Building on Your Own Lot is Easy with Urban NW

Build your dream home on land you love! The process is simple, and Urban NW will be there every step of the way to help you craft a home that's uniquely suited to you. Here's what to expect.


What kind of home do you want to build? Typically our custom buyers come to us with a concept already in mind to use as a starting point for their home design. This can be an Urban NW Homes’ floor plan pulled from our website, a floor plan found elsewhere, or even just a basic idea of the type, size, and style of home you’d like to live in. We can also work with you to design a completely unique plan from scratch to perfectly fit your homesite and budget.

Having an initial home design concept allows us to give you an estimated range of construction costs so you can begin to define your budget.

establish your vision
land and lending


Urban NW Homes generally builds custom homes within the Clark and Cowlitz counties of Washington, and sections of Oregon's Multnomah county and the Oregon coast. If you already own land you plan to build on, the next step would be to connect with a lender to determine your build budget.

Unless you are financing with cash, a construction loan will be necessary to build a custom home with Urban NW Homes, which has different requirements than conventional financing. We work with trusted lenders who are well-versed in the land acquisition and construction loan process who will walk you through each step.


Once you’ve secured a homesite and know the type of home you’d like to build, our owner will make a visit to the site to identify any necessary lot improvements, the building envelope, and any easements or slopes that could affect your home build. With this information and your floor plan concept in mind, we can then provide a closer cost estimate to make sure you’re within the parameters of your budget goals before moving forward.

site meeting
in-person discovery meeting


This is where we invite you to visit one of our model homes to experience our style and quality firsthand. You’ll come to this meeting with an established homesite and floor plan concept, a pre-approval letter (if financing), and your creative vision. Together we will identify your new home wants, needs, and must-haves to begin crafting a home design that perfectly matches your values and lifestyle.


Once we have identified lot costs, established budgets, and achieved a thorough understanding of your design vision, we move on to the next step: signing a Letter of Intent (LOI). This non-binding agreement, accompanied by an initial deposit, kickstarts the floor plan design and engineering phase. The LOI marks the beginning of our journey towards signing a formal contract to initiate the construction of your dream home.

letter of intent
design and engineering


In the design phase, you’ll collaborate with our draftspeople so they can draw up your home plans in a way that takes full advantage of your lot’s features or views. Throughout this stage, our Director of Design & Client Relations will work closely with you to facilitate the selection of both interior and exterior design elements. You'll also attend vendor meetings to make choices regarding hard surfaces, cabinets, plumbing and lighting fixtures, as well as appliances.

Once your floor plan design is complete and fully engineered, we'll reach out to our suppliers and subcontractors for "hard bids." These bids, along with your finalized selections, will enable us to present you with a contract price for the entire home construction. Once a contract is signed, your plan is off to permitting.


Once permits are picked up, it’s groundbreaking time! The Urban NW team will handle every step of the build process to completion, and we invite you along for as much or as little as you choose.

With scheduled site visits, regular communication with the team, and access to our custom builder software, you’ll stay up to speed on the overall progress of your home. Through the BuilderTrend platform you’ll have direct access to your home’s construction schedule, plus regular updates that include photo documentation of each phase of the build. You’ll also have the ability to add your own photos, track your selections, and view your final engineered plan.

live green


Time for keys! Our Home Completion Manager will welcome you to your new home with a thorough orientation. We’ll walk you through every detail of your new high-performance home, help you familiarize yourself with its features and functions, and go over maintenance schedules so you can get settled in no time.

Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and breathe easy knowing your home has been third-party verified to the National Green Building Standard and built with your health, comfort, and energy efficiency in mind. With our commitment to using healthy and sustainable practices and products, you’ll be able to live in and love your home even longer.

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Yes! While the majority of our home buyers come to us with a parcel of land already established, we do partner with a number of experienced real estate professionals that are ready to help you find and secure the perfect plot for your homesite.

Unless you are a cash buyer, we do require our homeowners to carry their own construction loan financing for a custom build. We have trusted lenders who are familiar with our process who can offer support and solutions for this part of the process that we can refer you to.

Typically we see custom builds completed between 11-15 months depending on a number of factors. We can fit your build into our schedule as soon as your floor plan is finalized and the local building jurisdiction approves the building permit. The design & engineering process can take a couple of months - this varies depending on whether you replicate one of our existing pre-engineered floor plans, or start from scratch and customize a plan. The permitting timeline varies per jurisdiction, but on average can take 2-3 months for approval. Once we have the approved building permit in hand, it's roughly a 9-12 month build timeframe before getting your keys.

When building your home, there are three key cost components to consider:

  1. Lot Development: This will vary depending on your land's characteristics and location, and encompasses things like well, septic, driveway, and utility installation, along with their permit fees.
  2. Construction Costs: The base price of the home, otherwise known as the “sticks & bricks.” These are the costs to physically build your home, including materials, labor, standard excavation, and basic landscaping. It also accounts for a mid-range level of interior finishes and our builder's fee.
  3. Finishes & Customizations: This is where you personalize your home. It involves selecting surfaces, cabinets, flooring, and unique features that reflect your preferences and style. Any selections above our standard level of included finishes will be accounted for here.

Because there are many variables, our initial price quote will give you an estimated range of construction costs as a price-per-square foot for your chosen floor plan (excluding lot development and finish level costs). As we learn more about your land and desired finishes, we can work towards a more precise custom build price.



(cost to prepare your homesite)


(cost to construct your home)


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