Making clear decisions in the custom home process

Making clear decisions is, hands down, the most overwhelming part of the custom home building process.

You will be way ahead of the game if you can make clear decisions - but there are so many! Easier said than done, I know. And I get it, this is YOUR house. It’s YOUR money. And most of all, you want to get it RIGHT.

Believe it or not, I do not know all of the answers to every thing that comes up in a custom home project. I am still learning on every project I work through. What I do know is how to find the answer and help my clients make clear decisions. Here is the process I go through:

Gather options

Consider this like corporate brainstorming. Let your mind be open and use many sources – scan the internet, look at ads in magazines, keep your eyes open as your are going through your day.

Ask professionals

Someone in your building circle has probably solved this problem or one very similar to it. Maybe they were successful and maybe they weren’t, but it is all useful information to have.

Time, materials, budget

Answer these three topics. What is the timing for the solution and does it fit into our established timeline for the project? What materials will be used and what is the method to get it installed and who will be doing the work? What is the EXACT price and does it fit into our budget?

Not every issue is going to have a nice, tidy solution. This is where the decision has to be made. You might have to decide if you would rather extend the timeline or go over on your budget. You can decide that yes, that extra special granite is worth the extra money, but is it worth holding up the project for four weeks because it is not in stock. Any of these choices are appropriate, however, having all of the information is what is critical in making clear decisions.

One word of caution: Don’t surround yourself with ‘yes men’ that will tell you what you want to hear. This is only pleasant in the moment. In case you are not sure, it sounds something like this, “Sure I can do that. It will be close to budget. In about a week.” Vague and simple answers are not the route you want to take.

Surround yourself with professionals that want to supply information to you. Pay no attention to those that want you to make the quick, simple choice. Dig in. Get the facts. You will be proud of your diligence when the project is complete.

- Sheri


As Founder and Principal Architect of Springhouse Architects, Sheri’s mission is to lead Clients through the building process with the Clients in control and Springhouse as their guide, advocate and ally.  With over twenty years experience in Residential Architecture, Sheri brings knowledge and confidence to your custom home project.

Lisa Saldivar