The Century Custom Homes Process

To the uninitiated the process of building a custom home can be a daunting and mysterious process. Most people venturing into the acquisition of a new home are embarking on the largest personal financial commitment that they have made to date. All of this added together can give people reasonable cause to want to understand what they are getting into before they commit themselves.

The average home in our area has over 40,000 individual parts, involves the skills of between 85 and 120 suppliers and subcontractors, and demands over 3,000 on site worker hours to make the dream a reality. “The construction business is a very complex choreography of a zillion very simple tasks.”

With this in mind the best way to understand the process is to break it down into its individual parts. We look at the construction process as being made up of 10 main elements that are tied together in various ways.

A Step-by-Step Guide & Overview of Century Custom Homes Building Process

The construction process consists of 10 main elements:

  • Budget
  • Land
  • Land Development
  • Home Plans
  • Specifications/Selections ("The Shiny Stuff")
  • Financing
  • Team Members/Designer
  • Owner
  • Subcontractors and Suppliers
  • Scheduling
  • Warranty
  • Change Orders
    • Contract Formats
      • Turnkey
      • Fixed Fee
      • Cost Plus
  • Summary


The budget is central to the process, influenced by bank limitations or personal comfort levels. It includes reasonable fair market value considerations and should be discussed openly early on. The budget comprises five basic elements: Land, Land Development, Home Plans, Specifications, and Financing.


Land is the largest budget line item, usually constituting half to a quarter of the home's overall price. Incorrect handling of this aspect can impact the rest of the budget. We recommend consulting a construction professional before purchasing land.

Land Development

Often misunderstood, land development includes all site work necessary post-home removal. It's crucial to understand these costs upfront.

Home Plans

Home plans can be created or modified by architects or design/builders, sourced from plan books, or a combination of ideas. The design process should align with the overall budget.

Specifications/Selections ("The Shiny Stuff")

Technical selections are generally handled by the building contractor. The "shiny stuff" includes finishing touches like fixtures, cabinets, and countertops. Budget management ensures adequate funding for desired finishes.


Financing, typically the last item in the budget process, is often driven by bank limitations. Specialized financing is recommended for custom home projects.

Team Members/Designer

The construction team consists of the Owner, Designer, Builder, Subcontractors, and Suppliers. Each has specific roles and responsibilities crucial to the project's success.


Every project has a schedule driven by various factors, including land development complexity, home size, and level of finishing. Timely selections by the owner are crucial.


A warranty should be discussed at the negotiation's initial stages and included in the contract. Its value depends on the builder's commitment to honoring it.

Change Orders

Change orders should be a flexible aspect of custom home building, with clear guidelines and cost implications outlined in the contract.


The contract guides the construction process post-budget agreement and design completion. It should be clear, concise, and fair to all parties.


This guide aims to demystify the custom home building process, emphasizing the importance of thorough research and choosing a competent, experienced builder.