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Homebuilding Tips

Four Tips from Pros that are In-the-Know


Tip #1: Come with Ideas & Establish a Vision

Jullian Lare recommends that new homeowners should really take the time and picture themselves living in their dream home. What can you see? How do you feel? Who is with you? How are you spending your time?

For example, you’re cleaning up after breakfast and rinsing the dishes before you head out to start your day. Are you standing in front of a wide farmhouse sink staring out the window into a copse of trees while watching birds flutter around the bird feeder? Are you impressed with the efficiency and neatness of your compact kitchen design? Are you anticipating enjoying one last cup of coffee in your snug dining nook with the morning paper?

Or, you’re at home for the evening, dinner is over, and it’s time to relax. Are you curled up in front of the fire reading a book while your spouse catches up on the evening news? Are you watching a movie with your children snuggled up beside you on a large comfy sectional? Are you browsing the web on your laptop while your kids watch a show?

How do you start your day? What is the first thing you see when you open your eyes? Do you enjoy a long steamy shower in a light bright bathroom? Are your clothes perfectly organized and displayed in a large walk-in closet?

What are the holidays like in your new home? Are you thrilled because you can finally fit your whole family around the dinner table? Write a journal entry about the experience of living in the different rooms or areas of your new home. Start at the front door (or back door) and picture coming home and moving through each space in your house like you would on most days. Don’t get hung up on small details but rather focus on the emotion – like how satisfying it feels to know your coat, shoes, and bag have their very own spot in your well-organized mudroom.

Once you know how you want it to feel, then and only then, should you start collecting inspiration images. You can do a gut check against each image by asking yourself if it feels the way you want your house to feel. If you don’t get clear on how you want the house to feel first, you will probably gather dozens of images, most of which are completely unrelated to each other. Then your builder and designer will have to play detective to try to figure out what kind of house you really want.

Tip #2: Choose a Floorplan

Once you’ve established your vision, think about your lot and how to make the best use of the lot space to take advantage of views etc.

Tip #3: Plan for Delays

Things like weather, architect workload, Architectural Review Boards, and permitting can all take extra time.

Front Light will work hard to get ahead as much as we can, but there are things that are sometimes beyond our control. A key component is finalizing your design decisions early and sticking with them.

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Tip #4: Participate in the Meetings

Ninety percent of our customers are building from out of the area and we ask and encourage our clients to come into town 3 times during the construction phase. The Design/Pre-Construction Meeting, the Mechanical Electrical Walk Through, and the Trim Walk. The design meeting is where you get to come into our design center and pick all the beautiful finishes for your home. Plan on the design meeting to take about a day, and we’ll schedule the pre-construction meeting the very next day. The pre-construction meeting is a crucial part of making sure that everything in your project goes the way it should. It’s ​something that can help prevent errors that can end up costing you a fortune and making sure that everyone is on the same page ​before the project begins.

During the Mechanical/Electrical Walk, our team will meet you at your new home to determine where all your light switches, dimmers, and electrical outlets will go. Take the time to think about there you like those things on a wall. For example: Do you want your light switch outside of the closet, or inside the closet? Do you want electrical outlets on every porch?

During the Trim walk, our team will meet you back at the home to work on closet, pantry, and drop zone designs. Think about how you like your closets—do you need more shoe storage or hanging space? What types of spacing do you want in the pantry? These are all things that truly customize the home and early planning will help you efficient use the space.

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Ready to explore more of what the Lowcountry has to offer and build your dream home with Front Light?