So, you are ready to begin a new life with a loved one. Perhaps you and your significant other have decided to settle down in your own small, yet customized home and maybe even start a family (perhaps just one child for the time being, maybe more – who knows?). When it comes to having your own living space, it should always reflect who you and your significant other are, your specific needs, as well as the space you wish to provide for your child or children. Here are some crucial questions to ask yourself when building your first home:
Where will you live?
When building a home, it may seem like the sky’s the limit. While that’s partially true, there will be some factors that will play into your decision. For instance, perhaps you and your spouse prefer different settings: maybe you can’t live too far from the city, but your significant other likes the quiet of a country life. A quiet suburb may be in your future. Also, consider your work situations. Do you both have steady office jobs in a specific town or city, and just how far are you willing to commute to get there? Pick a location that you are both comfortable with. Of course there is always the B word. What can you afford within your budget in selecting a site.
How much space should you give yourself? And what about the layout and features?
If you are investing in building a home, chances are good that you’re planning to stay there for a while. If that’s the case, you’ll need to think carefully about how much space you’ll need in the future, and the layout and design of your home. People who aren’t planning on having kids, for example, might go ahead and opt for putting a bar in the basement of their new place; those who are might want to designate that area as a potential family room.
In terms of space, while you may not know how many kids you are planning to have at the moment, it might be good to come up with an estimate that you won’t want to go above and then build enough rooms to accommodate them. And don’t forget, extra people means an extra bathroom (even a half bath) is always a good idea. Take a look at some of our small house plans and see if any of them already suit your ideas – you can even modify them!
In Dan Sater’s book, “The Smaller Home”, he explores these questions and more and even includes a checklist for determining what spaces are necessary and which are optional.
What kind of style are you looking for?
This is the fun part! One of the main advantages of building your own small home is that you really have the freedom to choose a unique style of building – as opposed to the typical suburban system that offers you slight variations on about four house plans that all look remarkably similar. For instance, if you love rustic settings and are possibly planning on living in a wooded or mountainous area, our Mount Julian (pictured above), with its stone and wood fronting, fireplace, and double verandahs, might be for you. Or perhaps a quaint cottage-styled home might suit you both better, in which case, our Jasmine Lane home could be just the thing you are looking for.
Your home is your sanctuary, so if you are going to be building one from scratch, you’ll need to consider the aspects that matter most. Remember to have fun and to make it your own!
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