New Construction Wants vs. Needs

Even with a healthy budget for your new custom home, you’ll need to prioritize the elements and features to be included. It will turn out that some items on your list are more urgent, and necessary, than others. Here are some hints to help you sort through the needs and wants in new home construction.

How to Prioritize New Home Features

You need to make a big list, which can be in no particular order initially. If this seems daunting, a good way to start planning your dream home is to get the area’s best custom builder involved early on. Your home design and construction expert can simply the planning process based on past experience, best practices and detailed product knowledge. Right before or just after contacting Miller’s Home Creations, make a list of everything you might like in your new WV custom home.

To begin your listing process, ask your spouse and other family members to make lists as well, then remove duplicates and combine them. You could even color code the text on your list to indicate which family member requests each feature. You’ll place any non-negotiables and required features at the top of the list. Those are your true needs, but you will likely need to whittle down your list. There will be some that are logistically impossible due to issues like your time frame, lot size, or building code or historical district restrictions. Everything else must be classified as a need (must include) or a want (can add later or cross off the list).

What Are Your True Needs for Your New Custom Home?

If you need a certain school district, or find a certain type of view integral to your future list in your new house, these list items must be hammered out before you even choose/buy your lot. Although, you’ll still have view options depending upon the direction your home is oriented on your chosen lot. Remaining features can be planned with your owned/existing lot in mind. Your builder can help you work through constraints like a narrow or sloping lot, so that you can still get features you want and need in your new home construction.

Examples of New Home Design Needs/Requirements

  • Number of bedrooms: If each family member is to have their own space, this is a non-negotiable for the top of your list.
  • Number of floors: If this is to be your long-term home, or will be home for aging relatives, consider accessibility. You may decide to go for a single-story home–or at least include one bedroom and bath on the first floor in a multi-story house. Personal preference is also important, because you’ll likely be spending most of each day and night in your new home. Including something you don’t really want or making a big compromise can be frustrating. Think about future days and future plans to expand your family or sell the home. Ask your homebuilder which features help sell a home in your area.
  • Laundry room and one bath on first floor: These are near the top of the list for many people.
  • Front porch and/or back deck: Most people want at least one of these, or both, to enjoy an outdoor lifestyle here in the beautiful landscape of the West Virginia area.
  • Home office: A dedicated workspace is essential for many homeowners today.
  • Private master suite: Another almost-universally popular item.
  • Open floor plan: This is trending right now and can be less expensive than a multi-room layout. It can also allow for an impressive great room, with a high or vaulted ceiling. A good vent system can ensure cooking smells don’t linger throughout the home, but some people want the kitchen in it’s own separate space. Don’t go with trends if you find them uncomfortable, however.
  • Multiple, spacious walk-in closets or dressing rooms: Most people find these help their family stay organized and can make life less stressful.
  • Chef’s kitchen: If you are the “order out” type, you might instead choose a galley style. It could be costly to expand later, so consider carefully. Also consider your level of need for a formal dining space and/or breakfast bar, island or peninsula. (Even if not strictkly needed, these are impressive and typically useful, too.
  • Multi-car garage and/or workshop: Plan this area to suit your needs, but if unsure, you could expand later if you leave space on your lot.
  • Other must-haves: Every list will look different, but this should get you started!

Wants or Save-for-later List Items for New Home Construction

  • Pool: If you are a family that loves to entertain or has a big family, a pool could be non-negotiable. But for many it’s not desired or can wait.
  • Mother-in-law suite: You could always build later over the garage or add a bedroom if lot space allows.
  • Separate kids playroom, den or family game room: This could be a save-for-later, or add to finished basement, but many families need this immediately.
  • Outdoor kitchen: Depending upon your lifestyle, this could instead be a necessity.
  • Your dream-home feature: Goes here.

How to Get Everything You Want and Need in Your Custom WV Home

Confused? Not sure where to begin? Our experienced staff can help you from beginning to end of your new home design and construction project. Contact Miller’s Residential Creations to discuss building your new dream home, today.

Brian Miller is the owner of Miller's Residential Creations, a custom home builder and remodeling company servicing Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan Counties of West Virginia since 2004.
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