Custom Home building process and guide

Making the decision to build a custom home is very exciting but can also feel a little daunting. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through the custom home building process alone! As Arizona’s largest custom home builder we have plenty of experience in and have put together a robust guide of what you need to know, keep in mind, and what to prepare as you start the journey of building your dream home.

Be Prepared

The following aspects of your Tailored Home are some of the most important decisions you will make throughout the process of building your new home. Please keep them in mind and discuss them with your Tailored team.


Your budget establishes the majority of what you can do with your custom home. The size of the home, location, and design features are all impacted by your budget. These are the key factors to keep in mind as you prepare your budget.

  • The cost of the land

  • Local fees and taxes

  • Design and engineering fees

  • Home construction

  • Landscaping

  • Interior and exterior finishes

  • A contingency budget


Custom homes can have complex and varied timelines. As you plan ahead, take the following circumstances into consideration.

  • Municipality requirements and permitting

  • HOA guidelines and restrictions

  • Land development, site work and utilities

  • Home size and finishes

  • Structural features

  • Inclement Weather Seasons


Where you build is just as important as the custom home you build. If you don’t have a specific piece of land in mind, our agents can not only help you find a lot, but help you with the purchase as well. Keep the following in mind during your search.

  • Topography

  • Size of the Lot

  • Direction the plot faces

  • Natural terrain and features*

  • Site analysis

  • Zoning

The terrain and landscape features can greatly impact the difficulty of the construction process, our land development and pre construction teams will advise you on how to best proceed and if there are excessive costs associated with any prospective lots.

Once you have found a piece of land that fits your needs, make sure to do adequate research. Your Tailored team can assist you with this.

  • Find information on the zoning, floodplain, septic, water, power, etc.​ These all affect what you can do. For instance, zoning can affect the required setback distance from the street, the height of your house.

  • Is the lot within a neighborhood with a homeowners association? If so, there may be additional requirements or​ restrictions on your custom home’s appearance and construction materials.

  • Look at surrounding home values within the neighborhood

  • What is the school district? Nearby Dining and Shopping?

Bonus tip: Check out our available lot listings! Many of these properties can fit a custom home and we have access to inventory throughout the state of Arizona.

Floor Plans

Once you’ve located a specific piece of land, it’s time to start thinking about the specifics of your home, particularly the floor plan. Another great benefit of building a Tailored Custom Home is that you do not need to hire an architect, as we have an in-house architectural manager to assist you with decision making and the creation of your custom floor plan.

Needs vs. Wants Vs. Dreams

Certain parts of a home’s floor plan are more important than others, and these will be your “needs.” The following are some of the biggest questions you should ask yourself and your team as you get your plans started:

  • What is the minimum or maximum square footage you, an H.O.A., or the land requires?

  • What is your required bedroom and bathroom count?

  • What do you need for garage space?

  • Is this a single-level or multi-level home?

  • What is the architectural style of this home?

  • Think about the factors of your home that are most important to you, list them out, these will be the items that usually are prioritized the most in your budget and timeframe.

Your wants and dreams come after you determine your biggest needs. Since each custom home is as unique as their owner, each category will vary from person to person. A good tip is to collect images of homes and home features that you like (and don’t like!).

We’ve compiled a list below of the floor plan features that come up most often to help guide you.

  • Formal and/or informal living spaces

  • Home office

  • Mudroom

  • Eat-in kitchen

  • Gourmet kitchen

  • Formal dining room

  • Teen, Children’s playroom

  • Media room

  • Home gym

  • Man cave/she shed

  • Workshop

  • Hobby room

  • Casita, guest house, pool house

  • Outdoor living spaces

  • Courtyard Entry

Further questions to consider:

  • Do you want an open floor plan, or more separated spaces?

  • For multi-story homes: What do you need​ on the first floor? What do you want​ on the second (or higher) floors?

  • How many entrances do you want? Do you want a private entry? Any rooms you wish to have a doorway to outside?

  • How do you want the indoor and outdoor space​s​ of your home to interact? Should they flow into each other or be completely separate?

  • Think about the arrangement of specific rooms.

  • Which room would you​ like near each other? ​ Maybe you want the children’s playroom to be within earshot of the kitchen​, or the laundry room near the bedrooms?

  • Are there any areas of the home you want more private/separate? ​Perhaps ​the master suite should be separate from the other bedrooms, or a quiet corner?

  • Would you like the casita ​to be separate or integrated with the rest of the home?

Style + Design

When designing your custom home, determining your style, or aesthetic, is one of the most personal decisions you will make throughout this process. After all this is what truly makes your home yours…

Think about what architectural and design styles you are most drawn to and begin to build off of that. We suggest putting together an idea board either of magazine cut outs, or spending some time on Pinterest, Houzz, or Google to give yourself an idea of how things can come together visually. While you put together your inspiration, keep in mind your budget, Homeowner Association guidelines, and any other critical factors. Our interior designer is also available to help you make any design decisions as well.  

  • Architectural style- Modern, Traditional, Southwestern, Mid-Century, and Farmhouse are just a fraction of your options. This will greatly influence the rest of your home’s design and style.
  • Roof Style- This will be influenced by your architectural style and any environmental or maintenance concerns.
  • Hardscape, landscape, and pool design- This will also be influenced by architectural style, environmental, and maintenance concerns.
  • Kitchen Design- the kitchen is the heart of the home and where you will spend a lot of time. Think about countertops, cabinets, appliances, and backsplashes.
  • Bathroom Design- Think about your shower or tub configurations and if you want your cabinets and countertops to match the kitchen. Consider wall tile options as well.
  • Flooring- What kind do you prefer? Wood, Tile, or Carpet?
  • Interior Trim- Think about baseboards, casing, and style.
  • Plumbing fixtures and Hardware- Do you prefer matte or shiny finishes? Bronze, Nickel, Chrome, or Stainless Steel?
  • Interior Lighting Fixtures- Your preferred style of hardware and architectural design are likely to influence what style of lighting you put in your home.
  • Fireplaces- Exterior and Interior.
  • Wet or Dry Bars.
  • Media/Entertainment Rooms.
  • “Smart” Features/Home Automation.
  • Jacuzzi’s.
  • Dog Doors, Pet Washing Stations, and anything related to your best furry friends.
  • Beverage Centers/Wine Chillers.
  • Custom Closet Spaces.
  • RV Garages or Boat Barns.
  • Balconies, Porches, and Decks.
  • Built-In Cabinetry.

The Next Steps

Now that you have thought about what you are looking for in your Tailored home, set up a time to meet or call with your Tailored team and discuss the decisions you have made and have your questions answered.

Your Tailored team will guide you through the rest of the process. Some things to look forward to are:

  • Working hand in hand with architects and designers

  • A dedicated project manager to oversee the construction of your home.

  • Professional and experienced interior designers to help you bring your vision to life.

However, the most important thing to look forward to is an experience and home Tailor-made just for you!