Information and advice on the home construction process in Dallas, Texas.

10 Tips for Choosing the Right Kitchen Cabinets for Your Custom Home in Dallas

When deciding upon what kind of cabinet you need to enhance the appeal of your custom kitchen, you might want to give a thought to what kind of cabinet you’re looking for. You may choose from the four basic types of cabinets including the base cabinet, bottle racks, corner cabinets, or standalone cabinets, which often serve a similar purpose to a pantry. 

When it comes to the kitchen, there’s no trouble accepting the idea that cabinetry is the heart of kitchen aesthetics. A cabinet that has the touch of contemporary designer style would not only shine as a standout but add more to the aesthetic value of your home. 

A kitchen with plain or poor functioning drawers or a cabinet of an outdated fashion would not motivate you to cook. Therefore, to help you install amazing cabinets in your kitchen, we’ve made this guide. 

The kitchen cabinet tips we have for you in this article are perfect for custom homes in Dallas. So, if you’re a big fan of custom homes or already own one, then you’ve landed on just the right page. Follow along.

1. Design with Grace with a Good Budget

While you move forward to design a custom cabinet, it is really important that you know the role budget will play in it. A good budget will provide you a range of options to choose from and get quality construction for the cabinet. Remember, the more you can apportion for cabinet construction, you can install cabinets of more contemporary designs. 

2. Choose Between Frameless or Framed Cabinet Construction

It’s always good to work with a framed cabinet. A framed cabinet adds more strength to the front door. Plus, with a framed cabinet you can select from a range of door options. You can go with either an inset or overlay design. 

On the other hand, if you choose to go with the frameless construction, which is the European standard, you may want to install the overlay doors only. The hinges for the overlay door will be attached directly to the side. You cannot install an inset door if you plan to have frameless construction. However, the frameless construction is really trendy and fashionable. 

3. Choose the Finish and Design for the Cabinet

We are far away from the time of oak wood cabinets. You no longer have to agree with your cabinetmaker on the finish for the cabinet. You are no longer restricted with options. It’s perfect if you want to have a light finish on the cabinet. Navigating dirt and stains on a light-textured base could be easier than on a cabinet with a darker finish. You can also choose from glazed, crackle, or distressing textures. 

When designing, you may want to check on a few popular styles. You can pick from the cathedral panel for the door, to shaker, and from the arched panel to slabs, especially if you’re a fan of plain cabinets. Arched and cathedral panels are really common. You may try the shaker design if you’re looking to have a touch of elegance. 

4. Give Thought to Beauty and Function

When you are in the mood for customization, it’s always important to give extra consideration to beauty. However, you may also want to do some intelligent discussions with the carpenter, if you want to craft something that is easy in terms of functionality. 

When designing, it’s really important that you have a clear idea of your use in the kitchen and what kind of stuff you want around. A mix of both casual and smart design may just do the trick for you. 

5. Decide whether Inset or Overlay Cabinet

Inset design construction is excellent if you want a classic cabinet. It may also do perfectly for a smart custom home. However, if you want to work more on aesthetics and have a lot of space, then an overlay door design for the cabinet could also be a fascinating choice. Remember, the design of the door totally depends upon your taste and use of the cabinet. 

6. Choose Material for the Cabinet

New custom homes in Dallas are using multiple materials for cabinet construction. Wood is not the only option you have. If you want simple, and budget-friendly cabinets, you may go with melamine, stainless steel, or even metal. 

However, none of these would enhance the aesthetic value of your custom kitchen other than solid wood. 

Solid wood is the perfect material for your custom cabinet. It’s classic. It’s perfect! So, stick to wood for the material. 

7. See Ready-to-Assemble Cabinets

If you want to save yourself from the hurdle of designing customized cabinets, then you may just agree on buying Ready-to-assemble pieces from top furniture retailers. IKEA is a renowned supplier for ready to assemble cabinets. 

Though buying these cabinets is easier, it could be really challenging to install these cabinets. Therefore, if you’re planning to install fixtures in a custom home, we would recommend you hire a carpenter and get these constructed. 

8. Check out Custom Cabinets

Before you get started, it’s always good to check out multiple custom designs and how they fit in the layout of the kitchen. It would really help you to understand how you could utilize space better without compromising on the look of your cabinet. So, check out several custom cabinets and get your idea! It’s always good to spark up your creativity when you sit to design something. 

9. Check Out Semi-Custom Cabinets

These are generally more affordable in terms of price. You can get a semi-customized cabinet in a range of sizes. These are usually available for order-to-make. Semi-custom may be useful especially when you’re a little short with time. 

10. Choose Quality Cabinet Hardware

Lastly, we recommend that you invest your time in choosing the quality of cabinet hardware. Get the most fashionable doorknobs for the cabinet. Solid steel handles that are long and durable look elegant on a wooden cabinet with a glazed texture. It’s really important that you get quality hardware.

The technology has shifted the focus of luxury homes towards energy-efficient custom homes. Architects are now designing homes that are energy-efficient and affordable. 

