Building a Custom Home: 7 Steps to Success

Categories: Consumer Resources, Homeowner Tips | Posted: January 10, 2015

When building a custom home there are no hard and fast rules that apply across the board. The very nature of a custom home means it is different from others, so the building process often varies from home to home.

With that being said, there are certain steps you can follow to ensure your home building process is a smooth one:

1. Determine Your Budget

Having a custom home built may be the biggest financial decision you ever make. So before you start talking to builders or looking at lots, you need to determine your budget.
Start by adding up your monthly expenditures. Leave housing out of the equation for now — just focus on food, shopping, lifestyle, car payments, insurance, investments, etc. Compare these figures to your monthly income to see how much of a house you might realistically afford.

If you currently own a Durham home, this calculation will be much easier. You simply have to ask yourself, “How much more could I comfortably pay each month for a larger mortgage?”

2. Determine Your Location

When choosing a location for your new home, start with the obvious questions. Is it close to work, school and shopping? Are there major roadways, railroads or other noise-producers nearby? What are the taxes like? How are the school systems? (Quality of schools is important whether or not you have children, because it affects your property values.)

Once you’ve answered the obvious questions, move on to the less-obvious ones: What kind of development is planned for the foreseeable future? Will that beautiful meadow across the street be a parking lot in two years?

3. Make a List of Builders

Once you’ve decided what part of town you want to live in, you can begin making a list of builders who work in the area. You might start by using the search engines, or by visiting some of the online directories of home builders.

Once you have a list of some of the top builders in your chosen area, start your fact-finding mission. Request brochures, visit model homes, surf their websites. Do whatever you can to gather information on each builder’s reputation, expertise, price range, floor plans and other important criteria.

4. Decide On a Builder

Choosing your custom Raleigh home builder is a major step. But if you’ve completed the previous step and conducted some thorough research, you’ll have a much easier decision to make.

Once you’ve established that a builder has a good reputation and a genuine commitment to your happiness, you need to ask the big question: “Does this builder create the kind of home I can see myself in? Does it feel right to me?” Take your time answering these questions and making your ultimate decision.

5. Choose Your Lot

Before you can start looking at floor plans for your new dream home, you need to choose a lot. Floor plans are often dependent on the lot you choose, so the lot usually has to be decided on first.

The reasons for this are sometimes obvious and other times not. Obviously, a longer home will require a longer lot. But there may be other considerations at work. For example, maybe the developer wants to stagger one-story homes and two-story homes throughout the community for overall appeal.

These considerations will vary from builder to builder. For now, just realize that the floor plan will usually depend on the lot you choose. So remember to ask plenty of questions about this along the way.

6. Pick a Floor Plan

One of the great things about a custom home is that it’s, well … custom. Sometimes a custom home builder will offer basic floor plans that you can modify as you wish. Other times, the floor plans are created “from scratch” in coordination with an architect. Either way, you have an opportunity to build a home around your present and future needs.

This step of the process will involve many questions. How much space do you need? How many rooms? One story or two? Any special features, like a wraparound deck? This can often be the most exciting part of the home building process, because it involves turning your vision into a reality.

7. Negotiate the Contract

Be sure to get a written contract signed by the builder and the architect / designer (if there’s an architect involved). A contract for new home construction should describe the project in detail, and it should include a listing of all the features to be included in the home. Ask for a contract amendment if the project changes later on, and make sure you get all of your questions answered before signing.

So if you are looking for a professional custom home building company located in Wayne County, North Carolina then please contact Cameron Mitchell Homes today at 919.947-5893 or fill out our online request form.

Goldsboro Home Building Company

Categories: Homeowner Tips | Posted: December 22, 2014

Your Ceiling Choice Will Make or Break Your Kitchen Design

Designing a kitchen remodel is a matter of seemingly endless choices and decisions.  It is common to become so focused on the function of the appliances and the placement of sinks and stoves and refrigerators that you don’t stop to look up.  In fact, the type of ceiling you choose for your new kitchen can make your kitchen feel larger or smaller, can make it feel claustrophobic or open,  or can make it feel light and bright or dark and dreary.  Here are some ceiling designs to consider as you plan and design your new kitchen.

