Designing Your Dream Home

Neff Designs team standing in new home build looking out at the view of the Columbia River Gorge

Are you ready to design your dream home? If yes, congratulations! It’s a big accomplishment to finally reach this place in life! Now that you are ready, I’m sure you’ve been thinking about it for a long time and might have a list of must-haves ready to go. If not, that’s okay too! Although you may have already considered the following essentials, let’s review a quick list of factors to keep in mind when preparing to design your forever or dream home.

Design your home with an expert team
Creating a one-of-a-kind, high-quality, and functional home is a comprehensive venture that offers a great sense of fulfillment. Partnering with the right Design/Build team to navigate this process adds significant advantages. An experienced builder knows the right questions to ask and when to ask them as you go through the process. Unlike someone inexperienced who may not even ask at all (the worst!). It’s not uncommon that I witness homeowners take on various aspects themselves, only to later opt for professional assistance and acknowledge the benefits of doing so from the outset. You have worked hard to get where you are in life, so make sure to hire a team of professionals that will create the dream home you imagine without any regrets later.

Ashley Hinkle standing in a new home build looking at construction plans

Consider lifestyle
Before you commit to a certain home style or design, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you like to entertain guests?
  • Do you have friends or family coming to stay with you frequently?
  • Do you want a place to exercise inside?
  • Do you plan to travel and be gone often? Should you consider long-term maintenance?
  • How much gear storage do you need?

For example, maybe you want a second floor for guest bedrooms or a small cottage with little upkeep while you’re traveling. Many of us (especially in the Gorge) have lots of outdoor hobbies that require a significant amount of storage. Making sure you have ample space for your bicycles or kiting gear is important to consider from beginning to end.

Build for your location
Whether you are from the Pacific Northwest or not, build a home that fits with your location. If you have views on both sides of your home, consider ample windows and maybe a wrap-around porch. Select materials that hold up well in the weather and require minimal maintenance. If you happen to be from a sunny, mild climate location, your home should reflect the different climate zone..

Build for the future
If you plan to spend retirement in this home, consider future needs.

Here is a list of items to consider for long-term usability:

  • First floor master bedroom/bathroom with guest beds on the second story.
  • Single story design reduces stair climbing.
  • Open floor plan design: Navigating through tight pathways is asking for difficulties later.
  • Zero thresholds throughout your home: Floor transitions should be flush to minimize any tripping hazards.
  • Mechanisms that are easy to operate: Levers are easier to open than knobs. Smart features can also be something to consider.
  • Zero clearance showers: No threshold from floor into shower. It is so nice not to have something to step over.
  • Consider wider than normal doorways.
Inside a new home construction with mountain views

This house is something you worked hard to achieve so don’t forget to splurge where you can. My tip is to make a list of your must-haves and then organize them starting with the most important items. I like to think about large scale items first, such as expansive glass (like the picture above), and substantial finish materials such as wood floors, wood doors etc. Then we work our way through the list, adjusting as needed so that we splurge where it really matters!

These tips are here to help you navigate the ins and outs of home building. Creating your dream home should be fun! Consider hiring professionals to be on your team to make the process more enjoyable! I’m happy to discuss your upcoming design project – Let’s design a home you’ll love!

Receive Updates In Your Inbox