Study your plans and ask questions.
Your home’s drawings are the central document during the construction process. You should spend quality time going over them to be certain everything is a custom fit for your family’s needs. Plans can look intimidating with all of their symbols and cryptic industry language. Ask your builder about anything that you don’t understand. Think about how you will use each space in the home. Consider the room flow and proximity of spaces for ease of use. This early review will save time and money as updates on paper are far less expensive than during construction. Finally, if you’ve done your homework and selected a seasoned Cincinnati custom home builder, they will have working insights as to what previous questions home buyers have asked. A good builder will be your partner throughout the process. They, as much as you, want your new custom home to be exactly as you envisioned it on the day you move in.
A few items to consider:
Most builders have access to libraries of floor plans. For some buyers, one of these existing plans may fit your taste, budget and the land you select. In other cases, you may want to modify an existing home plan to better reflect the unique character of your lot, such as a scenic view, working around mature trees and natural settings, or to take advantage of sunlight. Many home buyers find that an existing home plan or a modified version of a plan will work well for their needs and lot. Other buyers may wish to invest in a custom home plan drawn from scratch, to fully reflect the design goals for their home and the unique topography of their land. Be sure to ask your builder about their experience in custom fitting a home to its new lot.
Often overlooked, ample storage space becomes a blessing if planned right, or something you’ll frown over every time you realize that you forgot it in a key location. Think of the spaces that you will use most often. Do you entertain regularly?… Walk-in closet in the foyer. Do you have a big family?… Mudroom storage is a must! Are you a reader?… Built in bookcases are both functional and give a great custom feel. Do you need an oversized walk-in closet in the master bedroom, or would you rather add on to the master bath square footage? Is there a garage enthusiast in the family? This blogger knows from experience that those extra square feet of space are precious territory for ongoing projects. Do a mental walk-through and make sure that your family’s lifestyle(s) are well supported with quality spaces for storage.
Switches and electrical outlets
This is interesting. If you ask ten different home buyers, you will receive ten different opinions — “Where should the electrical outlets and light switches in the home be located?” Make sure that yours are exactly where they will suit your needs best - An outlet for your Christmas tree, wall-mounted flat-screen TV, nightlight. Do you want exterior plugs outside? What about internet considerations for the home business person? Building a custom home allows you the opportunity to explore the options and customize your connectivity. It’s your chance to “flip the switch” and put everything in its proper place!
Does it belong on the main floor or upstairs with the bedrooms? Will your laundry room double as a mudroom? Do you want built-in shelving or cupboards? This is a spot for careful consideration of storage space, room for folding and hanging of clothes.
Ample hallway width
Nice wide hallways make a home feel welcoming and are a staple in most custom homes today. It’s amazing the difference a few inches can make! When building, consider how wide you want your hallways, but be aware that any square footage you add to your hallway will most likely decrease your square footage elsewhere. An average hallway width is between 2.5 and 3 feet wide. Hallways can be, but are not commonly, as wide as 5 feet. Bump yours out a little and experience the comfort!
Covered in another recent blog, ceiling height and type of ceiling do much for the spacious feeling of your custom home. Height is often used to give the additional appearance of spaciousness. Lofty ceilings also offer an opportunity for more windows and light. Production homes usually have 8 foot ceiling heights. Custom homes offer 9 to 12 foot heights that allow for numerous treatments such as coves or vaults and wood beams.
Drains that do their job
Drains need to work well. Period. Inspect the pipes while they are exposed during building. Bring up any concerns with your builder. Check the drainage during the building process. You should be free to stop by and inspect work anytime to ensure that the infrastructure of your home is just how it should be.
Outside Outlets and Faucets
Do you want outlets for Christmas lights? Do you entertain outside and use electronics. Do you want an additional frost-free hose bib in your yard, or a natural gas hook up on the back terrace for a built in grill? Discuss options with your builder and make sure the outside set up of your home is going to work as well as the interior spaces.
Design a home that fits well in the surrounding community
For those building in a new community, this is not an issue. If you are tearing down to rebuild in an established community, you will want to pay close attention to surrounding architecture and themes. In a quaint neighborhood of tudor classics you won’t make many friends by building a mid-century modern home. Your builder should have ample access to period design home plans. A qualified custom home builder will be able to bring your vision to life in an established community and make your new home fit seamlessly into the surrounding ones.
Above all, work with your builder
They are a fountain of information. Hearing your concerns and questions help every Cincinnati custom home builder do a more thorough job and ensure that your new home is exactly what you were anticipating. Your builder wants perfection in the constructed home as much as you do.