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Blog Post

March 31, 2020

Building a new home is probably one of the biggest purchases you'll ever make. However, it can be one of the most fulfilling and exciting adventures of your life. 

When you decide to build, there can be an overload of information that may make you overwhelmed. You may sit back and think, "I don't need to focus on a style, I just want it to look nice..." There is nothing wrong with letting your designer and builder take the lead on things, but don't forget that you are the one living in the home. Start slow, think about colors, patterns, and elements that you like, and allow the design to build off the details you enjoy. On the other hand, you may be thinking "I want my house to be exactly this way, and refuse to compromise." There is also nothing wrong with knowing what you like! It's all about finding a sweet spot and having an open mind. 

The home building process at Starr Homes is 'Design-Build', which means we take your favorite elements of a home, create a perfectly customized floor plan for you, and we use our talented and detail-oriented project managers to help It come to life. What is our favorite part of the design process? Helping you get the look for less. Here are some of our tips at  getting your dream home, while keeping an eye on your pocketbook.

1. Think about your home style before you dive in.

Do you want a coastal dream? A modern farmhouse? What about a contemporary masterpiece with clean lines? It is always important to think about the details that you like the most. Photography is a great tool to start with- it is visual and readily available.  Ask for photos of previous homes, or visit websites with ideas like Houzz and Pinterest. Pinterest is a great resource for gathering ideas before the design process. (Click here to visit our Pinterest page)

Do you find yourself seeing many elements that you like, but can't put a name to it? That's no problem! When you build for as long as we have, we can pick up on details that some people can miss. Gather together all the photos you like, especially the ones you see and think "I really like this, but I'm not sure why." We can digest your ideas, pick out similarities between the elements you like, and come up with a unique style for you. Defining your personal style is a great way to start thinking about home elements that you care about the most.

2. Think about your Wants and Needs.

Starting a "Needs and Wants" list is a great way to keep a close eye on that budget. Think about elements or features in the home that you can't live without. Maybe it is all-frosted-glass garage doors to maintain that contemporary look. Maybe it is a huge farmhouse front porch. Focus on those elements that you love, even though you know they may eat up more of your budget. Then, think about other elements of the home where you could compromise to stay within budget. It is all about balance. 

2. Use those Interior Designers! 

Interior Designers are a crucial tool in the building process. Make sure you take the time to get to know them, and allow them to know you. After your home is designed and your floor plan is exactly how you like it, your interior designer is on the front lines making sure your home aesthetic comes together beautifully. Consider paying for extra time with your interior designer. It may seem counter-intuitive in "saving money", but in actuality, it can save you a lot over the course of your build. Interior designers know the design elements of your home that you care about the most. For example, you may spend hours trying to pick out tile, only to find that the one you like that is out of your price range. An interior designer in these types of meetings can direct you more quickly because they know your style, saving you time in the process. They also know where to look to find, for example, a similar tile that looks almost identical, but at a much better price. Don't hesitate to reach out to your designers, they are there to help you save time, money, and cut back on the stress!

3. Get creative with the floor plan.

Sometimes during the design phase, you can get caught up with the design and start getting too close to the top of your budget. In these cases, cutting down on square footage is a good way of shrinking the budget, but you also don't want to sacrifice too much. Ask your architect/building designer to get creative!

Maybe you don't need two laundry rooms, only a laundry shoot from your upper floor to the lower floor. Perhaps you don't need private individual baths for your kids on the upper level, and you could opt for a more space-saving jack-and-jill. On many 1.5 story floor plans, a guest suite is added onto the main level for in-laws. Instead of a giving the guest bedroom a private bath, create a secondary entrance to the guest bath so that you don't need a powder bath and a private guest bath on the main level. While some of these changes may not be your first choice, there are ways to still maximize functionality without breaking the bank. It is important to consider where you will be spending the most time in your home, and focus on preserving those areas and compromising on others that have much less daily traffic.

4. Plan for the future.

While you are building your home to live in within the next year or two, it's important to consider 5, 10, and even 20 years down the road. What will you need in the next several years that you don't need now? For example, maybe you should prewire for a future elevator. Perhaps preparing for a future basement finish with plumbing and electrical can make finishing it down the road much easier. Choosing a suspended garage is also a cost-efficient way of adding square footage and opportunity for more space down the road, even if it is for storage. Prices on most building processes will only go up, so take advantage of the process now to be more prepared later.

Building a home can be a stressful, time-consuming adventure, but when you end up with a home that you love, it will all be worth it. Thinking about building a home yourself? 

Starr Homes is Kansas City’s premier custom home builder in the greater Kansas City metro area. If you are considering building a new home, Starr Homes can transform your concepts into reality. Call us at 913.481.2680 or visit www.starrhomes.net.