People prefer a home that reduces cost while building it and affordable to own in the long run. This approach has been admired by many homeowners as well. Technology is pretty expensive, but if we make a cost-benefit comparison, then it wins every time. 

We have created a general guide that can help you build an energy-efficient custom home in Dallas without breaking your bank. So, let’s get right to it.

Choose a Smart & Functional Design

The first step of building a custom home starts with a design. These days designers, architects, builders, and homebuyers all work together to come up with cost-effective zero net energy home designs. 

Since there are a lot of gadgets and devices that need to be placed within the walls and roof, they all have to be involved in the design. 

Once a smart home is designed, the builders and subcontractors should keep in mind the basics and the implementation of such details as effectively as possible. 

The builder and architect should have open communication about what they want to build and how it can be managed given the area. Everyone must share the idea of constructing a customized energy-efficient smart home.

Use the Sunlight

Sun is a powerful source of energy and light. Countries are wasting billions of dollars on producing electricity, and still, it isn’t enough. But you don’t have to rely on electricity only because now you can use solar plates that absorb the heat and help you run many devices on solar energy. 

Today, all luxury houses include solar plates in their smart home design because they achieve maximum passive solar heating. To maximize the benefits of natural sunlight, try placing south-facing windows, and you can get enough sunlight to keep your house warm. 

It also helps you lower the cost of heat in the winter season. Those same windows can be shaded in the summer season to keep the house cool.

Optimize Energy Consumption

When a home is planned, you also plan how many lights, air conditions, HVAC, and security systems you want. But you need to optimize the net energy consumption in energy modeling software. 

This can help you realize where you are going too much or too little. It can also help you maintain a balance while ensuring you a goal of net-zero energy. You can modify your design by adding a better option. Optimizing energy consumption beforehand can help you make the right decision in construction as well.  

Energy Efficient Lighting

The whole world can agree that we rely on electricity too much because we have things that run with electricity. But sometimes, we are wasting electricity and that is something we can control. 

So, while you are designing an energy-efficient home, minimize your energy use for lighting but opt for LED lights. They are energy-efficient, last longer, and have no mercury. Another cool thing about them is that they come in bright white, soft, and warm shades so using them strategically all over the home can improve your energy-efficiency impeccably.  

Super-Seal the Net-Zero Building Envelope Concept

There is a new super-seal Net-zero building envelope concept that is believed to be the most cost-effective solution to seal off any climate conditions.  This way a building is supposed to improve the energy efficiency of a zero-energy home. 

Let’s say if you live in a rainy climate, your home will stay dry and won’t let the moisture get into the house. In the same way, warm or cold weather can be handled with air-sealing approaches. Choose the option that works well with your climate and budget.

Insulation

If we talk about the house being airtight from the outside weather, another concern is insulation. If you optimize the insulation levels for your ceilings, walls, and floors, you can select framing that will suit your smart home design

There are various options for it depending on the elevation and you can choose the one that suits well within your budget.

Insulated Windows and Doors

Insulation goes a long way and home windows, and doors are a very big concern. They are letting warm air go out and bringing cold. But if you choose to use the energy-efficient highly insulated low U-value frame and low- E glass windows and doors, your home is going to be more airtight than ever. 

It is a cost-effective solution. However, choosing the window size, direction, location, style, blinds, and even curtain can contribute to its effectiveness.  

Consider Fresh Air Supply

What is the point of having a luxury home if you don’t have access to natural and fresh air? 

Although smart homes are supposed to be airtight, there is a need for a fresh air supply in every smart home. If fresh air doesn’t come in or the moisture doesn’t go out, there is not much to consider. 

So, smart homes come with a continuous source of fresh filtered air through a highly energy-efficient ventilation system. They expel used air while recovering its heat and returning that same heat to the home with the fresh air. This ventilation system is healthier and more comfortable than regular homes.

Heating and Cooling System

Just like any other advanced machinery, technology has introduced us to highly efficient and cost-effective heating and cooling systems. They are essential for every custom energy-efficient home. They can be customized according to your smart home architecture.  They consume less power and meet the net-zero energy goal.

Water Heating

Water heating and good water pressure are both important concerns in a bathroom. Considering that water heating also consumes energy, many architects and builders use more advanced water heating technology in which water heats up in seconds as you use it. It only warms water as you use it and then turns off when you stop using water. 

The idea of building a custom home in Dallas is both intimidating and exciting. Unlike buying a readymade construction, you can design and construct everything according to your needs when you build your home from scratch.

From hiring a builder of your choice to picking the right set of colors and the type of wood you want to use in your kitchen cabinetry, you can decide everything on your own.

If you have made the exciting decision of building a custom home in Dallas, you have come to the right place.

In this post, we’re going to highlight 10 tried-and-tested expert tips for building a custom construction that will help you build your dream house without wasting any money. So without any ado, let’s get started!

1. Everything Starts with a Plan

Prepare yourself both financially and mentally before you even start thinking about building your home. Similar to any other thing, custom home building projects also demand in-depth research and planning. 

Create a list of things you want in your home project, be it a customized staircase, a custom ceiling or a dedicated parking space, or a backyard. 

