A Custom Home in 4 Drama-free Steps: Dream (& Budget), Design, Build, Move

Posted on March 14, 2019 by Angie

Building a custom home is a dream for many, but it may feel overwhelming. At Estes Builders, we’ve perfected the process with a proprietary system that helps keep you informed, helps maintain schedules and budgets, reduces delays, and ensures you get your keys on time.

Custom Home with a view in Port Angeles Washington on the Olympic Peninsula

Here’s what your custom home process looks like when you build with Estes:

Step 1: Dream (& Budget)

During this planning stage, you’ll make your wish lists for design, finishes, and style, then work with Estes to envision your dream home on your land. At this point, we’ll conduct a Project Investment Study for an initial look at the cost to build the home, site development, permitting and everything that it will take to build your dream. After this, you’ll sign a Home Initiation Agreement, which will kick off the design process.

Step 2: Design

During this stage, you’ll work with one of our selected architects to envision your home, see schematics that will help you make selections, and work with an interior designer to determine colors and finishes. A design consultant will guide you through the process, with a meeting each week (in person or online), to ensure you’re well informed of your options and are comfortable with the decision-making process. During this stage, there are three budget updates. This gives you more control and provides ample opportunities to adjust selections. It’s easier to make changes in software than after construction starts, so this helps prevent cost overruns brought by rebuilding and reordering.

It’s easier to make changes in software than after construction starts. Our process helps prevent change orders and cost overruns brought by rebuilding and reordering.

At the same time, behind the scenes, the Estes team is performing a range of tasks, from site walk-throughs to foundation plans to structural engineering, as part of a four-part quality planning process.

At the end of the Design stage, you will sign a Building Agreement, which provides a Guaranteed Fixed Cost for the build of your dream home. This is your contract for your new home. After the Building Agreement is signed, you’ll meet with an interior designer to make final color and finish selections while our permit technician secures final permitting (yup, we handle it for you!) and your loan is finalized.

Step 3: Build

Stage three is exactly what it sounds like—breaking ground and building your new home. From here, you can expect delivery in five-and-a-half to eight-and-a-half months depending on the size of your home.

Throughout the build, you’ll have access to an online portal that shows exactly where your home is in the process. Inside the portal, you can receive and view messages from the project team, view documents, see construction photos, and much more. 

This three-step process—and the unseen, highly structured steps behind the scenes—make Estes Builders unique. It’s how we ensure that nothing slips through the cracks, how we provide stellar communication to our clients, and how we make the process less stressful for you—and without surprises. It’s also part of the reason Estes Builders has delivered 98% of its homes on time since 1989.

It’s easy to take the first step – contact us for a free custom home consultation.

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The design has turned out to fit our lifestyle just right.


The plans were drawn better in one week than another designer/builder did in two months.


From the start of this process to the completion, it has been fun.


Our sketches and ideas were translated into a viable floor plan, and adapted perfectly to the slope of the lot


Your in-house design team made it a snap with their knowledge and expertise


Estes took care of things that we didn't even think of.


We have a “showplace” home delivered on budget and on time. We could not have asked for more.


Honesty, integrity and genuine interest to listen.


Our home was completed on time with no surprises.


Each of our concerns was yours too. Once again Thank You for this endless consideration


My mother in Ohio loves checking up on our home via the website! What a good idea!


We have a "showplace" home delivered on budget and on time. We could not have asked for more.


Exceptional choice, quality, delivery, service and value describe our experience with Estes Builders


Our Locations



Serving: Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Port Ludlow

259003 Hwy 101
Sequim, WA 98382




Serving: Bainbridge Isl., Kingston, Silverdale, Port Orchard & Gig Harbor

19255 Powder Hill Place - Suite 100
Poulsbo, WA 98370