If you are going to build a home for your family, why not build a luxury home? Now most of you are thinking, “How can we afford a luxury home?” There is nothing in the definition of the term “luxury home,” that requires it to be more expensive than any other home, though in most cases they are. You may be thinking, “We really don’t need a huge home like that.” However there is nothing in the definition of the term that mentions size either. So if a luxury home need not be large or expensive, what is a luxury home?
Defining Luxury Homes: What a Luxury Home is Not
Even real estate agents who specialize in luxury homes find it difficult to define the term “luxury home.” They generally explain first, what a luxury home is not. Every architect, real estate agent and luxury home builder has a favorite slang name for imposter luxury homes. Among the popular pejorative terms for expensive homes that don’t make the grade as luxury homes are, starter castles, 5000 square feet of stacked boxes, Hummer houses and McMansion.
• Larger than 5000 square feet, with a huge footprint
• Generic appearance
• Poor architecture and proportions
• No clear architectural style or multiple styles on the same home
• Numerous incongruous architectural features competing for attention
• Jumbled and unsettling appearance
• Inferior materials and poor workmanship
• Poor location, away from any point of interest
• Less than desirable lot, perhaps in a subdivision or city lot
• Pretentious and built to draw attention
• Nice on the inside, but ugly outside
• Overbuilt for the neighborhood
A luxury home can be any size. Many designers are building very tiny luxury homes of 750 to 1000 square feet. Most true modern luxury homes are of no more than 2500 square feet. A luxury home can be either expensive or inexpensive to build. Price and luxury are not always directly related. Much more important than price, taste, beauty, durability and comfort define luxury. Think of quality rather than quantity and you have the general idea.
• Architecturally significance
• One of a kind uniqueness
• Top quality materials
• Artistic design principles, such as correct proportion, balance and beauty
• A single, distinct architectural style
• Easily recognizable and distinct from other homes
• Exquisite architectural details
• Careful planning of window and door proportions and placement
• A luxury location near exciting venues or geographic attractions
• Must have a stunning view
• Preferably on a water front, mountain side or some other scenic location
• Delivers comfort and an uncommon feeling of luxury
• A good architect
• A great lot
• Attractive and creative décor
• Artistic details, such as expensive woodwork
• Top quality materials and craftsmanship
1. Find an Architect – Try contacting an architectural school, and asking the professor if he would hold a contest among his students, help you to pick a winner, and then sign off on one of the designs. If not, perhaps he would recommend a promising recent graduate. A new architect with promise might be a good substitute for an established architect and cost much less.
2. As a money-saving second choice, you could look on line for a house plan to meet your needs. This is cheating, since a luxury home should be unique and one of a kind, but it if your budget is really small, adapting an existing home plan is an option.
3. Select a nice Lot – Subdivisions are out of the question. Instead choose rural acreage. Create your own landscaping, including a long attractive driveway, with a pretty entrance. If you have neither natural water nor mountains in your area, then consider building a pond or fountain. If you are able to do the work yourself it won’t be too expensive. You might also consider an in ground pool, but only if you like to swim.
4. Research Luxury home lots and consider how you could adapt your lot for more beauty. Trees and plants are a must, as is expert landscaping. There is a lot of work in landscape design, and you may want to hire a landscaper, but if not then study the principles, and plan your landscape carefully. Consider the view from each window, to insure great scenic views.
5. Choose a quality home builder, or very talented spec house builder. It is very important to hire skilled craftsmen to work on your home. This is no job for a national corporation. You need someone with a lot of skill who is willing to put in the extra effort to create a superior home.
6. Scavenge for artistic woodwork. Visit salvaged lumber dealers for elegant, artistic woodwork at a fraction of the price. Shop around, and visit amateur and semi professional woodworkers to commission woodwork. Ask around your community, search flea markets, and local consignment shops to learn about woodworking artists. Your homebuilder might also be able to help find top quality millwork to suffice as moldings and other finishing touches.
7. Conduct a similar search for artwork, unusual plumbing fixtures and custom cabinetry. If you are artistically inclined you might also try producing some of the work yourself.
8. Through it all, continually ask friends who have good taste to help you select items for your home. Enlist friends to help you search for the right pieces.
Not all luxury homes have every element of a true luxury home, but by considering all the elements of a luxury home you will definitely create a much more valuable property. Remember that quality materials, expert craftsmanship, strength of structure, overall beauty and good design are the most crucial elements. For more information on building a luxury home, read the other articles on this site, and download our 98 page free book on home planning. Once you decide to build a luxury home, you will improve the quality of your construction, no matter what the budget.