Having a written plan will make things smoother, and it will be easier for you to explain your requirements to the builder when you attend your first showroom meeting. 

2. Find Your Lot 

Once you know your needs, the next step is to find a perfect lot according to your plan. You have to check your local laws to see whether you can build a custom home on any specific lot. 

Know the dimensions you want for your custom home so that you can determine the footprint of it on your chosen lot. Both regular and premium lot options are available. Make sure you choose something that goes well with your requirements and budget. 

Also, get a builder’s perspective and carefully check out the neighborhood to know whether building a custom home in that locality will be convenient. 

3. Check Out a Model House and Choose Your Floor Plan

Builders usually have a model house to display all the best features one might be looking for in their home. You can visit that house and see what you can expect in terms of design and features. 

It is essential to understand that these model houses showcase possibilities, and they’re not free. Builders only bear the base costs, and whatever else you need in your home will be counted in the upgrades. 

Do not hesitate to ask a lot of questions upon your visit to the model house. Also, discuss the floor plan with your builder to communicate what custom changes you need in your home. 

For instance, if you want to build two master bedrooms on the first floor instead of one, you can discuss it with the contractor. 

4. Upgrades Are Not included

As mentioned earlier, the model house you see before finalizing your contract with a builder only covers the base price. All the other custom additions you want to include will be counted as upgrades. 

Upgrades are part of the house building project. Just ensure you’re mentally and financially prepared for it to avoid any surprises in the end. 

5. You Can Buy or Build Your Home Much Sooner than You Think 

The general misconception about securing a house loan is that you have to put a 20% down. But the fact is that you can get a loan for as little as 3.5%. So there’s no need to be debt-free or hold tons of money before you start thinking about building a custom home in Dallas.

Dissimilar to prebuilt constructions, there are so many unknowns in the custom home building project. Ideally, you should start a project when your credit score is good enough to satisfy the financer’s requirements. 

The credit score you will need depends on the type of loan you’re securing. The better the credit score you hold, the lesser interest rate you have to pay on your loan, and vice versa. 

Apart from that, your constructor will offer a few extra incentives if you go with their financer.  

6. Purchase Agreement

Signing a purchase agreement means you’re now in a legal relationship with your contractor. You also have to deposit some upfront money (a certain percentage of house cost) at this point. Make sure you read your agreement carefully and request changes (if any) at this stage before you proceed further. 

7. Ask Lots of Questions

While you sign a purchase agreement and your builder will send it for approval, you’ll have enough time to work on the design elements of your home. Your contractor will arrange design showroom meetings for you (one or two depending upon your needs). 

Ask lots and lots of questions. At this point, you can request custom changes for your home. For example, you can choose your custom doorknobs, shower, countertops, etc. Again, none of these upgrades will be free. But, since building a custom home is already an expensive investment, these little changes here and there are worth it. 

8. Take Pictures of Everything in Your First Showroom Appointment

Another thing you should keep in mind is to take lots and lots of pictures and videos of the things you have finalized during your showroom meetings. 

The thing is that the contractors are handling several house building projects simultaneously. It’s easy to forget minor upgrade requests. So it’s better to have all the evidence at hand that you can show them if anything goes in an unexpected direction. 

9. Do not Touch Your Credit During the Process of Getting Pre-Approval to Locking in a Rate credit

Do not touch your credit during the process of getting pre-approval to locking in a credit rate. Do not increase the balances you have on your credit card or do anything that could poorly affect your credit rating. 

10. Be Diligent During a Pre-Close Walkthrough

One week before the closing, you’ll be doing a pre-close walkthrough. This is typically an hour or two walkthrough of your newly-built construction so that you can have a close look at everything and compare it with what you had discussed in your meetings and finalized in a purchase agreement. 

That goes without saying that you have to be super diligent during this process. Any imperfections that need to be fixed should be highlighted before you close a deal.

Building a custom home in Dallas is both challenging and exciting. What sets a custom home apart from ready-made constructions is that you can design your house according to your needs. 

Not only can you design your home the way you like, but you’ll likely get a higher quality, more durable and long-lasting result.

When you plan to build your custom home in Dallas, the most crucial thing that you should do is to find the best architect or custom home designer and a builder you can afford. (We’ll shed light on the things you should consider before you hire a custom home designer and a contractor in a separate post).

Once you have found the architect/designer/builder to work with, you can officially start your custom home building project. 

This step-by-step guide will help you build your dream house with an efficient, controlled, well-planned approach so that you can enjoy the process and minimize stress.

Step 1 – Develop Your Budget Range

The first step to building a custom home in Dallas is to develop your budget range. Many things can go wrong if you aren’t sure about how much your house should cost in the end. 

Since there are so many unknowns involved in the house building process, it is practically impossible for a homeowner to finalize the budget in the initial stages. But you must at least have an estimate

Consult with your financial advisor or accountant to understand your available funds, credit lines, mortgage rates and all the other financial considerations, and set your budget accordingly.  Then add 20% and hold in reserve for unexpected costs.

