A good Realtor is always convinced they can find their clients their dream home, but sometimes it's an exercise in futility. Sometimes that dream home just doesn't exist yet, so, what more homebuyers are realizing by the day is that their best option then is to build the damn thing themselves.
That's no easy feat. People dedicate their lives to each facet of home design, so tackling the whole project alone is impressive at least. However, if someone has traveled far enough into the realm of success where they can afford to custom build homes, chances are they can handle another tough project.
There is also the option: to outsource each piece of the project. People dedicate their lives to each bit of the process, such as: architects, interior designers, electricians, plumbers, and construction company owners with each specialized carpenter on their team. Managing that project is its own beast, and it's usually plenty for most people custom building homes.
Assembling that perfect team is something that takes years to perfect, and the team is ever changing. Castles Unlimited stays on top of this so you don't have to. Still, the point of building a custom home is to bring your vision into reality, so you'll want a hand in all the critical parts to your goal. To do that, you need an idea of what you're getting into, and that is what we're here for today!
The big picture of building a new home is: the home; the exterior, the silhouette, the aesthetic of the whole place. What kind of life does it facilitate? A good place to start is with choosing an architectural style to model your home after.
There are infinite architectural styles and combinations. Maybe you want a cape style home, or maybe you want a Tuscan-Gothic-Victorian-Contemporary. Countless hyphenates and options, so we're here to give you the basics. Once you know your standard ingredients you can get into the mix much more confidently, so let's get to it!
The marking point of a colonial revival home is its symmetry. The exterior and interior are both as close to perfectly symmetrical as possible. However, no need to stick to the status quo here-- you're building your home to customize it after all. These homes are usually built with clapboard siding or bricks, and sometimes, at two or three stories tall, they have dramatically steep roofs. Again, why not throw stucco on, a flat roof with a 10-degree slope, and toss a garden on top for good measure. Follow your dreams.
Inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement, this style aims to blend with nature via earthy materials such as stone and wood. You can identify them by their roofed, wide porch in the front. It's typical to see exposed rafters and beams under a sloped gable roof, but if you want to design it as the top of a chess rook then go for it. We haven't seen anyone shoot for "knight" since Troy, but we'd support you in that endeavor too.
The sky is the limit when it comes to contemporary construction. The reason for that is "contemporary" is just a placeholder until we can reflect on these designs and finally name them. It's the most honorable task to undertake, defining the era we live in, but to title it is the job of future generations. We're looking at high tech, minimalist designs in today's contemporary file. Architects and designers can let loose in the freedom of this style, and they’re often designing with energy efficiency in mind. It's under the Modern category that we often see unique construction materials and designs.
Imagine the era that birthed the great classical, ancient stories we read today. Tales of Greek warriors, multi-hyphenate thinkers, the philosophers and intellectuals who helped birth democracy. Expansive, megalithic architecture, white marble statues, ivy, dramas and plays, arts and sciences-- all of this sucked through a flux capacitor into 2020. Neoclassical design roots itself in Doric, Ionic, or Corinthian styles with predominately smooth, white surfaces with carved details, decorative moldings, and cornices meant to stand out with refined purity. When done right, this style translates the passion of the ancients to our own tongue, and it comes out pretty God damn eloquently.
Ranch houses are great for large plots of land. This style allows you to build out rather than up. This give homeowners the option to create vast open floor plans, which always look exceptional. Something about wide open interior spaces draw us in, and anyone who has stepped foot into anything from The Sistine Chapel to the Boston Public Library can attest to that. The facades of these homes usually have a porch, whether it runs the length of the house or not is a personal preference. With this design, we recommend using earthy, strong materials. The down-to-earth nature of the house and an earthy/neutral style come together with great synergy.
These are the homes that are one sign above the door away from looking like a medieval tavern. Built like a luxury fortress, with brick, stone, and stucco fitted with decorative timbers, these homes are arguably the most recognizable. Dramatic windows, chimneys, and steep roof pitches meld to apply a towering effect to these homes. Similar to our next style...
If colonial revivals are prim and proper, Victorians are the mysterious ones who live lavishly while nobody knows how they can afford it. Victorian houses distinguish themselves with steeply pitched gable roofs broken up by turrets, patterned shingles, and decorative trim. The exteriors are often painted with attention to details and color aesthetics, and finished with lace-like woodwork. These are the perfect homes to build if you want to come home and throw yourself onto your veiled, overly-pillowed bed like an 1800s aristocrat who is exhausted after a day of leisure and an afternoon of debauchery. Or if you just want a beautiful, classic starting point to start building your home. Putting contemporary twists on these homes bring the perfect level of dichotomy between classic decadence and present luxury. That said, we recommend them even off enjoyment-value alone.
There we have it! Your introduction to all the prime starting points to begin designing your new home-- and remember, this is your vision! If you want to mix multiple styles, niche ones that aren't on this list, literally anything you imagine, then chase that dream.
So, it's worth noting that Castles Unlimited has specialized in this business for over 35 years. We'll get you through this process in a way that doesn't make you regret starting. You'll start hopping out of bed, excited for this project. It's that feeling from when you were a kid and had some kind of family trip to an amusement park that day. Remember that feeling? We never forgot. Contact us, let's talk.