Navigating the Journey of Designing and Building a Custom Home

Designing and building a custom home – your dream home! – is an epic journey. It starts with a vision, often years in the making, of the perfect home in the perfect location. When the time is right, the stars are aligned, and you are finally ready to build your custom home; what next? Where do you start?

At KGA, we love designing custom homes, and we’ve been creating award-winning designs for a long time (2017 marks our 40 year anniversary!). Custom design is fun, but it is not easy. We decided it was time to take our expertise and put it to work for you! To do this we have designed a seminar for homeowners contemplating remodeling or building a custom home. This program will help you gain a deeper understanding of the process from beginning to end. We will be offering this class, free of charge to attend, starting in 2017. If you are interested in signing up and would like us to let you know when the class will be offered, click here.

In the meantime, we will be sharing select topics from the class on the blog! To kick things off, let’s take a look at some common pitfalls…

Pitfall #1: the Perils of ‘Do it Yourself’


Can you spot the problem in this design?

When we say ‘do it yourself’, we’re not talking about simply changing a light bulb or painting your kitchen. As it relates to building or remodeling a home, ‘DIY’ refers to wanting to serve as your own architect, interior designer, etc. Most people wouldn’t consider serving as their own builder, but that could happen too! Motivations for this vary from enjoying drawing to being good at picking out colors, but the most common motivation is the desire to save money. We’re here to tell you that in our experience, it’s just not worth it. A good home design or building professional is worth their weight in gold, and will make your life infinitely easier in the long run. Factor in supplier discounts, subcontractor relationships, and expediency in construction (saving you money on construction loan interest and months of management fees!), and a good team is sure to save both your sanity and your bank account.

Of course, who you pick to be on your team can make or break your experience. For advice on selecting an architect, check out this blog. We’ll dive further into selecting your entire design team in upcoming blogs and at our seminar.

Pitfall #2: the ‘HGTV Affect’

The internet is full of stories questioning the reality of shows such as ‘Love it or List it’ or the ‘Property Brothers’. While we love HGTV just as much the next person (maybe more – we are design professionals after all!), our main complaint is that these shows can set homeowners up with unrealistic expectations for the timeline, design and budget of their project.

Pitfall #3: Ignoring the Good/Fast/Cheap Rule

We’ve all been guilty of this at some point! The Good/Fast/Cheap rule is a favorite of ours. We’ve found it be especially true when remodeling or building a custom home, and highly encourage you to keep it in mind as you make decisions for your project.

You can only ever have 2.

If you want it fast and good, it’s not going to be cheap.

If you want it good and cheap, it’s not going to be fast.

If you want it cheap and fast, it’s not going to be good.

READ MORE: Understanding the Costs of Building a Custom Home