If you are in the market to build a new custom home, as you review different builders you will learn how each builder has defined their own standard list of features that are included within their proposed plans.  Some of these features may include granite or marble countertops in the bathrooms. Vinyl, tile or hardwood in the dining room and kitchen. And in the bathroom, possibly a fiberglass tub and shower unit or a steel tub with tile surrounds and fiberglass shower inserts. Among all of the options and upgraded items homeowners can choose for their homes, kitchens and bathrooms are typically the areas where most thought goes into the details of designing and planning the perfect retreat.

It is common for master bathrooms to house a separate walk in shower unit and tub.  Most master showers are planned standard with a fiberglass unit or a minimally designed tile surround, typically built with a fiberglass shower pan and a standard 12” tile surround. This is a good place to start because there are so many options to consider when it comes to designing the perfect custom tile shower.

Things you want to consider:

  • Size of Shower – A standard shower within most house plans is 3ft x 5ft.  The area you have to work with when planning a custom shower is going to depend on your actual floor plan.  Most builders will allow you to move walls, increase square footage and make all of the changes you may want within your home, so discuss these options to increase your shower size with your building consultant to assure there is ample space for your desired size of shower.
  • Door Styles – Once you have selected the size of your shower, the next step would be to consider door styles.  Most fiberglass units have a framed and hinged door with clear or obscure glass.  There are other options available and these include a frameless style door, which offers a contemporary and clean look.  Another popular option within custom homes is the walk-thru shower which has no door at all but instead has a framed and tiled or glass wall entrance into the shower.  This option has its own set of expanded options to include arched entryway, niches at entrances into the shower to place towels or robes and multiple styles of glass.  If you go with a door option the glass type is another selection you will have to make.  Clear and obscure glass are the most common styles selected, however there are many more options which include etched glass, rigid glass or glass with scenes imprinted, such as bamboo, etc.  In addition to a glass selection, if you have selected a door with a frame you will need to also select the color of the frame.  Typical colors include silver, bronze, brass and black.  For more information on selections you may be interested in, discuss this with your building consultant.
  • Faucets – Faucets are another area where the options can seem overwhelming.  Among many styles from a classic to contemporary look you also will have to select the finish, which typically matches the color you have selected for the frame of your door, or the light fixtures within the bathroom.  When it comes to shower heads, do you prefer a standard shower head, a ceiling mounted rain shower head or a pullout shower head with multiple settings?  In addition to this, do you have the desire to include body sprayers within your shower or multiple shower heads?  These are a few things you want to consider and when it comes to shower head and body spraying systems, they are not all the same – so do your research and find the one you are sure to enjoy.  There are other options available regarding faucets, which include automatic temperature settings – if you enjoy your shower at an exact temperature this may be an option you wish to consider.
  • Flooring – Before you decide which type of flooring you will choose for your shower first determine if you are using a fiberglass shower pan, if so – your option may only involve a color selection.  If you have chosen a full tile shower, then you will first need to decide on the type of flooring you will use.  Ceramic tile and porcelain tile are popular choices and a more trendy option may include a river rock or gravel installation.  Once you have decided on the style of tile, the pattern will be the next decision you must consider.  Staggering the tile, installing it on a 45 degree angle or using multiple size tiles to create your design are a few suggestions.  Another product you may consider using is an epoxy type grout. Check with your builder, but in many cases when a customer requests to install a custom tile shower it is common to have the shower floor recessed, where the planned shower will go.  This typically happens when the slab is poured and will allow the tile, when installed in the shower floor, to be flush with the remaining bathroom floor, which is a desired and practical application.
  • Seating & Niches – Have you thought about adding a seat to your shower?  If so, do you prefer a straight or corner seat?  Do you need a particular height or size seat? What about multiple seats if you have a larger shower.  Niches are another feature to consider.  If you have a custom tile shower planned, make sure to include recess niches within the shower to house your shampoo, body wash and other shower items.
  • Lighting – Lighting within a house plan is typically based on a standard for what is needed within a particular area.  When it comes to the lighting within your shower area you may want to add recess lighting, a dimmer switch or consider a heat lamp, which is designed to heat up a given area and sometimes has an auto-shut off when it reaches a certain temperature.
  • Tile – The tile itself can be a huge decision. There is a plethora of colors and styles when it comes to tiles, and depending on your preferences you may incorporate a mosaic glass design, listello borders or a simple bull nose trim.  There are different sizes of tiles and many patterns, including staggered, stacked, or installing the tile on a 45 degree angle.  In addition to the tile layout, grout colors can change the overall look of the project.  I recommend visiting a design showroom or review different patterns and styles online and then sharing your likes and dislikes with your building consultant to design the perfect custom tile shower for your home.

