Building a custom home is a labor of love. It’s awesome to get exactly what you want in a new home. Old homes have their charms. The architecture of a century ago still feels grand to us, and their durability relative to homes built in the past forty years reveals a society less willing (or able) to sacrifice quality for the ease of mass production than ours is. But the world changes quickly, and much of our existing housing stock does not meet contemporary expectations for efficiency, connectivity, and comfort.
That’s why building a custom home is a dream for so many people. You can pick from many different custom home styles or create your own completely. If you have the means to make it happen for yourself, count your blessings, and enjoy the process of turning your dream into a reality.
Building a Custom Home: Design to Fit Your Life
Building a custom home means getting the exact design you want. Rather than searching real estate listings for the home styles you like and hoping they’re the right price, size, and location, consult with an architect from limitless custom home styles or draw up plans yourself. Build a house that fits your dreams by incorporating studio or home office space. Make a house that fits your family, whether it’s a mother-in-law apartment or a gaming den. Build a house that melts into the landscape or draws the eye from miles away. Design a space that lets you meditate, or throw the most thrilling parties, or both.
Building a Custom Home: Better Quality
As long as you have the right budget, you can build a home that is higher quality than many homes on the market. By choosing your materials carefully, minimizing the square footage you need, and taking advantage of local conditions to reduce the need for climate control, you can make your home’s visual aspect, comfort, and efficiency rival those of the most expensive homes on the market without the attendant profligate costs.
Your Choice of Materials
Whether you want to recreate historical home styles or try to create something original, designing your own home allows you greater control over material choice. There are many exciting innovations in the field of construction materials, from self-healing concrete to mass timber; if early adoption is your thing, it’s a great time to be building a house. You can also save money and greenhouse gases by recycling materials from local sources. For example, a collapsing old barn may contain tons of usable timbers, copper plating, or slate shingles.
Building a Custom Home: Pick Your Location
There’s no guarantee that an architect or contractor will have the time and interest in your local geography, its seasonal exposure, and the terrain to match your home’s design to its milieu. If you’ve spent time finding the right spot for your dream house, it’s worth the effort of placing it thoughtfully. A mistake made too often, even by experienced designers, is to ruin a beautiful place by building on it. Professionals are vital to the process, of course, but their priority must be to minimize costs, not to avoid disturbing the natural beauty that drew you to want to build a home there in the first place.
Although building codes have evolved in the past half-century to require increasing levels of insulation and energy efficiency in home construction and HVAC systems, these codes still generally represent the floor, not the ceiling, of available technology. Customizing your home is an opportunity to incorporate simple, yet incredibly effective principles such as passive solar design, or making use of innovative materials like ICFs (Insulating Concrete Forms). It’s also essential to incorporate the latest climate control and water heating technologies to keep lifetime maintenance costs low.
Building a Custom Home: Accessibility
Nobody knows when illness or accident may strike, now more than ever. Whether this is your forever house or not, it could be someone’s someday – possibly someone you care about. Although the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) does not regulate detached single-family homes, the benefits of universally accessible design – that is, “The design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design” – accrue to anyone who uses the structure and expand the choices for all those who live in it. Simple design elements like high contrast edges, wider doorways, and no-step entrances can mean the difference between moving out in 40 years vs. moving out in 60 years, or never.
Building a Custom Home: Character
Tired of those little boxes, all made out of ticky-tacky? You aren’t the only one, but if you’re thinking of building a custom-designed home, you’re in a position to do something about it. Add some variety to the neighborhood — unless variety isn’t your thing. Perhaps you want a place that doesn’t stand out as an obviously custom-styled home, but still embodies a level of quality above that of the typical mass-produced mansion. Either way, you’re adding character to your community.
Get Off the Grid
Feeling the need to protect yourself from the vagaries of international politics and commerce? If you’re willing to put in thought and effort, you won’t have to spend a bundle to build a wholly or partially self-sufficient home – one that goes beyond energy efficiency and generates its own electrical supply as a matter of course, or that purifies its own water. You can integrate air purification to your HVAC systems and firewalls into your home’s online network.
Building a Custom Home: Legacy
Most of us spend our entire lives inside buildings conceived, designed, and built by someone else. When you have a house custom made, it can be a family house that’s passed down for generations. Participating in the design of your house with pro-social design goals in mind means leaving a legacy for future generations that is thoughtful rather than accidental.
Humans have been building and finding shelters for thousands of years – it’s an ingrained impulse to create a safe haven for ourselves and the people we love. Every built structure is a time machine that connects its builders to its inhabitants: it’s time to make your mark.
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Steelbridge Realty LLC is a Licensed Real Estate Brokerage that utilizes cutting-edge marketing techniques and data-driven Real Estate solutions in today’s ever-changing environment. Our group of professionals have decades of experience and have navigated through many business cycles. Our diverse background gives us the tools to guide people towards successful decisions.