A friend of mine bruised my heart yesterday. I took her on a sneak-peek tour of the Inspiration Home. On the drive back she was quiet and finally said, “I could never afford a home like that … And that’s the kind of home I want.”
I was surprised. She’s in the building industry. She knows what a custom home open house is all about, right? Turns out, she’s never thought about it as if she were the customer. And neither have I. So I’m writing this.
Here are three things to wrap your brain around when you tour a custom home.
Custom Home Design and Build means it’s designed and built for you.
When you visit a custom home, you’re looking at a home built for a specific person. It’s like trying on someone else’s tailored coat; no matter how beautifully it’s made, that coat will only be a perfect fit for the coat’s owner.
A custom designed and built home is a place made for you. Your budget, your needs, your life, your future. Visiting a custom home is supposed to inspire ideas (get it? “Inspiration Home”?) and help you figure out what’s important to you.
- What do you think is most important for your home? The more you know about what you need in your home, the easier it is for your builder to work for you.
- Does the builder seem open to working with you AND helping you make choices? Ask about things that are important to you: building material, allergies, time frames. See what kind of response you get.
- Are there things in the featured home that don’t appeal to you? Don’t worry about it! If you’re not fond of blue stained pine tongue-and-groove, don’t put it in your home.
You don’t have to buy the whole candy store.
“Sub-optimizing” is an unfortunate-sounding word. In the energy efficient home building world “sub-optimize” just means that you mess with building options until you find something that is both energy efficient AND meets the customer’s budget. You can:
- Reduce the square footage. A well-designed home doesn’t require as much space as you’d think.
- Build with thicker or thinner walls. Because we build with SIPs we are able to do this and still give you a home with superior energy efficiency.
- “Edit” the interior finishes. The Inspiration Home is full of custom features and finishes. They’re fun to look at but you don’t neeeed them all. (But if you do, we’re more than happy to oblige )
- Or hey! don’t build a new house! Retrofit your own. If you like where you live, you can do a lot to make your existing home more comfortable and efficient. (We have a whole ‘nuther business for that.)
One thing you shouldn’t sub-optimize — as technology is today — is the heating and ventilation systems. You want to be comfortable and healthy and get the best performance out of your energy efficient home. Systems are chosen to match the home. Too much is just as bad as too little here. Leave this bit to the experts.
Okay! So! See you at the Inspiration Home! Yes? You’ve got three weekends to choose from. Pick one.