Other things to consider with custom tile showers may include grab bars or ADA compliant features, sealing the grout, or installation of towel hooks or other accessories.  Discussing your custom tile shower with your building consultant may keep your options within your budget and assure you are creating a unique custom feature within your new home.

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When planning your kitchen layout, it is important to consider the cabinet layout in addition to the lighting, flooring, paint colors and other interior home selections.  Another important decision is regarding the oven and stove – and with the many available options today it may take more than a brief moment to consider which appliances will work best for you and your family.

When it comes to cooking and having the right appliances within your new custom kitchen you want to consider the number of people and events you will be cooking for throughout the year.

The planning and designing stage of your new custom home, is the perfect time to ask questions, think of different scenarios and really design a custom kitchen that will meet the needs of you and your family.  Ranges and cooktops come in standard sizes, typically 30” and 36”, however there are other options should you decide to go with a custom size or professional size appliance.  Some professional series appliances offer options including warming drawers, convection ovens and other features.

If you choose to go with a cooktop, which is an independent surface cooking unit, and a wall mounted double oven you will have double the oven space.  If you like the wall mounted oven idea, however do not need the additional oven other options include a microwave oven combo unit; or maybe you would prefer a convection oven combination unit. Overall, there are many ways for you to customize your kitchen appliances.

Many people choose cooktops and double oven combos for the added cooking space.  The cooktop location can also help increase available space for drawer stack cabinets where you can store pots, pans or other cooking utensils.  Some cooktops are placed within kitchen islands and others are placed in the position where a traditional range would have been placed – depending on your kitchen layout and cabinet design you may have several options so be sure to speak with your building consultant as you review these selections. Another feature you may want to consider if placing your cooktop in the island is a downdraft ventilation system.

If you choose to go with a traditional freestanding range or a slide in range understanding the difference in look may help with your selection.  Freestanding ranges are among the most widely used ranges in the housing market.  A freestanding range is an independent unit that is easily installed and slides into a premeasured open space within your cabinet layout.  The majority of these units offer controls on the top section and are available in electric smooth-top versions as well as gas units.  A freestanding range typically has small gaps between the installed unit and cabinets. A slide in or drop in range offers a more unified and seamless look across your cabinets as it sits on a countertop ledge as designed for proper installation.  With the slide in/drop in range the controls are typically located on the front of the unit and there is not a raised back which makes a nice selection if you have a decorative backsplash or low profile window with a nice view.  It really comes to esthetic preference as both of these units will offer similar cooking functions.

Once you have decided the type of appliance, you should consider whether you will choose gas or electric.  People have different reasons for selecting one or the other based on previous use or preference.  Gas, over time has been identified to offer more even temperate cooking.  A gas option also gives the opportunity to continue cooking during a storm where a power outage occurs.  Living in a coastal area where hurricanes are more prevalent this may be the best choice for you.  Some have fears of using gas within their homes.  Over the years gas appliances have become much safer; however with any product it is important to understand how to properly use your appliance.  Gas also puts off less long term heat as compared to electric appliances; therefore using an electric range may affect the temperature, while in use, within your home.

Regardless of whether you choose gas or electric there are many other options to consider including color, size, and brand.  You want to consider the warranty of any appliances you choose and your building consultant may offer suggestions to help you choose the perfect fit for your new custom kitchen.

As you dream of the many days you will spend cooking in your new custom created kitchen make sure to consider all of the possible options when it comes to cook-tops, ranges and ovens so you are able to entertain the way you and your family are accustomed to.

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Whether your home features a coastal view, a mountain view or anywhere in between selecting a decking material to stand the test of time requires more thought than just a guessing game.  Your building consultant can offer many answers to your questions about the types of decking materials available.  The area you build your home may play a role in the type of decking material you choose so let’s consider a few of the popular options.

Traditional Wood Decking

Wood Decking has been a popular option for many years.  A few things to consider when installing a wood deck is understanding the maintenance that comes along with it.  The lifetime of the deck is going to depend heavily on how well the deck is maintained.  With most wood decks it is recommended that a stain and sealer is applied every so often to protect the wood and give a finished look.  Wood decks are also more susceptible to termites, splintering and general wear depending on the use of the decked area.  Wood can be used in recycled projects so if the deck is ever removed it could be repurposed.  Reclaimed wood has become a popular trend within the home building industry, so another option for decking could include using reclaimed wood within your deck project.  While reclaimed wood is generally more expensive, it offers a nice addition to any home.

