There are a lot of moving pieces when building a custom home. To make your life simpler, we’ve created a new home checklist to get you off to a solid start. There has never been a better time to move forward with a building project. As the real estate market heats up, savvy home buyers are turning to qualified builders to make their dream home a reality. This puts you in the position of knowing that every room in your home is designed to your unique lifestyle and preferences. If you’re ready to move forward, then you’ll want to be sure to print out our checklist to build a new home!

Building A New Home Checklist

There are a couple important considerations to take into account when building a custom home. Do you already own a lot or will you need to purchase one? What area are you hoping to build? What is your budget and how does the cost of land in your area impact your bottom line? Do you want to purchase the land and then find a builder or work with a builder who already owns the lots in a neighborhood you like? These questions come into play with your very first decision to build a custom home. 


 Determine your financial picture and what kind of financing you’ll need prior to moving forward. There are some great loan companies and builders that can work together to help you project costs, and a great advantage to working with a builder. This is the time to take stock of your finances and figure out how much you have for a down payment and what you can comfortably pay monthly.


On average it takes nine months to build a new custom home. Large luxury homes  may take even longer. Make sure you have a comfortable living situation while you are waiting for your project to be complete. If you decide to manage your project it may take longer as materials are currently delayed due to the pandemic. It is also difficult to find skilled labor which is why hiring a custom home builder is a great idea. 

Lot purchase: 

If you decide to purchase your lot, will you need to add electrical, sewer, clear road access, and grade the land for your foundation? All of these details are checked off the list if you contract with a custom home builder, another reason to go that route. 

Permits and fees: 

This is an important aspect to your project as it is a legal requirement to build in California, and every other state. California is notorious for higher permit costs and rigorous inspections. You may even be required to include solar. Depending on where you choose to build, your permits could take longer and cost more than other cities or counties. 

House plans: 

If you are planning to build a custom home, then you’ll need to work with an architect and engineer to draw up your ideas. You may decide to save money by working with a pre-made floor plan and adjusting it to your specifications. This is available with some builders, even if it’s a custom home. They can borrow ideas and plans that they’ve done in the past, and incorporate them into your current project. 

General Contractor: 

Are you going to manage your building project on your own or are you going to hire a general contractor/home builder to find laborers and skilled workers to bring your vision to life? While this cost to building a new custom home may seem high, you don’t want to start a large building project and then lack the labor necessary to complete it. That is a mistake to avoid, and can lead to cost overruns. General contractors typically have a workforce and contacts that they work with to accomplish these types of projects.


This is one of the more fun aspects to the building a new home checklist. What features and design elements are must haves for your new custom home? Do you get frustrated with spices falling out of your cabinet and want a pull-out spice rack? Do you regularly host large gatherings and need a suitable dining and living space? Do you want a built-in refrigerator? Do you have kids that still live at home and need sight-lines from the kitchen or would you rather have a dedicated kid space to keep them occupied? 

There are many great designers that you can contact in your local area or if you decide to go with a qualified custom home builder, like Bianchi-Tillett, they have an architect to help you navigate your desires and requirements. The important thing is for you to write out your dream list and then work with a builder to make it a reality. Knowing what you want and don’t want will make the overall process go faster. 

Once you’ve decided to embark on building a new custom home and have gone through the first steps of identifying your budget, project, plan, land, and builder, you’re getting close to the final steps of making your dream home a reality. Enjoy the ease of building a new home checklist as you begin working through the steps to your custom home.

Building A Home Interior Checklist

Once you’ve settled on a lot, found a builder, and chosen the exterior design, the builder will advise you to turn your attention toward having an interior checklist. We’ll take you room by room to help you identify important details that you may want to include in your project.


Kitchens are often considered the heart of the home. No matter if you are a dedicated chef or use it only to grab a glass of water, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. 

First, you need to know what your expectations are when it comes to food in your life. If you hate cooking, you may not want double ovens. However, if you like hosting large gatherings and have other people bringing the food, those ovens may be a necessity. Do you love standing at a large island with everyone gathered around while you nosh a charcuterie board or do you prefer to have a luxurious backyard to gather and snack? How many people need to eat at your home, do you need an extra-large refrigerator or do you prefer a built-in, counter depth food system? If you are not highly organized with a system in place, you’ll need deep drawers to dump food containers. If you love a neatly ordered pantry, it is likely valuable to include canned storage and pull-out containers as much as possible in your organization or pantry systems. Work through your dream list and talk with our professionals to uncover any areas that could make your life easier on a daily basis.


Do you want a dramatic entrance with wood beamed ceilings and dropped lighting, or do you need a space for people to drop their coats and bags? The answer would determine if you need a one story or two-story home. The first thing people experience is the front door and how you welcome them into your space. Think through what leaves an impact on you and how you want your guests to feel when they arrive. You may just want a space where you can dump all of your children's belongings. Or, you may want an expansive entry that welcomes you to come deeper into the home. Find pictures of entry ways that you like, and add them to your dream list!!

Living Room: 

Do you want a formal sitting area that is focused on relaxation and hosting or do you prefer a tv room that’s made for cozy comfort. Knowing how you like to spend your time is imperative to deciding what type of a room you want to create in your home space. It’s also valuable to decide if you need to hide a bunch of toys, have bookshelves for books, room for a piano, and how important a fireplace is to your quality of life. 

Do you want a dedicated TV/theater room, and have the living room more dedicated to entertaining? All of these questions and answers go toward the overall size and design of your custom built home. 


