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Designing Your Custom Home

Where To Start

You’ve reached a point where the home of your dreams is finally within reach; all you have to do is design it! Over the years your personal taste and style has developed, and you finally know what you like and what you would like to see in the finished product that will be your new home. The real question you should be asking yourself is: do you have everything you need to get started?

Before you can even think about the finished product, you have to master the planning and organization of your new home. Whether you’re building from brand new, or renovating an existing home, how you start your project will be the foundation for your entire build. Here are the key components to get you started once you’ve decided to design your own custom home.

Design and Build

The design (what you want your home to look like) and the physical build (the structure / architecture) of your home are imperative to nail down in detail before you even get started. If you have your heart set on certain elements of your home, such as multiple bathrooms, open concept design, or a custom staircase, make sure these additions are discussed at the very beginning of the planning stages to make sure they are feasible and can be accommodated in your build.

Having your details aligned will allow you to set expectations for your entire project, as well as timelines. Remember: some custom selections will undoubtedly take longer to design and install than other, more standard choices. This is all dependant on just how custom you want your house to be.

Another thing to consider in the design and building stage is who is helping you make your custom dream come true. If you have your eyes set on a contemporary design, make sure your design partners are planning for a more open concept home, with finishing touches that will compliment your desired style. The small details are imperative in the overall finished project; you want to be certain your design partners are guiding you in the right direction.


Once you have your planning stage organized, you may be ready to break ground on your custom home build. But wait! There may be other factors to consider before you get the renovation ball rolling.

First, consider the time of year. While renovating existing structures is slightly different, the general rule of thumb with new home constructions is as such: if the foundation (ground work) is not laid prior to the beginning of December, a large addition or new home project will not be started until early to mid-March. This may change or alter your timelines significantly if the project can not move forward in the winter months.

Additionally, if your current home is being renovated to suit your custom dreams, you must consider how much construction you are willing to live in the midst of, and for how long. In some cases it is possible to utilize half the house, or an upper or lower floor, while the renovations are happening elsewhere. Living in a construction zone may not be possible, or even your preference; however, regardless make sure your living accommodations during your renovation are organized and accounted for as well.


Once your planning is complete, your project is ready to be underway. This is the exciting part! You want to stay as involved in possible, but most of us won’t be able to be physically on site everyday for the execution of our new custom home. That’s where BuildSmart comes in.

Walden’s proprietary renovation process app, BuildSmart, is essentially a project manager in your pocket. Available on your phone, tablet, or desktop, BuildSmart offers transparent, constant access to your project, every step of the way. Follow timelines, check your decision log, and even see daily pictures of the progress of your home. You can even ask questions directly in app, and your building team will get back to you and put your mind at ease. We guarantee this will be your new favourite go-to app for the duration of your project.


Plan With Walden

We want you to love where you live. If that means building an entirely new custom home, just for you, we’d like to help. Download our free renovation checklist to get your project started on the right foot. 

Written by: Bruce Borden, Walden Homes

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