5 Steps to Building a Custom Home

The idea of building a custom home is exciting and full of possibilities but can also be a little daunting. With so many factors to consider, you may be a little unsure of the process and exact steps involved. The where. The how. And who will make it happen. You’ve had a vision for your new home. Now let’s bring your vision to life. Here’s an overview of what you can expect when building a custom home:

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With some custom builders, you can start from scratch with a plan that you might buy from an architect. While this allows for the ultimate in creativity, it also leaves room for budget creep and surprise delays in the timeline, since the builder has never built this particular home before.

Other custom home builders will encourage you to start with an existing plan as a base and will work with you to modify and adjust the plan so that it fits your vision. The advantage of using an existing plan as a base is that the builder better equipped to give you clear estimates of costs and construction.


Many custom home builders are too small to finance construction on your behalf, so they’ll ask you to secure a construction loan and to purchase your lot directly from the seller.  The downfall of this is that you will have to pay on a second loan in addition to the mortgage on your current home, and you will have a lot of additional paperwork and closings on each of these transactions.

INDY DesignCenter Flooring1 webTo make it easier, look for a custom home builder able to buy the lot and finance construction, so you don’t need to worry about a construction loan. That’s a major advantage, and it will feel like a normal home purchase process that you may have experienced in the past.


Selecting the finishes in your home is exciting part of the custom home building process. Many custom home builders will give you an allowance and a list of vendors to visit. Making all of these appointments can feel like a second job, and it’s hard to see how the different elements will all come together in in a final look. 

To make it easy, some custom builders have Design Centers where all the most on-point finishes and samples are available from the top manufacturers all in one place.  They also have professional designers on staff who will consult with you on ways to combine finishes to achieve the look you have in mind.    

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Watch as your vision comes to life. The building process will likely begin with a pre-construction meeting. From there, you should expect weekly communication from your builder, pre-drywall reviews and various quality checks ensure a worry-free process. 

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You’ll get acquainted with your new home at homeowner orientation and receive your keys at closing.  Your builder should offer follow up appointments to schedule warranty work to adjust any remaining items that come up after closing. Reputable builders will be able to explain their warranty/follow up process and offer at least a 10 year transferrable structural warranty.

IGA 0481 00 exterior3 webTo learn more about building a custom home with Design Gallery Homes by Drees, visit designgalleryhomes.com/Indianapolis

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