Lansing Custom Home Building

Just because “remodeling” is in our name doesn’t mean R. L. Rider Remodeling can’t offer the finest custom home building experience in Greater Lansing, too. With a few minor adjustments, we’ve found that our 6-step design/build process works just as well for building a new house as it does remodeling an existing home. Your home is designed and built to your exact specifications, in a location you decide, with no current issues to dictate what you want to do. From efficient, green structures to the more extravagant end of things and everything in between, R. L. Rider Remodeling is the best choice for the custom home of your dreams.

One-on-one, personalized attention is what you’ll receive from us, and that makes us different from everybody else. We want to hear your wildest home dreams. We want to hear what annoys you about every house you looked at and didn’t end up purchasing, and how we can make your new home avoid those things. There are no lists of 6 or 7 “custom” plans to choose from – we start with a blank slate, your dreams, and a pen to write it all down. Keep reading to get an overview of the steps of building a custom home and how working with a remodeler will give you unique perspectives and advantages.

Process for Building a Custom Home

  1. Set a Budget – Whether you’re financing your new home or have funding readily available, it’s a good idea to determine at least a preliminary budget for how much you’re prepared to spend. While you might only consider the cost of the structure itself, don’t overlook the cost for securing land, utilities, site work, permits and municipal fees, etc. We’ll advise you on these “hidden costs” and help you avoid any unexpected pitfalls. We work with an excellent team that includes lenders, architects, interior designers, and the best craftsmen in the region, all with the goal of delivering your perfect home-building experience.
  2. Choose a Site – The next step is to find the ideal site for construction. This might be the most crucial step because you must balance commute times, accessibility, rural vs. urban settings, infrastructure availability, quality of schools, etc. Again, a lot of hidden things to consider here that we’ll keep you aware of well in advance. These might include HOA or other subdivision restrictions, sewer/water tap fees, property setbacks and zoning regulations, water run-off codes, power hook-up, etc. Another huge one is the amount of taxes different municipalities have which has completely turned off clients to neighborhoods in the past. Any of these might make you kick yourself down the road so we give you as much information we can in advance.
  3. Design Your Home – After those stressful decisions, it’s finally time for the fun part, you get to design your new home! Or at least help guide us on what you’re looking for based on a thorough needs analysis. Then, you get to critique and revise early designs as we hone in on the most refined, build-ready set. Though we strongly recommend that you work with R. L. Rider Remodeling from the earliest possible stage, we can still help you if you’ve purchased or commissioned a design already. If you bring us the design you already have, we’ll still get your input on design needs and lifestyle. Instead of drawing/planning an entirely new floor plan we can “test” the current design against what you told us you value and desire. The higher we rank the design, the better we feel it meets your demands. If your design scores extremely poorly, then it might be easiest to start from scratch instead of trying to make too many radical changes.
  4. Contract Signing and Breaking Ground – Once all details and products are picked and documented, we can provide final specifications, plans, and a fixed cost price that will not be exceeded (unless you request a change order). All the site investigation, fee checks, utility costs, product selection, and scheduling is done in advance, so we know exactly how much the entire job will cost, not just the structure. Signing the building contract and providing a down payment will carve out your space on the schedule, and we can break ground as soon as the weather cooperates. (Planning around the seasons is key for an on-time new home build – ideally, we design and plan in the winter months giving us 8 solid months beginning in March to work steadily.)

This is a rough overview of the process, and it doesn’t touch on the phases of construction or take a deep dive into design. For more information, check out our sections on the design/build process and what goes into product selection. We have detailed checklists and documentation worksheets for every step of the process that guarantee we deliver the level of quality you expect!

The Remodeler’s Advantage – Seeing What Goes Right and Wrong

Remodeling actually gives us a lot of unique experience and insights into what would perfect a new home build. We see the most current design trends and products and do continuous research to keep up with our customers and what they see on TV or online. We can incorporate anything and everything you find into your final design – from the tiniest ornamental pieces to entire room layouts. Since we visit many homes each year, there are a lot of cool design ideas or use cases for products that you can’t get anywhere else. There’s no better way to see what customers want than by meeting with them every single day of the year.

Our custom homes also strongly benefit from what we see going badly in other people’s houses in the area. Any “pain points”, as we call them, that crop up frequently start to get looked at more closely. If we see it often enough, we consider it a trend that in all likelihood other people are just as, if not more, annoyed with in their own home. A big example of this lately has been poor kitchen layout using the old “work triangle” method of planning. The common knowledge was to keep a triangle of space for your stove, refrigerator, and sink in your prep area. That concept was used heavily for decades but now feels outdated as we see more and more open floor plans. Families don’t sit down and eat like they used to so the kitchen has become a de facto area to gather. Galley-style kitchens and central islands are much more popular now as they offer more efficient preparation, a more spacious feel, and plenty of seats for everyone you’re entertaining.

If you’ve had bad experiences with home builders in the past, know that we actively strive to be unlike your traditional new home contractor. We’ve heard horror stories from clients about being pushed into and through every decision, and then no one bothered to document what those choices were resulting in a home nowhere near what was promised in the early stages. There are no “gotchas” like having poor materials built into the project price only to surprise you with huge upgrade fees months later. All finishes are included because we work with you from the start and can guide you on your budget early on. You’ll know well in advance the price range of a given material, and whether luxury is worth it to you or something you’d rather spend money on elsewhere.

R. L. Rider Remodeling has been refining our 6-step design/build process diligently to achieve the smoothest projects and happiest clients possible. While there are always bumps in the road, we want you to feel at ease with what can be a stressful process. There are enough “custom” homes out there that make subdivisions feel boring and cookie cutter. Instead, we combine your personal tastes, lifestyle habits, and modern functionality to create a new, better equation for designing and building custom homes. If you’re ready to get started with us as your custom home builder, call (517) 487-3713 today or fill out our website contact form. Thank you!