Composite Decking

Composite Decking materials have become a popular choice within the building industry over the past decade.  The cost for composite decking has come down and as a result has become more of an affordable option for decking materials.  There are several types of composite decking, and while there is polymer, fiberglass or pvc type composites available, understanding your options, lifetime of the product and appearance are important factors to consider.  Discussing your decking options with your building consultant will provide many answers to your questions and allow you the opportunity to explore color possibilities, warranties available and styles that will best suit the needs for your home construction.

Composite decking offers the look of wood without the effects that weather and time can have on the wood itself.  Composite decking is typically coated to keep water from penetrating the material, and of course keeps insects like termites or carpenter bees from invading the product.

A common question is whether or not the deck will be slippery – and the best answer to this is most decks can become slippery, regardless of being wood or composite.  Water, algae and other additions to any outdoor product can create a slippery environment.  While there are different materials that are used in the manufacturing of decking materials, some may be more slippery than others – so do your research.

Whether you choose a traditional wood deck or a composite material deck, proper installation and maintenance are the keys to the overall lifetime of the product.  Following a few simple steps can keep your deck looking beautiful for years.

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If you are building a new home of brick or partial brick you are most likely fully aware of the endless color selections when it comes to brick options. You may also be aware of the available mortar colors and how the finished product can look much different if choosing the same color brick and a different color mortar. This can be an enjoyable time, making the selections for your new custom home.

Did you know there are even more options for your mortar? The design of the mortar can also play a huge part in the way the overall home looks when it is completely built.

Believe it or not there are actually mortar patterns you can choose, and this is yet another way you can give your home an upgraded look without a huge difference in cost. Some custom builders may not even offer these options to their homeowners, but the way I see it is you are building your dream home, and although you might not know every option that is available to you, if you are interested you can certainly find many of them.

If you are building within a neighborhood or subdivision, with covenants, to first inquire or have your selections approved.  Some architectural control committees may or may not allow different mortar styles within your custom home – so better safe than sorry on this note.

Here are some mortar options you may be interested in:

  • Protruding mortar – I prefer to call it rustic or olde world style – but some may just see it as sloppy brick.  Don’t let the name discourage you from one of my favorite styles.  In this flair, the mortar is more heavily applied and as the brick is installed the mortar in a way oozes out between the bricks.  This style adds more depth and can be visually stimulating from the street, leaving one to wonder why this type of brick attracts your eye, more than the one next door.
  • Grapevine mortar – the grapevine mortar is a style that when the mortar is applied there is a thin groove placed in the mortar between the bricks.  This design is more noticed as you approach the home and not as easily seen from the street.  It does provide an overall different look to the home, but many if not detail oriented would never know the difference.

These are just two of the options available for mortar styles.  For more options or to learn about other options you may consider adding to your new custom home contact your building consultant or visit us at AmericasHomePlace.com

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The closing of your new custom home can be an exciting part of the building experience.  Whether this is the first home you have owned, or the first custom home you have built the closing process can also, at times, seem overwhelming.

The first thing to know about the closing process has to do with the time the closing is scheduled.  It is common for the closing to be delayed within a day or two of when it is originally scheduled.  This does not always occur, but in the event it does, do not be alarmed or over concerned as it is possibly an easily explained situation.

A lot of work goes into closing a property and a lot of people are involved with making sure all of the paperwork is in line and your property is securely buttoned up and ready to hand over.

The closing process is sometimes called the settlement process and involves both buyers and sellers.  In some cases all of the closing documents are signed with both parties present, however in some instances these papers may be signed at separate appointments.

While closing regulations may vary some among states or even county to county, most closings will contain a similar process.  Initially, and several days up to 24 hours prior to signing all closing documents a group of people including closing agents, title companies, attorneys and lenders are all preparing paperwork which will be presented for your acknowledgement and acceptance.

Some of the documents being prepared include inspection reports, appraisals, title searches, and title insurance (if this was an option you selected); Homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance and in some areas a flood certification may be necessary.

At the closing itself a sea of papers will be quickly passed to you for your signatures.

