Before you start designing your custom home, ask yourself some important questions.
After searching high and low, you’ve decided that the only person who can design the home that is right for you, is you. Once you embark on designing and building a custom home, you’ll realize that deciding what you want in your custom home isn’t as easy as you think. Most home buyers think they know what they want, but once they sit down with their builder or designer, they realize they have more to think about than they expected.
From deciding on how much space you need – both indoor and outdoor – to knowing what kind of countertops you like, designing your dream home will be rewarding and a lot of fun. But it can also be overwhelming. We’ve put together of number of questions you should ask yourself before you embark on the journey to help minimize the stress of the home building process.
How many bedrooms (and accessory rooms) do you need?
Initially, you may say, “I have two kids, so I need three bedrooms including the primary bedroom.” But a good designer will ask you about your family and how it may grow, or shrink, within the next few years. Think about whether your elderly parents will need to come live with you in the near future. Ask yourself if there is a possibility of having another child or your teenage child moving away. Or do you foresee having a number of overnight guests throughout the year?
It's not just physical bodies that you need to think about. Think about your hobbies or other activities. Do you have a budding influencer business that will soon require a home office/studio? Do you need space for your crafts or a place to work out? Or do you want a playroom for your kids that can later be converted into a study room?
Do you have special storage needs?
If you have specific hobbies or collectables, you’ll want to talk to your builder about the amount of space you need or, depending on the type of collectables, special climate specifications. Do you want all of your bedrooms to have walk-in closets? Or do you have ATVs that will require an additional or detached garage? Also important is assessing how many holiday decorations you’ll need to store throughout the year. (On that note: if you put a Christmas tree up every year, ensure that your floor plan allows for prime tree display!)
How much land do you want to build on?
We all love the idea of having a large backyard but we never take into account how much maintaining a large yard entails. Before you decide on the largest lot available, make sure you have the time and budget to maintain.
Important also is to think about what you want to include in the exterior of your home. Will you need a parking spot for your RV. Will you be building a pool? Or maybe you need an outdoor living space for entertaining. Make sure to talk to your builder about your plans for the exterior to ensure you’ve picked the right sized lot.
What kind of amenities can’t you live without?
Besides space for all of your loved ones, there are items in your home you can customize to make your daily life easier. If you're an avid baker or cook, you may want to request a chef’s kitchen or multiple ovens.
If your life revolves around your four-legged children, you might want to consider built-in dog bowls and a water station in your kitchen island, or a dog bathing station in your utility room.
Think about material as well. Do you like granite, quartz, marble, or wood countertops? Your builder can tell you about the pros and cons of each but it's important to know if you have a preference. Knowing your flooring, lighting, hardware, and even appliance preferences when you’re designing your floor plan will help with budgeting your home.
How much can you afford?
By the time you reach the design stage of your custom home, you should already have an idea of your budget. If you’re financing your home, you’ve been pre-approved for a home loan. Your builder will help you stay within your budget but it's important to be realistic about what you can or cannot afford. Create your, “must have list,” and, “wish list.” Once you’ve ensured your custom home has all of your must haves, you can see if there is still room in your budget to add items from your wish list.
Are you and your partner on the same page?
According to Edmundo Dena, Everest Homes Builder, one of the hardest parts of the design process is compromising your expectations with the expectations of your spouse or partner. Your builder isn’t a marriage counselor but a good builder and designer should be able to present options to help you compromise. But you must be willing to compromise.
The design process can be overwhelming because the possibilities are endless with a custom home builder. There will be a lot of decisions you’ll have to make. Having a clear vision and definition of your dream home is important. Equally important is having an open and honest relationship with your builder. Communication is key if you want to make your dream a reality.