Traditional Flat Ceiling – This is the most common type of ceiling in any room. It is the least expensive to build, and is essentially a wall laid on its side.  The traditional height for a flat ceiling is 8 feet, although many builders are using 10 foot ceilings to make the room feel larger.  Options for making the flat ceiling appear higher include using a vertical stripe paint or wallpaper, using a border at the top of the wall, or adding crown molding or other decorative moldings at the top of the wall.

Cathedral Ceiling – This high, sloped ceiling is becoming increasingly popular in kitchens. The ceiling is attached to the roof trusses and creates a very dramatic feeling of space.  Whether this style ceiling is built with open beams or a solid drywall panel, the rise to the very top of the house offers both space and a few challenges. The challenges are in getting proper insulation over the ceiling (although there are some new insulated boards for this purpose), the difficulty getting to the ceiling for painting, cleaning and installing light fixtures, and the additional heating cost due to heat loss to the top of the ceiling.

Vaulted Ceiling – A ceiling that rises from the walls at an angle or in an arch is a vaulted ceiling.  These vaulted ceilings can rise from one side of the room to a center point at the top of the house or they can rise from two or all four walls of the room to a center point at the top of the house.

Tray Ceiling – Tray ceilings get their name from the finished appearance of a tray being turned upside down.  They are made up of one or more stepped sections of ceiling going up to a flat ceiling panel in the middle. The “steps” are sometimes accented with decorative moldings or contrasting paint colors can be used.  Tray ceilings give the appearance of greater height and space in the room while actually rising relatively little.  Tray ceilings can be built under many attic designs.

Cove Ceiling – There are many styles of decorative ceilings. Cove ceilings can be a nice addition to any kitchen design. They have a rounded surface sloping into the angle at the point where the walls and the ceiling meet.  Cove ceilings have a more fluid feeling than the sharp angles of traditional ceiling styles.

Coffered Ceiling – Another decorative ceiling style is the coffered ceiling.  This very decorative style would probably overpower a smaller kitchen. In a large kitchen or a kitchen that is open to a family room, dining room or breakfast room, it can be a striking addition. Coffered ceilings are essentially groups of tray ceilings which share common low points in the center of the room. They are often painted in contrasting colors or outlined with decorative moldings.

Whatever your personal taste or the size and style of your new kitchen, you can choose a ceiling style that adds a feeling of spaciousness, openness and light or a feeling of cozy warmth. Before you finish your kitchen design, give some creative thought to how your ceiling can accent your finished room.

So if you are looking for a professional custom home building company located in Goldsboro, North Carolina then please contact Cameron Mitchell Homes today at 919.947-5893 or fill out our online request form.

Pikeville Home Building Company

Categories: Consumer Resources | Posted: September 10, 2014

It’s becoming increasingly popular for people seek out their own “field of dreams.” In fact, some people find the perfect lot for their new custom home long before they even build upon it. People are quickly catching on to this new trend because building on your own lot has several advantages. For starters, you have the freedom to build the home you want, where you want, on the land you want. Furthermore, you can choose from a wide selection of floor plans and give your home all the personality you want. It’s the best way to get all you wants, needs and desires met. However, you want to be careful when coordinating plans, options, home site and location.

Unfortunately, it isn’t always so easy to find your “field of dreams.” In fact, many lots may appear perfect for the construction of your new house, but then later you come to find out that you can’t build on the ground. Knowledge is power when it comes to picking out your lot, but unfortunately more than one land lover has learned the hard way. You may want to consider consulting a reputable Mt. Olive builder during the process of picking out a lot. A builder will help you avoid poor quality properties and this will save you money down the road. They may even be able to save you money on the purchase price of the property.

