Form and Function: How to Balance Both in Home Construction
Form or Function: What’s more important in Home Design?
In home design and construction, the conflict between interesting, creative architecture (form) and the way various rooms are placed and used (function) is a constant battle. But it doesn’t have to be.
While the shape of a structure relates to its proposed function, the best home builders work with their clients to create a home that is both functional and beautiful.
Function or Aesthetics
Home builders often cope with numerous challenges in designing buildings when determining which aspect to prioritize. Here is the dilemma: How does a builder create a home that will make the client happy – both in the way it looks and how it works with the family’s needs?
A satisfied customer will certainly never snub a functional and well-designed home. By working together and asking the right questions, the result is that the builder avoids design and construction problems and the homeowner has a lovely yet fully functional home.
Building the Perfect Home
Before the first shovel of dirt is dug or the first yard of concrete is poured, it is important that you and the builder sit down together face to face. Talk openly about what each is expecting throughout the process. Determine a list of priorities, needs, and wants. This will help to create a design which accurately reflects your lifestyle.
Discuss the budget as well. What can you afford? What is the top priority for the finished product? What is the overall feel you’re looking for? Sometimes what you want and what you can afford are two very different things. Home builders can often offer a less expensive alternative which will satisfy you and still stay within your budget.
After the overall budget is finalized, talk about how the home will be used. Are there several children or is this a home for “empty-nesters” with grandchildren only visiting occasionally? Do you enjoy entertaining big groups, or do you prefer quiet nights at home with a good book? Are you a gourmet cook or eat a steady diet of take-out? Do you love to display your collections or are you a minimalistic decorator? Do you prefer the clean lines of modern architecture or the details in Victorian homes? Or something in between?
Again, asking the right questions will help to determine the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the size of the kitchen and living room, the placement of doors and windows, the amount of storage, etc. and satisfy your needs (and a few wants as well).
The difference between an excellent layout and a poor one is something that both home builders and home buyers have seen at least once. Winding hallways, awkward spaces, too small rooms, and bad flow can make even a beautiful building exterior into an unlivable home. Form and function must complement each other in home construction and work for the people living there.
A beautiful exterior façade with a functioning and pleasant interior will flow well, offer a distinct atmosphere, and reflect the personality of the homeowners. Addressing both the eye appeal and the functionality of a home’s design will end in a successfully built and lived-in home.
6 Essentials to Consider When Choosing a Floor Plan
Budget Plays a Role in Floor Plans
Can Your Floor Plan Change in the Future?
Consider the Following Factors
What is your lifestyle?
Do you love to throw parties or prefer quiet evenings? Are you a gourmet cook or usually eat take out? Are you a young, growing family or an empty- nester? Are you an outdoor gardener or have lots of indoor hobbies? Each of these answers will help to determine how your home should be laid out and the size of each room. A contractor or design professional can help you consider factors and give you some guidance.
Separate Rooms or Open Concept
Talk to a Professional and Ask Questions
Milwaukee Home Builder Constructs Homes for Police K-9’s
Joseph Douglas Homes joins MECA Wisconsin Police Canine Vest Foundation, Inc. (MECA Foundation)
What Makes a Great Custom Home Builder?
Companies try to sell you on their idea. It’s what they do. Sometimes, they’ll even convince you their concept is your idea. But isn’t that what makes marketing worthwhile? So, in the day and age of endless ads on TV, online, email, social media, radio, and magazines, how do we correctly choose the right company to fit our needs? Three words…Research, Research, and Research. Doing your homework up front, asking the right questions and getting to know your potential home builder will enable you to make the right choice when choosing your custom home builder for you, your family, and your wallet.
Do Your Research
• Reviews, References, and Reputation. When searching for a home builder, the amount of information available today can be a tremendous help. Look up online reviews. Keep in mind, no business is going to have 100% satisfactory results, however seeing how a company has handled any complaints can tell you a lot. Has the problem been addressed, and more importantly, resolved. How many reviews are there? Has the builder had more positive feedback than negative? Are references readily provided to you? And once they have, have you followed up with them? Reputation should be critical to the builder you ultimately choose.
• Communication. Followed by MORE Communication. From flooring to lighting to overall design, the amount of decisions that need to be made about your dream home is extensive. The communication should be equally comprehensive. You’re hiring a home builder because you don’t want to have to deal with 20 different vendors. Make sure the company you choose has one point person – your go-to for everything. All the information you receive and the requests you make should be funneled through this project manager. Being involved in all aspects of design and building will ensure proper instruction, with less opportunity for miscommunication and potentially expensive mistakes.
