Design Selections for Your Custom Built Home

house design options for buyersWhen purchasing a custom built home, one of the most exciting steps is selecting the house design options. Yet, as exciting as it may be, when presented with a variety of choices, it can become overwhelming and fatiguing.

If you are planning to build a home, create an inspiration file of design photos and details which you would like to see in your new home. You can gather ideas by visiting model homes or browsing design websites like and, which offer a vast photo database for people in the process of building or remodeling a home. Inspirational design ideas can be saved in organized albums.

The Design Budget

Budgeting is more than how much you can afford. It is also about a good investment, so be cautious not to add upgrades that price you over the rest of the homes in the neighborhood.  If circumstances change and you need to sell your home, depending on the market, you may not be able to recoup what you invested into your home. Furthermore, when deciding on a budget, a verbal commitment is not enough. A written budget is recommended and will provide you the best chance of staying out of financial trouble.

When building a home, you will need to decide on a personal design budget. A true custom home builder, like Brista Homes in Sarasota, FL,  will provide their clients a scope of work, typically broken down into specific tasks and budgets.  For example, the scope designing and building on a budget
of work may include a flooring budget of $6000, an appliance budget of $2000, etc. This scope of work can also double as your budget check list and proves to be a very helpful part of the construction process.

When using a track home builder, it is likely you will not be provided a scope of work. Typically, you will meet at their design center and you will select your options that day from their inventory. When it comes to making selections without a written budget, it can become very easy to over spend.  Remember that you do not need to do everything at once. Save some DIY projects or design ideas to be added to the home after you close.

How to Design a House

When selecting house design options, it is wise to make conservative choices, especially if you plan on staying in the home less than 10 years. By conservative, I mean choices that will stand the test of time. Choices that are timeless, not fads. On the contrary, if you plan on staying in the home more than 10 years, then do not hesitate to design the home around your taste. Typically after 10 years the home will need cosmetic updating anyhow.

Depending on your occupation, interests, and lifestyle, the use of spaces within the home will vary and impact your home design selections.  If a bedroom will be used as a study or craft room, then flooring may be a more suitable choice than carpeting.  If you have children or pets, then light flooring may be a better option than dark flooring.

The majority of your design budget should be used on areas of the home that will be the most difficult to change, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Keep your big ticket items in neutral color tones, then add trendy colors in your smaller ticket items such as drapes, bedding, artwork, and accessories. Changing out the accessories is much less expensive and labor intensive then changing out items such as tile or cabinetry.

Follow these simple tips and ideas and you will be on your way to designing a home within your budget that will stand the test of time. For more design ideas, visit our posts on How to Paint a Room and The 60-30-10 Rule for Room Color.


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