Often times it is quite a shock to a homeowner how much additional site work may be required to make the lot ready to build on. You may even come to find out that not every part of the lot can be built on. It’s common for the foundation to require piers or pads or drainage issues may require extensive excavation work. These projects can be extremely costly. Additional considerations include a complete understanding of the easements, zoning laws, property line restrictions, architecture guidelines and review processes.

You should be prepared for the fact that custom building on your own lot generally takes more time to finish because you have so many choices and this leads to your project changing throughout the process of building. Building on your own lot allows you the freedom to choose the floor plan you want which will end up taking more time. A custom built home on one’s own lot can reasonably take up to six months depending on several factors. Factors include the size and complexity of the home as well as the irregular nature of building on scattered sites.

Keep in mind, it is quite common for a buyer to fall in love with a floor plan in a luxury area of a community, but really want a slight variation of that floor plan so that theirs is unique in some way. If you own your lot you have the options of building a semi-customized floor plan. This is a huge advantage because it’s becoming a popular trend to build a home with abundant personality. If the lot is yours, the only limitation you will face is the size of the home site.

Living on the plot of land that you have fantasized about for years is definitely a dream come true. In today’s world, society places huge value on individuality and self-expression. For this reason, more and more people are opting to buy their land first, and then build a custom home. Make note, you can save money in this process by hiring a builder with a “Build on your lot” program. This also eliminates the hassle of hiring your own architect and general contractor because these builders will do all the work. This includes the plans, permits, coordination, construction, and in some cases, even the financing.

So if you are looking for a professional custom home building company located in Pikeville, North Carolina then please contact Cameron Mitchell Homes today at 919.947-5893 or fill out our online request form.

Eastern NC Home Builder

Categories: Consumer Resources | Posted: July 22, 2014

Building a new home is exciting! With the limitless possibilities of features, layouts, and colors, your new home can be customized to your specific wants and needs. Your plans should go smoothly if you take the time to use the following suggestions before you begin your home building adventure.

  1. Take tours of new homes. There are so many designs and styles of homes available today that it is impossible to know all of your options by looking at a few home building magazines or books. Arrange to take some tours of new homes in your area, especially homes built within the past six months. These homes will offer the latest in features and will give you a good idea of the most recent developments in home building and design. Keep an open mind as you look at these houses. Features that you consider unnecessary now may actually turn out to be just what you need.
  1. Choose the right location. It is very easy to get caught up in the thrill of designing and building a new home, but it will pay off in the long run if you step back and take a practical look at your plans before making a final decision. Your home’s location is the most important consideration. Is the new home’s location convenient for you and your family? Do you like the location? If you decide to sell your home in five years, what will potential buyers think about the location? Rethink your home building decision if you are not happy with the location.
  1. Think ahead. If you plan to stay in your new home for many years, think about the possible life changes ahead of you. You might want an extra bedroom or two if there are children in your future. Look at the layout of the home. Will you still want a two-story home in twenty years? Will the rooms be too small or too big for your family in a few years?
  1. Get several estimates. Talk to at least two builders to get a good idea of what your new home will cost. Keep in mind that for most homes, the actual cost exceeds the estimate. If you are making plans to build a home in another six months to a year, you will need to add another three to six percent to the cost to account for inflation.
  1. Ask everyone you know for opinions. Family and friends can be great sources of honest information. Ask them if they have ever heard of your builder or the builder’s subcontractors. Find out what their biggest home-building mistake was.Gather ideas for home layouts and extra features. Use the expertise and knowledge of people that have “been there” and can help you by sharing their experiences.
  1. If possible, put more money into the kitchen and bathrooms. If you need to cut back on the cost of building your home, try to make concessions in areas besides your kitchen and bathrooms. These rooms will contribute the most to the value of your home and will be the biggest selling points if you decide to move in a few years.

So if you are looking for a professional custom home building company located in Eastern North Carolina then please contact Cameron Mitchell Homes today at 919.947.5893 or fill out our online request form.