Step 2 – Know What You Can Build

Before you go any further, you have to know about any restrictions that may apply to the lot or land on which you want to build.  Deed restrictions, HOA restrictions and various municipal and governmental restrictions might have an impact on what you can build on a particular lot or in a particular area.

Visit your city planning department and discuss all of the above to see if they are applicable. Bring your address and real property report that could help the authorities gauge the feasibility of your plan. 

Alternatively, you can get a site feasibility review done by a professional custom home designer who will provide you with a detailed analysis report of what you can or cannot build on your lot. 

Step 3 – Document Your Wishlist

There are so many details that go into the custom home building project. So, make sure you spend some time and document a wishlist as you’d not be able to remember everything you have discussed with your designer in the first meeting on your own. 

Apart from that, you also need to have a collection point that could either be in the form of a file or a digital folder where you can save images, videos, and design examples of different constructions that you would like to follow for your project. 

Step 4 – Develop Your Final Design

This is the most exciting part of your custom home building project. Once you have finalized a designer, have a rough budget estimate in hand, and also checked the feasibility of your project with your local city planning department, it’s time to develop your final design. 

At this point, your custom home designer will show you the final design plan based on your discussions with them in the initial meetings. Make sure you check every detail carefully. Discuss floor plan concept, exterior design concept, the amount of space you need for your backyard or parking, and other essential things you want in your custom home building project. 

Step 5 – Finalize Your budget

You already had a rough estimate for your project that you developed in the first step of the process. Now that you already have everything you need to get started, you can finalize your budget to avoid post-construction regrets.

Your builder will now give you the final budget estimate that you need to complete your custom home building project in Dallas. 

You need to ensure that you’re comfortable with the final budget before you proceed further. 

Step 6 – Finalize Technical Details

A house building project is not just about having brick and mortar. It’s a tedious process that involves many technical details as well.

For example, you may have to consult with an energy advisor and construction engineer to help you decide the intricate construction and lighting details for your home in Dallas. 

If you’re not handling your project independently and have hired a custom home designer and a contractor, there is nothing to worry about. But yes, you must keep an eye on every detail to know whether everything is going in the right direction. 

Step 7 – Secure Your Permits

The most exciting part of the project is where you seek permits and start the construction process to turn your dream project into a living reality. 

Depending on your location, there might be one permit or multiple permits that you need to start the actual construction process.

Make sure you have all the permits at hand before you get started. 

Step 8 – Start Construction

That’s pretty straightforward. After having permits, you’re all set to start the construction process.

At this point, you can arrange a pre-construction meeting to have your custom home designer and builder on board. Clear all your doubts, ask many questions, and have a quick look at every detail to see if you need to amend anything. 

Custom House Building Checklist

Buying land
Review documents and prepare specifications sheet
Hire a designer and a builder
Buying materials
Site and foundation
Framing
Exterior Masonry
Roofing
Siding
Plumbing rough
HVAC
Electrical rough and insulation
Wallcovering
Trims and cabinets
Interior paint/wallpaper
Final finishing
Final clean up
Move-in

There you have it – a step-by-step guide to building a custom home in Dallas. The steps we have explained above are crucial, and you must follow all of them to get the most of your house building project. 

For more questions or to drop your feedback, you can always reach out using the comments section given below. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Good Luck!

There is nothing more exciting than building a custom home. Imagine a cozy place where you have everything of your choice, be it ceiling, backyard, or parking. 

You can decide your home’s color scheme, add cabinets that blend well with your flooring, and have ducts for natural sunlight wherever you want. Sounds fascinating? 

But there are so many things you should keep in mind when you construct your home in a metropolitan city like Dallas. From purchasing your lot to choosing the builder, many things need your consideration. 

However, building a custom home in Dallas must not be that challenging, right?

To help you build your house of dreams, we have created a detailed post covering aspects you should keep in mind while building a new home. 

Excited? We’re too. Let’s begin!

1. Ask Questions and Be Pushy if You Need to

You don’t have to be an easy client. Why would you? After all, your money, your time, and your investment are at stake. 

The thing is, building a house in Dallas is a tedious job. Builders are already busy with so much stuff that they barely pay attention to individual projects. 

While this is not your responsibility to nudge them for everything, you should at least remind them of your requirements from time to time so that they keep those things in mind. 

For instance, if you’re looking to have a duct at a particular place or, say, you want a window on a wall facing the door, you have to get your message across several times to get things done the way you like. 

2. Buy Your Own Appliances

You get a dishwasher and an oven along with a package. Many people make a mistake, and they also ask their builder to fix other appliances to save time and effort. 

But, it will generally cost you a lot. 

If you want to save money on appliances, it is better to arrange them on your own. 

You can purchase them from a sale or can save money by negotiating with the vendor – so yes. Make sure you buy appliances separately and do not ask a builder to arrange them for you. 

3. Do Not Have Upgrade Regrets

The next million-dollar tip on our list is to ‘never have upgrade regrets’. There are many things that you get standard when you go with the builder, including the doorknobs, shower, and lights. 

