Perhaps the greatest achievement of the American Dream is designing your dream house and being able to customize where and how your family lives. Having the ability to customize your housing dreams into reality is the ultimate sign of success. As with all things, though, the transformation from determining emotional factors like who you are, what you want, how you want to live and where you want to be into reality as you’re designing your dream house is a process that involves a team of professionals and thousands of details.
Here, then, are five secrets detailing broad-based steps that you can use as a guideline going forward:
The American Dream Home has a cost to it.
The question is: How much will it cost to realize your dream?
Your internal discussions must begin with a series of ‘going forward’ life goals, wants and needs. Thus, what you can truly, really, honestly, actually afford is your first step. Money is the key component and your top line of ‘wants’ must mesh with the bottom line of ‘needs.’
So, your first steps are to estimate:
Once you’ve completed this crucial step, we can begin the project in earnest.
Ask yourself first: ‘Where do we want to live, how do we want to live and what are we looking for?’
From here, we start checking off a laundry list of details:
There are many quality of life issues from school districts to commute time to your family’s future—so think hard about how you wish to proceed.
The two key cogs in designing and building your dream home are your builder and architectural firm.
Without these two highly experienced types of companies, you’ll be lost. An AIA architect who intimately knows your area, its people and who is responsive to you is crucial. And, a general contractor/building company that can manage and master every little detail is someone you’ll be working with daily for many months on end.
These two parties will devise personalized plans that incorporate your lifestyle needs and hammer them into your customized space.
Later in the process, you may need an interior designer or landscape architect. But, the main thing is getting your dreams realized and your architectural and construction firms are the people who will help you complete that process without a myriad of problems.
It’s your dream home so build out your dreams! Make sketches! Make lists! Make your dreams heard! Make all the big decisions—and the small ones, too—early on.
From how to use each space to size, stories, layout, features, style, built-ins, windows, lighting, roof type and several dozen more questions needing answers, it is up to you to give your architect your vision. Then, let his or her team create CAD and 3D renderings to help give size, depth, and scope to your plans.
And, please, please, please, do not change your mind unless you have time and money to spend. In other words, when you’ve placed your money on the betting line, stick with your original decisions. Changes equal time plus money. So, get it right the first time.
In an imperfect world, things happen. Building a custom home is like trying to perfect the imperfect. So, yes, it may take longer than you’d like. And that may mean life changes for your children or selling your present home later or changing end-lease dates—or dealing with inclement weather. Just continue taking deep breaths and you’ll be fine! That’s why you hired a team of pros.
We hope this abridged look at designing your dream house and how to manage its five core secret steps are helpful for you!