Quality is timeless and always in demand.
The joy of building a custom home is tailoring every aspect of the home to your lifestyle. Resale value, while important, should not be the guiding principle for decision making when building a custom home. Instead, I recommend that my clients build a custom home that suits their family and fits their lifestyle and sensibilities. My experience is that if you build a well designed home, with quality materials and first class craftsmanship, you will have no problem finding a buyer when the time comes.
Careful planning of a home is as important as the construction.
The more planning done before construction starts, the fewer compromises later. Not only does construction go more smoothly, but final costs will be closer to original budgets. Hiring an excellent architect is the first step. In addition, landscape, electrical, grading, and interior design plans are part of a comprehensive planning process. Dunkum also recommends advance planning for lighting control systems, elevator specifications, kitchen designs, green technologies, and product selections. Thorough planning allows you to achieve a unique design that seamlessly incorporates the best products within the structure of a well thought out master plan.
Dunkum is well-known for introducing new products and ideas. Our passion for incorporating innovative products and building technologies has resulted a gallery of work that leads the custom home industry in cutting edge technology and quality craftsmanship. Many of the products used by Dunkum are based upon the company’s own research, yet others have been introduced by well-travelled clients who bring ideas from their experiences around the world. They ask a simple question, “I saw this and liked it, can we do it?” The answer is almost always yes. Some of these ideas, such as geothermal systems, elevators, hydronic heat, electronically controlled systems, backup generators, and timber framing have become standards for Dunkum homes. Others, such as shaped roofs, salt water aquariums, and safe rooms are unique to each project. It's through this exchange of ideas that Dunkum has come to lead the industry in incorporating the newest and most innovative products in its homes.
"How do I get started building a custom home?"
Although the answer is different for each client, there are steps that apply to all. It is important first to distinguish between what is often advertised as custom and what I am describing here. A custom built home means far more than selecting the color of carpet, paint, cabinets, and light fixtures. A Dunkum custom home is a one-of-a-kind house that incorporates customer selections for every aspect of the house.
Step 1. Find land
Determine the cost and availability of land or lots in the area you want to build. Be sure to check any subdivision covenants that may prevent you from building the type of home you want. I don't recommend buying the land at this point (see step 5).
Step 2. Preliminary financing
Check with at least one lender to ensure that you qualify to build the type of home you are planning. Custom homes cost more per square foot than other homes. Banks have a harder time finding comparable houses so the approval process for a unique home can be more difficult.
Step 3. Interview builders and architects.
Develop a list of builders and architects to interview. Friends, the internet, and real estate agents are good resources for finding builders and architects. This is also a good time to visit projects that builders and architects have completed for other clients.
Step 4. Sketches.
Choose and engage an architect to draw preliminary sketches.
Step 5. Preliminary builder bids.
Have two or three builders provide preliminary pricing based on the sketches and the lot. If the pricing is within your budget and you want to move forward, present the preliminary sketches to the subdivision or community review board for approval. Once you have preliminary approval based on sketches it is time to purchase the lot. It is also important to ensure that the lot perks, water is available and there is sufficient space to build on the lot. You can make the purchase of the lot contingent on these requirements.
Step 6. Complete drawings and pricing.
Your architect will produce complete drawings including structural, mechanical, landscaping, grading, and electrical plans. If you have selected a builder, you will agree on a cost and sign a contract. If you are still considering more than one builder you will receive competitive bids and then select a builder and sign a contract.
Step 7. Sign contract and get financing.
The contract with your builder should include a clause making it contingent upon financing from a lender acceptable to you. The lender will need a copy of the construction contract and completed plans to approve the loan. Once the loan is approved and the permit is issued by the city or county the planning process is finished.