Did you custom build your home? Please tell me about your experience!

posted 3 years ago in Home
Post # 3
87 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2022

My FI is a construction project manager that works for a custom home builder.. so he oversees the building of approximately 200+ houses each year. He deals with all of the subcontractors from beginning until the final walkthrough and closing. If you have any questions I can definitely ask him! 

Post # 5
6023 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

@bmo88:  I’m curious about this too! The market in our area sucks right now and I’m beginning to think we should just build a new house…

ETA: my dad built a new house a couple years ago and he loves it. Then again, he lives in a very nice neighborhood and paid way more than I’d like to lol

Post # 6
965 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

@bmo88:  We are about to build and everytime I tell people (especially those who have done it before) I get a resounding “It is so hard/stressful/time consuming”. 

My mom and dad have built 4 homes over the course of their 40 year marriage and this is what she told me:

If you can make decisions and stick to them, you will be fine. If you second guess every decision you make, you are picky as heck and you will take weeks or months to pick out the paint color for the guest bathroom (because it HAS to be perfect) then don’t do it. 

Post # 7
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@bmo88:  We custom built our home because we couldn’t find one that met our standards. I can pick out rental properties no problem but I had serious issues picking a family home I’d actually live in. We hate moving and really wanted a forever home we’d never sell. 

My husband is in the skilled trades so he did a lot of the work with his colleagues. It was 100 percent worth it for us because it’s exactly what we want. We found and bought farmland easily, knocked the existing structures down, and built our home! 

Anything else you want to know, PM me! 

Post # 8
2562 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

A friend did a custom modular home, and they didn’t have much experience reading contracts at the time (well they had a crappy lawyer read it for them).
The contractor and his subs messed a LOT of things up in the house (like, the pitch of the sanitary lines was in the wrong direction! Mold in the brand new bathroom! The foundation sunk and cracked after they poured it! The front porch FELL OFF THE HOUSE!) and in their signed contract it stated (something along the lines of) they agreed to not hold the contractor responsible for errors or post negative reviews about the company, regardless of the quality of work.
So the contractor messed it up and they can’t do anything about it.

They are still fixing parts of their brand new house two years later.

If you do it, don’t try to save money and get a QUALITY company/contractor to do the work (ask for and call references directly to ask about their work, don’t just read online reviews – this is a MAJOR purchase!)

And… get a lawyer who can read contracts.
Some of the stuff in that contract just wasn’t acceptable, and should have been taken out.

Post # 9
4893 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I think it depends on your budget, the market in your area, and the kind of house you are building. Will this be your first house to own or are you just considering building for a second house?

Remember, there are a lot of factors with building a home that people don’t consider in the inital cost. Porches/Decks, Landscaping, Driveways, etc. Often I see people who are only calculating their building cost based on price/sqft.

We purchased a pre-existing home, much much much larger than what we need for just the two of us (for right now). While it wasn’t brand new, it is newer, and so a lot of the “leg work” was done for us. That being said, there are ALWAYS things we want to change because the downside of buying instead of building means that things aren’t exactly how you want it. We’re getting ready to start a total reno of our master bath.

Personally, I feel like building a house is best reserved for the moment when you can really put your budget into it and get a home that you will be in a while. Good friends of ours built their first house last year. It’s a starter home, pretty small, and just two bedrooms. The second bedroom isn’t very big at all, and once that have even one child they’re going to have outgrown that house. Even though they built, they didn’t have the budget to do a lot of the things they wanted. Yes their house is beautiful and it’s all new, but instantly they started thinking about all the things they wish they could have done if they had more money.

I’m pretty glad we bought vs built for our first home, because we couldn’t have gotten all this house had we built right away. Plus, we’ve had 5 years in this house to think about all the things we don’t like that we want to do differently. Our next house, we for sure will be building. 


Post # 10
9253 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@bmo88:  We’re custom building a house right now.  In fact, it’s almost complete and we’re hoping to close on it very soon (like any day now).

We chose everything with the help of an interior designer.  Our builder only builds custom, high end homes and we’re very happy with the quality of his work.  It has been a challenging, fun and stressful process so far.  Things are going to happen, for example, a tile you choose may not be in stock at the time you need it.  Just know going into it that you’re going to be dealing with every tiny detail about the house.  It helps a lot to have a designer’s advice, I highly recommend working with one.

Post # 12
9253 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@bmo88:  In your case, since you’re not looking for this to be your forever home I’d save the money on going full custom. 

I’m selling my old house and have always planned to; it was semi-custom the way you describe – a large builder, model floorplans to choose from and a limited amount of design choices from a design showroom.

The home we’re building now is full custom and we’re spurging because we do want this  house to be our forever home.  Long range plans do make a difference, so you’re being wise in your investment.

Post # 14
9253 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@bmo88:  Whatever you feel the most comfortable with is what I would do.  After all, you do have to live in the house, most likely for several years, so get something you really love.  Plans can change and you may end up living there longer than you expect.  Don’t buy it only with selling in mind but also with your lifestyle in mind.  I ended up living in my old house a lot longer than I’d originally planned to because the real estate market tanked and is just now on the way to recovery in our area.

The house we’re building now we’re not planning to ever sell, but you never know what can happen.  At least we know the day we close we’re walking in to built-in equity because since we started the process the market has steadily increased in value in our new neighborhood.  It can just as easily go the other way, though. 

Keep an eye on things and keep looking, you’ll know when you’ve found the right house.  Good luck and enjoy the process!  🙂

Post # 15
9253 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

P.S.  The semi custom house was not my starter house but was the third house I’ve purchased (and sold).  I bought my starter house when I was 20 years old, and it was a spec house in a brand new subdivision.

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