Most people have fantasized about building a dream home. But perhaps you never imagined how stressful the decision making would be. There are a lot of things to consider, from kitchen cabinet styles to flooring, and window sizes to landscaping. Some builders estimate that you’ll need to make as many as a thousand small decisions over the course of the construction. You want to make informed decisions that will serve you well for years, of course. But how? Here’s help.
Start With a Concept
Image via Flickr by Geoff Llerena
Try writing out some descriptions of how you want your home to look and feel and how you will use your space. Are you creating a light, airy space or a cozy one? Do you want an elegant home for entertaining or a rustic house that feels in tune with nature? Do you like traditional decor or cutting-edge modern? Discuss your ideas with your spouse to make sure you’re both on the same page.
Take Your Time
It’s good to have a framework so each decision is part of a cohesive whole, but you don’t need to choose every detail before you begin. Your builder will be presenting you with each set of options along the way. Decisions like the floor plan and exterior will come first, but choosing your interior flooring, colors, and lighting can happen later in the process.
Know Your Priorities
Of course, you want your new home to have the best of everything, but your pocketbook has limits. Know where you’re willing to trim expenses to free up funds for the things that matter. It’s wise to invest in high-quality ACHR systems and good-quality building materials, but you can save on things like lighting fixtures that are easy to replace later. If you rarely cook, you don’t need state-of-the-art kitchen appliances. If you really want a master bath with a dressing area and luxuriously appointed closets, you might need to make do with a smaller deck.
Let Your Builder Help
When you’re really baffled, ask your builder for some help. Builders know what most people choose and how happy they are with the results. They also have specialized knowledge about the regions where they build. A builder who specializes in new homes in Phoneix, Arizona, for instance, will know what kind of windows and cooling systems are necessary to keep your home comfortable.
Avoid Common Mistakes
Knowing what not to do is very important. Make sure your heating and cooling system is the right size for your space. Don’t skimp on windows to let in natural light. Make sure the bedroom sits far away from the busier areas of the home, and that the kitchen and laundry room locations make sense.
Building your dream home should be a creative, satisfying process and not a stressful one. If you go in armed with a clear vision, a solid set of budgetary priorities, and a good deal of trust in the builder you’ve chosen, you can plan to relax and enjoy the process.