By Tim King, Copperleaf Homes
Building Blocks: Building as Custom as Your Lifestyle
Throughout my years in building I have noticed that husbands and wives often are on different pages when it comes to homebuilding desires and preferences. (Amazing, I know… who would have thought?)
Attempting to decipher lifestyles and preferences for how a home should live, especially when more than one person is involved, can be challenging. However, with a little thought and self-reflection, everyone can discover what each needs to make a house a home.
As a fully custom homebuilder, I find it helpful for buyers to begin formulating their desires by thinking in terms of “wants” and “don’t wants” in a new home. It’s probably easiest to think in these terms because by the time we’re ready to build, we’ve most likely lived in enough houses to already have accumulated a good working list of likes and dislikes regarding our home preferences.
And while the term “lifestyle” may be too nebulous and vague for some, by making a list of what we have liked and disliked about the homes in which we’ve lived, we’re actually defining our lifestyle – how we like to live and what best works for us.
For instance, some things are annoying and we never want to repeat them; laundry rooms so small we can’t fully open the door without hitting the dryer, too many steps from the garage up into the house, not enough kitchen cabinets, a wasted formal living room rarely (if ever) used, a garage large enough to park in – you just can’t get out of the car once you do… and the list goes on.
For others it’s easiest to think in terms of what we “do” want in a home; an open concept design where living spaces merge with cooking and eating areas, thus creating great entertainment spaces; home offices equipped with the latest wiring and technology, energy efficient homes that conserve our carbon footprint, a home designed with our pet(s) in mind providing easy access to the outdoors, cleaning stations off the mud room, and so on.
Regardless of whether our thinking process is “toward” or “away from” based, making lists of both is very revealing in discovering what our own unique lifestyle really looks like. And these lists are also helpful in assisting husbands and wives to better understand the preferences of the other, and hopefully therefore, finding common ground in both home function and design.
By teaming with a fully custom homebuilder and a gifted architect, buyers can begin with a blank slate and allow the design to be driven by desire, rather than choosing an already designed set of plans that need to be adapted. By following this process buyers will discover that compromise is the exception rather than the rule. And in the end, even the most divergent of couples can find agreement in a home born of their most cherished dreams and desires.
Tim King is Partner and Executive Vice President of Copperleaf Homes