Building a custom home in West Michigan can be serious fun. There are all sorts of beautiful natural spaces to build a home here, and when you’re building exactly the home you’ve always wanted, what’s not to love? That said, beginning the building process is sometimes a bit daunting. It’s hard to know where to start, and it’s harder to know who to talk to. With so many builders in the area, sometimes it can be difficult to figure out who’s truly a “custom builder” and who will restrict you to just a few floor plans. So, to help you get started on that building process, here are a few considerations to make, and a few ways to find the West Michigan custom home builder perfect for your project:


Choose a lot that’s right for you

The very first step of building a West Michigan custom home is deciding where you’re going to put it. If you’re already working with a builder, they might have a line on a few lots that would be good for you, but if you’re just doing some initial research, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Find a lot that already has gas, water, and sewage hookups. These are expensive to put in yourself, and while it can be done, it’s a lot easier to start with a plot of land that’s all ready to be built on. It’s good to know that there are a lot of homes in West Michigan that aren’t on city sewers, and while that’s not a bad thing, know that you might have to put in a septic tank if that’s the case for your lot.
  • Decide what sort of landscape you like. Michigan is blessed with just about every sort of landscape under the sun, barring palm trees and deserts. You can easily find lakefront lots, lots in meadows, or ones located deep in the woods. It’s just a matter of deciding what you’re looking for, and then searching for just that.
  • Check out the surrounding area. Once you’ve decided on the type of lot you want, whether that’s beachfront or deep woods, check out the towns and school districts near that lot. This is a good way to help you decide between a few lots that might seem like the perfect fit. If one’s closer to your work or the perfect school district for your kids, then that’s likely to be the winner.


Find a style you like, and that works with your area

After you’ve found the perfect spot for your new home, it’s time to figure out what your home will actually look like. While you don’t have to have a concrete or final idea by any means, it’s a good idea to start thinking about a general style. Do you like colonials, craftsmans, or perhaps cottages? Again, West Michigan lends itself to a great variety of home styles, so you have a lot of freedom to choose whatever you like.

It is good to keep in mind that you don’t want your home to stick out too much form your neighbors. For example, if you purchase a lot on a lake, and you’re surrounded by homes that lean towards a cottagey style, you might want to consider incorporating some of those elements in to your new home’s design, to ensure your home flows well with its surroundings.


Find a few builders you can work with

If you’ve got a lot picked out and an initial idea of what sort of style you’re looking for in your new West Michigan custom home, then it’s probably time for you to find a builder who can make it happen! It’s always good to talk to a few builders when you’re looking, to get estimates and see who you will work well with. It’s not worth it to go with any builder, regardless of their history or experience, if you don’t get along with them. A custom home builder typically functions more like a partner than a builder, which means you’ll be spending a lot of time with them. You need to be able to trust them, and it’s important that you get along if you want your home building project to come together smoothly.

Again, find a few builders you can work with, so that you can narrow down to your top choice from a group of people you wouldn’t mind working with. This gives you the freedom to collect a few estimates, and choose the person that’s best for your project and your budget.


Choose a builder with experience in the area

Once you’ve narrowed it down to those top few builders, make sure one of your determining factors is a builder who works, or has worked in the area regularly. In Michigan, each county has its own slightly different set of rules for permits and building codes, which makes it really helpful to have a builder who’s already familiar with the area. A builder with experience in the area will already know who to talk to about what permits and inspections, and they’ll be able to get it done in a timely fashion.


Make sure you go with a builder who puts your needs first

Finally, before you make that final decision on a builder, be sure you’re choosing someone who puts your needs first. There are a ton of builders in the West Michigan area, but not all of them are custom home builders, and there is a difference. A custom home builder is there to implement their client’s design and style choices above all else. Their goal should be to build the home that’s perfect for you, not the home that’s perfect for them. A quality custom builder will let you bring in floor plans you love the most, where other builders might only offer you a selection of three or four of their pre-set plans. If you’re looking for a custom home, you’ll want to make sure you’re choosing a builder who’s putting your needs first, and is willing to build you exactly the home you’re looking for.

And once you’ve picked the perfect builder, you’ll be ready to break ground! Building a custom home in West Michigan really isn’t as daunting as it seems, it’s just a matter of knowing where to start. If you’re looking for a quality custom builder in the area, be sure to check out Michelle Tanner Homes. A local, family owned company, we make communication our top priority, ensuring we know exactly what our clients are looking for from their finished home. For more information abut building with Michelle Tanner Homes, or to learn more about our unique approach to custom building, get in touch with us.