You've been dreaming of building your own home for years now and you're finally ready to make it happen. Congratulations! Now the real work begins.

The key to crafting your dream home is making the right choices for your needs and priorities. Before you dive into picking paint colours or flooring samples, take a step back and think about what really matters to you. What kind of spaces and features will make your new house feel like home? What will suit your lifestyle now and for years to come? Building a home is a big investment, so you want to get it right.

Here are 4 of the most important things to consider before you break ground on your dream home.

Determine Your Budget and Timeline for Building a Home

Determining how much you can afford to spend and how long construction will take are two of the most important things to consider before building your dream home.

1. Budget

Set a realistic budget and stick to it. Building costs can skyrocket quickly, so do your research to understand all potential expenses. Get pre-approved for a mortgage and factor in costs like land, building materials, labour, and finishing touches. It’s better to spend more upfront on high-quality, long-lasting materials and efficient systems to save money down the road.

2. Timeline

The building process typically takes 12-18 months. Be prepared for delays from permitting, inspections, weather, and supply chain issues. Give yourself a buffer in case of unforeseen circumstances. Have a plan in place for where you’ll live during construction. Building a custom home is a big undertaking, so go in with realistic expectations about the time required to do it right.

With a well-designed budget and timeline in place before breaking ground, you’ll feel in control of the building process and confident you’re making the best choices for your dream home. Careful planning from the start helps ensure there are no unwanted surprises along the way to completion. Building your forever home is a journey, so take your time and enjoy it!

3. Choose the Right Location and Lot Size

The location and size of your lot are two of the most important decisions you'll make. Think about how much space you need for your dream home and any outdoor areas you want. A larger lot gives you more flexibility but also means higher costs to maintain.

Consider things like:

  • Access to amenities: Pick a spot within a reasonable distance of schools, public transit, shopping, etc. Unless you want a rural retreat, proximity to infrastructure is key.
  • Views and natural surroundings: Do you want waterfront, mountain or park views? Or lots of privacy? Choose a lot that suits your preferences.
  • Future development: Check if there are any proposed residential or commercial builds nearby that could affect your property value or peace and quiet in years to come.
  • Lot orientation: Think about how much sunlight different areas of your home will get depending on which way the lot faces. South-facing usually gets the most sun.
  • Easements and utilities: Make sure any easements like power lines won't interfere with where you want to build. And ensure all utilities can be connected to your lot.
  • Natural features: Consider how you might incorporate existing trees, greenery and land contours into your design. It's best to work with the natural landscape rather than against it.

The ideal lot size depends on your needs as well as any local regulations on minimum lot dimensions. Think about leaving space for a garden, parking and recreation - you can't have too much land, but you can certainly have too little! Choosing the right location and lot size is key to building your dream home.

4. Decide on Home Design and Floor Plan

Choosing a home design and floor plan that suits your needs is one of the most important decisions in the building process. Consider how you currently live and how you envision using the space.

Do you prefer an open concept layout with few walls separating living areas or a more traditional design with defined rooms? An open plan may suit an active social lifestyle while separated spaces provide more privacy. Think about how you'll use each area of the house and how spaces will flow together. Visualising different options can help determine what will work best for your lifestyle.

Consider both one- and two-story designs. A two-story home may maximise views and give a sense of spaciousness but requires navigating stairs and provides less accessibility. A one-story, or ranch-style, home has everything on one level, which may be better for mobility or ageing in place.

Determine how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need based on your family size and any plans to grow in the future. Extra bedrooms provide space for hobbies, guests or home offices. Multiple bathrooms reduce morning rushes and are convenient when entertaining.

Don't forget about storage, parking and outdoor living areas. Adequate storage, an oversized garage and outdoor patios or decks extend your living space.

Exploring different house plans and layouts will help you discover what design and floor plan suits you best. Envisioning how you'll use each space to match your lifestyle needs will ensure your new home is built for living well and that it remains well-suited to you for years to come.

To learn more about how to decide and prioritise your wants, needs and desires for your new home check out our other blog post on MoScOw (note: its not about Russia either) - READ IT HERE


So now you've read through the key things to keep in mind for your dream home build. It may seem like a lot to consider, but taking the time to think it all through will ensure you end up with a home perfectly tailored to you.

Focus on what really matters for how you want to live, and try not to get too caught up in following trends or what your neighbours are doing. This is your chance to create a space that suits you down to the ground.

While the process of building a new home can be stressful at times, keeping your end goal in sight will make all the difference. Stay true to your vision, trust your instincts, and before you know it you'll be enjoying evenings relaxing in a place that you can call your own!