Building a new home is a daunting process for most people. There are endless decisions to be made and you have to live with those decisions for a long time. The best home projects start out with a lot of planning at the beginning. Your goal should be to have a rock solid vision of what you want in your new home before you meet with a builder.
Things are about to get pinteresting
Spend some quality time with Pinterest to get a feel for what you like and don’t like in a home. The more inspiration pictures you can have before building a new home, the better. Consider this your permission to “waste” hours and hours pinning away. You’ll begin to get familiar with the styles you love and the names of certain materials you want. After a while, you will have a collection of photos to show vendors what you want, and you’ll be able to talk with confidence about what you need in your home.
Once you start to narrow down your options, create a Pinterest board for each room and pin the following:
- Inspiration image(s)
- Pictures of materials you want to use in the room (paint swatches, tiles, cabinet colors/styles, lighting, countertops, and hardware)
- Pictures of furniture you have or are planning to buy
Your boards will help you get a clear vision of how everything will go together. You can google the name of a paint color or tile to find an image, or take a picture with your cell phone and upload it.
Here’s an example of the board I did for our living room:
Find model homes or open houses to walk through
In Minneapolis there are two big home events called the Parade of Homes and Remodeler’s Showcase. We were able to walk through several model homes and it helped us get a feel for trends in our local area. If your city doesn’t have an event like this, you can also search real estate listings to find open houses to visit. Most importantly, it is helpful with figuring out the floor plan for your new home. You might even want to make notes or sketches of what you like after you walk through, when it is still fresh in your mind.
Visit showrooms ahead of time
Shopping early for things like countertops, cabinets, flooring, and tile can benefit you big time. Researching different materials, seeing and touching them in person, and getting a rough estimate on cost-per-square-foot can help you make decisions and set a budget. If you have the luxury of looking ahead of time, the selection process with your builder will be much less stressful. Otherwise, you’ll be making most decisions under a tight time frame.
Talk to others who have gone through the home building process
Ask friends and family about their experience building a new home. Find out what they wish they had done differently. You may be able to learn from their mistakes and save yourself many headaches.