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HomeHomes
Published: Wednesday, 2/8/2006

How to Create the Home of Your Dreams

(ARA) - Options, accessories, alterations, choices, selection -- call it whatever you want, how we live today is all about customization. Whether you are shopping for a pair of shoes, an automobile or even a home, you can have it made your way. The options we have in front of us are limited only by our imagination.

For example when building a new home, we have the option to create our own design. Imagine trying to design your own automobile from the ground up -- a bit overwhelming, to say the least!

Overwhelmed was the mindset of Joe and Angie Dawson when they tried to find their perfect home plan. After ten years of dreaming and sketching, they were left looking through plan book after plan book. Trying to find a cookie-cutter floor plan that worked for them seemed impossible.

Knowing they wanted the natural beauty of wood and a distinctive look, a log home was their first choice. They called Wisconsin Log Homes to schedule a design consultation to get started. When they arrived at the corporate headquarters in Green Bay, Wis., the Dawsons literally had their thoughts and dreams in a shoebox. They had accumulated all these ideas, but had no clue how to put them into action. The sales consultant guided the Dawsons through their shoebox by going through a few simple exercises to help them understand how they wanted their home to look, how they wanted their home to feel and how they wanted to live in their new log home.

Here is a sneak peak at how the Dawsons got their custom design plans underway:

Get Organized. Most of us accumulate a rather hefty stack of magazines, newspaper clippings, and catalogs when starting a project of this caliber. Invest in a three ring binder and create tabs with labels of each room of your future home. Get organized by tearing out the pages that have interest to you and put them in the binder under the specific room. All the photos and ideas will now be at your finger tips. Keep it up to date and keep it handy.

Understand where you live now. If you don t know the square footage or room dimensions of your current home, now is a good time to grab a tape measure and a pad of paper. Once you have an inventory of your current home you can then evaluate whether you need to make rooms large or smaller. In addition, when you are reading blueprints you can relate to your current rooms to give you a sense of size.

Create wants and needs lists. This is a pretty simple exercise. Make a list of all the needs in your home. For example, some items on your needs list may include a stove, refrigerator, or a two car garage. The wants list may include items such as a jacuzzi tub, fireplace, large deck, or steam shower. Implement the needs list into your design first and the wants list second as your budget allows.

Get your ideas on paper. Before the first shovel of dirt can be dug, you have to have a plan. Whether you sketch out your ideas on a table napkin or hire an architect, your project will not get underway unless you take the ideas out of your head and get them on paper.

I was so pleased when I received my first set of plans. The design team was able to incorporate all my wants, needs and desires into the plan. The pictures were worth more than 1,000 words.

Now living in their log home, Joe and Angie routinely comment on how every day is like a vacation, such a relaxed atmosphere. Their only regret is that they didn t build their dream home sooner. Courtesy of ARA Content



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