Your essential guide to building a custom home

Dreaming of a new home, designed just for you? While off-the-plan homes can be a great choice, custom homes take your new home project to the next level, meaning you can create a home specific to your wants, needs and lifestyle.

The idea of custom home building can feel a little daunting if you’re not sure where to start. Unlike off-the-plan homes, you’re not limited to a select number of choices, and the options can be overwhelming. Finding the block, choosing a design and materials, working with a draftsperson, choosing a builder. There’s a lot to consider.

But with the right design and building team, you can create your perfect custom home with minimal stress. Here’s how.

Mincove Homes Custom Builds

WHAT IS A CUSTOM HOME?

When we talk about custom homes, we mean homes which are designed as a one-off design, specific for you.

It can be anything from amending an existing plan to designing a home completely from scratch, ideally to suit the block of land and design aesthetic you’re hoping for. Perhaps you’ve seen a plan you like, but you want to add another bedroom or bathroom. Or perhaps you’d like to create something as unique as your own fingerprint, designed with your ideal lifestyle in mind.

Going down the route of a custom home design is a great way to maximise the land and location you have chosen. It can be especially useful if your block has an interesting layout or fall, and might not be as suitable to an off-the-plan standard design.

If you have a vision for your dream home, a custom home is the best way to bring it to life.

THE CUSTOM HOME ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS

There are three essential elements to any custom home project:

  • The location
  • The design
  • The builder

Getting the combination of these right is the key to a successful custom home project.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A CUSTOM HOME?

Beyond the obvious benefits of having a home that’s tailored to your needs, a custom home can be your opportunity to create a luxurious, premium lifestyle home, to serve your family now, and for decades to come.

Not only do you have creative control over the design and layout of your home, you can also be particular about the materials you choose to use and the specifications of your home’s finishes.

A custom home also has the potential to incorporate the latest in technology for home and energy-efficiency. For example, home automation, energy efficient insulation, solar panels and other features can be in-built, rather than being retro-fitted down the track. 

Your essential guide to building a custom home, Your essential guide to building a custom home

WHAT ARE THE COSTS OF BUILDING A CUSTOM HOME?

Costs for custom homes can vary greatly, ultimately coming down to the design you choose, the type of home you want to create, and the materials and finishes you choose.

Factors that will determine the final cost of your custom home include:

  • The design of the home and associated complexity of the construction required.
  • The quality of the materials you’ve chosen.
  • The location of your site and the cost for delivery of materials.
  • The site works and earthmoving required for your block of land.
  • Ease of site access.
  • The position of services and stormwater controls.

CHOOSING YOUR CUSTOM HOME LOCATION

Whether you’re buying a vacant block of land, purchasing to knock down and rebuild, or choosing to knock down and rebuild on your existing home location, the block of land you choose can have a significant impact on the final design of your custom home.

When choosing your custom home location, consider the orientation of the block, the street frontage, the slope of the block and the shape of the block. Is it a wide corner block? Or a narrow block with limited street frontage? Whatever the layout, working with an experienced builder like Mincove Homes will mean you can create a custom home that maximises the potential of your new home’s location.

Top tips:

  • Keep an open mind when assessing your options – if you find a block in your ideal suburb but aren’t sure of what’s possible in terms of design, speak to a custom home builder to get some ideas before committing to the land purchase.
  • Think about what’s important to you when choosing a block. A quiet street? Easy access to schools? A view? Keep these things in mind, and then your custom home will be able to maximise the potential of whatever location you choose.
Your essential guide to building a custom home, Your essential guide to building a custom home

CHOOSING YOUR CUSTOM HOME DESIGN

Once you’ve decided on the location of your custom home, it’s time to think about the design.

Do you want to choose an existing design, but amend it to suit your requirements, or are you looking to design something from scratch, ideal for an awkward block of land, or to fit with your vision of the ideal home?

Customisation means different things to different people, so it’s important to keep an open mind about what you’d like in your new home, in an ideal world.

Some blocks may not be suitable for every kind of home design, so knowing the location helps to inform the design of your custom home.

This is where working with an experienced home design makes all the difference. This is an important relationship to build – so choose someone you feel comfortable working with, and look for a designer or draftsperson who communicates well. You want them to understand and translate your vision, as well as to provide guidance on why some design ideas might or might not work. What looks good on paper, might not always work in reality, so an experienced home designer will be able to help you create a custom home which not only looks great, but is also highly practical for your lifestyle and preferences.

Top tips:

  • Get a clear idea of how many amends to the design are included in your pricing.
  • Look for an experienced home design team and ask to see examples of their previous work or similar projects.
  • If you’re working with a home designer and builder like Mincove Homes, you’ll also be able to visit show homes and see firsthand the design elements and materials you might be considering.

PRICING, PAPERWORK AND PROCESSES

You might think custom homes are expensive or are going to blow-out on budget, but with the right designer and builder, you should be able to agree on a price up front and stick with it. At Mincove Homes, we’ve been delivering custom homes on time and on budget for more than twenty years!

