top of page

Building Your Dream Home in Greenville, SC: A Comprehensive and Detailed Guide to the Process

Building a new home in Greenville, SC, or the surrounding area can be an exciting and fulfilling journey. However, it can also be a complex and overwhelming process, particularly for first-time home builders. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide detailed information about each step of building your dream home, from finding the perfect plot of land to move-in day.

Finding the Perfect Property

The first step in building your dream home is finding the perfect property. Greenville, SC has plenty of options for land and homesites, so you’ll be sure to find a location that meets your needs. When looking at different properties, consider things like:

Assessing your Options

To start, you need to find the ideal piece of land for your new home. There are two main options: raw land or a property with a tear-down home. Raw land is undeveloped and typically costs less, but it may require more work to prepare it for construction. On the other hand, a property with a tear-down home will already have some infrastructure in place, such as utilities and possibly an existing driveway.

Doing your Due Diligence

Before purchasing a piece of land, it is essential to conduct thorough research to ensure it is suitable for building. Some critical factors to consider include:

● Zoning: Check with the local jurisdiction to ensure the land is zoned for residential construction. Zoning laws determine what type of structures can be built on a specific property and can also affect factors such as building height and setbacks from property lines.

● Property line setbacks: Understand any restrictions on how close to the property lines you can build. These setbacks can impact the size and layout of your home.

● Soil tests: Conduct soil tests to ensure the land can support the weight of your home and to identify any potential drainage issues.

● Flood zones: Determine if the property is in a flood zone, as this may require additional permits, insurance, or construction considerations.

Utilities and Off-Grid Living

It's essential to know what utilities are available on the property. Determine if city water, sewer, and power are accessible or if you will need a septic system, well, or solar power. Additionally, consider whether you want to be off-grid or connected to public utilities. Off-grid living provides independence from utility companies and can be more environmentally friendly, but it may require additional investments in infrastructure, such as solar panels or a generator.

Siting Your Home

In addition to the property research, you will need to consider where on the land you will build your home.

Environmental Considerations

Once you have found your property, it's time to decide on the best location for your home. Consider the sun's path, prevailing winds, and topography when determining the ideal site. Properly siting your home can maximize natural light, provide passive solar heating and cooling, and help protect your home from harsh weather conditions.

Road Noise, Privacy, and Views

Think about how road noise, privacy, and views will impact your enjoyment of your home. Choosing a location that provides a balance between accessibility and tranquility is crucial. Also, consider any possible landscaping needs, such as planting trees or building fences for added privacy.

Driveways and Access

The location of your driveway is another essential factor to consider. A well-planned driveway will provide easy access to your home, have adequate space for parking and turning, and minimize the need for maintenance. In addition, consider any potential challenges, such as steep slopes or drainage issues, that may impact the construction and use of your driveway.

Home Design

The design of your home plays an essential role in its functionality and livability. Here is an outline of the design process:

Determining Your Needs

Start by determining your needs, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as your entertainment capacity. This information will help us understand how to size your living room, dining room, and other spaces. Additionally, we'll discuss specifics about each room and how you plan to use your home.

Spatial Adjacencies

When designing your home, consider spatial adjacencies, or which spaces need to be near each other. For example, you might want the kitchen to be close to the dining room for easy serving, or you may prefer having the master bedroom on the opposite side of the house from the other bedrooms for added privacy. Properly planning these adjacencies can significantly impact the functionality and flow of your home.

Universal Design Principles

Incorporating universal design principles can ensure your home is accessible and comfortable for all occupants, regardless of age or ability. These principles include providing wide doorways and hallways, ensuring adequate lighting, and including features such as lever-style door handles and curbless showers. Planning for universal design during the initial design phase can save time and money compared to retrofitting your home later.


Budgeting for your dream home is an essential consideration. Knowing how much you can afford to spend will help us create a design that meets your needs within your budget.

Establishing a Realistic Budget

A crucial factor in the design process is your budget. Knowing your budget will help us create a design that meets your needs without breaking the bank. Be sure to consider not only the construction costs but also the costs associated with permits, utilities, landscaping, and contingencies for unexpected expenses.

Tracking Expenses

Throughout the design and construction process, your general contractor should keep track of expenses to ensure you stay within your budget. Regularly reviewing your spending can help you identify areas where you might need to cut back or make adjustments to avoid overspending.

The Architectural Design Process

You can customize your home in a variety of ways, from choosing the exterior finishes to selecting interior fixtures. With so many options available, it's essential to consider which details will make the most impact and how each option will affect your budget.

