Why have a home planning checklist to design and build your custom home?

First, there’s plenty of preparatory work involved with the design and building of your home. Like many things in life, organization is key to making the process more stress free and manageable for you, your family and everyone else involved. Creating a custom home planning checklist will ensure organization from the design phase to the final stages of construction.

There are four main objectives that you need to identity on your home planning checklist:


1. Find Land to Build a Home

Property should be at the top of your home planning checklist. The ideal case is to already have acquired land before you embark on home construction. However, Greatwood Custom Homes can guide you through the steps to find available land in your desired area. If you already own land, then that’s even better and we can move on from this step in the process.

Making a land purchase is an essential step in your home planning process. A popular option is to take out a construction loan to cover the total cost of the land (land + construction budget) from the onset. For example, if you’re approved for a $1,000,000 total all in construction cost and your land costs $150,000, then you’re only left with $850,000 to build the structure.








2. Home Construction Loan Finances

More often than not, home planning isn’t complete without getting pre-approved in some way for a home construction loan at your local banking institution. We can
generally guide you through the process and the pros/cons of your financing options, and have professionals ready to help.

In addition to this, you need to have a general idea of what your project will cost. Talk to your home builder to get cost estimates to build and design your home. When you know the estimated value of your total project, the home building process generally will be more stress-free, more organized, and more simplified.

3. Residential Design Options

When establishing your home planning checklist, take into account any design services you’re interested in. At Greatwood Custom Homes, we can walk you through the design process and discuss our Boutique design services and options with you. Our Boutique service guarantees to capture your dream home vision while working comfortably alongside design& planning professionals.

Additionally, we can set up appointments with you or conduct short meetings with our design & planning professionals. This way, you feel more comfortable and confident in the home building and design process with us.







4. Monitor Construction Phases

At this stage of the home planning checklist, you’ve chosen your home builder and design options, and your dream home is almost complete! To keep the dream a reality, it’s important for you to monitor the construction phases, keep an open mind, and communicate regularly with your home builder. Doing this can aid in monitoring the cost of home construction while staying on your target budget. Although daily site visits are not required, about once to twice a week is efficient enough. You can make sure that the home building process is going smoothly.

If you follow these four home planning checklist tips, you will have an organized and well-managed design and construction process. Contact Greatwood Custom Homes for more questions on home planning at




Whether you’re replacing your home’s flooring or building a custom home, you’re going to have to make decisions on what flooring is best suited for your home. Cost, look, upkeep and longevity are all important factors to keep in mind, as well as taking into consideration that not every flooring option works for every room in your home. We’re here to give you the scoop on the five most common flooring materials you can choose:


1. Hardwood: Hardwood looks classy and expensive and ups the resale value on your home. It’s typically easy to care for, requiring minimum effort to clean and maintain. The largest drawback to this flooring is that it is among the most expensive. There are 2 options for Hardwood. Nail Down and Engineered. Solid Aka Nail Down hardwood floors are just that — they’re made from solid wood. Each board of solid hardwood flooring is made from a single piece of hardwood that’s about 3/4 of an inch thick. Because it’s so thick it can be sanded down and refinished for however long the flooring is in the house. Engineered hardwood is a versatile and resilient flooring option that can be installed in most areas of your home. Made of genuine wood, this flooring gives your home an updated look and feel. Engineered hardwood is made of a core of hardwood or plywood with a layer of hardwood veneer affixed to the top surface. It’s more resistant to moisture and heat compared to solid hardwood. They can also be loud to walk on, so if there’s a house full of children, it may get noisy. Rugs can be used to minimize the noise, however. Water and flooding can also stain hardwoods. The best place for hardwood flooring is in high-traffic areas like living room and foyers.
2. Tile: Tile is very durable and resistant to damage, including water. One of the most appealing traits of tile is the wide variety it comes in- any pattern and material can be found to suit your home’s personality. Tile is also easily cleaned and stains are unlikely. Tile can run a bit pricey, and often tile is consistently cold, and heating systems for tile flooring can get expensive. Cracks or other big damages to tile are difficult to repair. The best rooms for tile include kitchen and bathrooms- anywhere drinks may be spilled or water could hit the floor.


3. Carpet: Carpet provides a home-y feel and is soft and quiet to walk on. The price of carpet varies greatly with quality, but there is an affordable option for everyone. Carpet is typically noise-free and is quick and simple to install. However, carpet has to be cleaned frequently and is prone to stains and underlying dirt. Carpet is best in low-traffic areas such as bedrooms or office spaces.
4. Laminate: Laminate ranges in prices and installation fees, but it doesn’t easily scratch and can be made to look almost identical to wood or tile. Standing water, however, can ruin laminate flooring and it will have to be replaced. High-traffic areas are perfect for laminate as it is a sturdy flooring that won’t be scratched, however rooms like the bathroom and kitchen are not ideal because of the amount of water that could damage the floor


5. Vinyl: Vinyl is cheap and quiet under feet as flooring. It is also fairly durable and can be made to look like tile or wood- though not quite as well as laminate. Vinyl does tear easily, however and can be difficult to clean. Vinyl does add warmth to rooms, however and would do best in a laundry room, kitchen or bathroom.

Whatever flooring you choose, Greatwood Custom Homes can make sure its installed correctly and professionally. Contact us today to get started on building your Dream home.


With all the options in the housing market, why is it a good idea to build a custom home?  You may be surprised to learn that there are actually several great reasons to build a custom home, but let’s start with the most obvious


Made for you   

A “custom” home is a home that is customized to fit your lifestyle, whether it be luxurious, recreational, modern, contemporary, southwestern – you name it!  When you build a custom home, you have the freedom to decide every detail, from location to size, from overarching style to finishing touches.

