Imagine a home that suits you more than any home ever has, one that makes you happy every time you drive up to it, walk into the kitchen, put your keys down, and gaze around the inside. A home where everything – the architectural style, the layout of the inside spaces, the framing of the views, even the space in the bathroom and laundry room – is all exactly how you want it. A home where the rooms fit the size and needs of your family, whether that includes young children, teen siblings and their friends, extended family, a retired couple, or aging parents.
Can you visualize it? Maybe there’s a library off the dining room, a music room down the hall, or a home theater tucked downstairs. Perhaps the kitchen is the one you’ve dreamed of having all your life, with custom cabinetry, gorgeous hardwoods, upgraded appliances (yes, you can have that six-burner stove), and an island the size of Texas. Maybe when you walk into the family room, you see soaring ceilings, natural elements, a wall of windows, and spaces that you helped your builder design.
Building a custom home is a dream for many. Sometimes it’s chosen because the difference in cost between a whole-house remodel and a custom build doesn’t make financial sense; other times it’s the favored option because the homeowners have found the perfect homesite and know they want to live there forever.
But it’s not a simple process, which is why you need experienced, expert help. Finding a builder who can help you translate your vision to actual living space is a critical step.
With that established, let’s look at some of the things Custom Home Magazine is seeing in the world of custom-home design:
- Homes built to accommodate multiple generations, with amenities like first-floor masters with en-suite bathrooms for aging parents. Another way people are planning for the future is by installing basement apartments with elevators to the first floor.
- Green building practices and energy-efficient design: Todays sustainably-designed luxury homes include such things as geothermal roofs, solar panels, locally sourced materials, LED lighting, and, in the best of all cases, LEED certification (the number of homes around the world with LEED-certification doubled from 2011 to 2013, and only continues to grow.)
- Universal design features that benefit all ages: More interior lighting, more windows, zero-step walkways from driveway to the front door, and casement windows (they are often easier for both children and older adults to manage).
- Smart and programmable features: We’ve all gotten used to the term “smart home,” meaning a home with energy features and technology that can be programmed and controlled remotely. The more mainstream examples are things like Nest thermostats and Ring video doorbells, but in a custom home, almost everything you can think of can be pre-planned and built-in using smart features, including HVAC systems, lighting, smart windows, home audio and home theater amenities, and deadbolts that can be operated from a keypad or smartphone.
- In the kitchen, built-in baker’s racks, wood-fired pizza ovens, wine bars and “statement ranges” (those oversize, European ranges that come in vibrant colors) are popular now.
- Indoor-outdoor living spaces, especially in regions blessed with pleasant weather most of the year. Large (12-foot or more) sliding doors and glass panels eliminate the typical boundary between inside and outside, especially if an outdoor living area is connected.
- And don’t forget the four-footed family members: Dedicated pet suites, dog-wash areas, windows low enough for animals to look through, and dog beds built under stairwells or into kitchen islands are popping up in custom homes.
In summary, your custom home is just that – your custom home. Your goals, your family’s living styles, your passions and aesthetic preferences can all come alive in a custom home.