Do you want your home to fit your lifestyle?
One that fits your family, your personality, and your individual needs? The best way to make sure that your new or remodeled home meets all of your needs is to build a custom home or do a custom home remodel or expansion.
The way we live and work has changed significantly in the past couple of years. Some things have remained constant, many families still have more than one parent working, kid’s activities, social events and more. However, now we’re expecting our homes to do more for us than in the past. You may find that you are spending more time in your home. We still have the work, school, and social activities. But now we’re doing a lot of these activities from home. That puts pressure on the time we spend doing regular household activities like cooking, cleaning, and maintenance. We demand a lot from our home, and it needs to efficiently and conveniently serve you and your family.
If you are considering remodeling or expanding your current home or building a new custom home there are many things to think about as you begin the process. But, first and foremost you should consider your family and your lifestyle. Here are a few things you might not think of as you make your plans.
1. Location – Important to consider when building a new home versus a home remodel or addition.
Do you love your current neighborhood? Are your children thriving in their schools? Do you need easy access to public transportation, recreation areas, or shopping? Whether you decide to remodel your existing home or build on a new lot, give some thought to the things you will need, as well as the things you may be taking for granted.
Moving closer to work or school might be an easy compromise over a longer drive to your favorite grocery store. Other factors can come into play as well. You may need to live close to aging parents or medical care facilities.
Staying in your existing home brings with it the comfort of knowing your neighborhood. But if you decide to build a new home check out the distance to the closest restaurants or hardware store and time your commute to work before you settle on your lot. You may be surprised how much location can affect your decision.
2. Design with a focus on YOUR family
When designing your custom home think about all the activities you’ll be doing. Do you have small children or teenagers? Be sure to consider where they will play or do homework. If you have two or more children? Will they each need their own room or will they share? Where will it be easiest to do the laundry? Are there multiple generations living in your home? Thinking ahead will help you manage your home more easily.
Families with Children
Including locker-style storage in your back entrance or mudroom can be a great place for kids to drop their coats, shoes, and school bags when they come in from outside. Creating a playroom with storage for toys in the basement can lessen (slightly) the chances you’ll step on a Lego in the kitchen. Adding a built-in desk/study area with lots of outlets for computers, phones and tablets is nice for a designated homework spot.
Something important to all families large and small is how many bathrooms you will need. A good rule of thumb is to start with one full bath in the owner’s suite, one full bath (with a tub) for the kids, and one for guests. You may want an en suite bath for each bedroom or a jack and jill style between two. Don’t forget to think about whether you’ll need a powder room near an outside entrance or off the rec room or entertainment spaces.
The “in-law suite” is becoming very commonplace. Many new custom homes are built with an extra suite or mini apartment to accommodate elderly relatives. They can be as elaborate as a separate addition to an existing home with its own bedroom, bathroom, living area, kitchen, and private entrance. Or, it can simply be an extra bedroom with its own bath. A new trend is custom homes with two master suites. Whatever you decide, if you have older family members living in the home you should consider safety features such as a curbless shower with a bench and handrails, minimizing stairs, and wider door frames.
3. Storage: make sure you have a place for all your stuff.
One of the most overlooked aspects when planning a custom home design or addition is storage. Yes, most people building a new custom home are likely to set aside an unfinished part of the basement for boxes and bins, but have you thought of where you’ll store your everyday items? Take stock of the things you have or plan to add to your new home.
The kitchen is one of the most common rooms in a home where there is never enough storage. If you consider yourself a gourmet chef or baker you’ll want easy access to all your tools, cookware, and appliances. You may even want to customize your cabinets to accommodate baking sheets, hold heavy mixers, or include spice drawers. If there isn’t enough storage in the kitchen, think about an adjoining walk-in pantry or prep/messy kitchen.
Think seasonally. Is your family involved in sports? Golf, hockey, and baseball are just a few that require space for all the extra equipment. And if you love to decorate for every holiday you will need space to stash away all the festive goodies.
Storage doesn’t necessarily mean hidden. If you have a collection you would like to display you’ll need a place to showcase it properly. Open shelving for your beer stein collection, action figures, memorabilia, pottery, books—even records or video games, can be a great option.
4. Design with a focus on your life
What do you do in your home? Your new custom home or remodel should be built around you and your family. Build a home that works for you. Here is a small list of activities and necessities to think about:
- Home Office – Many of us are working from home full or part-time. Including a room specifically designated for work will give you a quiet place to focus on your work without impacting the normal activities of your children or others. If you can, have a door so you can dampen any noise from other parts of the house while you are on the phone or in a Zoom meeting. A door will also help you better separate your work time from your home time for a better work-life balance.
- Entertainment Space –Do you like to have people over for a visit, watch the game, poker night, or host family Thanksgiving? You’ll want to plan for these occasions as well. A well-appointed rec room lets you host parties and events. A formal dining room is great for those large family meals. If you prefer not to have a dining room or have an open plan home, you can add a leaf to your kitchen table or add bar stools to your kitchen island as long as you have designed your rooms with the space to do this.
- Home Theater Room – If your family enjoys watching movies or sporting events together, a good choice is adding a theater or media room. You can go all out and build stadium seating, recliners, ambient lighting and a sound system. Bonus points if you add a popcorn machine!
- Outdoor Kitchen – If you spend lots of time outdoors, consider including an outdoor kitchen or living space in your custom home plans. If your home will use natural gas or propane, now is the time to think about having a built-in gas grill. Installing your patio, pergola, larger hardscape/landscaping and greenery before the grass is planted can save lots of time and future ground repair.
Even though every house is a collection of walls, floors, and ceilings, it will be uniquely your home if you plan ahead and make design decisions based on your family and lifestyle. Meyer Builders can work with you to build the custom home you have been dreaming of for you and your family.