What to Expect Throughout a Custom Home Build

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Ryan McKenzie
Ryan McKenzie

Ryan McKenzie heads up Rycon Building Group in Melbourne, a custom home builder responsible for some of Melbourne's most luxurious properties. With 25 years experience and a wealth of knowledge, Ryan is very well respected in the building community. Ryan has worked at LP Warren Homes and Rycon Building Group and has been the recipient of MBAV Young Builder of the Year, MBAV Winner - Best Custom Home. Ryan holds a Certificate I, II, III, IV in Construction and Diploma in Construction. Ryan's experience includes onsite 10 years, project management for 20 years and managing director for 18 years.

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    The thought of building your luxury custom home is one of the most exciting journeys you'll ever experience.

    With our years of experience building custom homes, we still can't get used to the excitement of seeing dreams become reality. Every step is filled with anticipation and joy, from the first sketch to the final walk-through.

    But, just like any project, there can be challenges along the way. Don't worry; we're here to help you navigate them. We've seen everything from unexpected delays to design changes and know how to handle it. We aim to make your custom home build as smooth and stress-free as possible so you can focus on enjoying the journey and the result: your dream home.

    Stages of House Construction - Rycon Building Group

    Stages of House Construction

    Building your custom home is like completing a big puzzle, with each stage being important. As someone who has built many homes in Melbourne, let me simplify these stages for you.

    Getting Ready

    Before we start swinging hammers, we must plan everything. This means sitting down with you and figuring out what your dream home will look like. We'll talk about how many rooms you want, where you want them, and all the little details that will make your home uniquely yours. Once we have a plan, we'll get all the necessary permits sorted out so we can start building without hiccups.

    Building the Base

    Once we have the green light, it's time to lay the groundwork! We start by building a strong base for your home to sit on. Depending on your decision, this could be a solid concrete slab or a sturdy basement. Think of it like the foundation of a house of cards - if it's not strong, everything else will fall apart.

    Putting Up the Frame

    With the base in place, it's time to build up. We start assembling your home's frame like assembling a giant puzzle. Walls, floors, and roofs start to take shape during this stage. It's pretty cool to see your home start to look like a home!

    Making it Weatherproof

    Now that we have the skeleton of your home built, it's time to protect it from the elements. We add windows, doors, and siding outside to keep out rain, wind, and whatever Mother Nature throws our way.

    Working Inside

    With the outside protected, we move inside to do all the important stuff. This is where things start to get exciting! We add insulation to keep your home cosy, wire it up for electricity, and put in all the pipes for plumbing. It's also when you start making your home feel like yours by picking out paint colours, flooring, and cabinets.

    Adding the Final Details

    As we get closer to the finish line, it's time to add all the little finishing touches that will make your home special. We install light fixtures, countertops, and all the little details to make your home uniquely yours. And remember the landscaping outside - it's the icing on the cake!

    Checking Everything

    Before handing over the keys, we ensure everything is safe and up to code. Then, we'll take you on a tour of your new home to ensure you're happy with everything. It's like the final inspection before the grand opening of your dream home!

    Build a Custom Home - Rycon Building Group

    How Long Does it Take to Build a Custom Home?

    Building a custom home can take six months to over a year.

    Preparation and Planning

    This is where the magic begins! Planning out your dream home and getting all the necessary permits can take 1 to 3 months. It's crucial to take the time to get this stage right because it sets the foundation for everything that follows.


    Once we've got the green light, it's time to lay the groundwork! Excavating and pouring the foundation usually takes around 1 to 2 months. This stage is crucial because it's what your entire home will rest on, so we want to ensure it's done right.

    Frame and Structural Work

    Now it's time to start building up! Erecting the frame and completing structural work typically takes 2 to 4 months. This is when you'll start seeing your home take shape, like watching a puzzle come together.


    With the frame up, we enclose the structure. Adding windows, doors, and exterior siding to protect your home from the elements usually takes 1 to 2 months. It's like putting the finishing touches on the outside of your home.

    Interior Work

    Now, it's time to turn our attention inside. Installing insulation, electrical wiring, plumbing, HVAC systems, and interior finishes can take 3 to 6 months. This stage is where the real customisation happens, as you start to see your vision come to life.

    Finishing Touches

    As we near the finish line, it's time to add all the little details that will make your home special. Adding final details such as fixtures, countertops, and landscaping can take around 1 to 3 months. It's like putting the cherry on top of your dream home!

    Final Inspection and Walk-Through

    Last, we do a final inspection to ensure everything is up to code and meets your expectations. This usually takes 1 to 2 weeks, and then it's time for the exciting part - handing over the keys to your brand-new custom home!

    It's important to note that these timelines are approximate and can vary depending on various factors, such as the size and complexity of the project, weather conditions, and any unexpected delays. Working closely with your builder and staying informed throughout the process will help ensure that your custom home is completed within a reasonable timeframe.

    Reputable Builder For My Custom Home Project - Rycon Building Group

    How Do I Find and Choose a Reputable Builder For My Custom Home Project?

    Here are six important steps to consider when finding and choosing a reputable builder for your custom home project.

    Research Builders

    Start by locating possible builders in your area by doing extensive research. Make a list of potential candidates using online resources, including review websites, homebuilder associations, and builder directories. Seek builders with a solid track record of producing high-quality work, specialising in building custom homes.

    Check Credentials

    After you've compiled a list of possible builders, check their references to ensure they can complete the job. Verify that every builder complies with local licencing, bonds, and insurance laws. Additionally, look for affiliations in professional associations or qualifications, as they might be indicators of dedication to industry standards and continuous professional development.

    Compare Portfolios

    Examine each builder's prior project portfolio in detail to gauge the calibre and design of their work. Be mindful of the little things, such as the craftsmanship, architectural style, and final touches. Seek builders with a proven track record of completed projects whose portfolio reflects your idea for your bespoke home.

