Building a custom home is always an exciting experience. Whether it’s your first custom home or not, it’s important to find the right floorplan for your custom home that will fit how you and your family live.

Before you begin shopping for a floorplan, take some time to sit down and discuss what features you want and those you need for your next home. Here are a few things to consider as you make your must-have list:

Does the floorplan for your custom home need something that you don’t have now? 

Walk through your current home and make a note of the features you like and want to keep vs. those you wish you had. For example, if you enjoy cooking and entertaining but feel isolated from your guests or family, choose a floorplan with a kitchen that’s open to the living area.  If you have younger children and want them to nap or sleep without being disturbed, be sure their bedrooms are far enough away from the living area. 

What size floorplan will your custom home need?

Couples who’d like to start or expand their family will want something different from couples who have adult children. Perhaps you plan on retiring or caring for an elderly family member. In other words, consider how your accessibility needs for the preset and the future may change. Determine the layout and number of rooms you will need. Try to make your floorplan flexible; while it may fit now, it may not work in the future as your family grows or shrinks. As a result, converting current rooms into new functional rooms is easier.

Will your floorplan include dedicated space for hobbies?

Are you a cinephile with a passion for a great theater room?  What about a grand billiards room or even a home gym? And, if you work from home, you will most likely want office space. Be sure to include plenty of space for the things you love in the floorplan for your custom home. 

Taking time to consider the features you need in your new home is an important step to make sure you choose the right floorplan. Caroline Contractors’ design-build team can help.  Contact us to discuss floorplans for each life stage, from young families to empty-nesters.

When building a new custom home, the proper amount of storage space can be a difficult thing to determine. There are no hard and fast rules about it, so it’s at the owner’s discretion. So how much storage do you need? One rule of thumb says that the total storage space in a home should equal about 10% of the total square footage.  So, if your custom home is 5,000 square feet, you should build 500 square feet of storage at a minimum.

Some families have more or bulkier items to store. Maybe you enjoy baking and your kitchen is equipped with mixers, specialty baking items, or blenders. Or what if you love holiday decorations, clothes or shoes, or saltwater fishing. Make sure you include closets or storage spaces to accommodate all those items.  

Storage spaces to consider when planning your custom design.

1.  Linen closets, cabinets or shelves.  Design linen closets in spaces that lead to bedrooms or build cabinets inside each bathroom.

2.  Ample pantry and kitchen storage.  Besides canned, boxed and packaged food, create plenty of space for everyday pots and pans, plus those seldom-used cooking and entertaining pieces. And if you entertain frequently, a bar area can serve as a nice focal point as well as a useful place to store barware and mixers. 
3.  Coat closets at each entrance.  A coat closet at a main entrance can serve for visitors coats or heavier coats that don’t get much use in the Florida climate. Closet space near other entrances help keep kids shoes and everyday jackets out of the way and are useful for storing smaller cleaning implements.  

4. Storage space for mowing and gardening supplies. If you enjoy doing yardwork, you’ll need plenty of space for mowers, trimmers and other gardening supplies. This space may also prove useful for larger coolers and portable outdoor lawn chairs or beach umbrellas. 

5.  Cabinets with doors or drawers in your living spaces to hide away your kid’s toys.  Add built-ins to rooms where children or grandchildren will play or buy free standing units for toys and electronics. 

6.  Cleaning closets to house a broom, mop, vacuum and cleaning products. You may even consider one on each floor of your house so you have easier access to these everyday items.  

7.  Cabinets or shelves in your laundry area for detergents, fabric softeners and other laundry related items.  

8.  Hobby storage.  Whether you or your family members are into crafting, boating, or board games, remember to include space for hobby equipment.  That might include cabinets in the family room, the garage, a home office or even in a dedicated hobby room.

9.  Storage for pet food, pet toys, pet crates or beds, and litter. That storage could easily go in mudroom or laundry room if planned properly.  

10.  Storage for audio visual and home entertainment equipment.  If you’re planning on a home theater or if you want smart home features, such as home security system, you may want a dedicated closet for those components.

No matter what storage spaces you decide on, remember that most homeowners fill up all the storage space they put in their home, so plan for more than you need so you always have enough. 

When you are considering buying a newly built home, you will have a few different options. You can choose a tract, spec or custom home. These are all very different from each other in terms of how they are built and your involvement in the overall design of the home. To help you make a better-informed decision, it helps to look at the different features of a custom home vs. spec home vs. tract home.

Tract Homes

Tract homes are what you might call a subdivision. These homes are built to specific floor plans that are chosen by the builder. The builder usually buys a large piece of land where homes are built. You can usually decide which floorplan you like when buying a home, as long as that floorplan style is still available. If the homes have been selling quickly, your floorplan options may be limited.

Spec Homes

Spec homes are similar to tract homes in that they are built to be sold before the home is completed. You can buy a spec home after completion as well. If you buy prior to construction, you may be able to choose certain options to customize your home, making it a semi-custom home. However, the builder typically works off specific floor plans and limited color and fixture selections when designing the homes.

Custom Homes

Custom homes are the most flexible option. The construction of the house reflects a customer’s specific specifications. That usually includes the floor plan, lot choice, selection of colors and materials, and all the fixtures that are included as part of the final product.

You choose the land and the overall home design. This allows you to build the home to your specifications, not the builder’s. When comparing a custom home vs. a spec home, you would get to choose all the details, not just some.

These three options all offer you the chance to move into a newly built home. However, the main differences lie in how you can customize the floor plans and design features when comparing a custom home vs. spec home vs. tract home.

If you are considering a custom home in the Hillsborough County, Pasco County or Tampa Bay area, contact Caroline Contractors to find out how we can help you build your dreams.

To build or not to build, that is the question. Finding your perfect dream home can not only be stressful during the search process, but can be disappointing when you find a home that’s close but not quite just right. Instead, consider investing your money into something you are 100% happy with. When comparing the process of buying a home that is suitable to your needs vs. building a custom home that truly fits all of your needs, it’s easy to see that building a custom home is the obvious choice.

Fully Customized to Your Preference

This is the most obvious and most often cited reason given for building a custom home. The buyer has total control to tailor the entire house. While the chances of finding a home built with everything you want already on the market is slim, the chances of getting what you want with a custom builder is nearly 100%. that is 100% customized to your preference with no surprises.

Low Maintenance

Another advantage to having a brand new, custom-built home is that everything is new. Everything from the plumbing, air conditioning, appliances, to the light bulbs in the ceiling are all brand new and should have little to no maintenance for a long time. After you’ve settled in and your furniture and decorations are in place, you should be worry-free and can enjoy your new custom home without being concerned with unexpected expenses such as the cost of fixing a broken air conditioner.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency in appliances and home building materials has come a long way. New technologies help save consumers money every month by making their home more energy efficient, thus requiring less money to heat and cool homes. Having the latest and most energy efficient materials and appliances at your fingertips makes things more cost-effective.

When building your new custom home, the choices and possibilities of what kind of home you want and what you pick to go inside are endless. The exciting part is knowing that it’s your dream home, and it’s something that you have totally customized for you and your family.

With a custom home, the choices are endless. The exciting part is knowing that it’s your dream home, and it’s something that you have totally customized for you and your family.

Not sure where to start? Call Caroline Contractors at 813-931-4611 and let us help you build your dreams.