Behind the Build — Advice from One Couple’s Experience
Have you ever wondered what actually happens during a new home build? How do all the pieces fall together to create the home of your dreams? One couple shares their experiences, thoughts and offers advice to others who are considering building a new home.
Design, Layout & Lot Selection
Devin and Angela had outgrown their 10-year-old home and were ready to build a new home with a beautiful view and more functional space. The process of designing their dream home took time and research. “The design phase took well over a year. We carefully considered how we wanted the space to look, feel and function. Taking that time was the best thing we did,” says Angela. “Don’t rush the planning process. Take the time you need to really think through how you want to use each space, as well as the aesthetic priorities.”
Engage an interior design professional to assist with the layout of spaces and drafting your plans. I was so fortunate that Angela and Devin chose me to help them through the process. “Holli offered suggestions on how to focus our budget in certain areas to maximize visual impact,” Angela says. “We splurged on design elements such as vaulted ceilings and beams, and then saved in other areas like using inexpensive backsplash tiles. There are so many decisions to be made during a custom build; having Holli to help us navigate through that process gave us peace of mind that we were making the right choices, rather than second guessing ourselves. It was a big relief and timesaver to make a decision once, with confidence, and then move forward.”
Select Your Builder
Some people are nervous to select a builder and are afraid to pull the trigger. They worry they don’t know enough about construction or the industry “lingo” needed to communicate exactly what they want to their builder.
How to avoid this? Do your research. Go online, look at their work and read online reviews. Ask for references, referrals and recommendations from your friends and family. Ensure you understand the builder’s history, what style/type of home they usually build, and then determine if they are a good fit to build your dream home. Once you’ve gotten to know, like and trust your builder, sign on the dotted line. Now, prepare yourself for the long road ahead; thousands of decisions await you.
It’s so exciting when you finally break ground! There are now thousands of details to confirm and decisions to make. A design professional can help make these decisions and stay ahead of construction. It’s important to do so without feeling rushed or scared of making a mistake along the way. I often advocate on behalf of my clients during this stage, communicating directly with the builder and subtrades to ensure the desired end result is achieved. I also problem solve when unexpected issues occur; by doing so, it takes the stress out of the process for my clients.
Angela and Devin’s kitchen, masterfully created by Cougar Custom Cabinets, is truly a showpiece and the heart of the home. It came together with Devin and Angela’s initial design ideas and the knowledge, craftsmanship and expertise from the talented team at Cougar Custom Cabinets. Devin and Angela envisioned a style that would be traditional yet still have all of the modern amenities for a growing family. The fresh white kitchen cabinets are contrasted beautifully by a bold navy island. Ken and Sherry at Cougar Custom Cabinets worked to create a unique and timeless focal point for their kitchen — an arched range hood featuring custom corbels and beautiful mouldings. They also created custom cabinetry throughout the house that complemented the overall home design.
Many people think the house is finished once you move in. Sadly, not so! Furnishing, decorating and organizing your home are important steps to turning your new house into your home. It often requires another chunk of the budget and a major investment of time and energy. While it’s fun for some, it can also be overwhelming. How do you know what pieces of furniture you’re looking for? What size will fit in each space? You can hire a design professional to source pieces for you or they can provide a furniture layout for you to follow on your own over time.
In the End...
“We feel so fortunate to be able to live in and enjoy our dream home,” Angela exudes. “It’s beautiful, but also feels comfortable and functions properly for our family.” All their hours of research, hard work and attention to detail have paid off. I am humbled when Angela says: “Holli’s creativity, passion and experience were such assets to our building process. She was easy to work with and we had a lot of fun together. We can’t imagine having done this build without her.”
Holli’s Tips for Building A New Home
- Ensure your kitchen layout, appliances, light and plumbing fixtures are selected prior to electrical and plumbing rough-ins. This will avoid costly changes after the drywall is up.
- The last thing to select in the design process is paint colour, but it’s one of the first things a builder needs to know. Be prepared!
- Consider adding the cost of window treatments into your mortgage. Get a quote upfront to reduce the surprise and stress related to this investment.
- Consider upgrading trim as a low cost option to add style and value to your home.
- Include as much detail in your house plans as possible, including dimmers on light fixtures, home automation systems, and elevations of feature walls where necessary. This will reduce change orders and extra costs.
- Engage a landscape designer to strategically position all the elements in your yard such as daylight over decks or pools, hot tub locations and electrical requirements.
- Work with a builder, cabinet maker and interior decorator you know, like and trust. A close relationship based on mutual trust and respect is important to ensure success.
By Holli Appelquist, accomplished interior decorator and owner of Appelquist Interior Design Inc. Find out more at www.appelquistinteirordesign.ca.
Cougar Custom Cabinets is a leader in innovation and quality in Southern Saskatchewan’s construction industry for more than 36 years and are recent recipients of the BBB Torch Award and RRHBA Master Awards. Visit them at their award-winning showroom or online at www.cougarcabinets.com.
Photos Picturesk Media