4 Secrets to Lifestyle Home Design
Secret #1 - Defining Space Customizes Your Home for Your Family
When you want to build a new home, traditional advice tells you to start looking at home plan books and collecting pictures. While this approach will show you what you like, it really won't show you what you need. It's time to stop and think about the kind of spaces you and your family need and want. By defining your space needs, you can pre-customize your home. Start a journal and record your discoveries.
Where you are now?
- What works about your space? What functions well? Which rooms do you love?
- What doesn't work about your space? What space is missing or which space is unused?
- Are there rooms that are too small or too big? If you have a room that is comfortable, measure it so you have a point of reference when looking at plans.
Who will live in the space?
- Have a family meeting and ask everyone to define what's important to them. Do they need more room to play or have friends over?
- Does anyone need more storage?
- How about another bathroom for getting ready in the morning?
- Do you plan to retire from this home? Should the master suite and laundry be on the main level?
Track your living patterns.
- Watch how your family lives for the next ten days. Record what rooms you spend the most time in.
- Where are the traffic jams getting out the door in the morning?
- How has your family adapted to live in the space and what would make it better?
- What rooms need to be next to one another and which should NOT?
Secret #2 - Deciding Your Style Creates a Healthy, Happy Home
Amazing design and beautiful decor don't automatically provide you with functionality and efficiency. It's important to think about your family's interests, the company you keep, and your various needs in relation to hobbies, storage, and workspace.
Compliment your family's lifestyle.
- Where will you build? Waterfront, country setting, a family-packed neighborhood?
- Will your home be formal and detailed or casual and comfortable?
- Do you need a room for special hobbies?
Create places for life to happen.
- Will you be entertaining family and friends? Is it informal or formal entertaining?
- Do you need room for indoor recreation?
- Do you want your home to be a haven for relaxation?
- Do you have frequent house guests?
- Will someone be conducting a business out of the home
Know where you'll put your things.
- Maximize your space by thinking about hobbies and work spaces
- Will you need extra storage?
- Will it need to be easily accessible?
Secret #3 - Determining Your Budget Balances Your Goals
A critical step in the plan development process is matching your dream home plans to your budget. One of the most common mistakes in creating a customized home plan is simply overlooking the available budget. Plan ahead so you don't find yourself having to cut corners when it's too late and too expensive.
Consider your financial goals.
- Is this home an investment stepping stone?
- Do you have children that will be leaving the home soon?
- Will you live in this home long enough for it to be part of your retirement portfolio?
Compute your monthly payments.
- Know what your end costs will be in regards to mortgage, insurance, property taxes, homeowner association dues, etc.
- Get a general idea on the potential cost of various utilities - power, heat, garbage, cable and Internet etc.
Control your project costs.
- Know in advance where your budget limits are and stick to them.
Secret #4 - Directing Your Design Professional Saves You Money
Once you start identifying your family's needs and your ideas begin to develop, it's time utilize the custom home design resources at Express Modular. All custom homes require engineering and this important step will help you convert your dreams into a hard copy, paper reality.
Partner with a design professional.
- Do you really need an architect?
- What about choosing between stock plans, and modified or custom design resources?
Prepare for clear communication.
- How will you communicate with your design resource? Phone, email, fax, video chat, in person?
- Make sure that all the parties involved are on the same page.
Keep communication lines open and speak up when necessary.