April 2020


How to design your dream custom-built home

(NC) There are many advantages to designing your own home. Gone are the builder-basic styles, layouts that don’t work for your family and exteriors you can’t tell apart from your neighbours’. To help with your planning, check out these tips.   

Find the right property. There are no limits to what you can create with a custom-built home, but the size and quality of your lot do impose restrictions. While you don’t need to have everything decided when you purchase the property, make sure you have a general idea of what you need – your architect can help with this. Also, double check zoning laws, so you don’t wind up not being able to build your dream three-storey home on a residential street that only allows bungalows.  

Consider your lifestyle. What kind of lifestyle do you want to live? What’s important to you? From bigger elements like smart home automation and sustainability to smaller considerations like storage and organization, think of these things when designing the layout and built-in elements. For example, if you hate shoveling, now is the opportunity to make sure you have the shortest driveway possible.

Build for the future. Your needs and wants right now are at the top of your mind, but a custom home is a significant investment in time, money and energy. It’s also likely you want this to be your forever home, so it’s a smart idea to build for tomorrow. Think about how your family will evolve and what your future needs will be. Consider building materials that are designed to stand the test of time, like insulated concrete forms (ICFs) from Nudura. This alternative to wood framing is a greener option and offers disaster resilience against high winds and fire. The superior insulation also means more comfortable, uniform indoor temperatures and less money spent on heating and cooling your home.

Avoid the fantasy trap. This is your dream home, so it’s okay to indulge on that outdoor fireplace or luxury bathroom tiles that you’ve been envisioning. But to keep your budget in check, focus on the priorities and items that will give you the best value for your dollar. Invest in features that will improve your everyday living and boost your property value, like energy-efficient construction or a finished basement.  

Find more information about designing your new home with insulated concrete forms at

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