Building a custom home for you and your family is the American dream realized.  It allows you to create something truly spectacular, unique to you and your style, and something that fulfills all your families wants and needs.  

The first step to building a custom new construction home is determining your budget.  This will determine where you can build, how big of a home you can build, and what finishes you can use.  After you establish your budget, we recommend finding the perfect lot.  In some cases, you may have to purchase a lot with a home already existing on it depending on the area and how much land is available.  You will want to work with a real estate agent that understands the city/village ordinances on setbacks, new construction height restrictions, size requirements, and design requirements for certain neighborhoods.  For example, if the lot/home is located in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association, there will be several restrictions on what you can and can’t build.  You will also need to check which utilities are available on the lot which include electric, natural gas, water, and sewer.  If certain utilities are not available, you may have to look at alternative options like installing a well, septic, propane tank, etc.

Once you believe that you have located the perfect lot, do not purchase it yet!  You can put it under contract, but do not close on it until you’ve discussed it with a local architect and reputable design/build firm like 1 Builders.  If you put it under contract, you will want to keep “attorney review” open until the lot is validated.  As long as attorney review is open, you can have your earnest money returned even if you don’t close. The reason we recommend this is because you may not be able to build what you think you can on the lot. Setbacks and restrictions come into play and if the real estate agent doesn’t have extensive construction experience in that particular city or village, you may not be able to build what you think you can.  You may need to order a survey, wetland delineation or reconnaissance, environmental study, etc to help determine the viability of building the home you are looking for.  The architect and design/build firm will be able to assist you and let you know what is necessary for that particular village or city.  

Once the lot has been validated and confirmed by an architect and the design/build firm you intend to work with, you can work with the design/build firm and architect to start designing the home and can close on the lot.  

Avoid Change Orders

You will want to work with the design/build firm closely and select as many of your finishes as possible in the very beginning.  This is the extremely important part of the new construction process if you want to hit your budget and timeline.  If you make 100% of your selections up front before construction begins, there will be zero change orders when working with a reputable design/build firm. If certain selections cannot be made, you can determine allowances for certain things. The biggest mistake we see people make financially when they build a home is that they do not make their selections or do not set realistic budgets.  For example, you are probably not going to install a two-thousand-dollar appliance package in a million dollar custom new construction home.  Spending the proper time on the front end in the planning phase will save you weeks and months on the backend.

So, when it comes to building a custom home, there are lots of things to consider so that it will be the home that fulfills all of your families wants and needs but also meets your budget.

At 1 Builders, we want to be your design/build firm of choice so that we can help you achieve all of your goals.  Let us be your partners in building the home of your dreams. 

The picture on the top of this page features a new construction home we built in Wheaton during the construction process after the home was wrapped but before the siding was installed.  This particular home was 3309 square feet above grade and featured an additional 1220 square feet of living space in the finished basement.  This new construction home featured 5 bedrooms (one in the basement) and 4.1 bathrooms (one in the basement).  The outside design of the custom home was a white farmhouse style but inside was the style was more contemporary.  The home also featured an all marble master bathroom and an immaculate kitchen.  

In the picture that follows, you will find two new construction homes that we built side by side in the north side of Chicago. These two homes were built economically with vinyl siding but still had great features like hardwood floors throughout the main level and nine-foot ceilings on all three levels. We can build these homes for as little as $120 a square foot and can be fully customized.  We can also build custom layouts that you provide and can also help you design a layout since we are a custom design/build firm.

In the picture below, you will find an all brick luxury new construction home that we built in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago.  Not only was this home beautiful, but it also featured smart home technology.  Every room in the home had built in speakers which could be independently controlled with SONOS connect, iPads throughout the home, and an application that you could download to your phone to control it.  The basement entertainment room featured a 7.1 home theater system which produced incredible sound quality for enjoying movies, television, or the game.  Each of the bathrooms featured heated flooring with custom tile work.

In the second photo below you will be notice the larger utility brick for this same house.  Utility brick was used for the sides of the home and the back of the home which is also commonly used for larger buildings. The kitchen featured a dramatic waterfall countertop on the island which really makes the kitchen stunning and gives it a clean look.  This custom new construction home also featured a roof top deck with an amazing downtown Chicago view of the skyline.  Whenever a roof top deck is installed an exterior staircase or sprinkler system is required.  Since exterior staircases leading to a roof top deck are the number one break in point on a home, a sprinkler system was used and is what we always recommend to someone looking to add a rooftop deck to their home.

Building a custom home can seem like a daunting and overwhelming task but when working with a reputable build and design firm, it will take a lot off your plate and make the process seamless.  

In the picture below, you will find a custom new construction home that we built in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago.  You are sure to notice the concrete and iron steps that lead up to the front door.  The hardy board siding is a beautiful look that is low maintenance and more economical than brick.  This home featured beautiful hardwood flooring throughout the entire first and second floor.  Other features we would like to highlight are the second floor laundry room and additional laundry in the basement, a speaker system throughout the home, an AV room, and dual zone heating and cooling for comfortable living in the coldest winter nights or hottest summer days.

Contact 1 Builders today so that we can schedule an appointment to see if we can help you build the home of your dreams.