Blog Category - Homeowner Tips

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.