5 Things to Know When Building a Custom Home

If you are looking for a new house but can’t quite find something you like, why not start from scratch? Custom homes in Miami are so beautiful because they are unique to the family that built them. Building a custom home can be such a rewarding process. From working with an architect to figuring out the home design to watching the contractors break ground, the whole process is an adventure. 

While custom home projects are very exciting, there are also a lot of decisions that go into the process. As a future homeowner, there are 5 important things to keep in mind before starting the construction of your custom home.

Make a Budget

Before anything else happens, sit down with your family and make a budget. Without having a specific cost in mind, homeowners often end up spending more than they intend to. The first cost you need to consider is how much you are willing to spend on land. This will narrow down your options as you begin to search for lots. Another initial upfront cost is acquiring the building permit. You must obtain a building permit from your local planning department before any construction can begin. It is also necessary to budget the cost that will be spent on hiring an architect and the costs to pay the general contractor to build the home. Meet with several architects and contractors before choosing one. This will give you a good idea of the price range you are facing. Once your budget is set, you are ready to move forward!

Figure Out What You Want  

The next step is the fun part! You get to figure out how you want your custom home to look. First, find the perfect lot for your property. Here are some things to consider when buying a lot:

  • Size of lot
  • Shape of lot
  • Proximity to other things (ex: shopping centers, beaches, work, etc.)
  • Safety of area
  • Zoning regulations
  • Utility sources
  • Learn about the land (ex: does it flood easily? Is the soil hard to build on?)

Once you have your piece of land picked out, it is time to begin thinking about your custom home. It’s likely you already have a few ideas about what you want it to look like. Discuss your ideas with your architect and they can create drawings and models to show you what your home would look like on the lot. Consider this list of questions when you are having discussions with your architect:

  • What will the square footage of the home be?
  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms do I want?
  • How should the flow of the house work? (ex: open concept)
  • How much space do I need in my kitchen?
  • Where do I want windows, and what size windows do I want?
  • How do I want my backyard to look? (ex: patio, deck, built-in fireplace, pool, etc.)
  • What type of built-in lighting do I need?
  • How much space do I want in my closets, and do they need built-in shelves?
  • What type of fixtures do I want in the bathroom?
  • Where will my appliances be placed in the kitchen?
  • Will each bedroom have its own bathroom?

There is plenty to think about when you are designing a custom home. While this may initially feel overwhelming, it is exciting that you get to make decisions about every aspect of your new home.

Hire Your Team of Designers and Builders


As mentioned above, sitting down with an architect to discuss the design of your future home is very important. You might have a great vision, but the architect is the person who can turn your dreams into a reality. Hiring an experienced, knowledgeable architect is very important. They will be able to help with things like drawing up plans, creating models, and walking you through local residential code rules and regulations.

You will also need to hire a team of contractors. These are the people who will take the plans and design ideas and make them a reality. They will build your custom house from top to bottom. When seeking out contractors, try to find someone who does it all. Find a contractor who can do everything from installing the roof to putting the indoor plumbing and electrical systems in the house. In the end, this will save you time and money as you won’t need to hire separate people like plumbers or electricians. When you first meet with your contractor, get an idea about all the services they perform, and find someone you feel comfortable with.

When hiring a team, the best way to get an idea of their work is to look at their portfolio of past work. Every good architect and contractor will have pictures of their past projects, and by looking at these, you can get a good idea of the quality and style of their work.

Local Zoning Rules

Another factor to consider when building a custom home is the local zoning rules and regulations. First, you will need to pay a visit to the local planning department to get a building permit. You can also take this opportunity to learn more about the laws when it comes to building custom homes in Miami. For example, some areas of Miami do not allow Airbnb short-term rentals. If you were planning on building a guest house to rent out on Airbnb, this rule might guide your selection of land to build on. Additionally, your architect and contractor will be very knowledgeable about local zoning rules, so they can help you through the process to make sure the home is staying within code requirements.


 Last but not least, don’t forget to consider timing. The most important thing is to plan to be flexible. While the contractor will give you a rough estimate of when construction will be complete, sometimes construction can take longer than planned. For example, a hurricane or an especially rainy season could delay building. Plan for flexibility, and make sure you have other living arrangements should the project take longer than planned.

Trust JMK Contractor For Custom Homes in Miami

 When you’re building a custom home, there is so much to think about! From picking the perfect lot to figuring out exactly what your dream home should look like, the building process is a busy one! It is essential to surround yourself with an experienced team of architects and contractors. At JMK Contractor, we specialize in building custom homes in Miami. We will be with you from start to finish to make sure your dream home becomes a tangible reality. Contact us today for more information about our services and how we can help you build your custom home.