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Completely Customized: Choosing the Right Materials for Your New Home

Mar 6, 2019 8:21:00 AM / by Jennifer Fields


One of the great things about building a new custom home is that you have the ability to create a space that reflects your specific lifestyle—and your sense of style and taste. In this blog, we've talked about how working with a builder to customize your floor plan allows you to ensure that your new home fits your personal needs. But you can take that to a whole different level. If you want a home that’s completely customized here’s how to choose the right materials for your new home.

Determine Which Custom Features and Materials Work for You

Truly custom homes are unique. Your builder can’t tell you what’s best for you. A builder can, however, listen to what you want and advise you on the pros and cons of various materials. We won’t get into too much detail right here (there are so many options that it would be impossible to cover them all). What we can do is to help you think in some important general terms about the choices you’ll make.

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Things to Consider When Choosing Custom Materials

Aesthetics: Naturally, you want your new home to look great both inside and out. Your home’s style should reflect your sense of style. That could be traditional, contemporary, modern, casual, or transitional. Regardless of which style suits you, you want your home to look great for years to come. As a result, you want to choose your finishes wisely. Part of that involves distinguishing between fads and genuine trends. Some of your choices (paint colors for walls, for instance) are relatively easy to change. Other finishes (stonework, flooring, cabinets, and countertops) aren’t as easily replaced—and they can be expensive to switch out. That’s why savvy homeowners tend to avoid fads.

  • Functionality: In addition to looking good, you want your home to be comfortable and convenient. You want things to function well. As an example, you might love the look of a certain kind of tile for your Master Bathroom floor. But not all tiles are designed for bathroom use. If it becomes slick when wet that’s not the right choice—regardless of how good it looks. 
  • Sustainability: Increasing numbers of homeowners want finishes made from sustainable material. If that's important to you, it may be worth looking at finishes such as bamboo flooring or using recycled woods in your trim or accent work (that's also a very popular look for some homes).
  • Timing: When choosing custom finishes, you’ll want to take timing into consideration. Some materials may need to be special ordered (You won’t find them at Home Depot or Lowe’s). That means you and your builder will have to plan ahead so that construction of your new home isn’t held up waiting for special items. By the way, this doesn’t just apply to materials. Custom-built cabinets, for instance, generally take longer. It may be exactly the finishing touch you’re looking for, but you will need to plan in advance.
  • Cost: Even if you’re building an upscale home, you’ll want to keep an eye on costs. Upgraded finish materials is an area where it’s easy to overspend. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t choose the finish you want—just be aware of the impact. By the way, spending more doesn’t always guarantee an increase in value. The converse is also true. Spending too little isn’t going to make you happy. Your goal isn’t to save money—but to get the most for the money you spend. It’s about value not cost.
  • Care: There is an abundance of stunning finish materials available. But some materials require a certain amount of care and maintenance in order to keep them looking great. Granite or marble countertops can be beautiful. And they’re durable. But certain kinds of granite and marble need periodic sealing to protect them. Some countertop materials are more prone to staining than others. That means you’ll want to be committed to caring for them. Your hardwood floors will also need periodic maintenance. It’s generally not an overwhelming task, but you have to be prepared for a small amount of maintenance and care.

custom home building guide

Topics: Custom Home Building, Design

Jennifer Fields

Written by Jennifer Fields