Building a home is an exciting experience. Building the house of your dreams is a project you only want to do once. You need to make sure you have all the features that you want and need in this home. Nevertheless, it’s common to get carried away with the big picture and forget about the things that matter. Sure, you have a lot of things on your mind, but it is expensive to build a home. You don’t want to have to redo anything. It is best to keep a checklist so that you can ensure nothing gets past you.

Consider The Kids

If you have kids, you need to consider them in the whole scheme of things. First, do you have adequate room for all their toys? Is there an area of the home where they will be allowed to play and just “be kids?” You want to make sure their stuff doesn’t dominate the main areas of your home. Now consider storage for their toys, clothes and other necessities: Do you have ample closets planned throughout your space?

Use Child-Friendly Materials

Another thing many people don’t consider is the use of child-friendly materials. It’s good to have more drywall than walls full of mirrors and gigantic windows. Thoughtfully placing items with glass out of kids’ reach can help alleviate repairs from accidents later. Children just don’t do well with some materials. Even stainless steel can be problematic in the kitchen: You’ll want smudge-proof stainless steel to ensure your fridge isn’t covered in fingerprints.

Layout Is Everything

If your children are younger, then you probably don’t want to be on a separate floor away from them. Many home plans these days call for a first-floor master suite. In theory this is great for privacy, but in reality it can cause some sleepless nights. If you have teenagers that are upstairs you don’t need to worry about floor levels as much as you would for a newborn.

The layout should be good for both present and any future plans you may have. Take for instance the number of bedrooms: If you have two children who share a room, you need to have space for them to have their own room. While sharing a room works great when they’re younger, things can get pretty uncomfortable when they become teenagers: Teens need privacy.

Bathrooms are a whole other subject. There can never be too many bathrooms in a home, especially when there are lots of girls or teenagers. It’s ideal to have one bathroom per person, but of course that all depends on the layout and your budget.

Opt for Open Concept

There are two things that everyone wants these days: An open concept and hardwood flooring. Gone are the days when homes had separate rooms with distinct functions—now, the more open space the better. Some people don’t like open concept, especially when they have children. They like to maintain some boundaries to ensure that visitors don’t see all the clutter in the home. A great option for creating an open, airy feeling without a full open concept is glass interior doors. These doors allow you to easily see from one room to another, yet they allow the home to have distinct rooms.

Make a List and Check It Twice

Before you contact a builder or construction company to begin the whole process, sit down and make out a complete list of your must-haves, your want-to-haves and your nice-to-haves. If children are a big part of your life, then they should be a big part of the home-building process, too.

Take your list to a reputable builder and tell them everything you must have. Not only will it make it easier for them to find the home that works for you and your budget, it allows them to know your needs right from the start. There’s no sense in looking at two-bedroom homes when you have four children. Think long and hard about your needs in a new home, and before you start building, try to imagine the flow on a crazy day in that space—which, if you have kids, might just be another ordinary day in your home.

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