Information and advice on the home construction process in Dallas, Texas.

Here are some ideas for custom homes in 2023:

  • Smart homes: Incorporate technology throughout the home to make it more convenient, energy efficient, and secure. This could include things like smart thermostats, automated lighting, and home security systems.

  • Sustainable materials: Use eco-friendly materials in the construction of the home, such as reclaimed wood, recycled steel, and low-VOC paint.

  • Indoor-outdoor living: Design the home to seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor spaces, with features like sliding glass doors, outdoor kitchens, and covered patios.

  • Multigenerational living: Consider designing a home that accommodates multiple generations, with separate living spaces or flexible floor plans.

  • Flexible spaces: Create a home with adaptable spaces that can be used for different purposes, such as a home office or a guest room.

  • Energy efficiency: Use energy-efficient appliances and materials to reduce the home’s carbon footprint and save on energy costs.

  • Natural light: Design the home to maximize the use of natural light, with large windows and skylights.

  • Home automation: Use home automation systems to control various systems in the home, such as the lighting, HVAC, and security.

  • Custom finishes: Choose custom finishes and fixtures, such as countertops, cabinets, and flooring, to make the home unique.

  • Water conservation: Incorporate water-saving features into the home, such as low-flow toilets and drought-resistant landscaping.

  • Accessibility: Consider designing the home with accessibility features, such as ramps, wide doorways, and lower countertops, to make it easier for people with disabilities to navigate.

Designing and building a custom home can be the culmination of a lifetime of hard work. Once this goal is finally realized, one of the most important elements of the project is knowing how to find and hire the right home builder. 

For many owners, designing their custom home will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and the process of hiring a builder should be approached with the utmost care and attention to detail. Most homeowners will work with the builder for anywhere from 12 to 18 months. Like any other working relationship, trust and communication are two of the most important elements involved.

If the job is done properly, the right home builder can get you a tremendous amount of value out of your new home. They will have a plethora of tips and the ability to provide support when you need it. A good home builder will be a peer and a mentor, ensuring you can efficiently navigate the difficult process of designing and constructing your home. 

When Should You Hire a Custom Home Builder

The hiring process for a builder should begin in the initial phases of design. One of the first things you will do is hire an architect to begin drawing up the blueprints for your home. 

It’s important that the builder works closely with the architect so they can plan certain construction and design elements together. Even before the actual construction begins, having the builder at your disposal is crucial for several reasons.

Having the architect’s completed floor plan will give you an idea of the types of contractors that will need to be hired to complete specific projects during the construction phase. Your home builder can assist in placing the right bids and negotiate prices for subcontractors and different materials. 

Your builder will help you come up with an efficient budget that contains a blend of value and quality. You should be able to rely on the builder to maximize your budget and get you the end results you’re counting on for your home. 

Before you officially hire the builder, a final price should be negotiated, and you should be clear on exactly what services the builder is providing you with. The following list is a good guideline on what the builder’s responsibilities should be on the project. 

What Is the Home Builder Responsible For?

Your home builder will essentially be the leader for the construction and design team of your home. The builder will represent you in negotiations with subcontractors and help to establish a realistic budget for the home.  Below is a list of the primary responsibilities of a home builder on your custom project.

  1. Finances

The home builder will work with the homeowner on any budget elements. They will track all costs for materials and labor and submit payment requests to the homeowner to pay out contractors and material providers. They will also provide any lien waivers for all completed work and prepare estimates to submit to the homeowner for future work that needs to be subbed out. 

  1. Management

The builder should take on the position of managing all contractors regardless of what portion of the house they are working on. They will also oversee all of the designers to ensure their work meets the requirements of the homeowner. 

  1. Middle-Man

The builder will also act as a middle-man between all of the contractors, designers, and governing bodies that sign and release all permits and licenses. 

  1. Approval

Any approval on behalf of the homeowner will be given to the builder. From there, they will give the go-ahead for any design specifications that are delegated to the design and contracting teams. 

  1. Ordering

Any materials that need to be ordered that have been requested by the contractors or design team will be handled by the builder. 

