Have you ever tried to describe the Poconos or the Grand Canyon or fall foliage to someone who has never seen it? It can be a little frustrating. Most of us simply grab a photograph and say, “Let me show you!”
Sometimes people who want to build a custom home run into that same frustration when talking to a builder. They have an idea in their mind, but they have a hard time articulating the concept in a way that helps the builder grasp what they want—so that he can translate it into a plan.
The good news is that potential homeowners don’t have to be frustrated by those kinds of situations. There are plenty of examples of homes and specific features on sites such as houzz.com or bhg.com you can use to show your builder exactly what you want. Or you can go to the builder’s own site (like ours here) and show them something you like that they’ve already done for another client.
You can use photos to show a builder what you’re after, whether in the exterior of a home, window treatments (inside or out), ceiling treatments or how you’d like to have your kitchen set up. One of the advantages of providing visual examples is that it can eliminate confusion. You don’t have to worry that your explanation is perfect; the builder can see exactly what you’re talking about. Photos can take a lot of the guesswork out of the process.
There are some things you’ll need to take into consideration, however. Often, when looking at stunning images of attractive houses, there’s an element missing. Many online sites fail to put the images into context. If you’re looking at a $1 million home, you really can’t expect your builder to create the same thing on a $200,000 budget. In the same way, the layout of a kitchen in an 8,000 square-foot house isn’t practical for a home a quarter of that size.
Even so, using images from other homes can be really helpful if you show your builder something you like and ask him or her if there is a alternative that might work in your situation. So don’t be afraid to look and to show your builder what appeals to you. Photos are great tools for communicating ideas.
If you’re looking for additional ideas in order to get started with the whole homebuilding process, we invite you to download our Free New Home Buyer’s Guide. It’s packed with information about budgets, home sites, floor plans, indoor and outdoor space and more!