Dahl Custom Homes | Steps to Building a New Home
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how to build a custom home

Steps to Building a New Home

Building a new home is a great way to get exactly what you want, especially if you have been searching the existing home market to no avail. There are so many ways to customize your new home, and building from the ground up gives you this opportunity. So, what does it truly require to take a piece of dirt and turn it into the home of your dreams? Here’s an overview of the steps needed to build a new home! 

Find The Right Lot

To build a home, you’ll need a foundation on which to create it. Finding the right lot is essential because you will need to find one that suits the scale and needs of your home’s plan and design. Use your resources at this stage, and those include a real estate agent, home builder and/or architect, as they can all help you with potential zoning laws and restrictions that might drive up your costs later on.

Planning & Design

What size home are you hoping to build? And what style will it be? How about the layout? If these questions seem overwhelming to you, keep in mind that the sky’s the limit when it comes to building a custom home! And these are all questions that will need to be addressed, often even before selecting your lot. Think about things like the number of bedrooms and baths you want, how many stories are you comfortable with, do you like a more open-concept style or not, what would you like to do with the outdoor space, and are you planning on staying in this home forever or potentially selling it later on? Lean on the professionals you hire to help you make sense of all of the answers to these questions!

Hire a Professional Home Builder & Architect

Building a custom home is like a symphony where your tastes need to live in harmony with local codes and safety regulations. The best way to achieve this is to hire a professional home builder and architect. One of the best things you can do is hire a home builder who is a licensed general contractor and who also has a portfolio of custom homes they have built that you can look at. Get a referral from family and friends, or ask your real estate agent who they recommend. Your architect will draw up your blueprints to enable you to apply for building permits, so you will want to talk to them about square footage, number of stories, layout, number of bedrooms and baths, etc., early on in the process.

Source an Interior Designer

Many people romanticize the idea of filling their new home with furnishings, artwork, and the like, only to find out that the sheer volume of choices can be immediately overwhelming. It’s a great idea to consider hiring an interior designer. Once the structural elements are in place, they can help you decide what kind of flooring you should use to help you pick out fixtures, paint colors, and more. Whether you’re using an interior designer or not, make sure you’re allowing plenty of lead time as you select finishes and fixtures. This will help you budget-wise, but lead times have become quite long for certain products due to Covid. The last thing you want to find out is that the tile you can’t live without is on backorder for six months or more.

An Overview Of the Process

The home building process is very detailed and nuanced, but we did want to give an overview of the process, so you know what to expect chronologically. The way in which your new home will take shape will likely follow this sequence: 

  • Land Prep
  • Footings and Foundation
  • Framing
  • Plumbing, Electrical, and HVAC
  • Insulation
  • Drywall
  • Interior Finishes
  • Exterior Finishes
  • Fixture Installation
  • Flooring Installation
  • Final Inspection
  • Final Walkthrough


If you have been considering building a new home, please contact us at Dahl Custom Homes! We specialize in custom home building in the Marion, Iowa City, and Cedar Rapids areas, and we would love to discuss your vision for the custom home of your dreams. 

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