So you want to build a custom home, addition or renovation.
You’re excited about the prospect such a major change can bring to your life and you’re ready to go now.
Slow down and take some time to make sure that whatever you decide to do, you do it right. Building a custom home or adding an addition to your home can ease the growing pains you are experiencing. It can create that wonderful environment you wish to raise your family in but only if the design and construction are done in a way that meets all your needs (even in ways that you may not have thought of).
The project you are considering should include all the grand details you’ve seen and fallen in love with in magazines and your friends’ homes. It should also meet all your functional needs for more space, better flow, whatever you need to make your home your own.
To get started, make a list of all the things you like and dislike about your home and a list of things you definitely want to change.
Prioritize the list and then think long-term, maybe projects that are on your "Someday List," but you know you will not do now. For example, you may be planning for your parents to move in with you in the future or your children moving out in a few years. Maybe you’re considering a pool and patio. You want to make sure that what you design and build now will accommodate your future plans.
One of your most valuable tools will be a tape measure. Keep it with you everywhere you go. Begin by measuring the size of the rooms in your home and recording those in a journal.
As you're visiting friends, relatives or model homes and see rooms that you like the size of, measure and record them in your journal. That way, when you’re sitting down with your design professional you can accurately communicate to him/her the size of the spaces you really need or want and have something visual you can relate too. Many people find this exercise very helpful.
Look through design magazines and pull pictures of interior and exterior details you like. Keep a camera with you and take pictures of the homes or special features you would like included in your design. Create a binder with sections for exteriors, interiors, details, kitchens, baths, etc so that you can easily access them to show your designer.
Next you need to establish a budget of what you want to spend and what you can spend. Your design professional needs to know a budget so he/she does not waste your valuable time and money designing a project that will never get built.
Once you have a plan of what you think you would like to include in your new living environment and how much you plan on spending, it’s time to begin the design phase. Check back in a week to see how to successfully navigate one of the most critical steps in your housing journey, choosing the right design professional.