As we always say, keep a dedicated column for ‘upgrades’ in your budget so that you can spend that money on things of your choice. For example, if you want custom faucets or a walk-in shower, you have to invest extra in these luxuries. That goes without saying these upgrades can go a long way. 

4. Get Independent Home Inspections

A home inspection gives you an insight into the overall condition of the property, including plumbing, HVAC, roofing, and more. 

There are many things that you can overlook,  but an independent home inspector can find. What you get from a home inspector is an unbiased and neutral perspective. 

5. Wait to Buy Your Furniture

Wait to buy your furniture until you are in the home. Unlike apartments, decorating an entire house is a lot of fun. But it is going to be more time-consuming and expensive too. 

What if the console you bought for $500 doesn’t blend well with the overall color scheme and ceilings of your living area? 

It is, therefore, better to buy your furniture when you have finalized the colors and design elements of your home.

6. Do Not Forget to Take Pictures

Take lots and lots of pictures of each stage of the construction of your custom home in Dallas. Not only can you cherish those moments when you’re done with the construction part, but it also helps you pinpoint the weak links you should work on to make your house look more appealing and beautiful. 

7. Prepare for Going into Design Center

To avoid post-construction regrets, ask your builder to send you catalogs and design files so that you can review them before you make any decision. 

8. Hire a Good Realtor Who’s Familiar with New Builds

You may want to reconsider your approach if you think that your builder’s agent or a salesperson represents you. Having a realtor familiar with new builds means that you have someone with your interest at heart.

A realtor also understands hidden costs and terms listed in your builder’s contract. Also, they can help you streamline and prioritize your budget. 

9. Mentally Prepare for Delays

Whether it’s weather or shortage of material, delays are part of the process. Many builders mention up to 2-years of time in their contracts, but a delay of 4 to 6 months is quite common. 

So don’t panic and give your custom home project in Dallas the time it deserves. 

10. Be on Top of Your Options

Last but most importantly, make sure you cross-check everything and keep an eye on stuff a builder is fixing in your house. If you live in a neighborhood, you can visit the property yourself to check everything personally. If not, you can also ask a realtor to visit the property every week to keep track of things (materials, design, etc.)

Now that you know some of the best construction advice you need to follow when building a custom home in Dallas, it’s time to implement these strategies to see how well they turn out for you. 

We hope this post has cleared some of your doubts about constructing a new home. Remember, there’s a lot of planning, money, and hard work involved in building a custom home. But the results you get at the end of the day are totally worth it. 

Have questions? Feel free to drop them in the comments section below. We’ll get bac k to you as soon as possible. We wish you all the best for your new custom house project!

You can read more articles here.

Building a custom home is really an astounding experience. It is something very different from buying a prebuilt construction. You can choose your favorite flooring, siding, and furnishings. 

There are many decisions that you have to make along the way. And if you’re looking to build the house of your dreams and avoid future regrets, then you have to make the best decisions.

In this post, we’ll be sharing a few experience-based suggestions and tips that you can follow to prevent post-construction regrets. Also, you can save a lot when you consider these factors. 

‘Everything is Included’ Doesn’t Mean Upgrades are FREE!

Don’t fall into the trap of the ‘Everything is included’ statement when you sign a contractual agreement with a contractor. Why? Because the base price you pay for the construction covers the cost of the structure and standard finishes. 

But if you’re looking to build a custom home with everything of your choice, then you have to keep the upgrade cost in mind as well. 

Let’s suppose if you choose to go with custom flooring or marble of any specific brand, or let’s say you want to install expensive kitchen cabinets or sidings, then you have to set your budget accordingly. 

We’d suggest, keep a column for upgrades in your construction budget separately so that you don’t have to face surprises when you’re planning to start a life in your newly-built home

Apart from that, you can also discuss your requirements with your contractor before the whole process begins and demand an upfront cost estimate for your desired construction. 

Keep Record of Everything

Let’s suppose you have hired the best home builder in Dallas.

You have clearly discussed your requirements.

The construction work begins.

Things are going fine until you get to know that you’ll be having a replacement contractor for your work for some reason. 

The new contractor isn’t aware of your discussions and commitment you have had with the previous person.

What would you do? 

To avoid this, make sure you capture and record everything that is building in the process. While it may seem like a strange idea at first, it will be a total savior if, for some reason, things move in an unexpected direction. 

Pick Your Lot Early

Choosing a lot for a custom home is one of the essential steps of the home construction process. Make sure you pick your lot early. If possible, choose your lot when the builder opens up the face of the building. 

Keep Compounding Costs in Mind

Another important thing you should keep in mind while building a new home in Dallas is compounding costs. While it may be tempting to upgrade a few things (and you’ll get a very reasonable estimate for a single update), things don’t always go as planned. 

How? Let us explain.

Let’s suppose you want to upgrade a shower in your bathroom and replace it with a walk-in shower. 

You have requested an estimate from your contractor and got a quote of $3,000. That seems doable. After all, you’re building a new home that is already worth thousands of dollars, and $3,000 is something anyone would love to spend for a breathtaking walk-in shower. 

But wait.

A contractor called and asked if you want to have the exact shower you saw in the pic with two faucets installed, then you have to pay another $1,500 for that.

