Building a custom home is a labor of love, designed down to the smallest detail. It represents what’s most important to your family. Your custom home also reflects your lifestyle and reveals your priorities. It shows the world who you are and what is meaningful to you.Custom homes provides a one-of-a-kind snapshot into your life and should be approached with all the creativity and attention to detail your family deserves. It is, after all, the turning of your family’s dreams into a tangible reality.
Where to Begin?
There are a couple of questions to ask yourself before taking the leap into the world of custom homes. To start, ask yourself if you have the time to wait. It can take up to a year-and-a-half or more to build a custom home. Many families just don’t have the time to wait or a place to stay while their home is being built. But if you do, the next, equally important question to ask is, “Can we afford it?”
Because your custom home is as close to your dream home as you’ll likely get, such homes tend to cost more than other homes. Be certain you have the finances to fully fund your custom home before building begins so you can avoid potentially difficult decisions down the road, like what amenities you might need to cut, or if you have to abandon the idea altogether.
Once you’re sure building a custom home is for you, it’s time to really get to work.
Create a Wish List
Write down what you love about your current home and what you’d like to change. Poll your family – if they could choose anything to include or exclude from your new home, what would it be?
Ask your friends – those who’ve had custom homes built, those who’ve moved recently, and those who haven’t taken the leap into home ownership just yet. Ask them what they wish they’d have done differently, what they wish they’d chosen, what they can’t live without and what they wish they hadn’t done.
Think about your littlest residents. They won’t be little forever, but they also probably won’t be the last little ones to grace your floors with their chubby little baby toes.
Don’t forget your pets. What do you think they would ask for if they could?
With your wish list well in hand, it’s time to turn to your list of needs and to anticipate as many of them as you can.
Prepare for the Future
A reality facing many families today is the combination of multiple households – of multiple generations – under one roof. While it might not be something you have to worry about in the immediate future, it’s something you may want to be sure you can adapt to as your parents and grandparents age. Perhaps you’ll want to make sure that on the first floor there is a full bathroom and a room that can be turned into a bedroom so aging joints won’t have to deal with the wear, tear and danger of stairs. Or maybe you’ll want to look into adding a “mother-in-law’s suite” to your design.
Perhaps you have adolescents in your home. A 2016 PEW study showed that 15 percent of 25- to 35-year-old Millennials were living in their parents’ homes. They are also likely to live in their parents’ homes for longer than previous generations of “boomerangers.”
Surely many of these possibilities seem pretty far away, but the road of life moves breathtakingly fast. One day you’ll be christening the brand-new kitchen of your dreams with a delightfully messy cake smash to celebrate a first birthday. It’ll seem like the next day when your little birthday girl is grabbing your car keys off the hook in that same kitchen and heading out to meet her friends.
Find the Right Location
Look for a property that meets your long-term needs. If you know you want to live in rural solitude, make sure the surrounding land is not in danger of being developed in the near future. Maybe you want a space that allows for the possibility of family or friends building near you; check and make sure there are nearby lots available. In the same vein, if you want to be part of a community with neighbors close by, spend some time in the development you’re considering. Talk to people who live there. See if you and your family will be a good fit.
Plan what you want right now, but also plan for your future, because it will be here before you know it. An builder experienced in designing custom homes like Alex Fruth will help you navigate your needs today, tomorrow and beyond.
Contact Alex Fruth at Fruth Construction for a consultation.