Custom Home Design Checklist: Questions For Your Custom Home Builders in Madison, WI


It’s time to build something brand new. You’re ready for a new home built especially for you. For many people, living in a custom-built home is a once-in-a-lifetime goal. Because this is such a personal experience and an important investment, it is essential to find the right builder to bring your dream home into a reality.

Custom Home Design Checklist: Questions For Your Custom Home Builders in Madison, WI

At Conklin Construction Co., we’ve lived and worked in the Madison suburbs for decades and would love to welcome you as neighbors! We’re pleased to use our experience in designing and building gorgeous homes to help you ask the right questions and find the right builder for your dream home! We’ve gathered a few of our frequently asked questions to help you get an overview of the road ahead so that you can start off with a clear plan and direction.

What is the process for building a custom home?

Many new clients don’t know what to expect during new home construction. Every custom home builder has a slightly different process. Learning about our process may be helpful for people in any market. Here are the steps we follow when building a custom home:

  1. Phone consultation
  2. In-Home meeting for planning
  3. Design floor plan
  4. Ballpark pricing
  5. Selection of materials
  6. Finalize and sign contract
  7. Help you with financing
  8. Construction begins
  9. Pre-Job walkthrough
  10. Pre-Drywall walkthrough
  11. 21 Day walkthrough
  12. 7 Day walkthrough
  13. 1 Day walkthrough
  14. Move-In
  15. 60 Day punch list
  16. 11 Month follow-up


What questions should I ask a custom home builder?

We love engaged clients and appreciate answering questions upfront so that we can all set the same expectations and make plans together. Here are some questions that we love being asked and we wish our prospective clients would ask us more: 

  1. What is your process?
  2. What warranties do you offer?
  3. What do your licenses and insurance cover?
  4. How many projects like mine do you do every year?
  5. What is a reasonable price range for my prospective home?
  6. Can I speak with past clients as references?
  7. How do you handle unexpected delays or problems?
  8. How do you use subcontractors?
  9. Do you help with land?
  10. Do you help with financing?
  11. What are your biggest challenges when building a home?
  12. What makes a great client for you?

New call-to-action

What factors need to be considered in designing a custom-built house?

Everyone likes a good checklist, whether we’re building a house or packing a suitcase. Use our custom home design checklist to ensure you’ve considered every angle when planning your house. You don’t have to have everything figured out, but it helps to think through the following aspects of your home as you begin to get serious about design.


  • Square footage
  • Number of stories
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Overall aesthetic (Collect online inspiration via Pinterest)
  • Number of bathrooms
    • Half baths
    • Shower/Tub
  • Kitchen features
    • Island placement
    • Kitchen layout
    • Built-in appliances
  • Overall Layout
  • Exterior features and porches
  • Unique spaces and requests
  • Stonework
    • Fireplace
    • Foundation

How long does it take to build a custom house?

The time it takes to do a custom build depends on several factors such as the size of the home, your terrain and climate, and supply chain conditions. From a glimmer in your eye to a key in your pocket, most new construction takes somewhere in the neighborhood of two years from the very first consultation to move-in day. The design and planning process takes six to twelve months and the construction process itself takes a year, give or take a few months. Your contractor will be able to give you a much better estimate of a realistic timeline for your new home.

What makes a good custom home builder?

A good custom home builder will make sure that your questions are answered and your concerns are addressed every step of the way. Pay attention to how you feel during your interview with prospective custom home builders. Are you looking forward to dreaming together? Are you dreading the next conversation? The best contractor for you may be different than the best contractor for your brother or your best friend. Speak with several of your top choices in your area to get an idea of the strengths and offerings of each company before deciding who you want to trust with such a personal investment.

A good custom home builder will be upfront about their processes, prices, and plans. They won’t pressure you for a sale or ask for significant money upfront. You can find out a lot about a business by talking to their clients. Get connected with former clients to learn about the homeowner’s experience and valuable perspective. 

Ready to Build Your Dream Home in the Madison Area? 

Conklin Construction Co. is a custom home builder that understands the value and meaning of your investment in a custom home. We would be honored to talk to you about your new custom home in the Madison area. Contact Conklin Construction Co. to schedule a consultation.

New call-to-action