I love working on new construction homes. It is incredibly gratifying to be involved in the design of a client’s dream home from the very beginning and see it through to completion.

My favorite part is the space planning because that is when we figure out how the house is going to live. From there, I really enjoy the cabinetry design, selecting finishes, and choosing lighting fixtures, which are the jewelry of the home.

Hard Work Pays Off

In the end, all of the hard work and decision making comes together beautifully, but there are always bumps in the road along the way

I’ve consulted on several new homes in the U.S. and spoken with custom home builders over the past few years and have noticed similar issues crop up in almost every project. If you’re thinking about building a new house in the next year or so, this post is for you!

Take Your Time

I can’t emphasize this point enough. Take your time!!! Take a year, even two. Do not rush the process. I promise you will regret it in the end. There are so many details and decisions – large and small – that are involved in building a house.

custom home build

You need time to mull them over. Do not break ground unless you are 100% committed to 90% of the design decisions.

You do not want to be in the middle of framing and mulling over the size of the rooms or debating the placement of doors and windows. This type of indecision will cost you time and money.

Do Not Finalize Your Floor Plan without a Furniture Plan

A few years ago, I was helping a woman select furniture and finishes for her new home that was already well into construction.

She told me all about how she wanted to have her two grown children and their spouses all in the living room together for family gatherings on a regular basis.

She also anticipated the family would grow with the addition of grandchildren and pictured everyone being together in her home. When I drew the furniture plan for her living room (she had built a smaller better house, by the way), we discovered that it was too small by about three feet.

Lack of Seating

It could barely fit enough seating for six people let alone eight or more. If I added more furniture, it would have crowded the kitchen island. There was no way around it.

If she had hired us before the plans were finalized, we could have recommended increasing the width of the living room to accommodate more furniture.

Or, we could have designed the kitchen differently. But, at this late stage, there was nothing we could do. She was very disappointed.

Hire a Designer

This point might sound self-serving, but it is completely in your best interest to hire an independent designer who works for you and not for the builder. I plan to write a whole other post on how an interior designer can benefit you during the construction process.

First and foremost, your designer is your advocate. He or she will approach the project with the end goal in mind and keep everyone on track to the vision, even when it isn’t the popular thing to do.

Just Breathe

You are building a house, not ending world hunger. Time, money, and a little creativity can solve just about any problem.

Builders and designers are people too, and if you treat them with respect, they will bend over backward to get you the house and living room you want.

Having new windows put on your home is great when it comes to updating your home and increasing your overall curb appeal but there are also some savings that you can reap the benefits of when you get new windows.

If your windows are very old and drafty, they are probably a big source of heat loss and you’d be shocked to see how much different your monthly utility bills around be if you upgraded to new windows.

In addition to being more functional and improving the look of your home let’s take a look at some other ways that new windows on your home will save you money:

Energy Costs

Windows that are not sealing properly anymore will let a lot of heat escape into the outside air and let a lot of cold air inside. Making sure that your warm air stays where it belongs makes a big different in what you pay for your gas or electric each month (depending on which utility runs your HVAC system).


Also, new windows come with a special coating on them that prevents heat from the sun from entering your home and heating up the interior. This is beneficial in that hot summer sun when it feels like your air conditioning system is running all the time to keep everyone comfortable.

Preventing Damage

When windows are no longer properly sealed like a 3 lite slider window and they are leaking cold air into your home, you have the potential for water to also leak in through these areas.

This can lead to water damage within your walls or on your window sills. When it comes time to make these repairs it can add up quickly and be quite an involved process.

Upgrading to something more efficient and air tight will save you money on potential home damage that could be occurring without you even knowing.

Tax Refund

A number of updates to your home will allow you to be eligible for some tax deductions when you file in the spring. This is basically a reward from the government for replacing something less efficient with something more functional and cost effective.

Your upgrade will get you more cash back in your have chosen a product that is Energy Star approved.

When you are shopping for new window options you can speak to a knowledgeable staff member to find out if what you are considering would be eligible for a credit.

home windows

Claim the Money

You might not be able to get your money back immediately but come tax season, you can put the claim through and recoup that money.

Shopping for all new windows for your home can be an overwhelming task when you think about all of the options that you have and what they will make your home look like.

In addition to finding windows that will really compliment the rest of your home, make sure you pick something that is going to be very air tight and will help save you money in the long run.

You can actually pay for your windows with the money you are saving by being more efficient-conscious.