There are paperwork and processes to consider with a custom home, which is again where an experienced home designer can help. They’ll be able to help you fulfil the potential of your block of land, while also being informed by your local council’s building guidelines and the laws of construction.

Once you’re happy with your final design, you’ll need to submit it for approval with your council, and it helps to feel confident you’re in compliance with regulations.

Your essential guide to building a custom home, Your essential guide to building a custom home

WHAT ABOUT WORKING WITH AN ARCHITECT?

You can choose to work with an architect directly, and then to find a builder to build from the architect’s plans, however the downside of this approach is that the project will generally end up taking much longer, and potentially costing more than you’d expected.

The reason for this is that you’ll need to work with the architect and fit into their timeline, and then find a builder and work within their timeline. And an architect won’t always be able to advise on the pricing of your new home build, the cost of materials and labour.

Working with a custom home builder means the design team and the building team are all part of the same business, and can provide a cohesive approach to bring your custom home dreams to life. It also means you can be confident in the pricing you’re quoted, as being up-to-date and taking into consideration all factors.

CHOOSING YOUR BUILDER

Now comes the fun part – turning your blueprints into a solid reality.

If you’ve chosen to work with an architect, you can still bring your plans to an experienced custom home builder like Mincove Homes, to hand over the project.

Or if you’ve worked with a custom home builder on the design process to date, it will be a seamless transition to move from working with the design team, to working with the building team.

Top tips:

  • Once again, clear communication is key: Ask who your point of contact will be, and how much communication you should expect.
  • Be clear on how much access you’ll have to the site to see the progress of your build, and what the timeframe is for completion.
  • Do your research – ask for client feedback from previous projects to be sure you can trust your builder to deliver on time and on budget.

THE STAGES OF BUILDING A CUSTOM HOME

  1. Choose your location. Whether a vacant block, home you’ve purchased to knock down, or a knock down of your existing home.
  2. Research the designs and aesthetics you like, and find inspiration for your dream home.
  3. Speak to your bank to get clarity on your ideal custom home budget.
  4. Find an architect and builder, or a custom home builder who can both design and build your custom home.
  5. Begin the design process with your design team, bringing to life your design ideas and the features of your ideal home.
  6. Go through design revisions and changes with your custom home designer or architect.
  7. Finalise your plans, chosen materials and finishings.
  8. Submit plans for approval and go through the processes required for your project to get the green light from local authorities.
  9. Hand over the approved plans to your build team to begin construction.
  10. Your custom home is ready for you to move into. Enjoy!

Your essential guide to building a custom home, Your essential guide to building a custom home

COMMON CUSTOM HOME CONSIDERATIONS

Your inspiration: Take your time in finding the designs and home inspiration you connect with to build your dream home. There are plenty of resources available – from home design magazines and websites, to visiting display homes from custom home builders, or checking out homes on real estate websites.

Your location: Choosing the right location is incredibly important – not just for the design possibilities of the block, but also for the lifestyle you’d like to enjoy in your new home. Do your research into the local neighborhood, schools, transport and amenities before committing.

Your budget: Building a custom home doesn’t have to mean a cost blow-out. An experienced custom home builder will provide you with accurate pricing and price guarantees, so that you don’t have any unexpected budget blowouts along the way.

Your timeline: Working with an architect and then sourcing a builder can mean unpredictable timelines. If you choose to work with a custom home builder like Mincove Homes, you should be provided with a project schedule and time frame, with confidence your custom home will be delivered on time.

Your dream team: The team you choose to work with on a project of this scale, matters. These are people you’ll be dealing with for months, even years, and a solid relationship is important. Building your custom home is going to be one of the biggest expenses you’ll commit to in your lifetime, so finding a team you trust is the key to a successful and stress-free build.

READY TO BUILD A HOME THAT’S UNIQUELY YOURS?

At Mincove Homes, we’ve spent more than two decades building custom homes across the Illawarra, South Coast, Southern Highlands and Southern Tablelands, so we’ve got the experience to deliver your new unique home. A place to be treasured for years to come.

We bring together custom home design and custom home building under the one roof, so you can be confident in our project communication, project management and project delivery.

Get in touch to find out more about building your custom home with Mincove Homes, or to arrange a visit to our display homes or a conversation with one of our previous clients.

Build your custom home with confidence, at Mincove Homes.

Mincove Homes
Mincove Homes Published on Aug 03, 2022 10 minute read

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Dreaming of a new home, designed just for you? While off-the-plan homes can be a great choice, custom homes take your new home project to the next level, meaning you can create a home specific to your wants, needs and lifestyle.

The idea of custom home building can feel a little daunting if you’re not sure where to start. Unlike off-the-plan homes, you’re not limited to a select number of choices, and the options can be overwhelming. Finding the block, choosing a design and materials, working with a draftsperson, choosing a builder. There’s a lot to consider.

But with the right design and building team, you can create your perfect custom home with minimal stress. Here’s how.