Tips for Planning Your New Custom Harcrest Home

May 20, 2022

While building a custom home from the ground up is exciting, it also requires a great deal of planning. From finding the perfect location to staying within budget while also building a home that provides everything you need, there are plenty of factors to consider – luckily Harcrest Homes is here to help!

Here are our top tips for planning your new custom Harcrest home:

Custom Harcrest Home Exterior

Determine Your Budget

First and foremost, define your budget for buying land, the actual construction of the home, landscaping and interior furnishings and décor. Ideally, land cost should be less than 25% of your total budget, with exceptions for large acreage or unique tracts where land values are higher due to rarity. Then, be sure to budget 5 to 10% of your total budget for post-construction costs, such as landscaping, furniture and décor.

Next, speak with multiple lenders to get pre-approved for a construction loan. This helps remove some of the uncertainty many homebuyers face during the custom homebuilding process. Financial advisors can clarify what is best for you and your family in terms of a fixed rate or variable loan, FHA or traditional, etc., in addition to determining what kind of down payment is required.

Find the Perfect Location

Once you have determined your budget, the hunt for the perfect home site begins! Is a stunning view or a specific school district at the top of your list? Maybe you have a growing family and want plenty of land to roam outside the home? If you are having trouble finding a lot with all the bells and whistles, we offer incredible custom homesites in a variety of sought-after locations, many with stunning lakeside views.

custom home exterior

Determine Your Must-Haves

Whether you are empty nesters or a growing family, a custom home can include anything and everything to serve your needs and lifestyle. Some basics to consider:

  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?
  • How many stories? A basement?
  • Do you have specific square footage in mind?
  • Inside or outside entertaining spaces – or both?

Be sure to distinguish your family’s “needs” and “wants” so that when the time comes to make cuts (if necessary), that process is easy. When you build with Harcrest Homes, our team can help your family discuss these variables to create a home that offers a perfect fit!

Structural Features

Beyond the basics, what other features are important to you? What do you love or hate about your current home that could be enhanced or transformed within a new customized home?

custom home kitchen

Room to room, there are several structural features and elements to consider that impact the home’s overall layout. Some spaces to consider:


  • Plan on hosting a lot of gatherings that require decent prep/counter space? Functional island with a sink?
  • Do you need a separate formal dining space, or do you prefer meals at the kitchen island or adjoining breakfast area?
  • Do you want to have a convenient workspace for either you or the kids?
  • A separate prep sink from the main sink?
  • Walk-in pantry with plenty of storage?
  • Wet bar with wine cooler, glassware storage, etc.?
  • Gas or electric stovetop or oven? (this determines the utility hookups you need)

custom home kitchen


  • Do all bedrooms need a walk-in closet?
  • Do you want an island or built-in storage in the owner’s closet? Maybe his and hers?
  • Should secondary bedrooms share a connected Jack-and-Jill or hallway bathroom? Or should they all have one ensuite?


  • Should all bathrooms have a shower/tub combination or walk-in showers?
  • Do you want a soaking tub in the owner’s bathroom?
  • A linen tower on dual vanities and/or a linen closet?
  • Multiple sinks or a single vanity?

owner's suite bath

Laundry Room

  • Dreaming of a walk-in laundry room with a utility sink, counter space for folding items and a drying rack?
  • Do you prefer the laundry room to serve as a multi-purpose space combined with a mudroom?
  • How much space should be dedicated to this room?


  • Want to create the ultimate man cave?
  • A space for the children to play?
  • A wine cellar with space for built-in racks?
  • Entertainment space with plush seating and a big-screen TV?

Outdoor Spaces

  • Do you want a screen-in patio or deck?
  • Accordion doors that seamlessly open your common living area into the outdoor space?
  • Imagining evenings around a fire table/pit, or an outdoor bar for entertaining?

outdoor living

Plan for the Future

Is this your forever home? Many empty nesters plan spaces for grandkids to visit, while growing families might consider a larger garage to accommodate children coming of age who begin to drive or return home to visit on the weekends. It all comes down to your future plans and looking ahead!

Whether you opt to build a new home on your own lot or build on one of our perfectly located homesites, Harcrest Homes strives to make the custom home planning experience as seamless as possible. To learn more about our custom homebuilding process, call 678-828-7151 or click here.