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Reynard Custom Homes
  • Writer's pictureJack Baldwin

The ULTIMATE Design/Build Checklist

Updated: Jun 18

What does it take to see your custom home designed and built to your specific budget/style/needs?

Reynard Custom Homes Ultimate Guide design and build checklist to see your custom home built your way.

Initial Planning

  1. Define Your Goals and Budget

  • Determine your needs and wants.

  • Establish a realistic budget.

  • Plan for contingencies (usually 10-20% over budget).

  1. Research and Gather Information

  • Research home styles and design ideas.

  • Look into local building regulations and zoning laws.

  • Explore financing options and get pre-approved for a mortgage if necessary.

Site Selection and Preparation

  1. Site Survey and Documentation

  • Site Survey obtained by Client.

  • Plat obtained by Client 

  • HOA Requirements were obtained by the Client 

  • Local Covenants obtained by Client 

  • Soil testing is obtained by the Client 

  • Perc Testing was obtained by the Client 

  • Septic Survey and Requirements obtained by Client 

  1. Site Selection

  • Select a suitable location considering proximity to work, schools, and amenities.

  • Evaluate topography, soil quality, and environmental risks.

  • Purchase the land after conducting a land survey and ensuring zoning compliance.

Design Phase

  1. Assemble Design Team

  • Hire an architect, structural engineer, and possibly an interior designer and landscape architect.

  • County/City/Parish, etc. Requirements obtained by the Project Team.

  1. Concept Development

  • Conduct a site visit by the Design Team and licensed contractor.

  • If rezoning is required, collaborate with the client, the design team, and the licensed contractor.

  • Develop schematic layout and overall home design concept.

  • Select home location and orientation.

  • Create interior and exterior design concepts.

  • Develop a landscape design solution for all designated outdoor livable spaces.

  • Develop a complete site plan for approval.

  • Generate exterior and interior 3D renderings and visualizations.

Design Finalization and Permits

Detailed Design and Construction Documents

  • Complete all architectural details

  • Create building and room perspectives

  • Prepare cover sheet

  • Develop architectural floor plans

  • Draw interior and exterior elevations

  • Draft building sections

  • Produce construction drawings

  • Create window and door schedule

  • Provide an itemized construction budget cost sheet with finalized pricing

  • Draft framing plans, including ceiling, roofing, and framing

  • Detail wall framing

  • Include full engineering details

  • Generate structural engineer’s report

  • Obtain structural engineer’s stamp

  1. Material and Fixture Selection

  • Selection of all architectural elements, material selections, and specifications.

  • Finalized interior fixtures and finish selections.

  • Finalized interior furniture design and selection.

  • All finalized interior materials room by room selections and specifications.

  • Finalized BIM-generated landscape design site plan.

  • Finalized color renderings of outdoor landscape design for visualization.

  • Specifications and placement of hardscape and selected vegetation.


  1. Utility and Permit Preparation

  • Ensure electricity is on site.

  • If there is no septic, connect to town water/sewer.

  • Ensure HOA/Neighborhood guidelines are met for approval (if required).

  • Ensure Historical Preservation guidelines are met for approval (if needed).

  • Ensure local covenants are met for approval (if required).

  • A licensed contractor submits a permit application to the city, county, parish, etc.

  • Address the necessary changes and provide notes from the approving entity

  • Driveway permit application.

  • Submit all the necessary construction documents for a construction loan.

  • 911 address identification and services.

Construction Phase

  1. Site Preparation

  • Clear the site.

  • Excavate for foundations.

  • Prepare the site for utility connections.

  1. Foundation and Structure

  • Lay the foundation and ensure waterproofing.

  • Frame the house (walls, roof, floors).

  • Install windows and exterior doors.

  • Choose and install roofing materials.

  • Install utility systems (electrical, plumbing, HVAC).

  • Perform regular inspections during installation.

  1. Exterior and Interior Finishing

  • Complete exterior finishes (siding, paint).

  • Install insulation and drywall.

  • Paint and apply wall finishes.

  • Install flooring (tiles, wood, carpet).

  • Fit out bathrooms and kitchens (fixtures, cabinets, countertops).

  1. Final Installations

  • Install lighting fixtures and interior doors.

  • Plan for smart home integration.

  • Ensure all systems (plumbing, electrical, HVAC) are functioning correctly.

Final Steps

  1. Landscaping and Outdoor Spaces

  • Implement landscape design plan.

  • Install driveways, walkways, and patios.

  • Choose native and drought-resistant plants.

  1. Final Inspections and Move-In Preparation

  • Conduct final inspections to ensure compliance with building codes.

  • Perform a final walkthrough with the contractor.

  • Arrange for professional cleaning.

  • Schedule utility connections and transfers.

  • Plan and execute your move.


  1. Home Maintenance and Documentation

  • Develop a regular maintenance schedule.

  • Keep a log of warranties and maintenance activities.

  • Digitize and store all necessary documents.

  1. Lifestyle and Personalization

  • Customize living spaces according to your lifestyle.

  • Plan for future-proofing (aging in place, family growth).

  • Integrate with the local community.


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