Top Five Design Considerations When Building a New Home

January 6th, 2016 | Posted in New Home Constuction

The choices are endless when building a custom home. Here are our top 5 things to consider when building a new home:

1. Consider a HERS Rated Home
According to the Office Of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, HERS is defined as “A nationally recognized energy rating program that gives builders, mortgage lenders, secondary lending markets, homeowners, sellers, and buyers a precise evaluation of energy losing deficiencies in homes. Builders can use this system to gauge the energy quality in their home and also to have a star rating on their home to compare to other similarly built homes.” More information is available at

2. Explore Energy Efficiency Options

Utility costs will continue to rise over time. A relatively small upgrade cost today to the HVAC system or insulation package can lead to sizeable savings in monthly utility costs over the life of the home. There are many possibilities, ask your builder to review energy efficiency upgrades they have available.

3. “Right-sizing”

The opulence of the 1990s and early 2000s is gone. The giant cookie-cutter homes of those times were comically called McMansions. The theme of today is right-sizing. Spend time during the design phase to incorporate all the things you want and need in a home, but also keep an eye on room sizes and wasted space. Then consider taking the money saved by eliminating the unnecessary square footage and putting it into luxury upgrades that you will enjoy such as a home theater, custom tiled master shower or hardwood flooring.

4. Design for Re-sale

The average American moves every 5-7 years so keep re-sale in mind when designing your home. Do research on the community you will be building in. If in your price range a four bedroom house is the norm, do not build a three-bedroom home. You may not need a basement, but if every home in your neighborhood has one, do not eliminate it to save on cost. A formal dining area might not be important to you, but consider leaving the space in the plan. You can install french doors and use the dining room as a home office rather than eliminate it.

5. The Kitchen Will be Your Gathering Place

No matter what my wife and I do to encourage people to congregate in the greatroom, hearthroom, basement or patio area, the party always ends up in the kitchen! Design the kitchen as your entertaining hub. Incorporate bar-area seating where guests can interact with you while the food is prepared. If you do have extra funds during the build, spend some of it on kitchen upgrades like granite countertops, upgraded cabinetry, and professional series appliances. Make it one of the showpieces of your dream home. Your builder’s kitchen designer is a great source for design ideas and current trends.