The dream you have for your home is the genesis towards realizing a living space that’s custom-made specifically for you. Your vision for your home puts the whole manifestation into motion. It’s the first step in a journey that ends with a home you will delight in for years to come.

During the dream phase of the journey, it is paramount to capture, document, and share a clear vision that will serve as the North Star of your project. A documented vision will guide you and your build-design team and keep you pointing True North in the midst of budget questions and the inevitable bumps in the road.

There are several elements that go into a documented vision for your build project.

Start an As-if journal

Create an “as-if” journal or notebook for your new project. An as-if journal is your exploration of what it’s like to live in the home of your dreams. Let it tell the story in the present tense, as if you were already living in that version of your home.

Close your eyes and imagine living in your new space. In your book, describe how it feels to experience the overall feel your new space, what it means to you, what it means to your family. Describe the little details that make this feel like YOUR perfect home.

Later, you can refer back to this journal when it’s time to choose your partners, and select your furniture and finishes. The journal also gives you a single source of information that keeps all parties on the same page.

Curate a Lookbook

A lookbook, or ideabook, is your personalized hub for collecting ideas, colors, styles and patterns that inspire you. Create a place on Houzz or Pinterest to save links, pictures, and ideas about your project. Share them with your family and friends, who know you well enough to share your excitement and offer their own thoughts.

Your lookbook will also be a valuable asset to share with your designer and builder, to give them a concrete collection of your aesthetic values and design inspirations.

Know Your Priorities

Your lookbook and as-if journal allow you to dream without limits. But before you engage a design-build company, you will need to establish some priorities. For most homeowners, there are constraints that establish the project’s limitations—usually, either budget or time. For some people, design priorities come before any other considerations.

While you’re still dreaming about your new home, spend time deciding what matters most to you: design, schedule, or budget. We can’t have it all, so it’s important to be prepared ahead of time to establish with your design-build team what matters most to you.

Find Your Financing

Now is also a good time to start learning about your financing options. Most homeowners choose to finance through a local or national bank, although some can self-fund the project. You may have other options available to you as well.

Whichever funding method you use, be sure to thoroughly research your options. Document your primary and backup funding options as you learn about your options. As you begin talking with potential lenders, find out the typical time it takes to settle contractor invoices. Some lenders pay within five business days. Others can take several weeks, which puts the continuity of your project at risk.

Consider Resale Needs

At some point in the future, you may want to sell your house. If so, how important will it be to recover your investment?

Think about resale scenarios, and be prepared to share them with your designer. Do you need to recover your investment in a few years, a decade, never? This will play a factor for selecting the best furnishings, materials, and finishes. You may need to make selections that will appeal to a broader audience while still implementing an aesthetic you love.

Imagine Your Ideal Partner

Your next step in your home build journey will involve teams of designers and builders. The company you decide to work with is a critical choice in this journey. It can make all the difference between an experience you’re truly delighted with and one that is littered with frustrations and unwelcome surprises.

To find the best design-build company for your needs, spend time thinking about what you’re looking for. Consider the type of partners that will work best for you. Just like you, all companies have a unique personality. Think about what company cultures would best match your own priorities and preferences. Do you want a friendly company? A punctual one? Creative? Collaborative? Consider any specific ethical or environmental values that you will look for in a company.

Giraffe Design Build creates inspired designs and environments, built with excellent craftsmanship, delivered with integrity and empathy, to delight people and planet. We form partnerships with homeowners through every step of the design and build journey, prioritizing our clients’ experience and concerns above our own. If this sounds like the kind of home build company that fits your builder profile, let’s talk. We’d love to help you to bring your dreams to life.

Start a conversation with us today!