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House Planning: Customizing Layout and Design

From Floor Plans to Finishing Touches

You’ve probably heard it said that it takes more than a building to make a house a home, but taking an empty shell and transforming it into your special space can be challenging. While following your real estate agent through a house tour, you might feel like you’re stepping into someone else’s vision. Perhaps the master bath doesn’t have a soaker tub, or the closet is hardly big enough for one person. Maybe you like the backsplash in the kitchen, but the island is too small to comfortably serve your guests. Transforming another person’s space into your own can take months of stressful renovation, and the final product still might not fit your lifestyle. A custom build, however, gives you the freedom to choose all the materials, finishings, and furnishings to fashion a home that is built to meet your needs.

Custom Homes Mean Custom Comfort

Custom homes offer homebuyers an alternative to pre-built homes. When you buy a pre-built home, you may struggle to fit your own preferences and style into the already constructed space. Though pre-built homes can be altered and conformed to fit the new buyer’s lifestyle, you may struggle through months of planning and executing renovations to achieve the final product. Even then, the existing floor plan and your budget may force you to make compromises, leaving you ultimately unsatisfied with the finished product.

Similarly, tract homes can restrict a homeowner’s individuality and force buyers to compromise on the quality of their home. Tract homes get their name from the large tracts of land bought by builders to design and create subdivisions. These builders may prioritize affordability and speedy timelines, and those priorities may be reflected in the house, from foundation to finishing touches. In addition, the prospective buyer has little control over which fixtures and design elements are chosen. When completed, the rows of tract homes share similar features. Tract homes can feel stifling for homeowners who want a specific style with quality fixtures and features that stand out from other builds.

Custom-built homes separate themselves from other builds in their ability to meet homeowners’ unique needs. These homes provide a prospective homeowner with the opportunity to collaborate with a builder on each stage of home building – from designing a floorplan to choosing fixtures and color palettes. You can choose a mid-century modern vibe or a classic colonial. You can select décor that creates a rustic farmhouse feel or a cottagecore aesthetic. You know the quality, durability, and environmental sustainability of the home from top to bottom because you worked alongside your builder to choose the features to fit your lifestyle.

Research and Reach Out to Local Builders

Once you’ve decided you want to pursue custom home building, one of the most important decisions is choosing a builder whose expertise and vision meshes with yours. You can start by contacting your local home builders association to see which builders offer the option to build custom homes. You can also scan real estate magazines or websites that feature custom home builds. Through these resources, you can find homes similar to the size and price you are looking for in your build and see what builder they used.

After you’ve found a builder or builders you think you want to work with, consider visiting neighborhoods these builders have designed. Do you like their style and the quality of their builds? If the neighborhood has a house for sale, schedule a visit with your realtor or drop in for an open house. If you like what you see, reach out to a perspective builder for a meeting. You can make a list of questions to help you understand if a builder’s personality and style meshes with your own.

Designing Your Dream Home

With the builder’s insight, you can review blueprints for your custom home and design a layout for your needs. Perhaps you have older family members that live with you, and you want to give them their own space. Maybe you want a spacious eat-in kitchen for large parties and a formal dining room for more intimate gatherings. You can choose to install a spiral staircase and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, or place all of the bedrooms on the same floor to be close to the kids. The decisions are yours.

The same flexibility translates to the building process. As your idea becomes a reality, you can walk through the studs and envision how each room will look once complete. Now you can see that the mudroom needs built-in cubby shelves to organize winter coats, school books, and shoes. Having control over these choices allows you to perfect your floor plan and transform good bones into your new favorite space. From studs to a sunflower garden, your custom home builder will guide you so that you and your family can come back to a house that actually feels like your own.

Every prospective homeowner has different needs, interests, and styles. A custom home provides homeowners the freedom to explore their own style and create a functional space for themselves and for their friends and family. Avoid the messy renovations or the awkward rooms you will never use and imagine how a custom build can become your forever home.

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