A custom home… nobody has ever lived in it before. It is all yours and now you get to add those final little touches that truly make your dream come true in creating your forever home. It can be both exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Just take a deep breath, and follow these tips below to ensure you truly have the home of your dreams.
Keep It Simple
Too many people rely on designers to understand their dream simply by telling it to them. Why not put your ideas down on paper? Yes, I know you are not an architect, but if you can draw some basic figures, you can create the outline of the home, then allow the architect, designers, and builders to take it from there. Give them a real idea of what you want the home to look like, then they can draw up the “real” plans to make it happen.
Planning for the Future
I recently had a friend who had a custom home and had to sell it. There was nothing wrong with the home at all, but they built the home without ever looking forward. Home office, check. Game room, check. Master suite, check. Bedrooms for the twins.. wait, what? I asked them if they planned on having children when they built the home and they stated that it was always in their plans, yet somehow they forgot to add that into the design of their home. The home they built was for a professional work-from-home couple with no children. Back to the drawing board!
Maximize the Potential of the Natural Landscape
This will not be relevant to every home, but those that own a nice secluded lot with some great natural features will want to benefit from them. For instance, if there is a running stream nearby, why not situate the bedrooms on that side of the home for the natural relaxing sound of the water. If you have a beautiful sunset on the horizon, consider a family room with a glass wall to enjoy it every night. If your home backs up to a natural preserve, add a deck to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.
This is something where I have seen some epic fails in the past. People get an idea in their head that sounds great, but it is simply not practical. For instance, why is the laundry room in the basement when laundry is generated on the floor where there are bedrooms and bathrooms? Why is the mudroom located by the front entrance when everyone comes in through the garage? Consider how the home will be used for living, business (if relevant), and entertaining, then work that flow into the design.
Take Advantage of Natural Light
You want to save money on heating bills? Consider where you will be during the day and work the natural light into that aspect of the home. The sun can work wonders on crisp days and you can always use blackout curtains in the summer. Sunlight also works wonders on your overall attitude and energy levels, so, if you work from home, that could also be a consideration. If windows are not an option to take advantage of that natural light, what about a skylight?
Unless you have an unlimited budget, some cuts and alterations may have to be made to your original plan. Once you design the “dream” home, rate every feature in importance so you know what can be cut if need be. You may also want to consider multi-purpose rooms for those unexpected events. For example, can you easily convert an office into a guest bedroom or a game room into a playroom for the kids? This ties into considering the future because you surely do not want to find yourself in the position my friends did that I mentioned above.