$1,500? Oh! It is pricey. But, that’s fine. After all, who doesn’t like to have a luxurious shower in a newly-constructed home?

But, that doesn’t end here. 

Add $3,000 for the floor tiling and another 1000 bucks for matching sanitary – Bamm! Now a simple shower upgrade is costing you more than $8,500. 

So you see, compounding costs are real. 

No, we don’t want to demotivate you. Just ensure you have this factor in mind before you opt for any upgrades for your newly-built home. 

Research Your Floor Plans

One thing you won’t be getting from your builder is a custom floor plan for your house in Dallas. So if you’re looking to add your unique style to your dream house, you have to research your floor plan

You can also take a cue from websites like floorplans.com, ePlans, dreamhousesource.com, etc. 

These websites have plenty of unique design options that you can use to build your custom home. 

Take Your Time

Building a custom home in Dallas is a time-consuming process. The most important tip you should keep in mind is to take your time. Whether it’s about creating a house map or choosing cabinets, make sure you spend sufficient time for each process to avoid post-construction regrets. 

Remember, you’re spending your entire life savings on your custom home. It should be perfect both in terms of aesthetics and functionality. So do not rush and give your custom home project the time it deserves. Collect expert opinions, do your research, and then make decisions. 

Do Not Increase the Number of Rooms

Unless you have a big family to accommodate, do not increase the number of rooms in your home to cover space. Fewer large rooms with lots of space for living areas and parking will give you plenty of options to experiment with. For instance, you can design a beautiful garden outside with eccentric lighting. Similarly, you can have an extra room adjacent to your living area for a personal house theatre. Possibilities are endless. 

Less is More

When it comes to building a custom home in Dallas, less is more. Minimalist homes are modern and trendy. Instead of keeping your entire focus on having more rooms and covered areas, try to make your home look and feel more functional and feature-rich. Do not leave everything on the builder. It’s your home and investment. Participate as much as possible. 

The Bottom Line

While building a custom home in Dallas is an arduous task, it is worth it. It is the best thing you can do for your family. Everything starts with a plan. So make sure you invest your time in creating a fail-proof construction plan that is doable and strategic.

We wish you all the best!

You can read more Home Construction Advices here.

So you’re thinking about building a custom home in North Texas?  Consider that one attractive option is to buy a piece of rural land for your new home, rather than build in a subdivision or in populated areas.  

There are literally millions of acres of land available to purchase in and around the DFW metroplex, located within a 1-hour or 2-hour drive from either Dallas or Fort Worth.  Easy commuting distance.

Whether for your primary residence or for a weekend retreat, or even as an investment property, if you’re going to build on rural land in Texas be aware of the following considerations when buying that land:

  1. Choose your location before choosing your custom home builder – Custom home builders are often limited by their working relationships and the limitations of their trades.  They tend to prefer building in a limited geographic area because it is where they know their trade partners are reliable (which is largely what protects a custom home builder’s reputation and success).  With so much land around and available to purchase in North Texas, you don’t want to limit your choices.
  1.  Property use – If you only intend to use the property to build a residence, then your requirements are fairly simple.  However, if you have intentions to do anything in addition to that, such as farming, ranching, hunting or fishing, then each of these activities dictate different features needed in the land you buy.  Think carefully about what you might wish to do with the property, both now and in the future.  For example:
    1. Farming requires relatively flat land with access to water, great drainage, located outside any flood plains.
    2. Ranching requires soil conducive to growing good feed as well as water resources for the livestock.
    3. Hunting/fishing requires specific resources such as lakes or running water, abundant wildlife, and that you take into consideration other people, animals and structures located near your property, as well as any local laws or environmental regulations that may be in effect.
  1. Property size – 5 acres may be suitable for a home, but if you want to hunt, farm or ranch you need much more land.  Buy with the future in mind, not only with today’s conditions in mind.
  1. Easements – Property easements have to do with accessing the property from the public road, and can have a significant effect on a property’s value.  Property will either have a “Fee Simple” title, meaning you have direct access to a public road from the property, or may instead have a “Deeded Easement” which means the land is accessed by crossing another property.   You should work with your lender or real estate agent to understand what type of easements a property has if it does not come with a “Fee Simple” title.  
  1. Amenities – Amenities are valuable and come in many shapes and forms.  Anything that is already in place such as fencing, stock-tanks, barns or other existing structures, roads and any other type of infrastructures can significantly add to a property’s value.
  1. Utilities – Not every rural property has all the necessary utilities for a home, and you must anticipate additional costs that may be needed to bring electricity, gas, sewer and water to the property if it does not have any of these already. When accurately anticipated, these costs can be rolled into the financing provided by most lenders.  For example:
    1. Is there a septic tank already, or must you have one built?
    2. Is there access to a water line at the road, or will you have to drill a water well?
    3. Is access to electricity nearby, or how much will you have to pay to bring it to the property?
    4. Same with access to natural gas, or cost to add a propane tank if necessary?
  1. Property values – Many factors can influence the price of a property.  Features such as access to water and utilities, attractive topography, tree cover, etc. all add up to make a piece of land more valuable.  Be aware that some properties can also be influenced by their potential for other uses, such as recreational or even commercial ventures.  Make sure you are not paying for features that are not relevant to you.  Compare the price of the property you are considering to other rural properties around your desired areas, to ensure it is not being inflated by nearby businesses or population centers which might use it or other nearby land for commercial purposes, or which might encroach on your property or affect your quality of life.
  1. Deed restrictions – Investigate these to ensure you won’t be prohibited from any desired activities.  General deed restrictions may include items such as no feedlots, no subdividing the property, no raising of poultry or swine, no mobile homes allowed, etc.  It is important to work with your lender, realtor, builder and/or the local appraisal district to educate yourself on those activities that are and are not allowed.
  1. Agricultural property tax exemptions – Commonly called “Ag exemptions”, these are widely used and can save landowners many thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes over time.  Some common agricultural exemptions include:
    1. Owning cattle or other livestock on the property
    2. Leasing the property to another for their livestock use
    3. Raising honeybees
    4. Adding various types of wildlife

