Building the Perfect Custom Home for Your Family

By Lain and Barbara Chappell, Owners, Solid Rock Custom Homes

Whether you have been actively planning to build a home for months (or years!) or you’re just beginning to think about the possibility, finding the right home to fit your family’s needs can be difficult. When it comes to finding an existing home, or building a production or semi-custom home, it is important to understand that not one of these homes are perfect for every family. Only when building a fully custom home are you able to tailor every element to suit you and your family’s every need.

Yet, even a fully custom home has a limitation: budget. To help you build your perfect home within your budget, it is important to consider several factors.

Location

If you have ever watched HGTV’s House Hunters or another show centered around finding a home, you may have laughed about how particular most of the people are about the location of their home; until it’s your turn to find your perfect lot of land. When it comes to building your own dream home, location truly does matter. When you want your children to go to a certain school, when you want to live in a particular neighborhood to be close to your friends and family or you desire acreage with stunning views, a few blocks can make a difference.

Even if none of those criteria matter to you, your proximity to restaurants, parks or shopping might. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you may want to be out in the country, or at least on the edge of town, away from crowded streets or the Interstate. Knowing where and how you want to live will help you narrow your search for your ideal lot of land.

Remember that, while you can make changes to the homes layout years down the road, you (usually) cannot move the house, so it is important to take your time in choosing the perfect piece of land for you. Yet, don’t wait too long! Land is in high demand right now and you don’t want to miss out on your perfect lot to another eager buyer.

All that being said, your choice in land will ultimately depend on your budget. When it comes to figuring out your total budget for your land and fully custom home, a good rule of thumb is to allot twenty percent of your budget toward the land and eighty percent of your budget to the home itself.

This will vary from client to client based on your specific goals.

Size

According to a study conducted in 2016, the average size of homes in the United States is over 2,000 square feet. Of the countries in the study, only Australia surpassed the U.S. in average home size, at nearly 2,500 square feet.

Larger homes allow for more space per family member, more storage space, and more room to grow. This can be particularly nice if you are a newlywed couple who plans to have children in the future, if you only have one or two children but expect to expand your family in the next few years, if you are retired but want that perfect space for accommodating grandchildren or aging parents, or if you just want space to stretch out, entertain, and enjoy life. Often called McMansions, these homes have ample square footage, and often more rooms than needed by the family. Large and impressive, these homes are built to be awe-inspiring.

On the flip side, this also means you have more space to clean, as well as higher heating and cooling costs.  A larger home will also require more furnishings and interior decorating expertise; otherwise, it will likely look empty. Plus, there is more space for collecting clutter without realizing it, which can become a problem if you decide to move or when your home is passed down to your children.  Perhaps you and your family desire what is called a “jewelry box home”. A jewelry box home is a smaller home with many of the high-quality details found in the awe-inspiring larger homes such as crown molding, wainscoting, top-of-the-line appliances, and detailed selections without the unnecessary space; what you will save in size, you will make up for in stunning detail, comfort and commodities.

Two other things many people consider when thinking about the size of a home are the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. While the number and ages of family members play a part in deciding the appropriate number of bedrooms and bathrooms, several other factors may influence your decision. For example, if you have friends or family members who often visit, you may want a guest bedroom, or you may want an extra bedroom that can serve as a home office, storage room or play room depending on your evolving needs. If you are looking to the future, you may want to consider building a home with more bedrooms than you need in case you later want to expand your family, or consider integrating ‘aging in place’ elements into its design to accommodate you as you age.

Features and Floor Plan

Before looking into building a home, create a wish list. Writing down exactly what you want in a home will allow you to better build a home that fits your preferences, as well as your budget. Sort your list, either by ranking each item or by creating categories, such as “must have,” “really want,” and “if budget allows”.

When making your list of requirements, think about items that easily can be changed down the road versus those that will take considerable time and money to change.

When designing your custom home, the floor plan is the first element of the design, and it will be based on your family’s needs and budget; from there you’re required and/or desired features are discussed and worked into the plans.

When it comes to floor plans, you will want to decide between open and closed floor plans. The former gives you a big open space, which is great for entertaining and allows you to watch your children or grandchildren playing in one room while you are doing something in another room. It is harder to keep clean, however, because if one room is messy, the whole space looks messy. Plus, sound travels more, and it allows for less privacy.

The one-story versus multi-story house should also be considered. You may want a one-story home if you or a family member has mobility issues or are concerned about the safety of their aging parents, children, or grandchildren. “Aging in place” homes will often be single-story to keep mobility easier and safer as you grow older. Having everything on the same level is also nice when it comes to doing laundry and other general house-cleaning chores. Two-story homes, on the other hand, may offer more square footage without sacrificing outdoor space, and often have greater separation between the living areas and the bedrooms. Not to mention, the added benefit of some extra exercise each day!

Keep an open mind! As you work with your custom home builder and architect, you will many times find that they can give you ideas that you never even thought of before. If you are opposed to any particular design elements, voicing that right away will help you and your team design the perfect home for you that fits your budget with added efficiency.

Solid Rock Custom Homes is a family owned and operated business in Colorado Springs that understands that each home is a pathway to helping their clients turn their dreams into reality, and we pride ourselves on “building extraordinary homes that bring family and friends together”.

We have been in the business of building and remodeling for over 22 years; our focus is on high-end, fully custom homes throughout the Pikes Peak region. We are dedicated to building projects that reflect the most inspirational and influential elements of every client and we understand the value of your every dream and desire.

Solid Rock Custom Homes are truly custom; from design, selections, and amenities. With Solid Rock, you can create the most unique, one-of-a-kind home that reflects the most important parts of you and your family.

Are you ready to build your dream home? Starting from the 600’s (land additional), your custom home will be the most beautiful (and functional) investment you’ll ever make.

Call us today at 719-494-0932 or visit www.SolidRockCustomHomes.com.