Building a new home is an exciting adventure. You’re creating it, literally, from the ground up. You probably have a home in mind, or perhaps you just know you want specific features (e.g., gourmet kitchen, second-floor laundry, outdoor living space). When you have your ideas in place, follow these guidelines for how to choose your new home design. Architectural style. Most people have an idea of the style of home they want—ranch, colonial, contemporary, modern, Mediterranean, farmhouse, cottage, craftsman, split-level, Victorian, to name a few. Look at samples of residential architecture styles to find the one that excites you and feels like home. Property features. What does your land look like? Is it flat or sloping? Is your homesite long and narrow or wide? Is there a panoramic view you want to maximize? Your home should fit well within your property, working with the surroundings. Consider the placement of your home there and talk to your builder about potential challenges, like additional excavation or structural limits. Home size. How big of a home feels right for you? Is your family growing or shrinking? Determine the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, along with other spaces, such as the garage (how many cars will be parking there?). Look at homes of approximately the same size so you can get a feel of how much square footage feels right. Day-to-day lifestyle needs. Here’s where you need to work on the flow of your home. What goes where? Look at floor plans and picture yourself moving from room to room, starting when you enter your new home. Where do you want windows to provide natural light? How will you work in this kitchen? Should the sink and dishwasher be installed on a kitchen island? Where does it make the most sense to place the pantry? In the master suite, where do you want your closets? How should the bathroom be laid out? Private places. An open floor is popular these days, but you still might want rooms to close yourself off from the others in the household. A home office, craft room, man cave, perhaps? Think about the proximity of that room. How far do you want to be from the rest of the activity? Is the room close enough to a bathroom or should you incorporate one? What kind of storage do you need there? Fit your furnishings. If you have furniture that you want to move along with you to your new home, consider how it will fit into the floor plan. Large items like a bedroom set, sectional sofa, or piano should be factored into your design planning. Don’t wait until you’re ready to move in to discover you don’t have space for your grandmother’s antique china cabinet! Your best bet for getting the home design that fits your vision and your needs is to talk to your builder’s online sales consultant. This person is trained to understand the building process and help you navigate all the details. They can explain what’s involved in adding certain features and upgrades.