Winston-Salem Residential Designer Dispels The 6 Key Myths Of Designing And Building A Custom Home

Posted on | July 28, 2015 | No Comments

Building a custom home can certainly be a daunting process for homeowners. Sometimes, however, their concerns are rooted more in myth than reality. Today, Barry Wilson of Houck Residential Design dispels the six of the most pervasive myths surrounding custom home building. Since 1986, the Winston-Salem residential design firm has been expertly designing custom homes of all types and sizes, for both remodels and new builds, across the Piedmont Triad and beyond. Barry has worked with a wide variety of homeowners, and when it comes to misgivings and misinformation, he has heard it all. Barry summed up for North Carolina Design the key myths about designing and building a custom home.

Images Courtesy of Houck Residential Designers ©

I have a great design team. I don’t have to be involved in the design process.
Some people say, “This is your job, I’ll come back and see it when you’re done.” They don’t make the building process a priority, so they’re not as invested as they should be. A good home design is based around your desires. If you don’t get involved and voice those desires, there’s no guarantee that you will get what you want, or need. You don’t have to design it yourself, but you do have to give us your ideas and let us know your preferences.

Not much has changed since the last time I built a home. I should just go with what I know.
The fact that you have built before doesn’t mean you know everything that’s possible today. New products and new construction methods come out every day. Beyond that, people get older, and their lives and needs and preferences change. We can address those changes and give you something that’s suited to your life today, with new options to choose from.

Building a house will inevitably end up costing more than I want to spend.
You really can stay on budget, if you make a plan, stay flexible, and design within your boundaries. People will see a kitchen in a multi million dollar home, then get discouraged because they can’t put in a half million dollar house. You have to be realistic. A good team will drive you toward your budget and help you find lower cost solutions, but you have to listen to them and trust them. You also have to assume there will be unexpected expenses, and plan for them.

An energy efficient home would be out of my price bracket.
Some things, like geothermal energy or solar paneling, might only be available for the upper echelon. But there are many levels of energy efficiency. It can be as simple as using good construction practices – good weather stripping, good insulation and solid building. Appliances are not that expensive, and you have to make an effort to buy energy inefficient models. Spending more on appliances that suck a lot of energy, like washers, HVACs and water heaters will get you a quicker return on your investment, and you’ll save more in the long run.

I can’t find what I’m looking for, so it must not be possible.
If you could find everything you were looking for, there would be no need for custom, and I would be out of a job! Just tell us what you want. Bring us your napkin sketch. Our whole purpose is to listen to your specific needs and create something new that addresses them. We have the expertise and the knowledge to find solutions beyond what you might imagine.

I see a lot of people in particular who like the layout of a house but not the exterior, so they dismiss the whole plan. They don’t understand that what’s on the outside doesn’t necessarily relate to what’s on the inside. You can do whatever you want on the outside, no matter what the layout looks like. You can even have a completely different style on the inside and the outside.

Custom design is not worth the trouble /expense.
Well, if this is a temporary or investment home, it may not be! But if this is your forever home, and you really care about how you live and want to live, it may definitely be worth it, as it will determine how comfortable and functional your home is for the long haul. There are different levels of custom design, and a custom plan is much more affordable than people think. Do the research – custom design can make all the difference, and it’s not always beyond your reach.

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