Dahl Custom Homes | 3 Phases To Building A Custom Home
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3 Phases To Building A Custom Home

The finished product of a custom home is highly rewarding. But taking a custom home from concept to completion is a highly involved, major undertaking that demands more of your time, effort, and money than purchasing a production home. There is more planning and involvement on your part and each step along the way will require you to participate and make decisions. 

It’s helpful to keep all of this in mind. Below, we outline the three major phases of building a custom home and what you can expect to address in each phase.


In this first phase, you’re exploring and discovering your own dreams for your home. You want to think about every aspect, starting with finding and purchasing a lot, obtaining loan approvals, and designing your floor plan. Don’t speed through this phase. Spend plenty of time imagining, dreaming, and creating lists of needs, wants, and wishes. This is the medium out of which everything else will grow.

Design & Budgeting

In this phase, you’ll start with a site analysis, draft a construction schedule, and develop your budget. Every design decision should be made with your budget front and center. Thinking about and sticking to your budget doesn’t seem very fun, but by not sticking to a plan and not staying within the budget, building a home can become a very frustrating and costly process. 

This phase could also be considered the decision phase. This is when you will make as many as 50 visual and structural decisions including aspects like designs, finishes, and colors. Each decision is shaped by other decisions and some will have a greater impact than others. You will finalize the most important and basic aspects of the house like room size, ceiling height, and overall layout feel as well as make detailed decisions like wall coverings, flooring, roof type, yard style, and more. These decisions will be the basis for the preliminary floor plans which will be fine-tuned and used to create the final technical plans. 


If you’ve done everything right up to this point, the construction phase pretty much takes care of itself. It’s all about following the plan laid out in the previous stages. Homes typically take about a year to construct but can be built in as few as 6 months or as many as 18. One thing that can delay the process is when you don’t make decisions within the required time frames. Changes happen, but each change brings delays. This is where your previous planning comes in to help guide you.

The process of creating, designing, and building your dream home is simultaneously exciting and challenging. You can make it more exciting and less challenging by thinking carefully about your plan and then sticking to it. Good communication with the entire team will keep everyone on the same page and moving forward toward an amazing completed product.

If you are considering building a custom home in the Marion, Cedar Rapids, or Iowa City area, please call Dahl Custom Homes for your needs. We are experts at custom home construction and would love to walk through this process with you.

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