  1. Review

When any section of the home is complete or a contractor has submitted their request for payment, the builder will approve any final work. If any changes need to be made, the builder will specify these changes acting on behalf of the homeowner. 

  1. Disagreements

The builder should also be prepared to handle any disputes or disagreements between the homeowner and the design team. A master list should be adhered to by the builder at all times to ensure the homeowner’s requests are constantly being met. 

Now that you have a good idea of a custom home builder’s duties on the job site, you need to know how to find the appropriate builder. On the list below, we go into detail about the best places to find the right home builder for your custom home. 

Where Do I Find the Best Custom Home Builder? 

There are many different outlets that will assist you in the search for finding the right home builder. Use the following resources to obtain feedback on different builders in your area. 

  • Local realtors. Many local realtors will have information regarding the best places to find custom home builders. These realty companies work with various builders daily and normally won’t mind pointing you in the right direction to find the best builder for the job. 
  • Local banks. This option may come as a surprise, but local banks will normally have resources regarding local builders. When you obtain your loan, the financial institution will normally have information concerning different options you can choose. If a bank gives you a loan to build a home, they want to ensure that you are satisfied with the job and the build is long-lasting and efficient. This guarantees the money they loan is going to a worthwhile cause that you will be satisfied with. 
  • Your friends. If you have friends that have recently had a custom home designed and built, you can inquire about which company they used. Most builders will leave business cards and encourage previous clients to spread the word about their work, so this is a great place to look. 
  • Google. When all else fails, turn to Google and other search engines to obtain information. Different outlets like Yelp can also be helpful when you need quality reviews and information on construction companies and custom builders. 

When you are searching for your custom home builder, it’s important to know what elements to watch out for and what type of questions to ask. Use the list below as an outline for what things to look for when you are hiring a builder. 

What to Look for When Hiring a Custom Home Builder

There are several important characteristics to look for when you hire a custom home builder. The list below contains the most relevant dynamics to keep in mind when you are conducting your search. 

  1. Past Work

You should always ask for examples of past work when you consult with any potential builder. A professional and reliable builder will have a portfolio on hand, ready to show you examples of past jobs they’ve completed. 

  1. Workload

This is an often-overlooked question when it comes to hiring a home builder. You should inquire about their current workload to get a good idea of when they can start on your project. Many times homeowners hire a builder only to find out that they are backed up. This can cause problems when it comes to your potential completion date if you’re looking to get the job done in a certain length of time. 

  1. Communication

The builder should have sufficient communication skills when you are discussing the specifics of the job. They should show a clear attention to detail and listen to all of the specifications and requests you have about your home. 

  1. References

Any reputable builder will have references available upon request. If they don’t have reviews or testimonials on their website, ask them to produce references so you can contact past clients. If they avoid this subject or fail to produce any contacts for reference, it might be a good idea to move on to a different option. 

  1. Values/Morals

The builder should clearly state their values and morals when it comes to their work. Do they make any guarantees regarding quality and completion times? Most reputable builders will adhere to some sort of standard regarding customer service. 

  1. Types of Builds

You should never overlook this inquiry when you’re meeting with a potential builder. Ask them what types of builds they have completed in the past. There should be a solid ratio of custom to speculative builds. Not every builder is well versed in custom home builds and will lean more towards the speculative end of things. You are looking for a builder on the opposite end of the spectrum that specializes in the custom building area as opposed to cookie-cutter work. 

  1. Organization

Pay attention to how organized your builder is. Do they carry folders and have clear schedules they adhere to? If the builder seems unorganized and does things like ignore phone calls or fails to write things down, this is a clear sign they are not organized. 

Many homeowners have issues with deciding how to prepare for hiring a builder. This is potentially the most important part of hiring your builder. 

How to Prepare Yourself for Hiring a Custom Home Builder

There are certain steps you should take to prepare yourself for interviewing and hiring any potential home builder. The steps below are a great guideline for how to get yourself ready for this process.

  1. Start With a Broad List

Start off by preparing a broad list of home builders in your area. You can use the list above for resources on finding potential suitors. Your search should be far and wide, making sure to add as many possible options to the hat as you can find. 

