Where to Start Designing a House

Where to Start Designing a House

January 2, 2017 | No Comments


Mike Poupard of Grayson homes prefers when a customer comes into his office with an idea of what they want built instead of just a blank slate.  It is best if the customer does their homework first before scheduling a meeting with the builder.

Here are 5 steps for where to start designing a house:

  1.       Budget

  2.       Location

  3.       Floorplan

  4.       Meet with Builder

  5.       Architect


Meet with lender to discuss exactly what you qualify for regarding a mortgage.  This is not the time to guess what you think you will qualify for because the entire deal could fall apart from something unforeseen the lender requires.  Gather all your financial documents and contact your lender or bank to schedule a meeting.

There are two factors that go into your budget. The cost to build the house and the price of the lot.  The lender will probably take into consideration who is purchasing the lot.  If the lot is in a subdivision that a builder is part of the builder team, then the builder will roll the cost of the lot into his quote.  However, if you purchase the land yourself, what will your lender require?


Knowing where you want to live is very important especially if you don’t already own a buildable lot.  Lot prices vary from town to town, area to area, and even section of town.   Land costs also vary depending on the county it is located in.

With land being in limited supply, especially close to downtown Raleigh, landowners can pretty much set their price.  The cost to build a house will vary ever so slightly but the cost of the land varies greatly.

Make sure to ask the builder if the house you are envisioning will “fit” into that area or subdivision.  Will the value of your home be within the price range of the other homes?  You don’t want to be the highest price home in a subdivision and struggle to sell years from now.


Start your research off on sites such as Houzz.com and FrankBetz.com which will give you ideas for both elevation (what the front of the house looks like) and floorplan layouts.  Note features you like and that match your style.  This way when you meet with the builder you have something to show, a starting place for a quote.

Grayson Homes can also supply customers with sample floorplans of popular homes they have already built.

Meet with Builder

Armed with your budget, a lot or at least a location to search for a lot, and a few floorplans with elevations, schedule a meeting with the builder.

For the initial meeting you will not be discussing wall colors, style of tile, or house color.  These are meaningless until the house is under construction.

At this meeting, the builder will review your floorplans and discuss what is possible.  He can guide you through decisions regarding your list of “must have” and “nice to have” features, and prepare you for meeting with the architect.


An architect charges to draw up building plans based on your specifications.  These plans are what the builder uses during construction.

It is vital at this point to make sure all features of the house are thought through because once the house is under construction, you may incur additional charges to make changes.

If you are ready for some ideas to start designing your next custom home, contact Grayson Homes.

Mike Poupard