You’ve been dreaming of this your whole life and the time has finally come. You get to build your dream home! Rather than buying an already built house and making it a home, you are going all in one by creating one from scratch that your fits your family to a T. Since this will be a big process, you’ll need to know where to begin. Use this beginner’s guide to design your dream house and get started today.
Start with a brainstorm session
The first thing to do is will probably be the most fun part of the process which is to brainstorm and start with the dream or vision. Grab a pencil and paper to start sketching ideas and making lists. What features do you want each room to have? What ideas do you already have? Start writing things down and sketching what you’d like to see.
You’ll want to think about your family’s needs and what your future plans are in order to put this into the design of the space. Do you plan to have kids or do you have kids leaving the nest? Do you plan to have guests over often or would a small space suit your needs best? Think about what currently works well for you and what your family currently wishes they had in a home. It helps to think about your family’s lifestyle, future plans and needs for the next several years.
Consider how it will work with your land
If you are designing a home for a property you already have, you’ll have to consider how the land will work in your home design. This can work in your favor as it helps start to narrow down your mind’s endless possibilities into something that has to work with a certain size, views you want to have, and land features like sloped land or a stream on the property.
You can purposely put your best view where your master bedroom is, or utilize the sloped land into better views. Have that big window in the living looking out to beautiful natural views rather than your neighbor’s house.
Prioritize the important features
You’ll next want to consider what the most important features will be for you. Take a look at that wish list where you wrote down things like “swimming pool,” “water views,” and “basement” in order to start thinking about which features are the most important.
Prioritize the things that you must have even if nothing else makes the list, such as that backyard garden or view of downtown that you’ve been dreaming of the most or would benefit your family most. This way, you can focus your budget on what matters most and then incorporate other wish list items as money allows.
Consider flow and light
When you design a home, you often forget to place yourself in the home during the design process. You’ll have to be able to function in the house and have a way to flow nicely. You don’t want to put the kitchen right next to a bedroom, or the bathroom far away from common areas where guests would visit. Consider the function and flow by making more room in the areas that your family tends to congregate and considering your daily routines.
Balance your budget with your wish list
Now you’ll want to look at both your budget and your actual wish list to find the right balance. If you can’t afford a swimming pool, it might be time to focus on what you can afford and maybe leaving room for one if you think you’ll add one someday.
Think about what you can afford when it comes to your monthly mortgage, property taxes, and insurance. Consider what you can handle for your monthly cost of living when it comes to things like utilities. Then consider if your style reflects these realities or is out of budget. You’ll want to balance your budget with your wish list of items like wanting a space to entertain, wanting a waterfront location, and having space to work on favorite hobbies.
This is the first step in designing your dream custom home!