Preparation is Key

Are you looking forward to building your dream house? If so, be sure you give careful attention to the planning phase of the building process. As a general contractor with years of experience under my belt, I’ve seen firsthand the difference thorough preparation can make in the outcome of a home-building project. My name is Hovik Akopyan, and I’m passionate about building homes that not only stand the test of time but also reflect the dreams and desires of their owners. If you’re considering taking on the monumental task of building your dream house without a general contractor, let me guide you through the initial, and arguably most crucial, phase of your journey: Preparation for the building process.

Understanding Your Vision

The first step in your preparation is crystallizing your vision. Have you already made a land purchase? What kind of home do you see yourself living in? Which house designs inspire you? Consider the style, size, and special features you envision. This is not just about the number of bedrooms or bathrooms but also about how you want each space to feel throughout the entire house. Remember, this initial step of visualizing your desired home will play into the way you make construction plans and every decision from rough framing to exterior doors and paint colors. Whether you dream of a cozy cottage-style home or a modern architectural masterpiece, clarity on your desired outcome is essential.

Comprehensive Planning

Once you have a clear vision, it’s time to translate that dream into a concrete plan. This involves sketching preliminary designs, deciding on the floor plan, and thinking about construction materials. Consider consulting with an architect or a designer who can bring professional insight into this phase. They can help ensure your plans are both aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound, adhering to local building codes and zoning laws. As a bonus, addressing design process issues from the beginning can help you avoid costly mistakes later on.

Research and Education

Building a house requires a good understanding of the construction process, including the legal and regulatory requirements. Spend time researching local building codes, zoning laws, and building permit requirements. Each municipality has its own set of rules, and failing to comply can result in costly delays or even legal issues.

This phase also involves educating yourself about the different stages of construction. Understanding foundational work, framing, roofing, plumbing, electrical, and finishing work will give you a better grasp of what the project entails. Familiarize yourself with construction terminology and processes, so you’re better prepared to make informed decisions and communicate effectively with tradespeople.

Budgeting Wisely

One of the most critical aspects of preparation is budgeting. A detailed budget should include all anticipated costs inherent in the construction plan, such as material costs, labor costs, permits, and inspections, as well as a contingency fund for unexpected expenses. It’s crucial to be realistic about your budget. Underestimating costs can lead to project delays that disrupt your construction timelines or compromises on quality.

Start by listing all the project components and estimating their costs. It’s wise to consult with professionals or use online resources to get a ballpark figure for each item on your list. Remember, the cheapest option isn’t always the best choice. Investing in quality materials and skilled labor can save you money in the long run by reducing maintenance and repair costs. After all, if you use low-grade materials, it can affect everything from finishes to structural integrity.


The preparation phase sets the foundation for a successful home-building project. By understanding your vision, planning meticulously, conducting thorough research, and budgeting wisely, you can minimize issues and ensure that your journey to creating your dream house is as smooth as possible. Remember, the time and effort you invest in preparation will pay dividends in the quality and success of your finished home.

As we move forward in this guide, keep in mind that preparation is an ongoing process. Stay organized, flexible, and proactive throughout your home-building journey. This will help you navigate the challenges and enjoy the rewarding experience of creating your new home from the ground up.

Read our next article in this series to learn about Financing Your Dream Home!

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AKOPI BUILDERSAkopi Builders is a Los-Angeles-based general contractor focused on modern design, interiors and landscapes. From our inception, we have delivered exceptional works. As a full-service contractor.

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10524 Arnwood Rd.
Lake View Terrace CA USA

T. 818-214-7500E.