The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
The idea of building a home for yourself and your family is admirable and exciting especially when you’re building for the first time. However, there are many important details that often get overlooked in the hubbub of planning, completing construction according to code regulations, packing and storing your possessions until moving day, and then the move itself. So here are three things to keep in mind as you brave this amazing task and build your own home.
When developing a floor plan, space should be the first thing you consider. How much space is available to build in the beginning? How much space does the location allow for future expansion? Knowing the amount of space you have for your home itself is only the beginning, though. You should plan for plenty of space inside as well. Here are some examples of areas inside homes that are often neglected in regards to ample space.
In the Kitchen:
- Cabinets, drawers, and countertops
- Panty and cleaning closets
- Organizing and storage areas
- Clothing closets and seasonal clothing storage
- If you have kids, give each of them room to grow in each bedroom
- Linen closets and seasonal storage
- Towel and washcloth storage
- Cosmetics and grooming organization
- Storage for excess toiletries like soap and lotion
In the Garage or Shed:
- Lawn and garden equipment storage
- Tool chests and other tool organization
- Shelving or hanging storage
- Space for larger items like a generator or pressure washer
These areas that are often overlooked and end up feeling like an in-house traffic jam are only a quick and select few of the places that may become claustrophobia-inducing later on. As you and your husband, wife, or life partner go over the plans alongside any contracting supervisors of construction crews, make notes. Take a moment and pen out every area you come across in the plan run-through that you or they feel is too tight. Then alter as needed to meet your family’s needs for today and tomorrow.
Having an up-to-date home does not imply a home filled with abstract art, futuristic furniture, or mid-century statement accent pieces. Building a contemporary home begins with drawing up modern home plans. In the ever-advancing world of technology, there are now affordable and easy-to-install small and large appliances and other products that have “smart” capabilities. The lights, power outlets, washer and dryer, microwave, showerhead, and many more items in your home can feature voice commands and can connect to an app on your phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, or whatever device you choose.
Of course, if you’re looking for more function over fashion and practicality over pretty, there are still plenty of great reasons to integrate modern design ideas into your building plans. One of the most obvious would be a security system. Other modern upgrades that may not be so common include things like:
- Having plenty of wall outlets that include USB plugins as well
- A 220 outlet in the garage
- Motion-sensitive lighting in all closets and in several cabinets
There is often some tension between homeowner and contractor when it comes to certain decisions being concluded and carried out. Each side has at least one equally weighted point respectively. The contractor has experience and skill on a mastery level to be in business doing such work. He or she knows many things that the homeowners are probably oblivious to. However, the homeowner has the funds needed to keep the skills of the contractor busy and paid for it.
Here are a few things to plan out and eliminate altercation later on in the process.
- Plan where vents should go and let your contractor know what goes whereas you go over blueprints together
- Have additional support over the tops of windows for heavier curtains
- Pre-wire for a generator to be hooked up in case of a power outage
- Have a drain in the garage to prevent water build-up
- Plan the placement of water spigots and outdoor outlets around your yard and gardens
Above all else, remember that this is your home and it will be yours and your family’s place to live for many, many years. Make it your own but don’t over customize.