Tag Archives: custom home design

Home building process

Home Building: What You Should Know

Home building can be a very exciting experience for the new home owner. Especially if you have never owned a home before, there is something quite special about knowing that you live in a place you can truly call your own. At the same time, there is no denying the stress that comes along with it. That’s why it is so important to actively prepare for your new home construction.

What You Should Know About Home Building

To minimize stress and maximize your comfort and convenience, here are some essential things you should do before getting your home built.


Every responsible adult will know to “run the numbers” in order to determine their home building budget. However, the trick is to account for all your costs, many of which are hidden. There is the direct cost of construction on the one hand, but on the other hand:

  • Permits
  • Down payments
  • Refunds & savings (from taxes or otherwise)
  • Cost of your estimate (if there is one)

Choosing Your Builder

Next, there is the matter of finding your contractor. This may or may not be as simple as asking your friends and family who they might refer, but you should be mindful of:

  • Whether they are licensed
  • Whether they are insured
  • What their reputation is

Also, it’s never a bad idea to request a look at their portfolio so you can see what they’ve done for yourself.

Consider Going Green

“Going green” with environmentally friendly home design isn’t for everyone, but it should always be considered. Everything from electricity, windows and doors, home insulation, HVAC, utilities, and water usage can all bring huge economic benefits when your house is environmentally friendly and energy efficient.

Remember Your ROI

Is it ever too early to start thinking about resale? We think not. Even if you’re planning on living there forever, you never know how you will fill in the future. That’s why you should always be mindful not only of how much home building costs now, but how much return on investment it will produce down the line.

Modern walk-in closet design

3 Closet Designs for Your Luxury Bedroom

Are you contemplating a new or renovated closet design? Do you know where or how to begin? Don’t accept half-measures! Closets are an extremely important part of the bedroom, providing a unique and personal space for not only clothes, but a wide variety of other things. Make sure your closet is consistent with your style, budget and needs by starting from these simple design templates.

Closet Design 101

While there is much variation between each of them, architects generally begin with a set of 3 designs: walk-in, reach-in and wardrobe. Here is what each of them entails.

Walk-In Closet Design

Wood closetWalk-in closets are relatively new and boast of magnified space and storage capacity. As their name states, these are closets that can be walked into. Their size blends the distinction between room and furniture, as many can be large enough to be considered separate rooms. As pictured on the left, the depth afforded by walk-in closets also allows more flexibility and customization to suit your individual style. Each shelf, drawer and cabinet can serve a distinct utility and purpose. An even more luxurious add-on to consider is an island, which would be installed in the center and allow placement for different outfits, shoes, and jewelry before putting them on.

Reach-In Closet Design

the “original closet,” reach-ins are not deep enough to be walked into (being generally about 2 feet deep), and their widths vary according to the size and shape of the room. While walk-ins are generally considered the more upscale option, there is considerable convenience that only comes with a reach-in. Less space actually means less things get lost, and there is no denying the ease with which items in such closets can be obtained. For those that do desire more space with a reach-in, multiple shelves and door hangers may be installed.

Wardrobe Closet Design

wooden wardrobePictured on the right, wardrobes come from an age before proper closets ever existed. They are essentially furnishings that serve as closets, and they are distinct by existing as freestanding rather than fixed storage units. Their relatively small size allows for compact, convenient storage in rooms in which other closets would be otherwise unavailable. They come in a variety of styles, materials and colors, so you can always be sure you will find one that perfectly suits your needs.

Modern bathroom design

Bathroom Design Tips & Ideas

Whether you are remodeling, adding an addition or having your custom home built from scratch, it is important not to neglect bathroom design! While neither as exciting nor as conspicuous as your kitchen design, bathrooms are nevertheless quite personal. Adding a touch of luxury and designing one consistent with your own style and personal taste can go a long way.

Designing Your Bathroom: Where to Start

As is the case with most architecture and design processes, your bathroom is best imagined as a whole rather than as a sum of its constituent parts. In other words, think of your entire bathroom design instead of your shower, then your toilet, then your fixtures, etc. Below, you will find 3 design ideas in their entirety, as well as their look, feel, style, and indications as to whether they are right for you.

“Rustic” Bathroom Design

If you are looking for a bathroom that is both simple and charming on the one hand, while also cozy and familiar on the other, then this design is right for you. “Rustic” (or “country”) bathrooms have an overall old-fashioned style about them, incorporating:

  • Fixtures made of natural wood and/or stone
  • Waste baskets made of wicker
  • Wooden cabinets

Color schemes used here range from dark orange to brown, and they are best complimented by a bathroom rich with natural light. So, consider this especially if your bathroom is flooded with sunlight and makes generous use of windows.

