Building Your Luxury Custom Home Starts with Your Lot

custom home building

At our Luxury Dream Home Date Night Event, we discussed what steps to take when building your luxury dream home. We were honored to have Brady Fenn & Adam Kostis join us for the evening. Brady Fenn, with Fenn Rogers Custom Homes, is a luxury home builder, contractor, and remodeler, specializing in new builds and full remodels. Adam Kostis is the Creative Director at Cosan Studio, a Scottsdale-based architectural firm, executing thoughtful, well-designed projects.

At Alisha Taylor Interiors, we are thrilled to have many projects with both Fenn Rogers Custom Homes & Cosan Studios creating efficient, beautiful, and well-thought-out homes for our clients.

One of the most common questions we get from clients starting their homebuilding journey is, “Where in the world do I start when wanting to build a luxury dream home?” Brady and Adam are here to educate our readers about what that very first step should be.

As an architect, what does Cosan Studio offer for that very first step to building a luxury custom home?

Adam Kostis: Even before coming to us, I think the best thing to do is to do your own research and get a short list of firms that you think are going to gel with in style and what you want for your home. Reach out to the creative director or principal and set up some one-on-one interviews. The journey of building a home is an 8-to-12-month relationship, so really making sure that you’re working with someone you gel well with and can make crucial decisions with is definitely number one on the list. It’s important that you are with someone that you’re happy and comfortable with for a long period of time.

As clients or potential clients are shopping for that custom home lot, what do you do, as architects, to help make that decision?

Adam Kostis: The first thing we do is make sure that you’re buying a lot that’ll give you what you want with your dream home. There are constraints, site forces, and things like setbacks. We want to make sure that we can provide exactly what you want on that lot. So, you don’t want to be buying a lot before you meet with an architect. I think that’s a little bit backward.

You’ll want to come to us, and we’ll do a feasibility study for you. What that entails is that we’ll analyze the site. We’ll draw a bubble diagram of where your house would sit and understand how the house could be laid out to make sure the lot is buildable. So that’s pretty much the initial step.

That’s so helpful because, unfortunately, we’ve seen custom home lots that are almost unbuildable. Our advice is to use your professionals to your advantage. Brady, as a custom home builder, you’ve got a lot of insight into cost. What’s great about that is that you can educate a client by just looking at some dirt. 

Brady Fenn: Yeah, absolutely. That’s something we like to do in the predesign phase. We typically go out and look at lots with potential clients and give them an idea of what the buildability is of the lot. Is it hillside? Is it going to require retaining walls? Are the utilities close? What does the HOA require as far as design guidelines? There are just so many things like that that are hard to understand if you’ve never gone through that process before.

Understanding that the same house can cost a totally different price on a different piece of dirt can guide the purchase of a lot. When building your luxury custom home, it’s important to consult with an architect and a builder before purchasing a lot to prevent unwanted surprises!  

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