Having a custom home built for your next property is a significant investment in time and expense, so it’s important that you have it designed to specifications that fit not only your lifestyle but on-going needs too. If you’ve never had a home built before, the decision making can be overwhelming; that’s why we’ve compiled a list of seven secrets you can use now – to design the perfect dream home for you and your family.
1. Start a List of Must Have Items in Your New Home
Before you start working out the finer details of your home’s build, it’s important to consider which elements are unforgiving in the layout and which items are more flexible regarding the overall design. It’s important to consider the natural flow you’re hoping for within the home too; do you want an open concept plan or something more traditional? Do you require a single, spacious area or would you rather have a private dining room for family functions? Grab a piece of paper and start writing out the pros and cons of each idea – to see what works best within your family. Likewise, determine how many bedrooms you’d like the home to have as well, taking into consideration any future family additions down the road.
2. Daydream About the Final Product
Take a look through various magazines, websites and photographs of different styles of homes – noting what you like and don’t like about each of the rooms you see. Pay attention to the colours, floor plans, finishing materials and design—as these can help you shape your custom home build too. If you find something you love, save the image to show your builder – especially if you’d like to replicate the picture. The builder can let you know whether the design will match well with the current floor plan or whether they’d need to accommodate your request in a different way (such as reducing the cabinets in the kitchen, if space is limited).
3. Think About the Big Picture
Many homeowners think solely of their current situation (family and children, finances, finishes) that they forget to plan for the future too. When you’re planning your home, it’s important to remember that life’s circumstances change quickly – whether that means having more children or caring for an elderly parent. Discuss important details about future events with your builder; like adding an in-law suite into the basement or roughing in an additional bathroom downstairs. These are all items that can save you money long-term, instead of adding them in later.
4. Upgrades During the Build Means Less Improvement Later
When you’re planning your custom home build, it’s important to remember that the home is built to your specifications and requirements. Often, homeowners opt for a cheaper finish (laminate over granite, for instance) with the idea of changing it at a later time. This mentality is backwards of what should happen; opt for upgrades that can be enjoyed throughout the years – instead of setting yourself up for additional work down the road. The last thing you’ll want to do is remodel your kitchen in five years when you finally want the granite.
5. Know Your Budget and Compromise on Design
Looking at your list of must-haves, determine which items are the most important. While having a custom stone bathroom might be a nice feature, sacrificing a fourth bedroom to achieve it is impractical. Consider which of the items on your list would offer the most benefit to your family and make sure you have those elements in place. Once you’ve narrowed your options down, reassess your budget to factor in any upgrades you’d still like to have – at a price you can afford.
6. Talk to Your Builder About Specifications
An experienced home builder has seen hundreds of homes developed and built throughout the years; trusting his opinion on design and floor planning is a wise decision. If you’re not sure of the optimal finishes for durability or longevity, ask his opinion. He’ll give you a fair assessment of different materials, giving you the tools you need to make a final decision.
7. Determine the Costs of Upgrades Over Time
Looking at the individual costs of upgrades can scare even the most experienced home developer – but it’s important to understand these costs only offer a small picture of the home. When you’re having a custom home built, you’ll be building a home to your ideal design and specification – meaning you’ll have less overall renovation requirement down the road.Many times, the costs of high-end upgrades (like commercial appliances in the kitchen or floor heating) can have a minimal impact on your final purchase price of the home. This means your monthly mortgage payment might increase by a few dollars at the end of the build – instead of paying the expenses in a lump sum.