These will include:

  • Closing Documents: This will include mortgage loan details, loan terms and monthly required payments.  You will also see closing costs within these documents.  In some cases you may receive these documents 3 days prior to the actual closing date so you will have more time to review them.
  • Mortgage Note: The mortgage note will include the promise to pay statements, payment terms and overall loan terms for the property.  You will also find consequences and penalties should you fail to make payments.
  • Mortgage or Deed of Trust: These documents offer security for each of the parties and allows the lender the claim to the property should the agreed upon loan terms not be met.
  • Certificate of Occupancy: In the event you are purchasing a new construction project, this document will be required as legal proof to move into the new home.  The CO, as it is sometimes referred to, will provide the documentation needed to verify that all building inspections have been passed and it is safe and legal to reside within the property.

This transfer of signatures secures all parties and gives way to ensure government taxes are collected and transfer of ownership, titles and loans are recorded.  Regardless of how many properties you have closed on, it is always a good idea to review and read over the paperwork being presented for your signature(s).  A few things to double check include actual sales price of the home, interest rates, closing costs (which typically shouldn’t vary more than 10% from the original good faith estimate), and prepayment penalties.  This is your investment so do not feel rushed as you sign each of the legal documents required to properly close on the house.

For more information about this topic and how it applies to your new custom home contact us at AmericasHomePlace.com

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While some weather conditions are not predictable, there have been improvements in home construction regarding protection and the ways in which a storm room can be implemented into one’s home.

Depending on which part of the country you live in, and knowing the common weather patterns for that zone you may decide to better understand or choose options regarding safe rooms within your new home.

So what makes a safe room safe? Ultimately it is the fortitude of the structure itself.  If you are planning to incorporate a safe room within your home the first step would be to review your house plan with your building consultant to determine the best location within the structure to designate as a safe room.

Some things to discuss will include whether or not to use reinforced concrete, wind rated doors, proper ventilation and how the room will be tied into the structure.  Will you decide to use poured concrete walls with rebar situated and secured into the footings?  Maybe you will incorporate a secure system where the footings are connected to the walls and likewise the walls to the ceiling to offer additional strength to the structure.  In regards to wind rated doors,  the last thing you want  when adding a safe room is overlooking the door which could ultimately lead to failure in performance. If you are unsure of what options may be available, discuss your concerns with your builder or building consultant.

Most devastating tornados are known to scrape the house off of the foundation; a safe room secured with additional measures may prevent a portion of the home from being as badly affected.  Other options, where proper conditions exist may include utilizing basements as a safe room.

Just because a home has a basement does not automatically mean the entire basement is safer than other rooms within the home.  What makes most basements safe is the fact they are below the ground level.  If you have a walk out basement or a partially in ground basement these areas may not provide the safety you are looking to achieve during extreme weather conditions such as tornados.

Block walls or masonry walls with reinforced metal create a stable and sound structure with fewer fault points. This is an example of materials used to provide the safe room structure you are looking to achieve.

As with any emergency type scenario you want to assure the people within your home know where the safe room is located as well as how and when to properly use this area.  In the event you may need additional items stored within the safe room make sure to consider water, food and other emergency type kits you may want to incorporate within this area.  As you design and build your home, we hope you never have to use a safe room, but want to be sure you have the option to include this important component to your new custom home.

For more information about this topic and how it applies to your new custom home contact us at AmericasHomePlace.com

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As you review home plans, envision how the landscape plan can become part of the home.  The relaxing environment of a beautifully landscaped area can indeed be a vital part of your comfort while you enjoy your new custom home.

Landscaping can prove to be expensive at times, especially when you don’t have a plan in place.  As you build your new custom home, whether you choose to build for yourself or use a reputable builder, most likely you will begin with a standard landscape package.  There are plenty of ways to brighten up your landscaping while maintaining a reasonable budget.

First, understand most lavish landscaped homes have been created over time.  A few things to consider when preparing for your landscaping project include:

  • Knowing your climate zone
  • Knowing and understanding which climate zone you live in will help you to determine the best plants to use within your landscaping project.  There are beautifully thriving flowers and plants in each of these areas, so taking the time to research is an important place to begin.
  • Perennials vs. Annuals
  • Perennials are the type of flowers that grow each year and return the following year.  Annuals are the flowers that bloom only the year they are planted.  It is great to have some annuals as filler among your flower garden, however planting perennials, designed to return each year, will brighten your days as they bloom and save some time and money along the way.
  • Local Plant Exchanges or garden clubs

Most communities have a plant exchange coop, garden clubs or other groups of people who enjoy learning about and cultivating plants.  Many of these groups trade plants or can offer experiences on how to grow plants and proper maintenance of a home vegetable or flower garden.  There are even some organizations that focus on plant rescue, and as a member of these types of groups you may be able to transplant some of the rescued native plants in your own yard.

