Harcrest Homes Custom Home

Building a custom home with all the bells and whistles is an exciting endeavor, but it also requires extensive preparation. Harcrest Homes is available to help with everything, from finding the perfect homesite and staying within budget on building a custom home that checks all the boxes!

Here are a few custom home planning tips from Harcrest Homes:

What’s the budget?

Building a custom home requires knowing exactly how much you have to spend for buying land, constructing the home, landscaping and furnishing the interior. Aim for the land cost not to exceed 25% of the total budget, with the exception of tracts located where land values are higher due to rarity or large acreage. Be sure to budget 5 to 10% of the total budget toward post-construction costs, including landscaping, interior furniture and décor.

Finally, meet with several lenders for pre-approval on a construction loan to eliminate some of the ambiguity in the custom-building process. A financial advisor determines what kind of down payment is required and what type of loan is best for your family (a fixed variable loan, FHA or traditional, etc.).

What’s the ideal location?

outdoor living

Once the budget is determined, the quest for the perfect homesite begins! Is a specific school district or a magnificent view at the top of the list? Perhaps your growing family needs room to run outside or you plan to install a pool at some point, so acreage is a necessity?

If you are having a hard time finding a lot that has it all, Harcrest Homes builds its award-winning home designs in sought-after locations, many if which offer exquisite natural views.

What are the must-haves?

Custom homes are the perfect option for both empty nesters and growing families. No matter your lifestyle, this home can include anything and everything to accommodate your family’s unique needs. Start with the basics:

  • Do you need a specific square footage range?
  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms?
  • How many levels?
  • A basement?
  • Spaces for entertaining inside or outside – or both?

It is important to separate the “needs” from the “wants,” so if it becomes necessary to eliminate some design choices to stay within budget, that process is easy. An experienced custom home builder can resolve such issues as seamlessly as possible.

What structural features are priorities?

Harcrest Homes foyer

Beyond the essentials, what other design features are important to you? What do you love or dislike about your current home that can be considered in the design of the new home?

Level by level, room by room, there are lots of structural design features and elements to consider that can influence the home’s overall blueprint. Some spaces to consider:


  • Prep/counterspace for frequent gatherings?
  • Prefer meals in the kitchen at an eat-in island, an adjoining breakfast nook or a formal dining room?
  • Need a learning zone for the kids or a workspace for work-from-home days?
  • A walk-in pantry with additional storage?


  • Walk-in closets in all bedrooms?
  • Upgraded owner’s closet with island, built in storage or separate his and hers?
  • A Jack-and-Jill bath, hallway bath or ensuite baths for the secondary bedrooms?


  • Shower/tub combinations or walk-in showers in secondary baths?
  • Single or dual vanity in secondary baths?
  • Soaking tub in the owner’s bath?
  • Dual vanity or his and hers vanities in owner’s bath?

Laundry Room

  • Hallway space featuring bi-fold doors?
  • Walk-in laundry room with utility sink, drying rack and/or counterspace for folding?
  • Multi-purpose space that also serves as a mudroom/drop zone?


  • Ultimate man cave?
  • Thoughtful wine cellar with bottle storage and seating for tastings?
  • Entertainment space with plush seating surrounding a big-screen TV?
  • Kids’ zone?

Outdoor Spaces

  • Charming front porch for greeting guests?
  • Screened-in and/or covered patio or deck?
  • Accordion doors to seamlessly connect the interior living area to the outdoor space?
  • Outdoor kitchen or grilling station?

What are your future plans?

Harcrest Homes custom home exterior

Will this home serve as a place to grow or is it a forever home? Growing families typically opt for a large yard for activities and oversized garage to accommodate kids as they grow up and learn to drive, while empty nesters implement spaces for visiting kids and grandkids. When building a custom home, it is important to look ahead to the future and what that could look like for your family.

Harcrest Homes strives to make the homebuying and custom homebuilding process as smooth as possible, whether you opt to purchase in an existing Harcrest neighborhood or build on your own land. To learn more about the custom homebuilding process, call 678-828-7151 or click here.

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