Urbis Infill


Everything to Consider When Planning Your Custom Home

Upon deciding to build a custom home, there are probably a thousand things running through your mind in terms of needs, wants, demands, desires, and more. It’s tremendously helpful for you and your custom-build team to organize your wish-list into a concrete outline, to ensure your priorities are straightforward and central during the planning process. Consistent with our dedication to guide you from architectural concept, through interior design, and into construction, we’re providing you with a list of questions to ask yourself to get ahead of the game.

Your Ideal Home

With some of the technical aspects of a home, it’s easy to overlook all of the possibilities and the shape your custom-build could take! In terms of layout and the overall look and feel of your ideal home, describe its features: 

  • It has approximately what square footage?

  • What kind of home is it? (Bungalow, Two-Story, 1.5 Story, etc.)

  • Does it have a finished basement?

  • What number of garage stalls?

  • What is the style of the home’s exterior: craftsman, contemporary, tudor, modern, etc.?

  • How tall are the ceilings?

  • Does it have a covered front veranda? A rear entry deck?

  • Any fireplaces? Where are they located?

  • And what’s your price range?


Translating your lifestyle into a design that most effectively empowers you to live your best life is the number one objective of building a custom home. With that, the needs of your family and household point to the next details to consider:

  • How many people are in your family? How old are they?

  • Do you have pets?

  • Any grandchildren staying over? How frequently? For how long?

  • Are you homebodies? Are you active? Outdoorsy? Movie buffs? Music lovers? Mixologists? Not-so-amateur chefs? Do you entertain company often?

  • Describe your lifestyle, particularly what’s relevant for your home now, and in the next 5-10 years.

Current Home

Your current home offers plenty of insight into what works for you and your family, and what simply does not. To reflect and improve, discuss:

  • The ins-and-outs of your current home. Why do you want to move out?

  • How long have you been living there?

  • Likes and dislikes, trials and tribulations?

  • Describe your current neighbourhood.

And as the heart and hub of all your activities...

  • When you come home after work, what do you want your home to do for you?

  • How about on weekends? What should your home provide?

  • How should your home make you feel when you are in it?

  • When others come to your home, what do you want it to say about you?

  • In general, how should the interior look? E.g. cozy, open, clean, warm, funky, etc.

Home Expectations

You probably have a picture painted in your mind of what you want your custom home to look like. Give your design-build team access to your imagination by communicating the following:

  • What one thing must your home have for it to be a 10?

  • Can you describe exactly what that looks like?

  • Why is this important to you?

  • If we could add one more thing to make it a 10+, what would that be?

  • What is the one thing you aren’t willing to compromise on in your new home?

  • What is the most important category of your budget? Plumbing fixtures? Appliances? Lighting? 


Imagery Collection

The final (and probably the most fun!) step to creating a foundation for your dream home design is compiling photos for your custom home to emulate. Putting together a montage of images, and the activity of doing so, will really get ideas flowing with a tangible catalogue of the features you want and demonstrates exactly what that looks like to you. Collect at least one image in each category:

  • Exterior Finishes

  • Interior Finish Palette

  • Kitchen Concept

  • Ensuite & Powder Room Concept

  • Lighting Concept

  • Fireplace Features

  • Stair Design & Details

  • Millwork Elements & Storage Ideas

  • And really any image that inspires you!

Architects and design-build firms are experts at creating innovative solutions to inspire fluidity, functionality, and fulfillment from inception, to construction, to completion of your custom home. Mapping out your wish-list means that everyone on your team has a clear idea of your priorities and can ensure your dreams truly become a reality. For a full checklist, or if you’re ready to begin the custom-build process, connect with us!

Alexandra Carnio