If the property does not already have an Ag exemption, be aware it will take you 5 years to be granted one (so start inquiring now).

10. Environmental regulations – Check for endangered species in the area which may prevent you from subdividing or developing or building on the property.  Also check for abandoned chemicals or hazardous waste on the property, as it is very common for rural Texas lands to have old trash dumps or burn pits which may contain any variety of chemicals or contaminants.  Should you have to remove such hazards it may be extremely costly due to environmental regulations.

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It’s unfortunately far too common that people will end up working with builders that are far under or above their budget because they don’t fully understand the costs associated with a custom house.

In this article, we’ll discuss these groups of builders, the differences between them, and the costs associated with each one to paint a picture of what exactly you can expect price-wise when building your custom home in the Houston area.

Production Builders

Production builders are going to be the cheapest option when building a house, but it’s important to understand why this is the case. Production builders will often build hundreds, if not thousands of homes per year and will typically build in new developments.

Because of the scale at which production builders operate, they offer very little customization options and will typically finish their homes with cheaper materials to cut costs. For example, production builders will typically use cheaper doors, appliances, and usually use carpet instead of hardwood to keep their prices lower.

In regards to customization, a production builder will provide you with a limited amount of pre-designed floorplans to choose from, accompanied by a limited amount of finishes to go along with that. With this, you can expect to pay around $100 to $150 per square foot to build a production home in Houston. So, for a 2,000 square foot production home, you’d be paying anywhere from $200,000 to $250,000.

Dallas Custom Builders

Custom builders are a step up from production builders, what they allow you to do is make your house Custom, just as the name would suggest! With a custom builder, you typically will find yourself working with an architect to make a custom plan for your own home, rather than working with pre-designed floorplans. In addition, custom builders can build on any land you own.

With a custom builder, your house truly is custom. Because of this, a lot of the costs will be determined by you and where you choose to spend or save money. However, it’s important to note that a lot of the builders in this category will tend to spend a little less on architecture and interior design. 

Building with a custom builder will typically cost around $150 to $250. With this, you may be getting less skilled tradesmen working on your home, along with cheaper appliances and finishes. If you’re accustomed to more luxury features, these builders may not be exactly for you.

Custom Plus Builders

Custom Plus Builders are a step above custom builders, but a notch below luxury custom builders. Custom plus builders follow all the same building protocols as regular custom builders, but really shine when it comes to things like architecture, finishes, appliances, and the tradesmen hired to do work on the house.

Custom plus builders hire well regarded, experienced tradesmen and award-winning architects to work on their homes. These builders also have more of a budget when it comes to nicer appliances and features, allowing clients to experience some of the luxury elements of a luxury custom home while still maintaining some of the affordability of a regular custom home. 

Because of the added quality that comes with a custom plus builder, it would cost you about $200 to $250 per square foot to build your home with this kind of builder. A typical 4,000 square foot home here would cost about $800,000 to $1 million.

Ultra-Luxury Builders

These builders are the best of the best, usually with multiple awards and the greatest workers in all categories. These homes use the latest technology and will go above and beyond when it comes to luxury. 

Usually being built in high-class neighborhoods and coming with features like walk-in closets, huge yards with great views, and top-of-the-line appliances and architectural features, building a custom home with ultra-luxury builders will cost you north of $250 per square foot. Multiplying this price per square foot by the average house size in this category of 7,000 square feet, you get a price tag of $1,750,000 starting.

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When you’re looking for a builder to help you on your journey to creating your own custom home, it’s important to be certain that they’re the perfect fit for you. Without someone who can understand exactly what you want, it can be hard to make your custom house into a true home.

There are many important factors to look for when searching for a custom builder, so we’ve compiled 5 of the most important features to be on the lookout for in your search.

An Established Portfolio

The first thing to look for when searching for a custom builder is a well-established portfolio. It’s important to make sure that your builder has their work and finished projects on display, so you can not only be sure of their skill but also be able to tell if their style matches yours.

