How to Get Started Building A Custom Home

If a semi-custom or ‘spec home won’t do the trick and you want information about the possibility of building a custom home from start to finish, the NoCo New Home Team can explain the process to you and help you with every aspect.  You’ll move from ‘how to get started building a custom home’ to ‘building a custom home’ with us guiding you along the way.

As a starting point, you will need to consider the most important issues like location, size, design and price. The location will be determined by the availability of custom home building lots and what is offered in the various communities and subdivisions. Unfortunately  you can’t just put a home down wherever you please. Almost every subdivision has builder covenants or size and  design restrictions that might limit your options. You may have more flexibility with country or rural acreage but that creates another set of potential problems to be considered. You will find that the NoCo New Home Team can be very helpful in the search for the ideal location for your new home and will represent your best interests.


Pinning down the location is the decision that gets the ball rolling.  Next, you’ll need to consider the entire design.  You’ll be working closely wit an architect to blend the style, appearance and orientation of the home to incorporate your wants and needs.   You, along with your architect, will end up with working drawings that a contractor can price accordingly.  Some aspects of your home can overrule others if a budget must be met.   An architect can counsel you on which of your ideas may be impractical from a cost point of view.

After getting a lot and a set of plans, it’s time to find someone who will get started building your custom home.  The NoCo New Home Team has all the  information and connections to custom home builders that you’ll need.  We only work with highly respected, experienced builders.  We are happy to provide the references and information you need on each builder.

It is important to meet with and interview several builders, as you are likely to have to interact with them closely through completion.  Personality and workmanship play a big part in selecting a builder, but also understand how they intend on communicating and working with you.  Price may not always be the most important factor.  Interview them and talk about their experience, look at the work that they have done and check out their references. You want to end up with two or three builders that you are comfortable with and who are prepared to quote on the construction of your custom home.

Once you submit your plans to the builders for bid, be sure to review the guidelines for their quote. You want to compare “apples to apples” so you need to make sure that the materials and specifications are reasonably the same and that exclusions, inclusions and allowances are similar. As an example, on a custom home you can spend anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 or more on windows so you need to know what you are getting and what the differences are. In order to assist you in comparing you will want to get a line item quotation, which shows prices for all the various components of the construction.

Once you have selected the builder and finalized the price you will need a contract. Make sure we are involved in the review and negotiation with the builder.  The builder may have a Realtor representative and use a residential real estate contract or he may have a builder contact that has been prepared by his attorney. The normal state real estate contract does not address new home construction as well as it could, so the builder contract will probably favor the builder. In either case we should be present to assist you during the negotiation phase.


Of course, you may be able to pay cash for the home, but in the case that you aren’t able to, a mortgage will be needed.  In this circumstance, make sure that you understand how you are expected to pay for the home.  There are many options available to you but mainly it will come down to whether you or your builder is going to arrange the construction financing. It will also need to be determined how the builder will access the money through construction draws. Again, we will advise you and make recommendations on your financing options.

It takes work to get started building a custom home, but it begins with a dream.  We can handle the rest.  Getting the right team in place will make it a reality.

The NoCo New Home Team is committed to bringing you useful information, timely advice and expert service whenever you need it.  Whether it’s Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor, Greeley or anywhere in between, we’ve got Northern Colorado covered.  Feel free to contact the NoCo New Home Team or subscribe to our newsletters and market reports.  We’re always taking and responding to your questions and inquires!

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