When you decide you want to transform your basement, first consider what you will be using that room for.

One of the options that you see very often in basements is a drop ceiling. The problem with this kind of architectural item is that it is decidedly unattractive in most places.

It makes the space in which it is installed look cheap and sometimes cramped, as well, because it can limit the amount of ceiling height that you have available to you. It’s better to try to keep the basic aesthetic of the rest of your house and avoid putting in a drop ceiling.

Make Use of Space

Making the most of the space you have is always a good idea when remodeling your basement. Shelving built into the wall for storage purposes is one of the best choices you can make, although it’s important to keep things uncomplicated due to the possible expense you could incur.

If you want to sell your home later, you may find it difficult if you invest too much in woodwork, as well.

You may want to invest in an air purifier in order to make the air in your remodeled basement fresher. However, if there is mold or mildew in your basement, you will want to make sure you take care of those problems as well.

Open Up Space

Opening up the stairwell to the basement can be a good idea because it helps bring a greater amount of light into the area. It’s a relatively easy installation to complete. Some of the simple tools you’ll need include wood adhesive and a nail gun.

If you’re going to do this project, be certain to move all of the furniture into the basement before you install the railing.

basement remodel example

Basements tend to be cold places unless they’re remodeled. One of the things you can do to make the basement look and feel cozier is to invest in the installation of a thick and comfortable carpet. Your space will seem much warmer and you’ll want to spend more time in the basement.

It is usually a better investment to remodel your basement than it is to creating a whole new section of the house. It can cost anywhere from twice as much to more than three times as much per square foot to set up an addition to the house than it is to remodel an existing space.


It is important to get a good sense of how the rest of your house “flows” as it pertains to aesthetics. Once you have this figured out, make sure you design your remodeling project around that aesthetic so your basement has that same look and feel.

You don’t want your remodeled basement to feel alien-like when compared to everywhere else in your home.

For the ecologically conscious, be sure to see which materials you can get recycled or reused. Also, when your project is completed, be certain to try recycling any leftover material.

There are many places where you can purchase recycled materials to use in your project. By being of service to the environment by making some green building purchases, you can save money, too.

In a lot of homes, the garage is just a spot to keep the car or truck, use for storage (the lawn mower), and hang up your shovels and rakes. In any case, with a little creativity (and these awesome tips), a garage can be changed into a marvelous space that is as comfortable as, and significantly more fun than, the various rooms in the house.

big huge garage

Create Zones in the Garage

To make a decent garage space, your initial step ought to be to make zones: one for your car, truck, or van, one for your workshop (on the off chance that it’s situated in the carport), and one for kicking back and appreciating your very own space.

In every zone, use clever storage to conceal apparatuses and other “garage type things” away. Metal toolboxes can give a mechanical feel for the space, while wooden cupboards can be recolored for a more upscale look, or painted to keep things easygoing and visually pleasing.

Distinctive Zones

Your distinctive zones can work fine in an open arrangement plan; once you get the territories arranged, they’ll normally stand separated from each other. For a more formal division of space, get inventive with dividers.

You can assemble an interesting screen by pivoting together an accumulation of unique vintage entryways, make a modern look by utilizing steel or other metallic fencing, or suspend folded steel boards from chains associated with the roof.


Make the Space Work for You

On the off chance that the new space will be mostly to relax, use as much creative energy as you would for a room inside the house–yet attempt to adhere to a subject like upscale games, science fiction, vintage cars, a hunters’ paradise, gentleman’s parlor or current minimalism.

Consider putting in a cowhide couch, comfortable seats, an end table that mirrors your style and, obviously, a huge flat-level screen TV mounted on the divider. A “zone mat” goes far in holding a space together and spares you cash by not redoing the floor.

It can likewise conceal lines from table lights, which will warm the space up and make it feel less like a garage and more like a genuine room.

Garage Flooring Ideas

In the event that the garage’s floor is is in pretty good shape, you can likely escape with painting it a new color. Give it a decent power washing in advance and fill any splits with a mortar repair compound. Next verify whether the floor should be carved so that the paint will stick by trickling some water on it.


Over the course of time, the garage will experience normal wear and tear. General maintenance can help prevent much damage, but in case something hits your garage door and causes damage, be sure to call a trusted garage door repair company and you should be good to go.


A good plumbing system is also necessary to keep your new garage in good shape. To prevent flooding, you might want a professional plumber to come out and take a look.


Thank you for reading. Please share this article on social media.