Make sure to do a good amount of research on your builder and the work they’ve done. Check out their website if they have one, maybe their Facebook profile, their Houzz profile, or even Pinterest pages of theirs to get an idea of the work they do. 

Finding a builder with an established and diverse portfolio is a great sign that you’re going down the right path in your search, and it’s always important to know what kind of results you can expect from your custom builder.

Credible Reviews

Just as important as having a well-established portfolio, credible and honest reviews are another big thing to look for in your custom builder. 

It’s almost second nature for us to check the reviews for any kind of product before buying, and it should be no different with a builder. Reading the opinions of others is extremely important in determining if a specific custom builder is right for you.

Just like with a good product, you’ll want a builder who has honest, good reviews. When researching a builder, be sure to check their reviews on Google, Houzz, Facebook, or Yelp if they’re listed on there. 

Be on the lookout for credible and honest reviews that prove the builder does good work, but also keep an eye out for a negative or non-positive review or two, this provides a sense of honesty and reality. Someone with no reviews or all perfect reviews can definitely be a red flag, so be sure to be diligent in that regard. 

Flexible Customization Options

If you’re looking to build a truly custom home, then you’ll want every aspect of the home to be able to be customized. Many larger production builders will provide different floorplans and can allow for clients to alter a few rooms or details within the footprint of the house, but won’t allow for the footprint itself to be changed or customized.

Although the route of full customization can be long and difficult, considering nobody has ever built your custom home before, partnering with a builder who can deliver a fully custom experience is extremely important if that’s the route you want to take for building your home.

Customer Centric Process

Building your own custom home is a significant investment, so you want to be certain that the builder that you’re working with has processes that are centered around you. There are two sides to any relationship, and you should be sure that your builder provides staff that is there for you, respond to your calls quickly, and care about you as a customer and not just their own office and overhead.

If a builder takes forever to return your calls, hardly answers any questions, and doesn’t seem to want to give you the time of day, what do you expect their work on your home is going to be like?

A Knowledgeable Staff

During the process of building your home, you may not be speaking directly to the builder’s staff all that often, but it’s still incredibly important to make sure their team is knowledgeable and great at what they do. 

The person you’ll be interacting with in the process of building your custom home the most is the field superintendent. This is who you’ll be talking to on daily basis about your home, so if you have the ability to handpick or get to know your field superintendent, definitely be sure to select someone you can be sure is top-notch at what they do, communicates well with you, and has a good chemistry with you and the team. 

Hopefully with these five tips you’ll be able to get a clearer picture of what a great custom builder looks like. Be sure to do your research on a builder and their work portfolio, and never settle for someone who seems like they won’t put you as a customer first!

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Building a custom home requires a huge investment of both time and money, so our objective with this article is answer the top ten questions that people most frequently ask their home builders. 

How Long Will It Take to Build My Home?

On average, from opening to final closing of the contract, the time period is about 8 months. However, the time required for the actual construction of the house is considerably shorter, usually only taking 4-6 months.

2. Can I Walk Through My Home While It’s Under Construction?

Generally the answer to this question is yes, but with conditions. For insurance reasons, most custom home builders will only let you walk around the construction premises if you’re accompanied by a representative of their company.

3. Can I Use A Realtor?

Yes and no, most home builders will only allow the use of an agent if they were the ones to set up the appointment for visiting a model home of the home builder’s, or if they procured the deal themselves. Otherwise, in most cases, the answer to this question will be no.

4. Is It Possible to Get a Discount by Not Using a Realtor?

Sometimes, but don’t expect to get the entirety of the 3% the realtor would’ve taken. Such discounts are usually only given if there wasn’t an agent in the picture from the start, and most builders will do this to protect the realtor from being cut out of the deal after having already invested their time and effort.

5. Is the Price Negotiable?

Most often the answer to this question will be no, but there are a few cases where there is room for negotiation on prices, such as at the end of fiscal quarters, or if the builder has some completed model homes that haven’t been purchased yet.

6. Do Builders Offer Price Incentives or Discounts?

Yes, but they’re often quite small and will sometimes be contingent on using the builder’s preferred lender or construction partners.

7. Do I Have to Use the Builder’s Preferred Lender?

No, but as mentioned in the last question, doing so may allow you to negotiate a discount on your home. It is perfectly acceptable to go to another lender to compare rates to your builder’s lender, to make sure you’re getting a good deal.

8. Can I Choose My Own Colors and Other Options?

If you are building a truly custom home, the answer is yes. However, if you are buying into a development where construction has already started, your choices may be limited because many of the materials used in building take weeks or longer to arrive, so may be difficult or even impossible to change the plan once the building process has begun.

9. Is It Possible to Push Back the Closing Date?

This answer is almost always going to be a hard “no” for this one, because every day that the house remains unpurchased after construction costs the builder a substantial amount of money.

10. Can I Close Early?

Usually, this will also be a no because builders want to ensure they have all the time they need to deliver a completed house with minimal flaws, so closing early is rarely an option.

These seem to be 10 of the most commonly asked questions of home builders. With this information, we hope to provide you with a better idea of what the processes surrounding buying and building your own home are like.

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