Step 3: Building Your Custom Home Wish list

Once you have determined your budget, and have begun narrowing down builders and design firms, the fun part begins. The Wish List. All of your wants, needs, and dreams you want to incorporate into your new custom dream home; and really decide what matters the most to you and your family and what you must have in your custom home.

type of custom home

What type of custom home are you looking for? Bungalow, Two Storey? Would you like a walkout basement? If you are renovating, what are you envisioning for the final structure of the home. Are you thinking that adding a second story would make your home function better, or would an addition off the front or back be more useful? These are some of the big questions you need to ask yourself.

Two stories are most popular amongst young families looking for a lot of living space at minimal cost. It is less expensive to build upwards than to increase the size of the main floor. Two stories tend to be less expensive per developed square foot than bungalows, and are popular and abundant in neighbourhoods with more affordable price ranges. 

Another reason young families love two stories, the general design allows the children’s bedrooms to be placed in close proximity to the master bedroom, in turn containing children’s toys and clutter to the upstairs, away from the primary entertaining spaces of the main floor. 

Bungalows are most popular with empty nesters and those with older children. With the lack of a second floor, there is no need for load bearing walls which allows for the opportunity for an open concept design and raised or vaulted ceilings. Bungalows are often found in more expensive areas, where lot sizes are larger and can accommodate a larger main floor footprint. 

If the slope of the land is great enough, a walkout basement may be possible. These are popular because they provide homeowners with attractive living spaces at ground level beneath the main floor. Walkouts can also give the appearance of 2 or 3 storey on the walkout side, and add a great deal of value to a home for a modest amount of expenditure. 

You also need to take a look at the approx sq.ft. that you are looking at building (this number may also be decided based on your budget as to how big we can go). If you are buying a lot that comes with some restrictions, you may have a specific size range that we need to build in. If you are building on a lot that has no size restrictions make sure to really evaluate the spaces and what you are able to manage now and in the future if this is your forever home.

Style of Home

What style of custom home appeals to you most? Are you really into a modern structure or do you like more of a traditional home style? Does a rustic mountain home sound like something that suits your personality? Are you loving the all white modern farmhouse look? There are so many different options out there to choose from. Checking online resources like Instagram, Pinterest and Houzz are a great and simple way to see a lot of different homes in a short period of time. One fun way to see what appeals to you most is to go for a drive. Drive through different neighbourhoods and areas where you live or would like to live. If you see a house that you like, snap a quick picture. You can make a day out of it and have fun exploring new areas and home styles.

How the home will function

Coming up with a wish list also helps designers really see where the focus and heart of the custom home resides, and what is truly important to you. This knowledge allows us as designers to create your custom home and focus the budget into areas that are most important to you. For example, for some the kitchen and living areas are incredibly important. Large dining spaces, or kitchen islands where everyone can gather. If you enjoy entertaining, or if you have a large family that you need to accommodate with extra bedrooms. Or something as simple as wishing to walk in your front door, and having a place to put your keys on the left hand side. It’s all in the details. 

A great and easy way to start your wishlist is through online resources, such as Pinterest and Houzz  . You can create your own inspiration boards, adding notes to each image to reference what you love about each, and save all your ideas to share with your design team.

We have a spreadsheet available for download on our website as well if you prefer putting pen to paper. We thrive on detail and specifics, so we recommend going into as much detail as possible. Your design team will sit down with you and review the areas of your custom home, and also offer up suggestions to ensure efficiency and creative pathways for the spaces within your custom home.
It is worth noting, that as you are coming up with this list you should also consider the resale value. If very unique, overly personal options are selected, expect objections from potential buyers in the future. Even if you do not plan on selling, we still recommend keeping this in mind; the future is very unpredictable.

have fun!