• Get Legal. The licensing and insurance required by builders vary from state to state. Warranties vary from product to product. Be sure to find out what is necessary for your area. Ask your builder for verification of all licenses and insurance they carry. A builders licenses and insurance eliminates any loss on your end in the event of an accident or damage during the construction of your home. Review your warranty. New homes should come with a written, long-term, insured warranty. A new home warranty protects you in the event a builder goes out of business or fails to honor a verbal promise.
• Cost vs. Design. Compare the design style and price point of each builder you are considering. Have a firm idea of the value in mind and be sure the builder is willing to help you understand their building method. Ask questions up front. Changes during construction happen, but knowing in advance how your builder will handle them will benefit your relationship later on.
Once you’ve done your homework, ask yourself, “Do I feel confident putting my money, time and future in the hands of this home builder?”
How to Choose the Right Remodeling Contractor
You’ve finally decided to do some major renovations in your home. How do you hire a reliable contractor? How can you be sure you won’t be defrauded or left with a half-finished job?
For most homeowners, finding the right remodeling company is more difficult than choosing the perfect kitchen cabinets or floor tile. Renovations can be expensive and stressful and sometimes uncover unwanted surprises like leaky pipes, rotting sub-floors, or sub-standard electrical work. Choosing the right contractor will make the difference in whether you have a successful remodeling project or a nightmare.
Depending on the size of your project, you may need a general contractor or just a handful of tradespeople such as electricians, plumbers, or carpenters. Some homeowners decide to be their own contractors, and while this may save money in the short term, it can also be time-consuming and more expensive in the long run.
Taking the following steps will help you find the Milwaukee’s best remodeling contractor, stay on time and budget, and keep your project running smoothly.
Decide What the Project is Going to Be.
Before you call any contractors, decide what you want to be done. Look at catalogs, shop at big box stores, and choose a few finishes. Your estimates will be more accurate if you can be specific.
Ask co-workers, friends, or neighbors who have had similar work done. Would they hire the contractor again? Were they easy to work with? Was the work area clean? Is the final product satisfactory?
Interview Several Prospects
Find companies who do the work you want to be completed. Just because someone did a great job remodeling your neighbor’s bathroom doesn’t mean they can build your addition. Compare written bids from every prospect. They should all include the same projects and the same materials. Ask for a list of employees; find out if subs do any of the work. Be prepared to negotiate price and never sign a contract until everyone is satisfied. And don’t be surprised if the contractor you choose can’t start immediately. The best ones are busy!
Make Sure to Check References
Check References and Licenses
Although rules change from state to state, most subcontractors and all general contractors should be licensed. Check the Better Business Bureau, Yelp reviews, and court records for potential litigation or problems. Look at their license and talk to recent clients.
Signing a Contract
Be sure the contract lists what work will be done, the exact materials used (including model numbers), deadlines, and payment schedule. Unless everything is documented, it’s nearly impossible to prove if it’s been done correctly. If you don’t feel the contract is detailed enough, write your own and have both parties sign it. A change order should be written listing new materials, cost, or work if there are any changes during the project. Put in writing when the workers can enter your home, what bathroom they’ll use, how often the boss will be there, and who to contact in case of problems.
If expensive materials are needed immediately, contractors may ask for 30 percent up front. If not, don’t pay more than 10 percent before the job begins. The contract should include a timeline of payments. Be prepared to spend at least 10 to 15 percent more than what was agreed by the end of the project. No matter how careful you are, hiccups happen. And never make the final payment until the job is finished and you’re completely satisfied.
Communication is the key to a great finished product. It’s easier to fix a problem sooner than later, so speak up if you notice something. You may need to talk to the contractor every day, and frankly, it’s better to hire someone you feel comfortable with. Even if it means spending a little bit more money.
Following these steps will create a much smoother remodeling project.
The Wakefield Model by Joseph Douglas offers a first floor master bedroom on a modest footprint. While designed for narrow lots which seem more prevalent today, it maintains all the amenities of what you’ve come to expect from Joseph Douglas Homes. The master suite features a two person tiled shower, double vanity, and spacious walk in closet. The kitchen and dinette open to a nicely sized family room with volume ceilings and lots of glass. This home is nicely finished with a first floor laundry, mudroom with bench and powder room. Upstairs you’ll find two nice sized bedrooms, a full bath as well as a nice surprise of an enormous walk in storage closet and bonus room over the garage. On the lower level you’ll find a walk out basement perfect for the DIY to finish or let our team finish it for you. The rear of the lot borders vacant property which has been slated by the village for a future park. Home will be finished in April of 2018! Call to get pricing.