Of course, once you have planned your layout, chosen and planted your plants, it is important to make sure you are watering the plants as needed.  Make sure to plan the perfect location for hose bibs  around the exterior of your home. Other items you may want to consider when planning your landscape project, and keeping a budget in mind, are rain barrels, sprinkler systems, misting stations or lined bed watering options as well as ponds, arbors and don’t forget the bench, so you can rest and enjoy the nature around you.  Discuss your landscaping options with your building consultant to create a plan that will fit in your budget and be a delight upon everyday living in your new custom home.

For more information about this topic and how it applies to your new custom home contact us at AmericasHomePlace.com

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More than just a trendy fad within the custom kitchen today, painted cabinets have been an ideal selection within home designs for years. More and more people are choosing painted cabinets as an option for their homes because of the variety of colors and finishes available and the overall unique look it provides within custom homes.  There are a variety of options, colors and patterns that can be applied to most cabinets.

Painted cabinets are generally for those who enjoy a pop of color and wish to offer a focal point within their kitchen among their selections for flooring, countertops and wall colors.  You can truly make a statement by adding painted cabinets to your kitchen. Imagine a light maple cabinet kitchen design with a bold red or yellow island – the color is sure to grab your attention!

When you are designing your kitchen cabinet layout, decide if you are going to use a new pre-painted cabinet or new cabinets that will need to be painted.  Make sure you are working with a reputable painter to determine what type of paint is best for the type of cabinets you will be installing.  This may assure your cabinets don’t start flaking once you move in to your new home.  Painting cabinets can vary depending on the type of material the cabinets are made of and making sure the proper prep work is done can ensure the finished product has the finish you desire..

When selecting painted cabinets you can opt to go with a solid color or incorporate a faux finish or vintage/antique look.  You can add several types of distressed appearances or opt for a clean, glossy or matte finish.

Painted cabinets can offer a modern look, and while sometimes more expensive than traditional cabinets may be the perfect fit for your new custom home.  Explore color options and make sure to discuss any ideas with your building consultant to get recommendations and ideas regarding your painted cabinets.  As with any building product, make sure you understand how to properly maintain the cabinets over the years to keep the cabinets looking beautiful for years to come.

For more information about this topic and how it applies to your new custom home contact us at AmericasHomePlace.com

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You have moved into your new custom home and storm season has arrived. You hear the hail falling on the roof and can see the trees dancing to the wind.  This may create some thoughts about the stability and strength of your roof. We have all seen the aftermath of a major storm, as the roofing contractors parade the neighborhoods offering explanations of why a new roof is in your future. Understanding your roof isn’t as overcomplicated as one might think. As with any of the products within your new home, take a few minutes to learn about your product and you are sure to have peace of mind knowing you built your home with a reputable builder.

Roofing has come a long way over the years and as technology creeps into our daily lives benefiting our everyday tasks, the options and benefits of roofing materials is on the upswing for improvements. These benefits include multiple color options, styles and generally speaking an assortment of applications being applied to the roofing materials themselves like added moisture protection or algae resistant enhancements. It is no surprise that durability and warranty has improved over the years.

Upon considering a roof a few thing to consider are:

  • Wind Ratings
  • Fire Ratings
  • Weather Protection
  • Curb Appeal
  • Warranty & Lifespan

In addition to these items, you may consider the different types of roofing like asphalt shingles, copper & steel, fiberglass shingles, flat roof, stone or tile roofing or wood/shake shingles.  Each of these products is going to come with a different lifespan and the manufacturer of the product you choose may offer different warranties than others.  It is important to ask questions and know what the benefits to each type of roofing system is as well as understanding the different price points and overall look when added to the home.

Naturally you want your home to have a nice curb appeal.  In many cases when people build a custom home they don’t like to consider ever moving out of the home, however at some point this may be a reality and in this event you want to assure your color selections complement each other.  If you are unsure of your color selections I encourage you to visit some of the online design option websites that will assist with the visualization or speak with your building consultant.

A popular style among builders is the 3-tab architectural type roof.  This style of roof offers a great curb appeal for many home plans and many manufacturer warranties offer a 15 – 25 year guarantee.  These shingles are available in an array of colors and the overall lifespan of this type of shingle may depend on the style selected and the manufacturer.

Many steel roofs are designed to last at least 50 years, and some copper roofs with age and weathered patina can sometimes last well over 100 years.  Most asphalt shingles have a life span of 20 – 40 years.  Of course, as it is with any product the key to longevity also depends on the proper installation and maintenance over the years.

