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Start Building on Your Land: Here’s How to Begin

Building a custom home on your lot is exciting and rewarding but requires careful planning and consideration.  If you’re considering building a custom home in Columbus, Ohio, here are five tips to help you get started.

1.  obtain a mortgage PREAPPROVAL + determine your budget

Blog header for preferred lenders with house, calculator and floor plan drawings.In order to create a budget for your custom home project, it is helpful to find a lender who can guide you in determining your preapproved mortgage amount.  Once you know how much money the bank will lend to you, create a budget that includes (1) the land and its associated costs, including purchase, site work, and utilities, and (2) your desired home’s size, layout, features, and finishes.  Remember, these two things work together. For example, choosing land with extensive site work might eat into your home budget, and selecting a bigger home than you had initially planned might eat into your land budget.  If you’re uncertain how to start the preapproval process, we have a list of Preferred Lenders who can help get you started.  However, you may select any mortgage lender you wish to use.

2.  FIND the right LAND to build your home

Concept of dreams about a new home.Finding land in Columbus, Ohio, that meets all your criteria – location, school district, size, topography, price – can be challenging. Local Realtors® and internet searches can help. Even simply driving around

the cities or school districts you prefer is an excellent way to find home sites in your desired location.  Once you’ve found the perfect piece of land to build your new home, you will need to estimate what is required to prepare your lot for construction. This is called site costs or site development and includes things like clearing trees, moving rocks, and obtaining utilities.  

3.  choose a home DESIGN

If you’ve thought about building a custom home for a while, this is an exciting opportunity to design your dream home specific to how you and your family live. Consider your lot size, how many stories you want, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the layout of living spaces, kitchen functionality, storage needs, and any unique features you want to incorporate. A well-thought-out design can enhance your daily living and add value to your home. Create a list of must-haves, wants, and needs. This will help you narrow down the things you can and cannot do without as the design progresses.

Rendering of the Danbury a 2,660 square foot four bedroom home.Most custom, on your lot builders, like American Heritage Homes, offer a variety of floor plans.  These plans act as a starting point if you don’t already have a plan in mind.  The best part about working with American Heritage Homes is that all of our floor plans are fully customizable, giving you a fully custom home built on your land.  And if you’ve already been working with an architect to design your custom home, we can build from those plans, too!

4.  Quality of Materials

Wood 2x4 Framing of a Charles Pointe design.The quality of materials used in your home’s construction will impact its longevity, energy efficiency, and overall aesthetic appeal. Discuss with the on your lot builders that you’re considering about the types of materials that will be used for the foundation, framing, roofing, insulation, windows, finishes, etc.   Typically, these are called Standard Features.

At American Heritage Homes, we have partnered with local and national brands to provide a wide selection of quality, standard features in our Designer Collection and Simplified Collection of homes.  

5.  Builder Selection

Choosing the right custom, on your lot builder is crucial to the success of your custom home project. Research and interview reputable builders in your area. Review their portfolio, check references, and visit homes they’ve built.   Ensure the builder understands your vision and can deliver on your design and quality expectations. After all, clear communication and a solid working relationship are essential for a smooth construction process.


About American Heritage Homes
American Heritage Homes is a locally owned, on your lot custom home builder in Columbus, Ohio. Since 1995, families have trusted us to build their dream homes on their land. Through honesty and hard work, American Heritage Homes has become central Ohio’s premier on your lot custom home builder with a reputation for constructing extraordinary custom homes at an affordable price.