Building your dream home can be an exciting and frightening project. Buying real estate is one of the biggest financial investments most people make in their lives, and building a custom home is an emotional investment too. What if you spend all that time, money and effort and it doesn’t turn out the way you want it? Or you discover after the fact that you made the wrong choices in terms of your floor plan, fixtures or finishes?
It is possible to get it right, however, with the right type of design build approach that enables you to do the planning and iron out any problems before you actually start building.
Start with a Vision
It isn’t called a “dream home” for nothing. Before you do anything else, spend some time thinking and brainstorming about what you want in a home:
- Consider the number of rooms you need
- Think about your family’s plans for the future and how they will affect your requirements
- Take a drive and look at new high-end homes in Victoria BC to get a feel for what they offer
- Decide on a budget you can afford, or get financing pre-approved so you know where you stand.
Do some research to identify the neighbourhoods you love and find out whether there are land lots available in those areas.
Visit Open Houses
One of the best places to find inspiration for custom home designs is to look at existing houses. By reading the advertisements for homes for sale, you can find properties that resemble your vision for your dream home. Spend a few weekends visiting open houses to get ideas, see how the finishes you want have lasted after a bit of time, and get a feel for what works and what doesn’t. Make a note too of the features you don’t like, so you can make sure you avoid including those in your design.
It’s not only difficult to remember everything yourself, it’s even harder to translate a random idea to your custom home building contractor. Take photographs of any layouts you particularly like (or dislike), film a walk-through of any homes if you enjoy the flow, and shoot from as many angles as you can. You can only spend an hour or so in each property you view, but you can study the photographs at length afterwards to find more detail than you saw during the visit.
Draw a Rough Sketch
Once you have an idea of the layout you want, drawing a rough sketch is the first step towards making your dream a reality. Begin by “blocking out” the main areas, such as the bedrooms, bathrooms, living room and kitchen. Save yourself effort by making cut-outs of each room and moving them around until you get the feel you want. You can do this individually for each level of the home. You can also use some of the online home design programs available to help you plan.
Think about whether you want any unique features, such as split-level floors, fireplaces (real or not), skylights or sunrooms, and include these in the location where you’d like them to be. Don’t worry about whether they fit or not—that’s a job for your architect to sort out.
Consult a Professional
At this point you’re probably ready to consult a professional. Take the time to find the right homebuilding company for your needs by:
- doing your research
- interviewing potential contractors, and
- checking references.
Your homebuilder will help you to develop your final floor plan and provide you with sound advice about features and finishes. He will also give you a written estimate to build the custom home you have in mind.
At Domingo and Co. Construction, we are new homebuilders with very high standards, and we are dedicated to turning your dreams into reality. Contact us today for a free consultation.