How to Get Your Dream Home

You have worked hard and made some sound investment decisions.

Finally, you are ready to embark on the journey of building your dream home.  Here are some valuable tips on how to make the process less stressful – even fun – and get what you really want.  As one of our clients put it, ‘most of us don’t have the energy or resources to build our dream home more than once, so make it count’

  1. Know the style of home you like.

Do you love Timberframe homes? Perhaps a Mediterranean style home that looks as if it exists on a Tuscan hillside? Understanding the style of home you want will help you choose an architect and will enable that architect to design a home you’ll love.  Don’t forget interior style as well as exterior.  If the only thing you like about a Craftsman home is the curb appeal but you favor an ultra-modern interior design, you may be less than satisfied with the results if you insist on having both.

Catalonia inspired interior

Catalonia inspired interior


  1. Choose your Architect wisely.

Each architect has a certain style, or styles, he or she favors.  Don’t be afraid to ask to see some homes your prospects have designed.  Take the time to visit those homes.  Make a list of questions you would like to ask the owners about the Architect’s process.  Remember, you are there to look at the design of the home – not the construction, the furnishings, the colors. Pay close attention to the vertical and horizontal lines of each home; the radius of any curves, how the home fits the landscape.  Choose the Architect who designs the type of home you want, who has great listening skills, and the most important – artistic vision.


  1. Pick a Contractor at the same time you choose your Architect.

You’ll want a builder who thinks ahead of the process – who can spot potential design challenges early.  Look at the homes he or she has built – and just like the Architect, ask the owners about their experience.  Here’s where you need to look at the quality of the construction – not the design of the home. You want a builder who will not cut corners, who is solution-oriented and collaborative.  Bringing a Contractor in during the design process allows for very effective brainstorming about your property, your home, and the desired end product. Your Architect works in two dimensions; your Contractor in three – having them simultaneously working to ensure your dream home is exactly as you hoped is powerful.


  1. Understand your lifestyle

Do you spend a great deal of time outdoors?  Having outdoor spaces that are useable during all seasons will be important to your happiness.  The use of natural light through strategically placed windows, doors and skylights can turn an ordinary room into a place of magic where light and shadow play. If you spend a lot of time outside, make sure there is a mudroom with a shower for you to use when you come in after a long day of gardening. If you love to entertain, having a kitchen which allows you to converse with your guests as they enjoy a cocktail or share stories will be important.


  1. How do you spend Holidays?

Surprisingly, people don’t often consider some of the most important times of the year with family and friends when they design their home.  If you love to decorate for Christmas, you’ll want to be sure there is a perfect spot for an exquisite tree and all your decorations.  Many people don’t give much thought to holiday decorating until the season is here – if you throw a big party every year for 50 guests to celebrate Winter Solstice, you’ll want to be sure you have a great room with a bar, and covered outdoor space to accommodate all those people.


  1. Do you have favorite antiques, family heirlooms or an antique wagon collection?

Rooms can be designed to showcase your favorite antiques or family heirlooms.  Your antique wagons may need their own carriage house.  One client had a number of really interesting one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture – mostly antique and handmade – and carefully considered them when planning their home.  The result was spectacular – visitors were able to see and appreciate these artful pieces as they walked through the home – everything looked as if the room was designed just for it – because it was.


  1. Collect pictures that exemplify your taste

Look through magazines and books.  Write down what you love about the rooms, the exterior , the design, and why. Make notes about anything you don’t like.  Give these to your ‘Team’.  Pictures are one of the most helpful tools your Architect and Contractor can be given.


A great house for entertaining!

A great house for entertaining!

  1. Prioritize

Create a list of your priorities.  If you cannot live without a wall of windows in your dining room, make sure it’s at the top of your list.  If having a Butler’s Pantry is something you like but could live without, it may go nearer to the bottom of your list.  Everyone, even those building a 10 million dollar home, has budget and time considerations. Knowing at the outset what things you won’t compromise on makes everyone’s job easier.


  1. Communicate

The more clearly you communicate your needs and desires, the more likely you are to end up with your dream home.  Spending the time planning with your Team will pay off for many years to come.


10. Be Flexible

All construction projects will come with challenges.  It’s a given that some design ideas may simply not translate into 3 dimensions, the tile you fell in love with is on back order, or underground boulders will be found where your foundation needs to go.  Be flexible and understand that your Architect and Contractor will do everything within their power to give you the home of which you dream.  Sometimes it’s necessary to make minor changes, or deal with the boulders.  Understand this is a process, and each step must be completed in the proper order.

Spring Valley Construction is a builder of exquisite custom homes, where every detail is considered and perfection is the goal. Mike Butterfield has created numerous dream homes and many happy clients.



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