Designing and building your dream home involves more than just knowing how many rooms and bathrooms you want.
Whether you’re building from the ground up or renovating a cheap fixer-upper, creating your dream home is a journey to discovering who you are and what you want your life to be. It also requires thorough planning and research.
Here, you’ll learn four crucial considerations when designing and building your dream home and some tips to make the most out of it.
1. The Purpose
Building your dream home is all about giving it a purpose – a “why” to guide every decision you make.
Why do you want it built from scratch? Probably to ensure that it is tailored to your family’s every need. Or perhaps you want it to be a place where you can grow old or maybe something with a higher market value in the future.
Whichever the case, the key is to stick to the purpose you’ve come up with when relaying your dream home design to the construction company you’ll be working with.
The key is to set goals for the endeavor and take appropriate steps to accomplish them.
When doing so, you’ll need to satisfy both the practical (i.e., what is most useful and cost-effective) and emotional (i.e., what makes you happy) side of your brain.
Here are some goal questions you would need answers to along the way:
- What should your dream home help you achieve?
- Where do you intend to live?
- How much will this cost?
- Is it really doable?
- Does the primary plan make sense?
- What is your contingency?
2. The Budget
While coming up with your goals, you also need to establish a budget for the entire project and its different parts.
This should begin with how much you can afford. However, you also need to consider how the house construction costs will fit into your future plans.
After that, you can get down to the details of the project, including the following:
- Land cost
- Local fees and taxes
- Design fees
- Furniture and interior decoration
As for the construction costs, you’ll need to consider not just the house itself but also the landscape. To be sure, inquire about the pricing from landscaping companies near you.
On top of that, you will also want to have a contingency fund. Like any complex project, things may not go as you initially planned with a house construction. To be safe, you should have enough funds to cover those little detours.
Pro tip: Use a spreadsheet program (e.g., MS Excel or Google Sheets) to develop your budget. This is easier to update and modify, not to mention it helps you keep track of your remaining money set aside for the project.
3. The Land (or Old House)
Where and how do you want to live? What exactly are you looking for?
Whether it’s a piece of land or an old house, the answer to these questions will guide you in picking a neighborhood for your dream house.
However, you need to remember that not everything that you can imagine is viable. For example, a property with the perfect ocean or mountain view may cost more than you can afford or may be too far from schools and other amenities.
The key is to find a spot you can claim for yourself without sacrificing practical requirements.
4. The Builders
Start with your purpose (“why”) and your budget (“how much”) before you proceed with the location (“where”). Noticed a pattern here?
Now that you’re done with why, how much, and where, next is the “who.” Who will be building your dream home?
Even if you’re a builder yourself, you mustn’t take on the task alone. This endeavor needs more than one pair of hands, after all.
You’ll need to assemble a team of professionals who can help you achieve your goals. Below are some experts you potentially need to hire:
- Builder and architect – These people are considered the most important members of the team. In some cases, this can be one and the same. They will act as your advocate, counselor, guide, and even your therapist during your journey to achieving your dream house.
- Interior designer – This person or establishment will help you achieve a beautiful and functional interior for every room of the house.
- Landscaper – A landscape expert can help you create a wonderful outdoor space for your property. They can also ensure your house has curb appeal.
Bonus Tips: How to Maximize Your Dream Home
Here are some ways you can maximize your dream home investment:
Plan for the future.
As mentioned earlier, you need to have a purpose for your dream house. Essentially, this should be focused on the long-term use of the structure.
Do you intend to raise your children there? Are you planning to care for your aging parents in your house? In both scenarios, you’ll need to consider the needs of those family members.
You should also plan for various scenarios involving your family, like catering to your extended family during the holidays, setting up a place for returning college students, and so on.
Besides family matters, think about how you can operate a business out of your home. Some people transition from an office-based day job to, say, a home-baking business only to realize that they don’t have a big enough kitchen.
Avoid these hassles and design your home with your plans for the future in mind.
Pick which features to prioritize.
If you can’t have it all due to budget or building code constraints, you can at least focus on a few of your preferred features.
For example, if you want to grow your own herbs for your homemade recipes, you may want to prioritize a box window garden over a line for a gas stove. The rule of thumb is to rank features according to their importance to your preferred lifestyle.
Incorporate functionality into the design.
With your designer’s help, think about where various rooms should be located for optimum flow and function.
For example, put bedrooms away from communal areas to reduce noise in the sleeping areas. You can also implement an open floor plan for your living room, dining area, and kitchen if your family prefers to gather around while meals are being prepared.
Make Your Dream Home a Reality
Building your dream home will be much easier if you make a thorough plan. Think about the most important considerations to make it a reality sooner rather than later.
Rachel Hennessey manages the Pools and Landscaping Division of Hennessey LLC. She also works on Tender and Pre-Qualification and brings in new business to the company’s Construction, Interiors and Civils Division.