Building Dreams: From Blueprint to Reality


uilding a custom home is an exciting process, but it can also be overwhelming, especially if you don't know where to start. We spoke to the owners of Mike Fleming Construction, John Michael and Amber Fleming, about what you need to consider when selecting a builder, what home upgrades are popular right now, and why starting with a good plan matters.

What are the most important considerations when selecting a builder for a custom home?

Of course, you’re going to want to make sure your builder is reputable. Ask around, check online, and, if possible, talk to past clients. You need to know that your builder not only builds a good house, but also runs a good business.

Another important consideration and one we feel is often overlooked, is compatibility. Do you communicate easily? Do you enjoy your meetings together? Do you have mutual respect? The home-building process is a journey! It is far more enjoyable if you have a good rapport with each other.

What are some of the most common upgrades and add-ons requested by custom home builders’ clients?

The beauty of a custom home is that the sky is the limit! If you can dream it, chances are very good it can become a reality. Some of the more common upgrades we see are whole home generators, mosquito mist systems, structural pre-wiring, reclaimed beams and doors, true masonry fireplaces, stone and brick pavers on the porch floors, luxurious master showers, linear shower drains, dog showers, phantom screens, attic lifts, and air-conditioned garages. Some very fun and not-so-common upgrades we’ve done recently are a heated master bathroom floor, heaters in the back porch ceiling, a motor court big enough for three-pointers, a fully backlit waterfall island, an in-wall water bottle fountain, a two-story master closet, a laundry chute, and an elevator.

What are some of the most innovative technologies and materials currently being used in custom home building?

While so much of construction is composed of tried-and-true craftsmanship, we do get to see some cool new things in our houses like Tella Firma Foundations, Zip System wall sheathing, and whole home automation.

While some of these cool, innovative things are necessitated by the house design, environmental factors and have significant budget considerations, other innovative things are widely available. Many common household items are now “smart.” The IOT (internet of things) is growing daily. Check your new washer, oven, thermostats, and TVs for their connectivity. You may be surprised how much you can control from your phone without getting anything “fancy.” For the true techy person, your new house could be fully automated and accessible to you 24/7.

What advice do you have for homeowners who are planning to build their dream home?

The home-building process is a journey! Just like you would plan a trip far in advance, your dream home deserves the time necessary during the planning process! The more or better you plan now, the smoother and more efficient the project will go. Good planning leads to a clear direction that everyone involved needs and appreciates.

Be realistic! Even with a great plan, your journey is going have a few bumps in the road or little detours. If you’re ready for them, they are far easier to work through.

Trust your builder and their people! You already selected your builder. Turn the project over to them and let them do their thing! Of course, don’t hesitate to ask questions but remember that this isn’t the first house they’ve built! Sit back and enjoy getting to watch your dream home come to life!

For more information about Mike Fleming Construction, please visit their Facebook page or call 318.294.8768.