You will end up doing more in-depth research about each possible candidate, and in the end, narrow your results down to a select few options. 

  1. Extensive Research

Once you’ve scoured the internet and exhausted all your resources for finding potential building companies, you can start investigating each one further. Take your list and start looking for reviews for each builder, one by one. Use search engines, Yelp, ask friends and family, and other local resources to get the skinny on each of these companies. 

Use the following criteria to eliminate potential builders that don’t fit the description of what we are looking for. 

  • If they have a lot of unfavorable reviews, you can cross them off the list. 
  • When there isn’t a lot of information about their business online, most likely, you can eliminate them. 
  • If they don’t promptly respond to inquiries via phone or e-mail, take them off your list. You don’t want communication problems after you hire a builder. 
  1. Making Contact

After eliminating several options from your broad list, you can start making contact with potential builders. This step in the process will be used to find out whether they can cater to your specific job or not. You might find just by calling and asking a few simple questions about the scope of their work whether they are a suitable option. 

Call each business on the list, and give them a brief description of the work you would like completed. This will normally be a short “yes, we can” or a “no, we can’t.” Don’t waste much time on this step or get caught up in long conversations. 

  1. Interview the Short List

The goal is to have your list narrowed down to about three or four options by this point. From here, you can call each builder to set up an in-person interview to get more specific about your custom home build. 

The list below contains the most appropriate questions to ask the builder during the interviews you schedule. 

Interview Questions For Potential Home Builders

You will want to prepare yourself for your interview with the home builder and add more detailed questions regarding your custom home. First, you will need to answer a few questions yourself in advance to prepare for your interview.

Questions You Should Ask Yourself First

  • Do you have architect plans drawn up and a lot already purchased?
  • If you don’t have plans, what types of designs do you like? You should have these ready for the builder.
  • Are there any particular neighborhoods or areas you prefer if you haven’t already purchased a lot? 
  • Do you have an established budget for your custom home?
  • What is the timeline for beginning your build? 

When you prepare for your interview, keep in mind that you are the customer. The builder should display clear listening skills and have a concern for how you want the job done. 

Each builder should be willing to guide you but not be too assertive or attempt to sway you from your specifications. If a builder is being too pushy or trying to steer you away from specific things you want, you might want to eliminate them. Making suggestions is okay, but they should always be willing to attempt to adhere to your standards. 

Best Questions to Ask Your Potential Home Builder

  • Are you able to work with my design team and stick to the figures I have laid out for my budget?
  • What type of proposal do you offer that displays the exact cost of building my home? 
  • What type of deposit do you require? How much money do you need for preconstruction services?
  • How do you prefer to be compensated for completing my build?
  • Do you have experience in building the style of home I have laid out in my plans?
  • Who will supervise the project, and are they available to speak to me when I need them? 
  • Who will be the on-site supervisor? May I meet with them before the project begins?
  • Who do I direct my questions and concerns to once the construction phase begins?
  • Are you available at all hours via cell phone if the matter is urgent? 
  • How long have your contractors been working with you? Do you have regular suppliers that you use? 
  • When changes arise, what form of communication do you use to stay on the same page with the designer and other contractors?
  • How long will my project take?
  • How does your warranty work after my project is complete? 

Any reputable and professional builder will be able to promptly answer all of these questions and more. If you have other concerns regarding your build specifically, you should add them to the list for your interview. 

In the same way that you are looking for the correct answers to these questions, there are also red flags you should look for during the interview. The list below are the red flags you should look for when you are conducting your interview with the builder. Any sign of these red flags should warrant you cutting the interview short and moving on. 

Red Flags to Look for During the Interview

Pay close attention to how the interview goes. You want to watch out for any of the following red flags when you meet with the builder. 

  1. They don’t come prepared with a written contract, or the contract is written poorly.

When a builder shows up to meet for an interview, they should already have a contract written up. If they don’t, ask them how long it will take to have the contract. Sometimes they have a secretary waiting to draw up the exact details. If they show up with a poorly written contract, don’t sign it. Move on to the next option. 