Design Options

After collecting all the information we need from you, we will present you with two design options that include floor plans with furniture to help you visualize the spaces. These options will take into consideration your needs, preferences, and budget. Providing multiple options allows you to compare different layouts and features, ensuring you find the perfect design for your new home.

Revisions and refinements

After reviewing the design options and discussing your reactions, we will work together to blend elements from each design into the final plan. We'll continue tweaking the design until you're happy with the result. This iterative process ensures that your new

home is tailored to your unique needs and desires.

Selecting Finishes and Materials

If desired, we can assist with the interior design of your home, including selecting finishes like tile, flooring, paint colors, and countertops. We will guide you through the process, providing expert advice and recommendations to help you create a cohesive and beautiful interior design that reflects your personal style and preferences.

Coordinating With Suppliers and Tradespeople

In addition to providing design guidance, we can help coordinate with suppliers and tradespeople to ensure the materials and finishes you select are available and installed correctly. This coordination can help save time, prevent errors, and ensure a smooth construction process.

Choosing a Builder

Once the design is finalized, it's time to find the right builder for your project.

Researching Potential Builders

Research potential builders by reviewing their portfolios, checking references, and speaking with past clients. Look for a builder with experience constructing homes similar to your design and who has a reputation for quality work and excellent customer service.

Comparing Bids and Selecting a Builder

We will connect you with a few trusted contractors to receive pricing and determine which builder is the best fit for your project. When comparing bids, be sure to consider not only the total cost but also the builder's proposed timeline, the quality of materials, and their level of communication and responsiveness. Selecting the right builder is crucial for ensuring a smooth construction process and a high-quality finished home.

Structural Engineering

The engineer will review the design plans, recommend any necessary modifications, and provide the necessary structural drawings and calculations required for permitting. The engineer will help create detailed plans for the foundation, framing, and other structural elements to guarantee your home is safe and sound.

Ensuring Code Compliance

In addition to working with a structural engineer, it's essential to ensure your home complies with all applicable building codes and regulations. This may include energy efficiency standards, fire safety requirements, and accessibility guidelines. Ensuring compliance during the design phase can help prevent costly delays or modifications during construction. We will work to develop your drawings to submit for a building permit and demonstrate compliance with necessary codes.

Obtaining Permits

Your builder will need to obtain a building permit before you can begin construction. This process typically involves submitting your architectural and structural drawings and other required documentation to the local building department. This may also include coordinating with other professionals, such as a civil engineer, to provide additional documentation, such as a grading plan or stormwater management plan.

Navigating the Permitting Process

The permitting process can be complex and time-consuming, but our expertise and experience will help streamline the process. We will communicate with the building department on your behalf, addressing any questions or concerns they may have and making any necessary revisions to your plans. Our goal is to obtain the required permits as quickly and efficiently as possible, allowing construction to begin on schedule.


It's almost time to start building! Once the design is finalized, permits are obtained, and contractors are selected, construction can begin.

Breaking Ground

Your chosen builder will break ground on your new home, starting with site preparation and excavation. This phase may include clearing trees, grading the land, and digging the foundation.

Monitoring Progress

During construction, we will visit the site periodically to observe progress and ensure the project is on track. We will work closely with the builder to address any issues that arise and to make sure the construction adheres to the design plans and building codes.

Quality Control and Inspections

Throughout the construction process, your home will be subject to various inspections to ensure it meets all applicable codes and standards. These inspections may include foundation, framing, electrical, plumbing, and final inspections. Your builder will coordinate with the local building department to schedule these inspections, and we will help ensure any necessary corrections are made promptly.


Our goal is to guide you through the process of building your dream home in Greenville, SC, ensuring that it is functional, flows well, and ultimately makes you happy. With careful planning, attention to detail, and our expertise, we can help turn your dream home into a reality. By following this comprehensive and detailed guide, you'll be well on your way to enjoying your new home, tailored to your unique needs and desires.

Are you Ready to Embark on the Journey of Building your Dream Home in Greenville, SC?

ATMO Architecture is here to make your vision a reality. With our expert guidance and attention to detail, we will walk you through every step of the process, from finding the perfect property to designing a home that suits your needs and lifestyle.

Don't wait any longer to start living in the home you've always imagined. Visit our website and contact ATMO Architecture today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward creating a space that's uniquely yours. Let ATMO Architecture be your trusted partner in bringing your dream home to life!

bottom of page