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Home Build prep guide


Building a Home

A Custom Home Build MUST DO (Don’t Skip!)

Published on:


written by:

Carrie Barker


Building a custom home is a HUGE investment in both time and money. Obviously, you want to get it right … the first time! By definition, a custom home has never before been built so you can’t be certain of how it will look when completed. One way to make sure the final product looks exactly as you want is to do a 3D home elevation rendering.

A rendering provides a realistic view of how the home will look upon completion. The front of your home is everyone’s first impression … and I know you want to make a great first impression!


A 3D Front Elevation Rendering uses the architect’s drawings of your front elevation to create a near-exact visual of what your house will look like.

You can also do 3D interior renderings in order to virtually walk through your home before it is built. I opted against the interior renderings, but I did do an exterior rendering.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to do a rendering because it will save you both time and money to make any changes BEFORE construction starts. Plus, it’s VERY hard to make the changes to your exterior elevation once you start building.


I’m going to ‘walk’ you through my rendering process so you can see the evolution of how my front elevation became what it is today.

I went through a series of emails and revisions over many weeks to get my house just the way I wanted it and it was worth EVERY penny and EVERY minute!

I used XR3D Studios and I highly recommend working with them. I receive no compensation for recommending them; I just want you to know about the reputable and professional company that I used. I can’t remember the rendering cost because I built my home eight years ago, but I do remember that it was a very reasonable price.

3D Home Elevation Rendering

Initial 3D Front Elevation Rendering

XR3D Studios did a great job on our initial rendering … however, I did NOT do a great job in designing the front of my home initially! Ick!

This is exactly what our house would look like today if I hadn’t taken the time to go through the rendering revision process. This is what our front elevation looked like on paper but I just couldn’t visualize it until I saw it in virtual reality.

The roof is pointy and awkward in places. Those little round windows … what was I thinking?! I was on the fence with the arched windows at this point in the design process. I also felt there was no dimension in the stair window area (the large windows directly to the right of the porch).

3D Home Elevation Rendering

First Revision

I thought shutters might help the design so I asked my rendering professional to add shutters to the front elevation. I was wrong!

I added design interest with the board and batten in some peaks. I also added stone on the bottom of the stair window area and on the garage wall (left side of the house).

This elevation still wasn’t working for me.

3D Home Elevation Rendering

Second Revision

We are getting closer! I added more dimension to the stair windows by pulling the top section out and adding corbels underneath.

This allowed for more space on the interior to add a window seat in my stair landing.

I changed the window roof on the garage wall to match my front porch metal roof. Still not feeling the arched windows …

Third Revision

We are getting SO much closer now! The shutters needed to go and I squared out the arched windows.

This gave the front elevation a cleaner look. I also added board and batten to the remaining peaks.

Still unsure about the dormer …

Fourth and Final Revision

See ya later, dormer! We made it! I love the front elevation now and I think we nailed it!

At this point, our draftsman updated our front elevation drawings to reflect all the changes we made during the rendering revision process.


I look back at the very first rendering, and I am so thankful I spent the time and money on a front elevation rendering.

I truly love the front of my home and I never would have made it to this point if I hadn’t put in the effort before construction started. See more photos of my home.

I think everyone building a custom home NEEDS to add this step to their planning stages!

Some architects and builders provide a 3-D rendering to their clients. Our builder was unable to do this but did refer us to XR3D Studios.  

Again, I highly recommend them if you want to do a rendering of your home! I don’t receive any compensation for referring to this company; I was just pleased with the results!

I hope this post on 3D home elevation rendering convinces you of the importance of doing a rendering to truly visualize your finished home!

If you are interested in my home, I am pleased to share that my floor plan is available for purchase. Also, feel free to download my *FREE* Custom Home Build Prep Guide and learn the 5 crucial steps to prepare for a home build with less stress, more confidence, and without blowing the budget.

  1. My mom wants to renovate our house and have additional rooms. It was discussed here that it will be best to ask professionals do a draft of home elevation before execution. Moreover, for home elevation, she should hire professional contractors for this project.

  2. […] No matter what route you go (architect or not), I HIGHLY recommend that you do a 3D Rendering of your front elevation. […]

  3. […] Related Post: A HOME BUILD MUST DO: 3-D RENDERING […]

  4. […] Tip: If you are creating a custom home from scratch, I highly recommend a 3D rendering to see what the final home elevation (i.e. front façade) will look like. Read more about this HERE! […]

  5. Chelsi says:

    Do you know where I can get blue prints for this house?

  6. Susan H says:

    Love your house – what is the paint color?

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I designed my own custom home from the ground up, inside and out. A home that is cozy, comfy, laid out perfectly for the way my family lives, and makes us happy every single day. Oh, and did I mention I did this all without blowing the budget?! 

Yep, it’s true. I’ve been there, done that, and actually lived through it … and you will too. Pinkie promise!

a.k.a. Caroline on Design

I’m Carrie Barker.

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