These may seem super basic, but if you’re building your forever home, it may be necessary to think about how you want to use these spaces when your kids move out. Having small walk-in closets in each room may be ideal as you won’t have to deal with doors continually coming off the tracks. You can also turn walk-in closets into gift wrapping spaces or craft zones when your kids have flown the nest. 

Don’t forget to dream here as well. Do you want fireplaces in the bedrooms? Bay windows or sitting areas? The sky's the limit when it comes to your dreams!


A luxurious spa-like master bathroom may be the sole reason you choose to embark on building a new custom home. Soak in a deep tub or rinse off in a rain shower. These amenities can set the tone for how you relax after a busy day. Think about what are your must haves to make your space more enjoyable. Do you need towel warmers, linen closets, toilet paper storage, large drawers for your make-up kits and hair accessories? You could even have heated mirrors that don’t fog up and heated floors that are kind to bare feet. Of course, luxury amenities like this add to the cost of the home, but aren’t you worth it? 

Walk-in Closets: 

If you are tired of changing out your clothes seasonally and feel overwhelmed by a cluttered space, it may be time to invest in a quality storage solution. Work with your builder to find out the best way to customize your closet to hold the most wearable items in your space. Think tie, scarf, and belt hooks; space for your shoes; deep drawers for sweaters; bins for snow clothes; and anything else you know is getting lost in your stuffed space.


Do you want a house divided by closed spaces, like tunnels leading from room to room? Or do you prefer bright open rooms that flow into each other. Remember that if everything is open, it can be super loud, and you may not want to be in the same room as the Super Bowl or the Bachelor, when you’re trying to chat with friends. Kids will also grow up to be teenagers and as wonderful as that time is, everyone may need a degree of separation. You’ll also want to think about how many people you can crowd in a smaller room versus a wide-open floor plan. There are also some creative ways to create alcoves, built in desks, and spaces that can break up hallways and make them feel less like a corridor. Ask our design professionals about some of these ideas. 

Laundry Room: 

Planning a second floor? You may want to have a laundry room upstairs rather than down. Indoor laundry rooms make the chore much more enjoyable. Browse Pinterest to get some inspiration, but be prepared to make it work for your lifestyle and budget. Never dismiss the value of cabinets and shelving in this space, and if you have kids - a deep laundry room sink is great for washing off mud. 

When deciding on creating a home interior checklist, think about small spaces that will fill your heart with joy. Picture windows over the sink, hidden loft beds, sunken living rooms, skylights, and all the small features that make your space extra special. Remember, this is your interior checklist and it needs to align with your vision for your home. 

Mistakes To Avoid When Building A Home

If you are ready to dive into building a custom home, then you’ll want to take a quick moment to go over some mistakes when building a home. While these may or may not be part of your process, knowing some common pitfalls can help you side-step any potential mishaps. If you work with a custom home builder, many of these mistakes will be avoided.

Stick to your budget! 

While it may be easy to veer off on custom features and extra design elements, if this breaks the bank, it won’t be worth it in the long run. Decide which items you can go do without or upgrade as your design unfolds. You may want to go with lower cost lighting or fixtures as it is easy to replace. The things you’ll want to spend the most money on are high quality cabinets that will last and can be customizable with trends, flooring that can be sanded and stained, and rooms that align with your lifestyle. A design heavy home will only be enjoyable while those trends are in place, so if you need to stay on a tighter budget, find ways to incorporate elements that can be adjusted based on style. (Think sunken living rooms panel lighting from the 80’s.) 

Unnecessary Rooms 

When imagining your dream home, you may want to add a family room, a separate dining room, and an office, but if those spaces don’t get used you will have wasted your finances to have an imagined luxury. If everyone wants to be in the kitchen with you, it may be more enjoyable to have it open to your dining space. If you work from home, you can add an alcove to your master bedroom rather than have a separate office space. If you have a second floor, would having a larger landing that fits a couch and a tv work better than an extra family room. Think about your lifestyle and talk to people in other stages of life to find out how their needs have adjusted and what spaces they thought were necessary, but ended up superfluous. 

Don't let people overly influence your choices. While this may seem like part of your budget, when meeting with builders, talking to friends and family, and investing in a designer they may bring up elements that sound great in theory and are awful in reality. Make sure you aren’t letting yourself get swept away with dreams that you miss the financial cost and impact of living in your space. 

Garage Placement 

You may think that having your garage go straight into your kitchen is the way to go, don’t forget about all the backpacks and stuff that makes its way in from your car. You may want your laundry room to balance as a mudroom to catch wet clothes, shoes, and backpacks, prior to hitting your kitchen. Even more important that your entry is the powerful space that takes the brunt of your family's everyday traffic. Anything that contains treasures and mud is an absolute must in a building a home interior checklist. 

Take Away

Now that you have reviewed a checklist for building a custom home you can start the process of deciding if this is the right choice for you. If you want a space that aligns with your sense of design and comfort then this is a great time to invest in customizing a space for your particular needs. There are smaller house projects that can align with any budget. When creating your new home checklist for building, the most important things to review are your must-haves and make a list accordingly. This is your customized space. Contact us today to find out how we can take your dreams from the vision stage to real life. 

Additional Reading:

Cost To Build A Custom Home

Custom Home Builders: How To Get The Best

Pros & Cons of Building a Custom Home

New Homes Granite Bay, CA