    See Testimonials and Reviews

    Look for evaluations and quotes from past customers to learn more about the builder's standing and level of client happiness. See what other homeowners say about the builder by reading reviews on websites like Houzz, Google, and social media. Take note of positive and negative comments, and consider the builder's approach to addressing client issues.

    Visit Model Homes or Completed Projects

    Whenever possible, visit model homes or completed projects built by the builders on your shortlist. This provides an opportunity to experience their work firsthand and evaluate the quality of construction, materials, and design. Take note of unique features or design elements that resonate with your preferences.

    Interview Builders

    Schedule interviews with the top candidates on your list to discuss your project in detail and assess their suitability for the job. Prepare a list of questions to ask, covering their experience, project management approach, communication style, and warranty policies. Pay attention to how well the builder listens to your needs and responds to your questions, as effective communication is essential for a successful partnership.

    Custom Home Build Process - Rycon Building Group

    Common Challenges During Custom Home Construction and How To Avoid

    Building your dream home is an exciting journey, but it has hurdles. But fear not! You can avoid these common pitfalls and ensure a smooth construction process with proper planning and foresight.

    Poor Planning

    A common error made while building a bespoke home needs more planning. Entering the project hastily and needing a well-defined plan or vision can result in expensive changes and delays later on. To prevent this, carefully plan every house element, from the layout and style to the materials and finishes. Before starting construction, work closely with your architect and builder to iron out all the specifics.

    Overspending on the Budget

    During any building project, it is imperative to maintain strict control over your budget. Unexpected costs can mount up rapidly and cause your plans to fall apart. Be upfront and honest about your financial constraints to avoid budget overruns. Make sure to account for contingencies and unexpected costs in your budget. Work closely with your builder to understand costs and expenses and prioritise your must-haves to avoid overspending on non-essential features.


    The secret to a successful custom house build is effective communication. Errors and delays may result from miscommunication between you, your builder, and subcontractors. From the beginning, establish clear communication channels, and throughout the project, have frank conversations. Regular reports and meetings will ensure everyone knows the situation and that problems are resolved quickly.

    Permitting and Regulatory Issues

    For homeowners, navigating the web of permissions and rules may be challenging. Permit delays or problems adhering to local building codes might cause delays in your project and needless anxiety. Early in the planning process, familiarise yourself with the local construction regulations to avoid these. Work closely with your builder to ensure all necessary permits are obtained, and all work complies with local codes and regulations.

    Quality Control

    Ensuring quality craftsmanship and materials is paramount in custom home construction. Cutting corners or using subpar materials can compromise the integrity and longevity of your home. To maintain quality control, work with reputable contractors and suppliers with a track record of delivering superior results. Regular inspections throughout the construction process will help identify any issues early on and ensure they are addressed promptly.

    Common Challenges During Custom Home Construction - Rycon Building Group

    Do I need to buy land before starting the custom home build process?

    We recommend buying land before starting the custom home build process as it allows you to understand the property's characteristics and limitations before designing your dream home. 

    Here are some reasons why purchasing land first is a smart move:

    Site Assessment

    When you own the land, you can take the time to carefully assess its topography, drainage, soil conditions, and other natural aspects that may influence the layout and building of your house. This information is essential for choosing your home's optimal orientation and layout and ensuring it blends perfectly with the surroundings.

    Zoning and Regulations

    To construct a home that satisfies local criteria, it is imperative to comprehend the building rules and zoning regulations that apply to your site. Being the landowner allows you to investigate and verify these rules in advance, preventing any unpleasant surprises or obstacles during the planning and approval stages.

    Design Flexibility

    Once you own the land, you can build a home that makes the most of its special qualities and views. Owning the land allows you more freedom to design your home to suit your tastes and way of life, whether orienting it to take advantage of beautiful views or natural light.

    Financing and Budgeting

    Owning the land may make securing funding for constructing your custom home easier because it may be used as collateral for mortgages or construction loans. Furthermore, knowing the land's price upfront lets you account for it in your entire budget and make appropriate plans for other expenses like building.

    Peace of Mind

    By purchasing the land before starting the custom home build process, you can proceed confidently, knowing that you have secured the perfect location for your future home. You can also begin the design and planning phases with a clear property vision, allowing you to make informed decisions and avoid potential complications.


    While hiring an architect is not always required for a custom home build, it is highly recommended, especially for complex or unique designs. An architect can help you translate your vision into detailed plans, navigate building codes and regulations, and ensure your home is functional and aesthetically pleasing.

    Your involvement in the custom home build process can vary depending on your preferences and availability. While some homeowners prefer to be closely involved in every decision and detail, others may prefer to delegate tasks to their builder or project manager. Regardless of your level of involvement, regular communication with your builder is essential to ensure your vision is realised.

    Some common misconceptions about custom home building include the belief that it's prohibitively expensive or only for the wealthy, that the process is overly complicated or time-consuming, or that customisation options are limited. Custom home building can be tailored to various budgets and preferences. It can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for homeowners with proper planning and guidance.


     Going for a custom home is exciting but needs careful planning and talking with your builder. It's like being ready for surprises and fixing things quickly if they pop up during building.


    Make sure you know exactly what you want in your new home, and work closely with your builder to make it happen. Stay in the loop about building rules and permits, and keep chatting with your builder to handle any problems quickly.


    Stay flexible and open-minded because sometimes things might go differently than planned. Enjoy the process and watch your dream home come to life! Stick to these tips, keep positive, and you'll soon have the home you've always wanted. 

    CUSTOM DESIGNED LUXURY... For custom home builders & in-house design and quote, call us today on (03) 9894 1500
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