Prepare to Build a New Home | Things to Consider & Design Inspiration

Prepare to Build a New Home | Things to Consider & Design Inspiration


When you begin the process of building a new home, it can be difficult to understand every step along the way. This guide helps streamline and organize the pre-building process. 

Things to Consider

Your Current Home | Checklist

Take some time to think through the good and bad of your current and past homes. We created a checklist you can use to walk through your home and highlight each area you would like to carry over or improve in your new home.

SketchPad House Plans Home Design Checklist 

Your Stage in Life

Growing family | Empty Nesters | Age In Place | Downsize | Upgrade


Your Building Lot

Know answers to these questions early to prevent issues and help guide your house plan selection.

- What are the views you want to capture from inside your new home?
- Does the lot face north, south, east, or west?
- How close are your neighbors?
- What are your property setbacks?
- Does your neighborhood have HOA requirements?
- Are there unique zoning laws in your area?


Your Budget | Cost Estimates

Knowing the costs associated with building a new home will help you make the necessary budgetary decisions. This article by, Home Advisor, does an excellent job detailing the factors to consider when building and the average cost range per square foot. You can even gather building cost estimates for your zip code. 


Your Timeframe | Wait Times to Start a Project

Understanding the market will help you set realistic expectations for how long building a new home will take, and when you should plan to take specific steps.

This article by Houzz is a great place to start. If building in 2019, wait times are shorter than they were in 2018.


Find the Right House Plan

Know the Terms | Architectural Styles & Elements

Taking time to understand common terms and styles used in residential architecture, you will be armed with the knowledge needed to clearly articulate your goals and wishes. 

Architectural Styles | Learn More

Homes are available in so many architectural styles, and each has unique characteristics. Explore them all and learn which styles you connect with most. SketchPad House Plans | Architectural Styles

Select Your Home Plan | SketchPad House Plans

Now that you have a comprehensive list of requirements and wants, its time to find the perfect house plan. Our house plans focus on improving the way you live. Years of experience as architects designing custom residential homes has led to our expertise in custom quality home plan development.

Founded on timeless architectural styles, our floor plans deliver beautiful details, craftsmanship, and good taste.  SketchPad House Plans Herring House Plan

Herring Plan: 2,679 sqft | 3 bed | 2.5 bath | 1 floor | 2 car garage


Design Inspiration

Discover Your Style | Havenly Quiz | Home Polish Quiz

Start the building process by understanding your interior design style preferences. Havenly and Home Polish are excellent sources for interior design services. Both quizzes will kickstart your project. If you are looking for help in selecting finishes for your new home, they would be great resources later in your project.


Gathering quality inspiration and guidance for your new custom home can be difficult. We put together this section to highlight our recommendations for where and who to look at for inspiration. Enjoy!


Instagram | @sketchpadhouseplans

Instagram is an excellent place to find stunning design inspiration. Architects, interior designers, residential builders, and homeowners post and share photos and video. Our favorite aspect is the ability to search by hashtag. You can dial in what you are wanting to see and find accounts that specialize in a specific style. 

Find some accounts you like, look at their followers, and continue down the design rabbit hole. You may discover an interior designer or residential home builder you would like to work with! 

#customhomes #builtbysketchpad #beautifulhomes #transitionaldesign #interiordesign #kitchendesign #residentialarchitecture

Accounts to follow:

SketchPad House Plans Instagram Profile

Instagram: @sketchpadhouseplans

Muskoka Living Instagram Account

Instagram: @muskokalivinginteriors 

Studio McGee Instagram Profile

Instagram: @studiomcgee

Marie Flanigan Interiors Instagram Profile

Instagram: @marieflaniganinteriors

Design Loves Detail Instagram Profile

Instagram: @designlovesdetail

Brady Tolbert Instagram Profile

Instagram: @bradytolbert

Emily Henderson Instagram Profile

Instagram: @em_henderson

Chris Loves Julia Instagram Profile

Instagram: @chrislovesjulia

Pinterest | SketchPad House Plans

Pinterest has long been the go-to place to find inspiration, unique resources, and advice. You can begin your search using specific terms or hashtags.

Pinterest Home Inspiration Search

dream house, luxury homes, exterior design, interior design, transitional style, modern kitchen
#homedesign #kitchendesign #customhomes
#beautifulhomes #bedroomdesign


Houzz | SketchPad House Plans

Houzz provides design inspiration and advice specifically for residential home projects.

Houzz Home Design Inspiration Search

Steps you should take:

1. Create ideabooks (exterior, interiors, floors, tile, layout, colors, etc)

2. Take notes on photos to communicate what you like

3. Follow interior designers, residential builders, and material suppliers


Zillow | Explore Homes

Zillow Home Search | Transitional Home

Open houses are a great place to gather inspiration. Zillow is the "online open house." Explore homes in your area and around the nation.

1. Browse homes in your area and your favorite locations to vacation or visit

2. Save links to homes you like and note what you like (exterior, layout, interior design)


Design Blogs

Looking for more context behind a design or links to specific pieces within it? Design blogs are a great resource for understanding the motivation behind a design.


Muskoka Living Purdy Road Project

Source: Muskoka Living

Emily Henderson Interior Design Blog

Source: Emily Henderson Interior Design

Amber Interiors Projects

Source: Amber Interiors

Coco Kelley Design Blog

Source: Coco Kelley

Wit and Delight Design Blog | Outdoor Patio

Source: Wit + Delight

Old Brand New Blog |  Blue Craftsman Home Exterior

Source: Old Brand New

Lark and Linen Design Blog | Transitional Kitchen

Source: Lark & Linen


Before You Break Ground

Select a Residential Builder | Find a Builder

Selecting the right team to build your home is not a decision to be taken lightly. Do your research, ask questions, and talk with previous clients to understand their experience. Houzz is a great resource for accessing residential builders in your local area. You can read reviews, see completed project photos, understand their average project cost, and contact them for more information.


Meet with a Local Structural Engineer

When you purchase a stock home plan it is recommended to have a local structural engineer review them and supply any supplemental information specific to your local code and ordinances, as well as site soil conditions. When stock home plans are offered for sale they cannot be specified to every geographical area as every municipal code varies around the country.


Stay One Step Ahead

Work with your contractor and communicate changes early. Every change will change the timeline and increase cost. Throughout the build, you will have countless decisions to make. By thinking ahead a few steps, you can be instrumental in keeping things on time and within budget.

Interior Designer

Unsure what materials to select? An interior designer is an excellent asset to have by your side. Although an added expense, interior designers are experts in keeping projects on time and to budget not to mention making sure your home turns out perfectly. 


We hope this guide has been helpful and has you excited to begin the process. Explore our house plans to get the ball rolling. If you have any questions we are happy to provide advice, point you in the right direction, and connect you with experts in the field.

Connect with Us

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