N88 W18566 Duke Street
Menomonee Falls WI 53051
Available for viewing by Appointment only
Brighton Model - 2016 Parade of Homes Model
From I-45, take Main St. (Exit 50) west 2 miles to Christman Rd., turn right and go ½ mile to subdivision entrance and follow signs to model.
Make an Appointment
Prairie Hollow offers you a beautiful, unique setting to enhance your home and secure your investment!
Hwy16 to Hwy C (exit 179), north on Hwy C to Hwy K west 1/4 mile on Hwy K to Stone Bank Rd, north 2 miles on Stone Bank Rd to subdivision.
Make an Appointment
Carlisle 2017 Parade Home
Carlisle 2017 MBA Parade Home
We’ve taken our most popular first floor master home and have pulled out all the stops. The Carlisle may be the little sister plan to our ever popular Newberry and Somerset models but it has a personality all of its own.
- 2600 1st Floor Master with 4 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths
- Two story foyer and family room with wall of bayed wall of windows for lots of natural light
- Large kitchen with prep island, work in pantry, and roomy dinette
- Flex Room which can be Study or Dining Room
- Spacious master suite with private screen porch, whirlpool tub, shower and walk-in-closet
- Mud Room complete with lockers, roomy closet and separate laundry room
- Powder room near garage where it makes the most sense
- Loft, three bedrooms and bath on the second floor
- Model for sale for $699,900 with move in spring of 2018
N66 W15744 Fox Meadow Dr.
Menomonee Falls, WI
Open weekends 1 to 4 pm.
Brighton Model - 2016 Parade of Homes Model
From Hwy 41/45 exit at Silver Spring Rd., go west 3 miles to Pilgrim Rd., go north 1 1/2 mile to Fox Meadows Subdivision entrance & follow signs to home
Make an Appointment
Top 5 Home building Trends of 2017
The way most people see it, through the years, house building hasn’t altered drastically. After all, houses are still built from the ground up, piece by piece, until the desired finished product is achieved. Ask someone truly in the know, however, and you will soon see that new life is being pumped not only into homes being constructed in 2017 but into the housing market itself. These modifications are being done through improved home design and intelligent utilization of the latest home building trends. These trends provide lifestyle benefits and will increase the value of your home.
Let’s take a brief look at five of the most in-demand home building trends in 2017.
1. Neutral Is the New White
It seems like just yesterday that stainless steel appliances and white-hot kitchens were all the rage. Today’s designers are going a different route. Kitchens with neutral backgrounds are the latest and greatest trend when it comes to the room in which many of us do our best culinary creating, kids do homework, and the family sometimes dines. Gray and black matte appliances are taking over. Cabinetry is turning more toward the mid-tone wood. On the outside of new homes, however, the opposite is true. To accent fenestration openings and building forms, grays, blacks, and other contrasting colors are being incorporated on a far more frequent basis.
2. Two-Car Garages Get a Makeover
Astonishingly, there are still new home communities that are governed by local ordinances requiring attached garages to be dual-garage bays. But in these ever-changing times of Uber drivers and other shared car services, fewer families need an over-sized two-car garage. Today’s homes are making use of that living space by remaking the interior of these garages into family rooms, game rooms, guest rooms, offices, etc.
3. Modern Times Call for Modern Designs
In 2017, home designers see less and less of a demand for old-school motifs. Styles are turning decidedly more contemporary. Flat panel cabinets, glass garage doors, geometric faucet designs, horizontal fireplaces and more are flooding the market when it comes to the decoration and design of today’s new homes.
4. Charge It!
The ever-present wireless gear of today (i.e., tablets, smart phones, etc.) is undeniably a staple in homes, offices, cars – everywhere. But they don’t charge themselves. Because of this, charging stations are popping up everywhere you look – in bars, restaurants, hotels, you name it. So, it comes as no surprise that modern home builders and designers are installing charging stations under kitchen countertops, behind bedside tables, within office cabinets, even in bathrooms.
5. The Master Bath Experience
Households of today spend an astonishing amount of time in the bathroom – particularly when the master bath is designed with some of the latest trends in mind. Because this is where most couples begin their day, modern bathrooms are sporting flat screen TVs and emphasizing more room in which to move around, without bumping into each other.
Customize Your Home With these Latest Home Building Trends
Ending your day with quality time spent in your master bath is now a distinct possibility. Luxurious ottomans create a sitting room type of atmosphere; exercise or yoga areas offer mind and body health, and over-sized, freestanding baths provide the opportunity for a relaxing, warm soak.
These trends barely break the surface on a sea of new and exciting concepts being offered by home designers in 2017. For a complete breakdown of what is available and which new concepts will best serve your needs, contact us to learn more.