12 July 2012

Four Favorite Sensible Style Homebuilding Tips

This is Home Building Week on Gold Notes, part of my Fourth Anniversary celebration. So today I’m sharing my four favorite Sensible Style tips for anyone planning on building a home any time soon! 

Build for Real Life 

It’s tempting to design and build the home of your dreams. But consider how invested you are in them and whether building for activities you’re unlikely to indulge in long term in makes sense. For example, do you really need a wine cellar if you break out a bottle only during holidays? Do you need a yoga studio at home if that space could be put to better use as a home office or spare bedroom? 

This is the Not So Big House I want to build!
(Photo:  NotSoBigHouse.com )

This is its floor plan -- just right for my needs!
(Photo:  NotSoBigHouse.com ) 

Plan for Future Needs If you’re building a home you plan to live in for many years to come, consider future needs as well as present ones. If you’re an active adult, consider how you’d function with a sports injury. If you’re a baby boomer or older, consider aging needs for comfort, independence and safety and design to age-in-place. 

A hood with remote control aids aging-in-place
(Photo: Zephyr)

Build Resource Stingy 

Don’t build a bigger home than you need. You’ll just pay more to heat, air condition and maintain it! Right-size your house for your needs and for the neighborhood you’re building in. Also, plan for the fact that water and energy are increasingly-pricey resources and build in as many eco-friendly details as you can. They may be a little more expensive in the short run but they’ll pay off for you long term. 

Induction cooking is the most energy-efficient available today
(Photo:  Thermador)

Build for the Neighborhood 

As I noted above, build the right-sized home for your neighborhood. Nothing looks more awkward than building a multi-level McMansion on a street of modest ranches! (I’ve seen this; you probably have, too.) 

Plan your style accordingly, too, if resale is a consideration and if you respect your new neighbors. I once lived in an area filled with charming pastel Spanish bungalows. The only exception was a home coated in a material that resembled black lava. It looked rather odd, not terribly inviting and seriously out of place in that neighborhood. It would also probably sell for less than its neighbors. 

Yes, this is America, home of the free and land of the brave. I simply suggest that if you want to be free and brave, do so with some acreage around you!

Master-planned communities aren't for everyone, but they do look pulled together!
(Photo:  Shea Homes)

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