There are a lot of things that come to mind when you think about building your custom home. Maybe you get lost in the details of your dream – Where you will put your furniture? What color rug you will get to get to complete your new living room set?
As you imagine your custom dream home there is one critical thing you need to keep at the forefront of you mind: communication. You’ve heard the saying “Location. Location. Location.” when you are in the market to buy a new house. Well —when you’re building your own custom house, it’s “Communication. Communication. Communication.”
If you’re like most, then you have been dreaming of your new home for some time and have just about everything picked out. It’s incredibly important that you communicate these details with your builder. Not the color of the rug you want, but rather the components that are included in the structure of your home— the windows, the doors, the porch, the light fixtures. The light fixtures on the porch or above the garage doors.
Make a list as you think of things and be specific when you can. A front porch with columns?…. How about a front porch with 2 columns featuring brick bases and a white tapered top? Or maybe 4 columns with brick bases and smaller white posts on top? Prefer cedar wrapped posts with matching corbels and a trellis? Great – let your builder know.
To keep the structural integrity of your home you may have to make concessions. Perhaps your porch requires more columns to hold up the weight of the roof or that the columns need to be larger to provide adequate support. Regardless, if you have something specific in mind, make a note of it and communicate these details of your custom home to your builder. It will help ensure your builder plans the framing and trusses of the home to account for these specifics and also ensures your custom home turns out just how you imagined it.
Pictures are also a great way to share your vision for your custom home. If you’re older than 10 years old you’ve heard it – “A picture is worth a 1000 words”. Well it’s true. The longer I live the louder it rings true. Pictures of specific details are a helpful tool to make sure you and your builder are on the same page.
I know a family who for years dreamed of adding on to their house to make room for their large (and still expanding) family. They started a notebook with sketches, pictures from magazines, samples and swatches. They had everything planned out even to the point of knowing what furniture they were going to buy, the size of the furniture and where they were going to put it. Now, that is way more than what most people have figured out and certainly more than what most have written down somewhere. But the point of it is this – the family knew exactly what they wanted and when they finally completed their addition it looked exactly as they had envisioned. They were able to show their building contractor their notebook containing their dreams and the specific features they wanted, and together they made it reality.
It’s also important to remember that communication isn’t just a one way thing – it goes both ways. At AW Homes we always try to accommodate our homeowners desires for their custom homes, after all – it is their home. Changes can be made during the building process, but often they require additional time and money outside of the agreed up on contract price. Sometimes, however, there are limiting factors (usually structural) that prohibit certain changes or requests from being made at a later time. For example the porch columns. What a homeowner wants pertaining to their columns can sometimes be limited based on the structural support required for the roof. If specifics are communicated during the drawing of the plans (as it pertains to the number of columns, size, etc), they can be accommodated for in the framing and truss system.
Bottom line: Good, open, honest and regular communication can have a huge impact on your building experience and the outcome of your efforts. When searching for a builder you should select a builder that not only gives you confidence in their ability to deliver the home you want and within your budget, but also one that you are comfortable with and can be open with. Communication between you and your builder is critical and it should come naturally.
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