Plan, Dream, and Plan Again for New Home

Building a home can hurt your brain. There is a saying in woodworking about measuring twice and cutting once. When building a dream home you need to plan, dream and plan again. The more planning you do, the happier you will be with the final home.

We just finished moving into our dream home. My husband and I have been planning this home for about three years. We knew that we wanted a smaller home that was more energy efficient. We wanted this to be our last home. Identifying our wants and needs took much time and discussion.

What we wanted. We knew that we needed an office for him that was tucked away from the rest of the house. We wanted an open living space that could be cozy for the two of us but could open up when we had family visiting. We wanted a large shower in the master bath and we knew that we wanted to utilize green building techniques. That covered most of the basics did it not? Only time would show us just how naive we were.

But how will we use the space? It wasn't until we started thinking about how we would actually use the space that we began to see what we needed. I am in several Mah Jongg groups and when I am hostess I need room to set up three card tables and chairs. Would our plan accommodate that? When my family comes for Thanksgiving is there enough space to expand my dining room table? My husband wanted a media area with speakers built in for surround sound and a big screen TV so that he could watch movies. How do we incorporate that? And if we incorporate all that do we lose the smallness and the coziness we desired?

Green. Then there were the green aspects. We wanted low energy bills so that in retirement we could keep our costs down. I am currently driving a hybrid car but want a full electric car when they improve a bit. I would need a place to plug that in. I also wanted to xeriscape and utilize rainwater collection. Was it possible to have it all?

More questions. There were also the questions we didn't even know to ask. What kind of floor coverings did we want? Had we thought about how much storage we would need? What kind of lighting would be best for each area of the house? What about the outdoor space, did we want a living area? Endless questions and endless decisions.

We were fortunate to find a good designer and builder who helped us incorporate all of these ideas into a dream home that we could afford. They asked a lot of questions that helped us to plan and dream and plan again. Some days my head hurt considering all of ideas but in the end we have a wonderful home with everything we wanted.

It is possible to have it all. Just plan, dream, plan again and enlist the help of a good designer and a good builder.