If they do have a contract ready, examine all of the details, making sure spaces are blank to fill in your specific details. Nothing should be set in stone until you have approved it. 

  1. The proposed price is much lower than the others you have received.

This is a huge red flag when hiring a home builder. If the price is much lower than reviews you have read or other feedback you’ve received, this is a clear warning. Sometimes builders are going out of business and will shoot you a low price just to get your money. After they receive a deposit, you might not ever see them again.

Alternatively, a too-good-to-be-true price is the sign of an inexperienced builder. It’s also possible that they are using cheap material providers, which is definitely something you don’t want. 

  1. Work history is unfavorable

We covered this earlier, but it’s worth touching on again. If the builder doesn’t have proper references, or if the reviews are unfavorable, move on to your next option. It’s not worth the risk. 

  1. The builder’s price per square foot is vague or hard to understand

The builder’s price per square foot should be clear and easy to understand. If there are additional costs added to the final price that you can’t understand or they can’t clearly answer for, move on to the next potential option. At a minimum, they should be able to explain the figures on their estimate.

  1. Heavy reliance on allowances for the final bid

If there is a lot left in question in regards to the bid for allowances, this is a red flag. Regardless of how custom the build is, they should still have a clear idea of what the final price will be.

  1. They are pushy or forceful

If the builder is pushy or gives you the hard sell, this is a huge red flag. Any reputable builder will remain calm and listen to your requests during the process. They should not be forceful or pushy in any way or try to force certain design elements on you. 

  1. They have unresolved claims

An unprofessional builder will have unresolved claims left with the State Contractor’s Board. If you find a high number of these claims, run for the hills. This means they haven’t finished jobs that they have been paid for or received deposits on. 

  1. They can’t provide certificates, licenses, or insurance proof

You should always ask the builder for the appropriate license information and proof of insurance. If they don’t have this readily available, take them off your list. Dealing with a builder without the proper insurance is the worst possible situation you can put yourself in. 

  1. The builder offers discounts to use your home for marketing purposes

This is a red flag and just a weird question to ask, honestly. Most builders should ask if they can use your home for their portfolio, to begin with. If they are offering discounts for this privilege, they most likely are desperate for business. 

  1. They offer a lump sum discount

If they ask for money upfront or a discount for a lump sum payment, you are most likely dealing with a con artist or a builder behind on their work. Regardless of the situation, this isn’t a builder you want to do business with. 

  1. Poor communication

If it takes a long time for the builder to answer your calls and follow up with you, move along. Showing these habits, in the beginning, is a clear sign that communication will be an issue once the construction starts. This can pose potential deadline issues moving forward. 

The final list of questions you need to prepare are inquiries for past clients. After the builder has provided you with a list of past customers, there are certain things you need to ask them that are extremely vital. 

Questions to Ask Past Customers

Use the following list as a good starting point for questions to ask past clients. You can add or subtract from this list as you see fit. 

  1. Did the project stay on budget?

It’s important to find out if past projects stayed on budget. This can give you a glimpse into whether your project will go over budget, which is something you might not be able to afford. 

  1. Was the original estimate accurate?

Ask the clients if the original estimate received was accurate. You want to know how close to the original figure the builder got so you know what to expect moving forward. 

  1. Was the project completed on time?

This is one of the most important questions you can pose to a past client. It’s vital that the builder meets your deadline standards and won’t leave you hanging when it comes to the completion date. 

  1. Was the paperwork easy to understand?

Ask them how easy to understand the paperwork was. You don’t want any surprise figures or difficult-to-read language in any of the paperwork that is drawn up. Asking past clients can be a good indicator of how easy the builder is to do business with. 

  1. What is your overall opinion of the builder?

This is a simple but important question to ask. Find out what their general opinion was of the builder. If given another opportunity, would they use them again? Did they recommend them to any other friends or family? These are important details to note when you speak with past clients. 

