While the average cost of building a new home is higher than buying an existing one, there are a lot of benefits. If you follow smart tips for building a custom home, your new home can be more energy-efficient, space-efficient, and properly arranged for your family’s needs.
Follow these six tips if you want to ensure your home is designed perfectly for your family.
- Think Carefully About HVAC
One of the most quietly destructive elements that can destroy a home is mold. Moisture and mold growth between the walls can not only rot your frame but also cause health problems. If you plan your HVAC system incorrectly, you could leave it vulnerable to growth that will make your family ill.
The size of your unit matters as well. You need a system that’s not so massive that it costs an arm and a leg to run. You also don’t want a system that’s so small that you have to run it constantly without ever getting the results you want.
While HVAC systems might not be the first thing you think about, if your region gets hot summers and freezing winters, it should be at the top of your list. Find a system that’s easy to use. Make sure you’ve got lots of licensed repair professionals and technicians nearby if something goes wrong.
- Plan Your Space Carefully
People with a limited budget don’t need to worry about how they break up their spaces, but sadly that’s a small minority of people. Most custom home builders will have to run the numbers and check them twice when planning out space.
Reconsider giant walk-in closets, oversized master bedrooms, or bathrooms that are twice the size they need to be. You’ll be stuck with a home that needs to be heated, cooled, and with a large electric bill to account for the size.
On top of that, you need to have your storage spaces where they make sense. If you live in a cold climate, having a closet for coats in the foyer makes sense. If not, you don’t need the extra storage space there.
- Light It Carefully
Not only should you worry about your aforementioned electric bill, but you should also be thinking of ways to keep your home as bright as possible. The best way to do that is to make sure that your home utilizes natural light when you can.
Visit the site where you’re going to be building your home and track the way the sun moves over the site. If you’re near other buildings or at a high latitude, you might have your light blocked by nearby buildings. Consider which times of year you might get the lowest light and aim your windows at the sun.
Don’t make too many tight corridors, keep outlets available, and make sure overhead lighting is adequate. Lighting is mostly completed after the home is built but you can make decisions before building to keep things bright.
- Avoid Rooms You Don’t Need
While a game room, a playroom, and home gym might all sound important, do all of these rooms need to be separate? If you have young children, how many years will you need the playroom? Unused exercise or gym equipment is one of the most common tropes of money wasted in American homes, so think twice before you make space for it.
If you work from home or have been making music for decades on end, then maybe it makes sense to have a space or doing that work. However, most commonly, these spaces become dumping grounds for things that aren’t being used. A sewing room can be nice but make sure it can double as a guest room so that the space doesn’t get wasted.
- Laundry Rooms Can Be a Problem
There are two reasons to think about your laundry room carefully. If you find you need to run your washer or dryer while you work from home or sleep, having it too close to a bedroom or home office is disruptive. If you’re building a reading room for your book collection, you might also want to keep it far from your laundry room to keep out moisture as well as noise.
Everyone has an ideal location for laundry. For some people, it’s in the basement but climbing down a dark staircase with an armful of laundry isn’t very safe.
- The Kitchen Is the Heart
Whether you cook a lot at home or your family will be ordering delivery, your kitchen is the social and conceptual heart of your home. When a kitchen is at close to the entrance, it’s easier to bring in groceries, answer the door when you’re cooking, or entertain guests.
A kitchen near a back entrance or a garage allows you to cook, clean, or snack in peace while kids are watching TV. It also allows you to get groceries from the car to the kitchen easily.
Your kitchen is likely to get a lot of traffic, so consider how you want people to move through your home. Where you place your kitchen will determine how often people see the other lovely spaces in your house. Adding a commercial glass wall around your kitchen could keep it visible from large living spaces while keeping it insulated from sound.
Take Tips for Building a Custom Home with a Grain of Salt
Whatever tips for building a custom home you consider, remember that you’re the one that has to live there. It needs to fit the needs of you and your family today and for years in the future.
If you think buying a home might be the answer, check out our guide to help you in your search.