You spend more time in your home than in any one other place.  For homemakers, children, and telecommuting professionals, time spent in the home is even greater than average.  It makes sense to make your home everything it can be.  For some, that means having a fully-equipped home office.  For others, specialized hobby rooms are important.  We’ve built everything from elaborate 3 story fully insulated garages to beautiful wine cellars for the Wine  connoisseur and even vaulted safe rooms.  Whatever your passion, your home can be designed to accommodate your specific needs and desires.

If you’ve considered building a custom home, the reasons above probably go without saying.  But here are some you may not have considered:


It’s good for the economy



“It’s good for the economy” seems like the latest justification for spending money on just about anything, but in this case it’s really true!  According to the National Association of Homebuilders, on average, one new home creates three new jobs.  This is good news for today’s job seekers!  And it’s not just construction workers, either – new home construction touches a myriad of industries, and all of them benefit when a new home is built.

In addition to job creation, new home construction supports US businesses.  Most construction material is made in the US, so building a new home not only helps your local economy, but the national economy as well.


It’s good for your family

Statistics show that children who eat dinner with their families multiple times in a week are significantly less likely to engage in risky behavior.  There are also multiple studies that show that children whose parents know their children’s friends are also better off than those who are clueless.  What does that have to do with building a custom home?  Well, if you have a house perfectly tailored to fit your lifestyle, your kids will want to eat dinner at home, and they’ll want to have their friends over!  If your house is the “cool” house, your teen will be more likely to hang out at your house with friends than to be who-knows-where doing who-knows-what.

Even if you’re not raising children, a house built around your interests will encourage family bonding, rather than leave the occupants going their separate ways to fill their time.

Location, location, location



Living in the Dallas Ft. Worth Metroplex and the surrounding area means you have the potential to live on a lot with some beautiful views.  But, with an ever-growing population, that also means that if you buy a home in a conventional neighborhood, you have the potential to get a close-up view of the brick on your neighbor’s home.  If you want to make the most of Suburban Living, you’re better off buying a lot you love and building a custom home on it.  If you already own a lot, all the more reason to build custom!

Now is the time

Even with the housing crisis a few years ago, according to the Pew Research Center, home ownership is still considered by most Americans to be the best investment.  While economists may argue over which investments have the greatest monetary return, the fact is, everyone needs a place to live, and owning your own home means you will get the return on that investment instead of a landlord.

If homeownership makes sense for you, then now is the time to build a custom home.  It is unlikely that interest rates will become more attractive to home buyers than they are now.  If building your dream home is something you’d love to do, why put it off? The benefits to building a custom home start now, and the earlier you can get into a home built specifically for you, the longer you will get to enjoy it.

As you can see, there’s never been a better time to build a custom home, and there are more advantages to doing so that you may have realized.  If you’d like to know more about the process of building custom, we’d love to hear from you!

Understanding the difference between a Custom Builder, a Spec Builder and Tract Builders

blogIn the building industry, there are several different types of homebuilders. Often, the terms custom homebuilder, tract home builder and spec home builder are used, so it’s difficult to understand what type of builder you need for your home or project. Below, are some thoughts on the differences between them.

Custom Home Builders are generally small-volume builders and build one-of-a-kind houses on your land. They may offer design/build services or just general contracting services. They tend to build luxury features in homes, such as taller ceiling height and larger doors and room sizes. The homebuyer can make big changes, like adding another garage, custom rooms and additional bathrooms. Building a custom home provides possibilities to create a home that truly fits your lifestyle.

A custom home might be a very large, medium or even a small sized home. It could be very standard in many ways but still be a custom home. People often think of a custom home as being an elaborate, large mansion, while that can be the case, both large estate and a small house could be custom homes.

Generally, the homeowner, homebuilder and architect decide on variables for the home that will make it different from other homes. It will usually be customized to the new owner’s tastes and desires for amenities, features, size, creative touches, and style. As an example, a popular trend today are small custom homes for baby boomers to “age in place” allowing for features that will accommodate disabilities in their future.

Custom homes are simply a site-specific home built from a unique set of plans for a specific client. Spec Home Builders are built by builders who buy a lot or land, build a house, and then sell the home. The builder “speculates” that he will make money from this transaction of buying a lot and building a custom or semi-custom home on it. It may sell during the course of construction, in which case,  the homebuyer may be able to choose many of the finishes, however the builder, rather than the homebuyer determined the “floor plan” before breaking ground. Spec homes are not always large custom homes. Oftentimes, the home is a small or medium sized home with custom features and styles. A spec home could be a very plain home or it could be a large, luxury, decorated mansion.  Either way, if the builder bought the land and is building it specifically to sell, it would be thought of as a spec home.

Tract or Production Home Builders are developers or builders who own a large plot (tract) of land, which is divided into numerous smaller lots for “stock plan homes” to be built on. A Tract or Production builder generally has model homes that will be the home designs built on these lots. Generally, there is not a lot of opportunity to make changes to these homes. Tract builders are large- volume builders and build all types of housing. Single-family, condominiums, town houses and condominiums are a few properties types. The faster the properties sell, the faster they try to keep building to keep up with demand. There is usually little doubt about what type of house will be built next door, and the sub-division will probably build out quickly. These homes are built with price-point as a major consideration, so quality can be compromised. Elements like hardware cabinets and appliances are the more obvious areas where money may have been saved. Other areas might include framing components, paint grades, shingles and carpet grade to mention a few. If someone isn”t familiar with construction methods and materials, these components are not obvious to the typical buyer. Tract homes may be comparatively inexpensive and not well suited for a short-term investment. Resale value is the greatest disadvantage to a tract home. There is enormous competition when selling a tract home. Price is usually about the only thing that makes one more appealing than another identical house down the street.