, then hand them over for your review. 

In most cases, you’ll have a few different chances to request edits before giving your contractor final approval. It’s important to take edits seriously and communicate effectively to ensure everything you want is included. 

Another important thing to mention is that many master-planned communities require an additional step here to ensure top-notch quality and value. They’ll have you submit your designs and plans to an architectural review committee for approval. This is purely to make sure that homes are being built properly and with appropriate designs to protect the stability of home values within the community. 

5. Choose Your Selections

Next up is choosing selections or finishes. Think about what your material and color preferences are, and how they might fit into your newly designed home. Everything from flooring to countertops to exterior solutions is on the table for discussion here. 

There are tons of selection options out there, and the choices can get overwhelming for many homeowners. Something that often helps is revisiting your budget, then narrowing down your options based on that. What can you afford? Which finishes can you afford to upgrade? Which ones should you keep standard? It’s all about aligning your wishes with your budget. 

6. Get Permit Approvals

Building a custom home requires obtaining various building permits. The ones you need can vary depending on your project goals. If you’re unsure which ones you need, that’s okay. An experienced contractor should be able to guide you in the right direction, or may even be able to obtain them for you.

7. Start Construction!

Once your design drafts are approved, your selections are chosen, and your permits are obtained, it’s time to build. And since you prioritized design so much at the beginning of the project, you’ll find that construction is a much smoother process. Soon enough, you’ll be able to sit back, relax, and appreciate the effort you put into your stunning home.  

Build Your Dream Custom Home at Stage Pass

The custom home design and building process can take considerable time and effort; but when you’re able to settle into your beautifully constructed home overlooking gorgeous vineyard views, it’ll be all worth it. 

Explore a new way of life by living among flourishing grapevines, cascading mountains, and scenic rivers at The Vineyards at Stage Pass. From choosing a lot to every little design detail, our team can help make your vision become a reality, allowing you to savor the splendor of every day. To learn more about building your custom home here, contact us online