After many meetings and even some deep soul-searching, you finally made a decision to go with custom building your dream house instead of buying one. This is great! This way, you get to design your house to fit your lifestyle and preferences, and not the other way around. While building a house from scratch undoubtedly takes some work, the resulting structure will be more special because you know that it was designed with your interest in mind. 

To help you with designing your home, here are five big-ticket items that should be on your priorities list as you plan your dream home with your contractor:

1. Number of Floors 

The number of floors to include in your house is entirely dependent on your taste and needs. Some people prefer to have a second floor dedicated to the bedrooms, and the ground floor for entertainment. This is especially beneficial for people who do not have much space in their lot for expansion but want to have more space. Adding additional floors will surely have a significant impact on the overall cost, but it will also add value to your home. 

2. Number of Rooms 

The number of rooms to include in your house is arguably the most important and difficult part of designing your home, especially if you plan to, or already have a growing family. While your two young kids may be happy with sharing a room at their young age, they’ll likely want their own bedrooms in a few years. Depending on your lifestyle and needs, you may also want to consider adding a home office or an entertainment room that can be separated from the main living area for privacy. 

3. Kitchen and Dining Areas

Your kitchen requires special thought because it needs to have enough space and ventilation to keep it functional and easy to maintain. For example, you may find that it’s best to include a rangehood above your cooking stove to trap and collect airborne grease, moisture, and cooking odors. To streamline the process of cooking, you will also need to figure out where to put your refrigerator. Depending on the features that you need, you will want to ensure that your plumbing includes a water source for your refrigerator alone. 

4. Toilets and Bathrooms

Ideally, every bedroom in your house should have a separate bathroom and another one outside for your guests. However, if this isn’t an option, you may strategically place toilets and bathrooms on each floor of the house to make them more accessible. 

5. Air Conditioning

Keep in mind that your air conditioning should be planned out before you even start construction to optimize costs. Early on, you should make up your mind on whether you’re going with a centralized cooling and heating system, or if you prefer to have them set up separately in each room. Although each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages, the important point is to ensure that these considerations are already part of the floor plan so that your builders can account for them. You wouldn’t want to break down a perfectly sturdy wall because it gets in the way of your ducting system. 


Now that you’re in the reins of your project, you’ll probably find that the options can be overwhelming. However, the best way to go on deciding which features to include in your house is to understand that form should follow function. 

While your aesthetic preferences are a big part of the process, your house should ultimately fulfill your everyday needs. It should have enough bedrooms, contain everything you need, and allow you to move around freely. Most importantly, your house should bring you peace of mind and contentment so that it becomes a home that you can proudly call your own.

Duke Homes are renowned custom home builders from Greenwood, IN. Aside from building custom homes, we also perform renovations, model homes, and commercial projects. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help!