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From Start To Furnish

Please enjoy my musings on all things interior design!

The 5 Most Expensive (but Common!) Mistakes When Building A New Home

I've been designing home for over 30 years now, and I've helped (and wished I could have helped) many people plan for their new homes.  In doing so, I've encountered some really expensive but common mistakes people make - they're so easy to avoid if you just know better!

Read on and avoid these major mistakes - 

1. Lack of priorities

I know, I know - this is your dream home.  You've waited and saved and dreamed of every last want and need in it. You're feeling that this is your last home and you're going to grow old and gray in it, so why not have everything you want?

Slow down, take a breath and prioritize. Really put pen to paper and make a list of all those things you want in this home.  Then re-list them in order of what is most important.  When it comes down to it, some of those wants may be less important than others.  And you may decide that prioritizing somewhere else may be more important than what you at once thought was important.  Maybe you'd rather have professional grade appliances than a home gym.  Maybe a spa-like master bath is more important than a home theater.  Maybe a Big Green Egg on the back patio is sufficient for your needs rather than a tricked-out outdoor kitchen.  Save where you can so you can spend where it really counts!


2.  Lack of lighting and electrical planning

This is one of the biggest mistakes I see people make.  I encourage you to give each room plenty of consideration as to lighting and electrical needs.  Consider the tasks or activities in each room - don't just accept what the plans specify!  They may not address your individual needs.  You, and only you know how you are going to live in each room. 

Be certain studies and kitchens have plenty of task lighting (the detailed lighting that adequately illuminates your work).  Bathrooms should have lighting that flatters you while getting dressed for the day or for a night on the town.  Bedrooms should have restful light while also providing adequate light for your bedtime reading (if that's what you do), but also an option to be able to find that missing earring.  Would you like switches by the door to turn on the bedside lamps?  Would you like electrical outlets in the bathroom drawers for the hairdryer, electric razor and such? Where do you charge your smartphone and is there a convenient outlet there?  Think these through in the planning stages and pat yourself on the back for being so darn smart later.






3.  Lack of planning for resale

This is your dream home and while you want to design it for you and your family and your lifestyle, you don't want to make it so specific that no-one else could possibly see themselves living there.  

You may be thinking this is your last home, but someone is going to have to sell it someday.  While you may need no more than two bedrooms, that may significantly reduce your selling prospects when that day comes.  A home designed primarily for entertaining may not be appealing to a family.  You might always eat out and only use your oven for storage, but most people want to cook in their kitchen, so make it as cook-friendly as possible.  You'll still love it just as much, I promise.


4.  Lack of planning for aging

You're young and spry now, but if you plan on this being your forever home, you should consider aging in this home.  Do you really want a second floor or is there a bedroom on the first floor?  Are the bathrooms large enough or at least designed for remodeling for accessible use in a wheelchair or walker?  Future you will be so happy you gave aging in this place consideration.





5.  Lack of careful space planning

This is the most important consideration.  Before the plan is finalized, be certain that the rooms address your needs.  Plan the furniture in each room before the first nail is hammered. Consider what kind of groups are going to be in the living room.  Is it going to be mostly your small family around the television or do you plan on entertaining and if so, for how many people? 

Be certain the room can accommodate the different uses for which you intend.  Maybe you love sectional sofas, but your living room is not designed such that a sectional sofa is the best arrangement for the room and your groups.  You may also currently have some furniture pieces that you definitely want to keep and use.  For example, you'll want to make sure the space between the windows is large enough to accommodate the drapery and grandma's buffet.  If you currently have young children but plan on living in this home for many years, think about the changes that your children's bedrooms will have to go through.  They will grow out of the crib or toddler bed.  They'll likely marry and bring grandbabies to visit.  Is it important for the rooms to be able to accommodate a crib or other sleeping space as well as the main bed?  These are just a few examples of the types of things you should consider when looking at the floor plan of the home. 

There are so many things to consider when planning and designing your perfect home.  These are just a few examples.  If it seems a little overwhelming, why not give me a jingle.  I've helped so many people through it and I can help you.

There are so many things to consider when planning and designing your perfect home.  These are just a few examples.  If it seems a little overwhelming, why not give me a jingle.  I've helped so many people through it and I can help you!