How to Prioritize Needs & Wants in Custom Home Design

January 24, 2023

Building a custom home is an exciting prospect and the perfect opportunity to create the house of your dreams. But with so many decisions to make, it can quickly become overwhelming. Where do you start? What should be your priorities when deciding what features to include in the design? How do you figure out how to prioritize needs & wants in custom home design?

This guide will give you the knowledge and confidence to build a beautiful custom home that meets your needs and wants. It will help you decide which features are essential and which can be saved for later, so while you may have to file away those tips for home gym design, you won’t be lacking any fundamental needs. With the right approach, your custom home will exceed all of your expectations!

What Are Your Needs?

The first step in prioritizing your needs and wants is to clarify what you need and want from your custom home. What features are absolutely essential, and which ones would be “nice-to-have”? Consider the following factors when making this decision:

  • Your budget
  • Your lifestyle
  • The size of your family
  • Your age
  • Your hobbies
  • The climate in your area

Once you better understand your needs and wants, you can begin to prioritize. If a certain feature is absolutely essential for your lifestyle, then it should move up on the list. For example, building an energy-efficient custom home should be a top priority if you live in an area with extreme winters or summers.

If you and your family love to entertain, then a spacious kitchen and outdoor living area should be high on the list. Once you have identified your needs, you can start to think about which wants to include in the design.

What Are Your Wants?

You may have always dreamed of having a pony, but no matter how much of an equestrian you are, preparing your property for horses qualifies as a want unless you rely on them for your livelihood. Your wants are the features and amenities you would like to include in your custom home but are optional for day-to-day living.

These can range from a wine cellar or theater room to luxury finishes and designer appliances. It’s important to remember that these are not necessary for the function of your home but may still be things you would love to have in your dream home. So, it can be helpful to prioritize your wants in order of importance.

When prioritizing your wants, consider how much use you will get out of the feature and its return on investment. Features like a home gym or pool may be expensive in terms of cost and square footage or land, but can be great investments for families who use them regularly.

Design Phase: Prioritize Needs Above All Else

Once you have identified your needs and wants, it’s time to start the design phase. During this stage, prioritize your needs over your wants. Be careful to make sure that all of the features necessary for day-to-day living are included in the design before focusing on luxury finishes and amenities.

Certain features, like a large kitchen, could be both a need and a want. In this case, prioritize the functional aspects over aesthetics. Your custom home should be designed around your day-to-day lifestyle, and all of your family’s needs should be met before any wants are considered. This way, you can be sure that your custom home will meet your needs and as many of your wants as possible.

A great custom home builder will be able to help you during the design phase, especially if they have an in-house design/build process. Being able to share your list of needs and wants with them will be essential. Not only can they help you prioritize based on what you want out of your custom home, but they will also be able to keep those wants in mind as you work through and finalize the home design and options.

Planning & Pre-Construction: Get Those Wants In

When planning construction and getting your ducks in a row during pre-construction, it’s the perfect time to start adding in those “wants” that didn’t make the cut during the design phase. If you have room in your budget, consider adding some of those luxury finishes and amenities that will add to the overall aesthetic of your home.

These may include anything from high-end appliances and modern fixtures to designer tiles and custom millwork. Planning for these features translates to them being included in the design and complementing your home’s overall style.

Compromise On Wants Or Budget, Not Needs

When prioritizing your needs and wants for custom home design, you may find that a certain want conflicts with the primary need or vice versa. In this case, don’t compromise on your needs. Instead, consider compromising on either the want or the budget. If a certain feature is essential for daily living, check that it is included in the design.

Top Priority: Designing Your Dream Home

Designing and building a custom home is an exciting journey but can also be challenging. To ensure that your custom home meets all of your needs (and as many of your wants as possible), prioritize your needs above all else during the design phase.

Then, once you have accounted for your essential features, you can start to work on those wants! Remember to compromise on the wants or budget, not on the needs. With this guide in hand, you can prioritize your needs and wants during custom home design, and eventually, you’ll be resting your head in the home of your dreams.

If you’re ready to get started on your custom home, contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090. We can help make your dream home a reality!