  1. Were decisions or changes met in a timely manner?

If potential changes arise on the construction site, it’s important that the builder stays collected and deals with changes in a timely manner. You don’t want any potential hangups if the builder can’t come up with a remedy or agree with the other contractors and designers. 

  1. How was the communication?

Ask them how the builder did regarding communication. Did he return their calls in a timely fashion? Was he hard to get ahold of in emergency situations? Was he available most of the time via cell phone?

  1. What role did the builder play during construction?

Was the builder on-site during most of the construction phase? If the builder didn’t make themselves a presence in the field of construction, this could be a red flag that they aren’t controlling the situation properly. 

  1. Are there any other key figures you would request?

Were there any other contractors or material companies you should request specifically? Were there any highlights that stood out on the job you should know about and request for your build? 

  1. Was the worksite kept clean? How did they leave your home?

The construction site should be kept clean at all times. Once the project is finished, the site should be immaculate and ready for you to move into your brand-new home. No trash, debris, or tools should be leftover once you begin moving in. 

  1. Are there any contractors I should avoid?

Asking who they recommend is important, but finding out who to avoid can be just as important. Ask them if there are any specific contractors you should steer clear of. Are there any material providers that didn’t meet up to their standards? You should always find out what to avoid on your custom home build. This will save you any headaches moving forward with your project. 

Before you hire your builder, here are a few elements you should look for. 

  • Are they accredited by the BBB?
  • Are they licensed and bonded?
  • Do they have trade and supplier references?


Hiring the right home builder doesn’t have to be a difficult process. However, it should be a very careful process. Don’t rush through your list of potential candidates or overlook any important details. 

Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to prepare lists of questions and make phone calls. Don’t let any builder rush you to make a decision. If they are reputable, they will appreciate the fact that you are doing your homework. 

Additionally, many builders won’t even require you to ask for the information you are looking for. They will make things like licenses, insurance, and reviews available before you can even ask for them. Look for signs like this when conducting your interviews and research. 

Use the list of questions in the article as a good starting point for interviewing all the appropriate parties. Remember, you want to interview the builder and past clients. Sticking to these guidelines will ensure that you make the appropriate decisions and find the home builder you want! 


Building a home can be a great opportunity to construct that home office you’ve always wanted if you work remotely. There are too many occasions where remote workers clock in from a kitchen table with stacks of paper around them. Maybe you have a makeshift desk in the living room where you work from the couch. Either way, designing and building your custom home can put an end to your less than satisfactory working conditions. 

Having a work area large enough to accommodate your needs can go a long way for people who work from home. Extra space keeps you more organized and leads to a higher quality of work in the end. Sure, you can buy expensive desks with different features, but why settle for that when you can customize your own office with extra bells and whistles? 

If you’ve been thinking about constructing a home and you work remotely, we’ve got the perfect article for you. Keep reading for seven design options for your custom home if you work remotely. 

  1. Built-In Desk and Office Area

If you live in a home where it may not be necessary to have a private room where you can block out noise, you can take advantage of this inconspicuous design. A built-in desk and office area are perfect for a quiet home for a retiree or parents who have children that have already left the nest. 

The desk can be built directly into the wall to suit your height—select stylish and sturdy cabinets, cubbies, and shelves to house all of your supplies. Pick a color to match your home’s theme, and you’re good to go. 

  1. Lighting the Area

Regardless of the type of office you build, we decided this had to be on the list because of its importance. The lighting in your work area is extremely important. Take advantage of new construction by building brilliant light fixtures to brighten up your remote work area. 

You can design larger, main overhead lights for nighttime work. Another idea we like is smaller, built-in desk lamp style fixtures for mid-level on the wall. 

  1. Noise Proof

If you have a home with younger children, you know the pain of trying to do computer work with screaming toddlers. It can be nearly impossible and leaves you frustrated beyond belief. If you’re designing and building a new home, this is your chance to remedy these situations. 

Reserve an area of the home for a soundproof room. Specialty wall materials can be installed to block out noises from the inside or out. Alternatively, you can design the office in a completely different wing or area of the home. A backyard home office can be built separately or build an addition onto the garage.

