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7 Things To Assess When Building A New Home

Building your dream home can be an exercise in compromise. As you work with a builder, you'll run across both practical limitations (it just doesn't make sense to put a bathroom where you want it) and budgetary ones (maybe you can't afford a house of the size you want).

But there are some things you should never compromise on. Read on to learn the seven things BrightLeaf believes you should always insist on when you're building your dream house.

Finding A Suitable Lot to Build ON

You can move houses, but you can't move your house. The location you select is incredibly important: it determines the view out your window, the climate, the convenience to nearby attractions, your property value appreciation over time, the school district and more.




Keep in mind, too, that while your house can't move, the location itself isn't static. As you consider locations, you should research factors like expected job growth, major development planned in the future, and comparable metrics. You don't have a crystal ball, but you can plan ahead and get a team of experts to find the right lot for you to build on

Defining The Right Size

If your home's too small, you're bound to be unhappy. Make sure your home will be big enough for everyone in it and all your things. This is particularly important for young couples: It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking you're designing a home for just two people when you plan to have kids and will need extra bedroom space.

Ask About the HERS Index Rating

The HERS (home Energy Rating System) is the industry standard for measuring a house's energy efficiency. A high rating means your home is energy-efficient, while a low rating means it'll be far more expensive to heat and cool your house. For both your energy bills and the future of the planet, you should prioritize a high HERS index.

All Those Extras

There are some things you genuinely don't want to live without, and these will vary from person to person. Maybe you need extra storage space in your house. Maybe you've always wanted the bathroom of your dreams. Some of these features may be outside of your budget, in which case you'll have to weigh needs versus wants — but if you sincerely want something, you should talk with your builders to see if there's a way to make it happen.

Protection From the Elements

Your house needs to be sturdy enough to withstand the weather, environmental factors, and the test of time. Some builders skimp on materials, but this only leads to expensive repairs down the road. Do the job right the first time, and invest in your building's foundation, windows, and siding. Make the push for durability right off the bat.

A Reputable Builder

Building your dream house is stressful (but it doesn't have to be). You don't need a builder's drama on top of that. Do your homework about your builder beforehand: Ask to see prior work, and see if anyone in your neighborhood has worked with the company before. What was the experience like? Did they deliver on time? Did they keep the client apprised of developments as the project went on? Did they respect their wishes, or did they try to go over their head?

A Green And High-Performance Home

This is more than just the HERS index: It has to do with the whole building process. Your goal is to not only build a home you can pass on to your children but preserve the planet for future generations too. Look into sustainable building materials, and ask about the builder's policy about recycling materials. See if you can generate some of your own power in the new house, such as through solar panels, or consider installing a geothermal pump to heat and cool your home.


Your home should make you happy! Sometimes you'll need to compromise, but in the end, BrightLeaf believes it's important to build your home to meet your family's needs so you end up with a final product you're happy with.

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