So you’ve decided to take the plunge and build your own custom house.

Now what?

When building a house that will serve as a home for you and your family for years to come, there are so many factors at play that the process might seem overwhelming.

Here are 8 key factors you should be looking for to narrow down the early stages of planning:

1. The Place

The neighborhood where you build has the potential to impact both the building process and your long-term life plans. Make sure you have a good handle on an area’s traffic patterns, what other building developments might be going on and what kinds of things you want to be near (schools, workplaces, other resources).

Forbes recommends visiting your city planning office to access public maps and ensure that a parcel of land you’re interested in is an approved building site. They should also be able to give you insight into any zoning issues you might encounter.

2. The Price

Depending on the kind of house you want to build and where you want to build it, building it yourself may or may not be the best route. Make sure to do your research in advance on what size and what features you can afford. U.S. News & World Report reminds builders that you can always add more later, so you don’t have to go big immediately.

Also keep in mind that there will be expenses along the way that you just can’t anticipate; we recommend saving 10% of your budget for surprises along the way.

3. The Builders

One of the most important aspects of planning your build is making sure you have the right team on board to make your dream a reality. Choose a crew who is well-reviewed, experienced, and easy to communicate with. If you want to know what the Walgrove team can offer you as you prepare to build your home, learn more about Walgrove LLC new home construction.

4. The Time

Building a home from the foundation up is a long process that can often be impacted by aspects like weather, life events and unforeseen logistical challenges. Keep in mind any major events in the life of your family that could be occurring in the next few years and make sure to start construction with that in mind. Talk to your building team about a reasonable completion date, but allow for schedule flexibility in case something changes.

5. The Yard

Once you have the crucial elements of general neighborhood, budget, building team and timing decided, you can start looking at more details for your dream home. How much lawn do you want to have? What landscaping plans do you have, and would the property you’re looking at facilitate those plans? The answers to these questions will also depend on how you envision your future, so think ahead.

6. The Floorplan

You’re doing the hard work of building your own home, so you deserve a space that fits your lifestyle like a glove. On a macro scale, this involves making sure every room has a purpose and the house is easy to navigate. On a micro scale, this means thinking about things like storage and furniture placement.

In a post detailing her own home building journey, Erin at Sunny Side Up shares the process of measuring spaces and even taking into account how much room kitchen chairs might take up when they slide out from the table. Think about specific needs you might have, like room for a growing family or space for a home office. Do you have outdoor hobbies that might take up extra storage space? Now is the time to take those things into account.

The Bungalow Company has a list of 77 details you can consider while deciding how to practically serve your needs.

7. The Look

The finishing touches of decor and landscaping can be the final element to truly make a house your own. Decide in advance if you want to decorate the space yourself or hire a designer and a landscaper, and make sure there’s room in the budget based on your decision. You can learn more about what this might look like by looking into Walgrove LLC’s Dallas area landscaping services.

8. The Experience

Building a house is an experience you’ll never forget. Make sure going in that you have decided on your non-negotiables for what you want that experience to be like, and communicate those to the building team you’ll be working with.

Take pictures along the way so you can look back on the journey once you’re living in your new home.