  1. Under the Stairs

Underneath the stairway is a cute, cozy place to design your home office. If the requirements of your remote job are minimal, you can easily design a small office space beneath the stairs. You can choose to leave these open or install a small sliding door to allow for more privacy. Take this idea to another level and incorporate a built-in desk like the office from idea number one. 

  1. Attic Space

For some reason, we feel like this would be a great option for a writer. If your custom home has sufficient attic space, consider using it for a remote office instead of just storage. If your home is a higher elevation and there’s a view to take in, make sure you position the main portion of the office next to a window. Taking advantage of a breathtaking view can be a great way to inspire you to get into your work. 

  1. Pocket Office

Pocket offices are growing in popularity. You might not need a luxurious, sprawling property to make this design come true, but they’re relaxing and stylish either way. These offices are installed in cutouts along the walls, similar to how a breakfast nook would be arranged. Position them in front of windows to get the benefits of natural lighting. 

  1. The Style of a Study

We reserved the best for last. Add the highest levels of style and build yourself a classy study full of all the typical elements you would expect of such a design. Build custom shelves along the walls for your favorite books and literature. Pick your favorite lighting and include a luxury touch on the ceiling design. Finally, don’t forget the large oak desk. This is important. 


There are two levels of being a homeowner. Many people work hard to reach the point of buying a previously owned home built by someone else. There’s nothing wrong with this, and it’s certainly an achievement that anyone can be proud of. 

The next level is reserved for people who hit exceptional financial goals. The highest level of homeownership includes the owner designing the house themselves, customizing it on every level, and having a team of construction workers complete the process. 

For homeowners that have homes built, there are two main categories that this type of construction falls under. There is a custom home, and there is a spec-built home. The latter is also known as a speculative build. 

The main difference between the two is that a speculative build is designed and constructed with the goal of flipping the house for a profit. A custom-built home is normally intended to house the owner for a long period of time. This could be considered a type of dream home, with all the bells and whistles the owner drew up over time as they worked towards achieving this goal. 

Differences Between the Two

Speculative Build

A speculative build has less thought put into it by the owner. Normally, a speculative build is designed based on current home-building trends. Consumer preference is normally adhered to when these homes are constructed since the intention is to sell them as fast as possible so the owner can turn a profit.

These homes are most often built in larger developments or sub-divisions. Many of the design and layout elements of the home will be fairly generic. 

Custom Build

The custom build has a lot more planning involved. The owners take a much more hands-on approach during the planning phases of the home. Owners will plan out every element from the land the house goes on to the foundation design, the electrical and plumbing layout, all the way down to the most basic finishing touches. 

Owners normally aren’t in a hurry to sell a custom home. Years of thought and planning are put into the design. Because of this, these homes are normally resided in by the owners for a very long time. It may end up being the final home they live in. Retirees make up a large portion of the population that has custom homes built.

Pros and Cons of Each Build

Pros of Spec-Build

  • Fast construction
  • More affordable
  • It can be more appealing to buyers because of the trendy designs 
  • Builders take care of permits and all the legal details

Cons of Spec-Build

  • Not as many location choices
  • Fewer design options

Pros of a Custom-Build

  • You choose the land and area the home is built on 
  • The entire house is customed from top to bottom based on your design requests
  • You know what materials and work was put into the house 
  • If you decide to change certain elements, it’s easier to make changes or additions to your own design

Cons of a Custom-Build

  • Can be more expensive
  • Requires a lot more planning and pulling permits on your own

What’s the Best Decision for You?

If you’re planning on building a brand new home, you’ll have to make the decision between a spec-build and a custom-build. It might seem like a tough decision, but answering a few important questions can help you make your decision. 

  • Do you plan on profiting from the home immediately? Is it an investment property?
  • How long do you plan on living in the home?
  • Do you have the budget to design and finish the construction of a custom build if you plan on making the home permanent?

Custom homes can be a great decision for retirees and homeowners that plan for a more rural environment. However, spec-builds can be great for younger homeowners who want to invest and profit quickly, allowing them to build their portfolios. Take your time planning it out, and go with what suits your budget and future the best!