“Traditional” Bathroom Design

Where rustic bathrooms are old-fashioned in the sense that they have a sense of familiarity, traditional ones are old-fashioned in their elegance. This design is distinctly European in its aura, and heavily emanates nostalgia. It is more generous and perhaps ostentatious in appearance, using:

  • Brass faucets, knobs and shower heads
  • Oval-shaped mirrors/vanity mirrors
  • Porcelain tiles and tubs

It is not uncommon to decorate such a bathroom with wallpaper, as well as floral ornaments. There is no definite color scheme, but light, simple colors are recommended

“Modern” Bathroom Design

Finally, modern bathrooms have a distinctly “sleek” and “smooth” feel about them, with their:

  • Stone (marble or granite) countertops and tiles
  • Stainless steel knobs and sinks

Generally, color is used to accent certain focal points in the bathroom such as the sink, shower and/or bath. Countertops and/or floors may be dark, gray or black, but they are contrasted by the light colors used on the floor and wall. It is also common to add wall art for decoration, but the design is otherwise minimal ornamentation and a rather simplistic.

Panoramic window design

Finding the Right Window Design for Your Home

Window design often gets lost somewhere in between roofing, electrical engineering, HVAC, and everything else that custom home building entails. Nevertheless, it is an extremely important part of the overall design process. Windows are not only practical, providing the right insulation and security. They are also aesthetic and have the potential to add a unique style to your house.

The Right Window Design

Windows come in all different shapes and forms, and the importance of finding the right one for you cannot be overstated. According to the House Designers, about 10-15% of home building budgets are spent on windows and doors alone! While factors such as size and color will vary according to your individual preferences, we can help you determine the right style of windows for your custom home.

Awning window designAwning Windows

Awning window designs (pictured on the right) take their name from the sheets of canvas that stick out from stores and hotel buildings. They are hinged at the top, swinging vertically outward from the bottom whenever a crank or lever is turned. They generally open out to a 30o angle, which enables them to ventilate houses without letting rain in (wind notwithstanding).

Casement Windows

Casement windows are much like awning ones, except they are hinged at the side and swing horizontally (rather than vertically) outward. In general, casement windows open from the center and can be opened all the way. They are one of the more basic window designs, being quaint, simple and generally less expensive.

Fixed/Picture Windows

Fixed windows are the most basic, simpler than even casement ones. They are not hinged, meaning they cannot be opened at all. Often called “picture windows,” they can offer scenic pictures of the South Florida coastline in the right custom beach house. They are the least expensive and most energy efficient, but are generally accompanied by other window designs such as casement or hung windows.

Double-hung window designHung Windows

Hung windows (pictured on the left) are probably the most popular design for household windows. Unlike casement or awning windows, they are not hinged to swing outward. Rather, when unlocked their panes glide vertically (or sometimes horizontally). They come in two types: single-hung (with one movable pane) and double hung (with two movable panes).

Sliding/Rolling Windows

Finally, there are sliding window designs. These are generally thought of as windows that function as doors, but they can be proper windows as well. Sliding (or rolling) windows are not hinged, but rather slide laterally. They do this by incorporating two or more panes, with one fixed and others movable, each about half the width of the window frame. They are considered a very contemporary design, as well as the most practical because of the insulation and security benefits they offer.

Using home automation to set temperature

Home Automation & Custom Home Design

2015 is well under way, bringing with it exciting new innovations in custom home construction. And it all has to do with one aspect: technology. Technology is constantly making advances, providing homeowners with new avenues for luxury, comfort and convenience. And nothing epitomizes this fact more than the technological advances that have been made in home automation.

Technology, Design & Home Automation

In their list of top 10 homebuilding trends, Dallas Culture Map sums up their predictions with a single motif: technology. First on their list is home automation — what is this aspect of custom home design? How does it work, and how might you incorporate it into your new custom home?

What is Home Automation?

First of all, what is automation? Automation means setting something up to do something automatically. Most people think of computers — your computer can automatically back up, notify you of tasks, shut off at a certain time, etc.

Imagine that your home is a computer. That means you can set it up to do something automatically: anything from dimming the lights to playing music to altering the air conditioning.

How Does Home Automation Work?

With automation, the possibilities are endless. And if that doesn’t already sound exciting, here’s more: due to amazing advances in home automation technology, it can often be controlled from your phone, tablet or computer!

It works by connecting each automated device through a centralized network, often a house’s local area network (LAN). This allows homeowners to access their automation settings from electronic devices that are connected to the internet. At the same time, it provides the same level of security as accessing your bank account online.

Custom Home Design With Automation

The great thing about home automation is how complimentary it is with custom home design. The spirit of custom home building means customizing anything in your home to your own needs, and nothing accomplishes this more than automated housing components. You can use them for:

  • HVAC: automating temperature, humidity, and (with many automated HVAC systems) shutting windows.
  • Lighting: Scheduling lights to turn on/off, dimming lights, or using motion sensors to turn on/off when someone enters the room.
  • Intercoms
  • Security: cameras, codes, and alerts for security breaches.
  • Home Entertainment Systems: audio/visual automation, surround-sound and stereo customization, and automatic shutdown/startup
  • Outdoors: automated pool and hot tub heating, jet-stream bubbles, cleaning, and lighting.
  • Others: watering plants, feeding pets, and specialized automation to make life more manageable for the disabled and/or elderly. The possibilities are virtually limitless!