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  • Writer's pictureARK Builders

What home plan is right for me?

We find that when people come to meet us for the first time to discuss building a home, most really want to enjoy for years to come but feel overwhelmed by the design and home building process. People tell us over an over that they want something that is functional, but also esthetically pleasing.

If you are thinking about building, we suggest asking these questions to help ease those "home-design" blues sending you off into a smooth home build.

First, ask yourself about how you want the home to look and feel. Do you want more of a farmhouse feel with light colors or are you heading toward a craftsman with period colors? Do a little research on the internet to get a general visualization of how you want the home to look. Close your eyes, see yourself walking through the front doors. How do you see the layout, open totally to the back of the home or are you entering into a grand foyer? See yourself parking your car and bringing groceries in. Are you in a detached garage walking through a breezeway or are you walking through 1 door from your attached garage? Is the kitchen close by or do you have to trek to bring in the groceries?

Now, ask yourself what don't you like in the home in which you live now? Make a list and make sure the plan doesn't have those features, or lack thereof, in the new home. Add to this question by asking yourself, "What do I have to have to have and what would I like in this home?" Often called the "Needs vs. Wants" list. Write it down so you can make note of it.

Next, consider your property. Will the footprint fit on the property (think setbacks...a whole other blog post)? What about the slope/fall of the land? We find that most people don't realize how much this can affect the overall cost of the home. Obviously, when you have a lot of fall, the foundation costs go up and in some cases, a retaining wall may have to be put in or the house may call for a basement.

The next thing we want you to ask yourself is how will your life be and that of your family in 10 years? Will you need a one story home? How about zero entry showers, wider hallways and door entries?

Now, maybe we should have put this first, but we'll mention it here, you have to consider costs. Unless you are independently wealthy or someone just handed you a major inheritance, you will want to ask yourself what's your all in budget. Size and amenities are considerations. Harping is not what we want to do here; but, please make sure you are realistic with what you must have, what you want and what you can afford. I can't tell you how many people we have met with who started looking at plans around 3,500 square foot and realize they are more in the budget of a 2,800 square foot home...or they come in with elaborate wishes they've seen on TV and realize that these amenities cost more than they think when it comes to real life.

  • side note: Start smaller on your planand add square footage if you need to. We have found that it is easier to add to a floor plan than take away. Rooms and layouts become less functional if you start big and then cut away at the plan.

Haven spoken about functional plans, ask yourself about the functional spaces. Do you need a large laundry area/room? Where will I put my vacuum/mops/brooms? How about space for a laundry room sink? How about a coat or linen closet? Will the closets need to be walk-in? How about holiday decorating? If you celebrate Christmas or other holidays, you might want to think about where your tree or other decor will be placed. Do I need a mud bench or drop off area? How about a build in desk or area for study? Do you have a Peloton needing room to exercise? Will it be OK to be in the bedroom or do you need a space to put it away from others? Will you need an office or recreational room? What about a sunroom or screened in porch?

There are lots of things to consider and by no means is the all inclusive list of things to think about when designing a home; but, it will get your brain going in the right direction.

Take it one step at a time, one question at a time and before you know it, you'll be ready to get working toward designing and finalizing the perfect home plan for you.

2020.6.22 ARK Builders, LLC

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