Build an Idea Book for Your New Home

July 7, 2014 - By

7.7.14 Kitchen with Eat InWhen you build a new home, the choices and decisions can seem overwhelming. So how do you manage the process without stressing out your family?

Make the experience fun and exciting by creating your very own “Idea Book.”

Start by visiting new homes and models prior to building. Take pictures (if allowed) and make good notes on design features that you like. Be sure to include everyone’s comments.

Next, keep a running “specifications” sheet of items you want in your home. This will help keep your thoughts organized and make sure you don’t forget anything important. Keep in mind that this is a working document and may need to be modified depending on your budget or other factors.

This spec sheet should include basic exterior selections, as well as interior features you would like to have. Exterior choices should include notes on brick, stone, siding, windows, shutters, gutters, roof and deck or patio. For inside, make notes on flooring, surface tops, cabinets, appliances, tile, plumbing, lighting, door hardware and paint.

Then, organize the above information in a large notebook – your personal “Idea Book.” This will help you to accurately communicate your needs and wishes with the builder, and allow them to price the home without surprises along the way.

What are some new design features you might not think of? Here’s a list of things that are available in today’s new construction that might just strike your fancy.

  • Audio, Video and Smart Home Networking
  • Planned storage spaces. Take advantage of creative storage opportunities.
  • Drop zone designs. Every family uses these “drop” spaces differently. Take time to design this space to meet the individual needs of your family.
  • Hidden doors. Popular in the 1950s and 1960s, hidden pantry and closet doors are starting to again find a place in custom designed homes.
  • Additional sink in kitchen. Full-size sinks are being designed in larger kitchen island spaces.
  • Automatic door switches (lights come on automatically when door opens). Great for pantry and closet spaces.
  • Custom designed bathrooms. Modern features include oversized showers with multiple shower heads and heated floors.
  • Empty Nester/Active Adult transition. Plan for lifestyle transitions using open floor plans, wide openings, wheelchair adaptable bathrooms and less steps.

Building an idea book will help keep you focused and on target for your very important project – your new home. For more information, contact your Allen Tate Realtor® or visit the New Home Communities section of

By Jason Smith (Builder Services Inc. – Triad Region) – Guest Blogger

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Category  Home Building