Expert Q&A: Tony Edwards on Preparing for your Custom Home Build

This month we speak to NCLGC Tony Edwards with AG’s Construction about funding and planning your new custom home build. Whether you are looking to build in Washington, Greenville or Winterville - there are many steps in the construction process that happen before we ever break ground. Tony will share some insights with us on the process.


AGHS: Tony, what is a priority when deciding to move forward with new home construction?

TE: The first consideration is determining your budget for the project. I recommend people work with their banker or mortgage provider to get pre-qualified, just as they would before purchasing a home. That way you can move on to the next steps keeping that budget in mind. You will also want to start meeting with builders to guide you through the process. I encourage clients to meet with several builders to find someone you are comfortable with. It really boils down to finding a licensed contractor you trust.


AGHS: After a budget is decided, what do you recommend as a next step?

TE: At this point two things need to happen. Work with a local realtor – like my wife Natalie Edwards, to find land or a lot to build on. At the same time, start looking at homes and floor plans online to find layouts and exteriors that are your style. Sometimes floor plans online aren’t exactly perfect, but close. In that case you could work with one of our partner design draftsmen to customize plans for your build. Keep your builder in the loop during this process – he or she can help you decide between properties, provide input from a builder perspective on various plans, and more. The builder will also put together a detailed estimate which will ultimately become your construction contract.


AGHS: So, once all these decisions are made and financing is secured, what is next? 

TE: Once you have secured financing and/or purchased your building site we can move into site preparation.  Preparation will vary from site to site.  You may need your lot cleared or built up before we can begin to build.  Depending on your location we will explore utilities so we can provide temporary power and water for the team to use for your build. Some of this work may be required to be complete before the building permit can be issued. Starting these conversations early in the process is vital to a successful build. 


AGHS: Tony, there is much more to building than meets the eye. From making the decision to build to move in day, how long can it take to build a custom home?

TE:  In this market with labor and supply shortages it is good to prepare for 6-8 months, maybe longer.  We are working diligently with our suppliers to order windows, doors and other hard to source items as quickly as possible. Working with our in-house design team will allow clients to make selections up front to move the project along. 


AGHS: Tony, is there anything else you want our clients who may be considering a new custom home to consider? 

TE: Building a new home is exciting and stressful. Plan for days with high highs and days with low lows.  We will do our best to communicate with you along the way.  Our goal is to be your partner with 2-way communication with clear expectations to completing your custom home. Call AG's Construction at (252) 947-2526 to start planning your custom forever home.