Ways to Make Your Custom Home a Dream Home

photography by Lisa Russman

Making a house into a home that you’ll always treasure isn’t always easy, especially when you’re working with the vision of a previous owner you may have never met. While moving furniture and painting walls isn’t all that difficult, making revisions to the layout or redesigning the exterior of a pre-existing house can be more difficult than trying to get your family out the door on time for the last week of school. This fact is precisely why so many families seek out custom-built homes these days. There is more that goes into the process of how to build a house than just the basic needs, though. Here’s how to make your custom home a dream home:

Step one: Don’t limit yourself
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in building a home for you and your family is to underestimate just how much you can get when you design a home from the bottom up. Many people seek out custom home builders with assumptions from their previous home-buying experiences. You wouldn’t be alone in thinking that desirable features were associated with higher prices; such correlations are common when buying pre-owned homes where some features are rarer than others. When you’re starting from the baseline, though, you get to decide what’s right for you in your custom-built home. Need to give the kids some space of their own so you can get some shut-eye? Work with your custom home builders to design a rec room space. Have a passion for cooking? Plan to have a gas range installed from the get-go, saving a fortune on what would otherwise be costly installation and hookup fees.

Step two: Consider everyone’s needs and wants
One of the best factors of custom-built homes is that you are the one who is in control of the final design of your house, not someone who is unfamiliar with your family. Making a house into a dream home is all about choosing to include the features that mesh with the way your family lives every day. Small features like conveniently placed cabinets and spacious pantries (for the organized chef in your life) and larger features like high ceilings or a man cave are easy to include when building a floor plan for your home, and they’ll go a long way toward optimizing your daily happiness.

Our living space is a constant, quiet presence in our lives. Positive features go a long way in helping us feel comfortable, peaceful, and rested for the business of the day. When you design a custom house, you can choose to include those details that you’ve wished for since before you had kids. A dream house doesn’t have to be a pie-in-the-sky fantasy—you can make it real for you and your family.

Step Three: Spend your money where you spend your time
One of the best ways to improve your general quality of life is to spend your money where you spend most of your time. Traditionally, the advice that follows is to get a comfortable mattress, since we all spend quite a lot of time sleeping. In truth, there’s a place we spend even more time than our bed, though we all would probably like to spend more time catching Zs. For some, it may be the kitchen, and for others, it’s the home office or family room. Our house is not only where we sleep, but it’s the place where we live, learn, eat, drink, and celebrate. If you’re debating whether to invest in a few extras for your dream home, think about it like this: Your money will go the furthest when applied to those activities and objects you need the most. Your home is a long-lasting investment, so don’t be afraid to spend a little more to polish your design to perfection.