A magnificent outdoor living area was created for this custom Colorado Chalet home
What inspires you? Start thinking now before you commit to building a home about your inspiration and how you can use it in your home design. Creating a Pinterest board is a valuable tool to keep all your photos and ideas together in one place. You can even organize boards by different rooms. Use your board to start planning your custom home, and share the boards with your builder.
Room Placement and Necessity
The ideal placement of rooms may vary a bit based on your personal preferences and how your family functions. But for most families it’s ideal to place the laundry room near the bedrooms, to situate bedrooms as far away from noise and traffic, to locate the kitchen near the main entrance to make it easier to carry in groceries, and to place the garage near a mud room and the kitchen to keep dirt, sports attire and other daily attire such as backpacks contained to one area.
Consider room necessity. What rooms do you use on a regular basis? How much storage do you need? If your family never eats in a dining room you may only need a kitchen with a dining nook. Or if the idea of a fitness room or a game room sounds enticing, consider if you will really use it before adding it into your plan.
While you may have an existing house plan in mind, it may not fit on the lot well. Consider modifying or invest in a custom home plan in order to maximize the views from the lot or to consider the landscaping, including if there is current landscaping such as mature trees.
You can almost never have too much lighting. Take advantage of natural light whenever possible by including lots of windows in your home plan wherever possible, including skylights if possible. And add light fixtures and outlets in every spot you can.
If you plan to sell your home eventually, and even if you don’t, keep resale in mind. Even if the plan is to stay in the home forever, life circumstances may change the plan. Good design sells, and so does a energy efficient, low maintenance home.
Consider how your family will change throughout the years. What will your family need in a home plan now, and in 5, 10, 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years?
Make a list of non negotiables (i.e. things you require to be included in the house such as a walk-closet, or a mudroom). Because you likely do not have unlimited funds, you have to make compromises on what you want, and what you are willing to give up. If you have a list of non negotiables, you can give the list to the builder so they can make sure those items are included in the plan.
Source Flickr/Nils Vik
Choose energy efficient appliances with the Energy Star logo. You’ll save money in the long run by lowering your utility bills. You may also qualify for energy efficiency rebates if you install energy efficient equipment in your new home. Often you can receive a federal tax credit for installing Energy Star appliances. You city, state or local utility company may also offer rebates and tax credits.
Design your house for low maintenance. Cheap materials will cost you more throughout the years. Invest in quality materials from the beginning to save more later.
Before you get too far into the process determine your budget. Consult with a financial advisor to help you decide what you can afford.
When building a home financing may be different from a traditional home mortgage. Shop around to save money and understand the difference between a construction loan and a home mortgage. Often a construction loan has a shorter term and may have a higher interest rate. You will usually need to refinance the construction loan at the end of the term into a home mortgage.
Ask your builder for a realistic move-in date. Have a back-up plan in case the date is moved later. Make sure you line up temporary housing plus ample storage space, if needed.
Read all contracts over and over, and over again, before you sign. Make sure you understand what you are signing. Make sure the contract includes everything you’ve discussed. Once you’ve signed a contract, you may not be able to make changes.
Take a look at our custom home gallery for some ideas of what we can accomplish for your home building project!