Get the house you envision — and even enjoy the process!
SMART Builders, Inc. specializes in custom homes and renovations with quality and attention to detail that is unparalleled.
Whether building new or renovating an existing structure, creating a new home is a journey of discovering who you are, what you want, how you want to live and where you want to be. It’s a chance for you to define your relationship to the world, to your family and to yourself. Creating a home is more than building “3 bedrooms, 2½ bathrooms.” It is so much more than the sum of a few parts.
As with any journey, you’ll want to do some research and plan your trip. You’ll want to have a sense of what the end result should be and how much it’ll cost. Having a seasoned and experienced guide show you the way will likely mean a more enjoyable, more enriching and overall better journey.
Let’s look at the steps, in chronological order, involved in creating a home.
Keep in mind what architect Charles Moore once said: “If you care enough you just do it. You bind the goods and trappings of your life together with your dreams to make a place that is uniquely your own. The crucial ingredient is concern, care for the way that a house is built and the shape it gives to your life.”
1. Set goals. Creating a new home for yourself is all about setting goals and taking the steps to achieve those goals. You’ll want to establish the answers to a whole host of questions so that you can set these goals.
Goal setting requires satisfying both left- and right-brain activities. So your list of goals will include two sides: a practical, meat-and-potatoes side and an emotional, ice-cream-and-pie side. Each is important, and each needs to be recognized so that the end result will reflect a totality.
Questions to ask:
• What do you want to achieve?
• Where do you want to be?
• What will this cost?
• Can it really be achieved?
• Does plan A make sense?
• What’s plan B?
2. Establish a budget. When making your budget, of course you’ll begin with what you can afford, and how the cost of your house fits in with your overall plans for the future. When you’re ready to get down to details, include everything that will go into the project: the cost of the land, local fees and taxes, design and engineering fees, construction of not just the home but the landscape, plus furniture and decorating.
And don’t forget a healthy contingency. As with any complex project, things will happen, and the road from point A to point B will have a detour or two. Make sure that these little side trips won’t send you over the edge.
3. Find some land — or a neglected older house. Where do you want to be? How do you want to live? What are you looking for? Maybe you want that house in the mountains or with the ocean view, but it’s not in the cards right now, for economic or other reasons. No matter; you’ll likely be able to reinvent yourself later. For now, it’s the burbs with the good schools or some other place. The point is, find a spot on the globe that you can claim as your own and build what will be a home.
And maybe that land isn’t a few acres that’s never been trampled on. Maybe it’s an existing house that’s just old and tired and has suffered some neglect. The house whispers to you that it really does want to shed those avocado-colored appliances, that shag carpeting and those single-pane windows, and you know you’re the person to do that.
4. Assemble a team. While you might think you can go it alone, assembling a team of tried and true professionals is the better approach. After all, you would not represent yourself in court. So why wouldn’t you entrust your single largest investment to an experienced team?
An architect and a builder are going to be your most important team members. These people will act as guide, therapist, advocate and counselor throughout the journey that creating your home is. And, as with all good professionals, the right guide can ensure that the journey is all the more enjoyable.
As you embark on this journey, you will likely want to add team members. A kitchen and bath designer, perhaps; maybe an interior designer, too. Certainly a landscape architect, who shouldn’t be the last person hired when all the money is gone; you want to create a beautiful yard that will complement the house.
5. Plan, plan and plan some more. Moving walls on paper is a whole lot cheaper than moving walls after they’re built. So embark on a robust planning and design phase.
6. Accept the inevitable. Oddly enough, stuff happens. That’s a given. How you and your team react to these hiccups will be important. My advice is to stay calm, keep your sense of humor and work with your team to address the issue. This is where having the right team in place can pay dividends. An architect, a builder and others who can work together and share ideas without criticizing one another will go a long way to helping you keep your sanity.
7. Enjoy your new home. You’ve worked hard and spent more than a few dollars to create your new home, so enjoy it to the max. Revel in the way the light falls across a room and how it changes with the seasons. Find unexpected places to talk with family members. Discover how this place gives shape to your life and allows you to become the person you want to be.
In the end you’ll be amazed that your new house is so much more than the sum of just its three bedrooms, living room and so on. It’s the place you get to call home and make uniquely yours.
Please contact SMART Builders, Inc. for a personal consultation to discuss your project.
As seen on HOUZZ: Bud Dietrich, AIA Houzz Contributor
SMART Builders, Incorporated |
11 W. College Drive, Unit J |
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
P: 847.577.2900 | F: 847.939.1453review us
SMART Builders specializes in New Construction Custom Home Building and Remodeling in the Chicago Northwest Suburbs, Chicago North Shore, Illinois, Arlington Heights, Barrington, Burr Ridge, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Hinsdale, Inverness, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Mount Prospect, Northbrook, Northfield, Park Ridge, Village of Golf, Wilmette, Winnetka,