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By: Rocky Simmons, Owner and Vice President of Vision Homes

Are you deciding whether or not NOW is a good time to build your new home in the Morgantown Area?

What are you waiting for?!

Summer is the perfect time to build.  Get out there, and make your dream home come true!  Designing your new home is the fun part!

•What do you want and need out of your new home?

•Where do you want to live?

•What features do you want to include in your new home?

•What are the most important things that you must have? 

Below, you will find the answers on everything you will need to know about designing your new home, and more!   

Making all these choices can be a bit overwhelming for some people, but at Vision Homes we make it an exciting, enjoyable process. We walk you through a simple worksheet, show you many of our standard options, listen to your needs and desires and help you make the right choices to create a beautiful, unique home inside and out. If you wish to see what features Vision Homes has to offer, please visit our website  https://askvisionhomes.com/our-features 

1. SELECTING A LOT

The first step of the building process begins with finding a piece of land on which to build. You know where you want to live; you have done your homework on different neighborhoods—now it’s time to select the lot for your new home. Your first impression of the lot is a good indicator of how comfortable you will be with it after your house is built. If it “feels right” it will probably feel right in the future, too.

There are still many “ifs” that should be considered when selecting a lot. Here are a few things you should consider:

  • Size: Is this size of the lot sufficient to accommodate the house you’re planning to build comfortably? If a lot is too small compared to your house size, it can destroy the livability and value of your home.
  • Shape:  A lot may have sufficient square footage, but its shape may make some of it unusable. For example, if you’re planning on building a sprawling ranch, a larger square or triangular lot might actually provide less unusable space than a smaller rectangular one. 
  • Slope: A steep slope or odd grade can rob space. Would an unfavorable slope force you to raise your house to accommodate your dream basement garage?
  • Water: If you don’t have city water, check with neighbors on either side to determine the depth of their wells and the gallons per minute their wells generate. There’s a possibility you could need a treatment system. Speaking with neighbors might not guarantee how deep your wells will be, but it’s a good guide.
  • Septic: If there’s no city sewer, find out if the land has been perk-tested, and if so, find out what kind of septic system will be required.
  • Zoning/Easements/Covenants: Check all of them for your lot. They can be either great protection or frustrating obstacles. Check set-back requirements, access the rights others may have that will affect your lot and other covenant stipulations.

2. SELECTING THE HOUSE STYLE

So you’ve found the perfect neighborhood and the perfect lot, now it’s time to actually build your dream home. The next step is selecting the style of your new home.

Friends and relatives will be quick to offer an opinion on which style to choose, but it’s important you choose a style in which your family will be most comfortable.

  • Determine the resale importance of your home. If you’re building a starter home or building primarily as an investment, your first consideration is to choose what appeals to the majority of home buyers. For instance, a three bedroom home generally sells easier than a two-bedroom home. Bigger isn’t necessarily better.  Check the norm for the neighborhood.
  • Check the style of homes in the neighborhood. You might love modern, but if the majority of the homes are traditional, you might find yourself out of place in your own neighborhood. It can be a very uncomfortable feeling, and it is generally bad for resale.
  • Consider your lot. If it’s a hillside lot or has steep grade, consider using split-level. It will cut down on excavation and maximize the appearance of your home.
  • If you’re looking for a home that you can build on to over the years, a two-story or Cape Cod style is probably your best bet. You can build out on one or both sides and normally it looks great, inside and out. A ranch style is generally harder to build on to. You cannot expand easily on either side because it needs to be a “L” shape.
  • The least expensive way to expand your living area is to finish a basement. The bi-level home is one of the easiest to expand without changing the home from the outside.
  • In general, two story homes cost less per square foot to build because they maximize the cost of excavating the lot and building the roof. Two-stories are also generally more fuel-efficient.
  • Ranch styles are great for convenience. Certain ranch style offer great benefits in privacy—you can have bedrooms at opposite sides of the home. Opposite bedrooms are wonderful for families with teenage children or if a parent comes to move in with you.

One final guideline to keep in mind is to simply follow your heart. It’s generally a much better indicator than all of the analysis you might do. Building a home that way is also one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do!

3. DESIGNING THE DETAILS

Once you have your house style picked out and your floor plan finalized, it’s time to choose the details that will make your home unique and reflect your tastes. These details might include:

  • Flooring
  • Cabinets
  • Countertops
  • Molding
  • Exterior siding
  • Shingles and roofing
  • Stone and brick
  • Porches and decks
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Much More

Thanks for reading!

~ROCKY