Understanding your warranty is vital should you ever need a replacement or repair.  The majority of manufacturer warranties offer a guarantee against manufacturing defects.  What you need to know about this terminology is that in the event there is a defect in the roofing materials then the roofing materials may be replaced under the guidelines of your products manufacturer warranty.  Most people may never even inquire of this information prior to building a home, they may assume the builder is using the best product available and they move forward with a selection primarily based on color.

Most warranties do not mean you will receive new roofing materials or installation once the storm rolls through and your shingles have blown off due to improper installation or if leaks arise due to improperly installed gutters or flashing.  While there are plenty of installation issues that may generate unnecessary roof repairs it is important to understand the difference between a manufacturing defect and a bad installation.

In the event it is in fact a warranty issue, there is generally a time period that is associated with the product you have chosen.  You may have heard the phrase limited lifetime warranty or guarantee, with the lifetime period being set at 15 years.  Once this 15 year period has passed the manufacturer may choose to offer an extended warranty period which becomes prorated, meaning each year that passes the amount of coverage they extend is then based on a percentage of reduction over a set amount of time.  In this event, at 30 years the manufacturer may still extend a portion of the warranty; however it may only be 15% of the cost due to a viable manufacturing defect.

Having a reputable builder who utilizes reputable vendors and manufacturers/suppliers may offer some security with your new home investment.  There are even builders who offer their own warranties and guarantees on particular products and services and this is one other area where you may want to ask questions if you are unsure of what all is available to you.

Other factors to consider and which may be a determining factor in regards to the lifespan of the roof could depend on the climate where the product is being installed as well as the actual slope of the roof.  In areas where there is more wind resistance or higher amounts of annual rainfall a shingle that is designed for more of an arid climate may not do as well as a shingle designed for wet climates.

If you are uncertain of the roofing application you should choose make sure to do your research and inquire with your building consultant for suggested guidance.

For more information about this topic and how it applies to your new custom home contact us at AmericasHomePlace.com

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In today’s society it is common to hear about a mother or father moving in with their adult children or adult children, possibly grandchildren moving back in with their parents.

Regardless of the circumstance, there may be times which call for multiple families to reside under the same roof. This dynamic can have many blessings, and it can also have its share of more desired space. When properly planned, the environment can prove to be beneficial for all parties living within the home.

If you are in the process of designing and building your new custom home this may be an area you haven’t thought much about but may want to consider. As you think about your family dynamics and whether this possibility may be a reality for you at some point in the future here are a few options you may want to discuss with your building consultant:

Stubbing in for future plumbing

-You may not need additional plumbing at the time you build your home, but for a lower cost now you could potentially save some money in the future by planning where future plumbing could be installed and making the necessary steps to have this option incorporated within your existing floor plan.  Your building consultant will gladly assist you with proper placement for this type of addition.

Creating multiple living spaces

-Another area to consider may be multiple living spaces.  In some instances a separate living room may be used for children as they are growing up, or if you have multiple families you may choose to plan for this layout to offer separate living areas for the different families living under one roof.  Some floor plans with basements or added bonus rooms on an upper level may offer the availability for this type of functional space.  If you consider the long term use of this area, you may also want to plan for  additional living spaces to be in an area of the home where, when not being used, you have the option to “close off” this area of your home to save on utility expenses.  This may require additional planning for the heating and cooling of the home and this can be discussed with your builder to best meet the needs of your situation.

Incorporate an in-law suite within your chosen floor plan

-There is a wave of in-law suites being added to pre-existing homes within our society today and in many cases these in-law suites are being built within what was once a garage, basement or attic/bonus area in an upper level of the home. While this is a viable option, if planned accordingly as you design and build your new home, you may be able to make this area of your home as comfortable and affordable for those who may at some point reside alongside you and your immediate family.

Plan for separate exterior entrances for added privacy

-Whether you have college aged children or adult children and grandchildren living at home or an older parent living among you, it may be a desired option to incorporate a private separate exterior entrance to the home.  While living together under one roof does provide many benefits, there may be the need to continue to offer some privacy where this living arrangement is made.  If this is an option you have considered as important within your new home, take a look with your building consultant to locate a nice spot for multiple private entrances to your home.  You may have to move a few walls or redesign a portion of the home, but in the end you will have a custom home designed and built for this type of situation, and one that may not find itself too costly as it would be if unplanned.

For more information about this topic and how it applies to your new custom home contact us at AmericasHomePlace.com

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