Building your custom home in Dallas-Fort Worth can be one of the greatest joys of your life, as you watch your dream take shape. But that dream can quickly turn into a nightmare if you go about it the wrong way. When you are this close to such a major life goal, you do not want to have any regrets.

To help you love the process just as much as the finished product, we have put together this list of the Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Building Your Custom DFW Home.

Not Building a Complete Team from the Very Beginning

You already know that you need an expert team of experienced professional specialists to help you shape your vague vision and turn your dreams into a custom home you can be proud of. When you bring everybody together from the very start, you can create a collaborative approach that has the entire team cooperating and communicating under the shared umbrella of a common philosophy.

Look at it another way — every time you bring someone aboard, one-by-one, later in the process, they tend to have their own individual ideas. They will want to make late-stage changes that take you farther away from your original plan and that will end up costing you more money. –

Relying on Your Builders for Inspiration

Your team is there to listen to you, advise you, and guide you as your custom Dallas home becomes a reality. They may give you choices, but it is not their job to give you ideas. The dream is yours, not theirs. In fact, the more unsure you are about what you want, the more likely they are to nudge you towards safer, more conventional options that they can build faster.

That takes the “custom” right out of it.

So where can you find inspiration?

Literally…everywhere. If you see a design feature in a magazine, a website, a television program, or another home that catches your eye, show it to your design team and open up the possibilities. 

Compromising on Location to Save a Few Bucks

We’ve said it before, and it will always bear repeating — the site on which you choose to build your Dallas custom home is the single-biggest factor that determines your ultimate long-term happiness. 

Because you or course want to save as much money as possible, it can be tempting to start with the lot, a seemingly-controllable expense. But that is actually short-sighted and does not serve your best interests.

The right property:

  • Contributes to your home’s unique character
  • Allows you to add more custom amenities and features
  • Protects your privacy
  • Gives you access to better schools, shopping, and entertainment
  • Supports a better work-life balance
  • Increases the resale value of your home

In fact, according to, living in a neighborhood with the wrong features can affect the resale value of your home by up to 22%.

Choosing a Standard Plan When What You Need is a Custom Design

The custom home of your dreams should truly be one-of-a-kind, designed with the unique needs of you and your family in mind. While you might think that you can save time and money by modifying a pre-existing standard floor plan, the end result often falls short of expectations.

Even worse, when you make too many modifications because you are trying to force a fit, the savings you were hoping for disappear in unnecessary delays and expenses.

Trying to Direct the Work of Subcontractors

When you visit the construction site while work is going on, you might see dozens of workers going about their jobs. It can be tempting to want to give them instruction as they work on what will ultimately be your custom home. After all, you want things to be perfect.

But here’s the most important consideration about the subcontractors hired to work on your home — leave them alone.

While it might seem counterintuitive to say that you cannot instruct someone hired to do work on your home, keep this in mind — these subcontractors were brought in by your builder to accomplish specific tasks. If you come in and start giving directions, you may actually interfere with the plans and schedule already in place.

The one person who has all the information necessary to keep everything running as smoothly as possible is the builder who is overseeing the entire construction process.  Therefore, they are the only person who should be directly communicating with the individual workers. If you have legitimate concerns, share them with your Dallas custom builder and let them address any  problems.

Building your own home is about desire…fantasy. But it’s achievable. Anyone can do it.”

~ Kevin McCloud, World-renowned design expert

When planning to build a home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, you may wonder if it is better to go with an existing stock floor plan or choose a custom home design that was created  just for you.

If you are like most people, you probably have only a very general idea of what you want and need in your new home — the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the inclusion of a home office, and so on.

When you meet with most builders, they will show you a huge selection of existing stock plans that meet your basic requirements. While that may sound convenient, it does have its drawbacks.

Having so many options can actually be overwhelming and frustrating. You flip through plan after plan that are close, but not exactly what you are really looking for. After looking at dozens or even hundreds of stock plans, you give up and settle for the next best thing that almost matches what you had in mind.

But what if you didn’t have to settle?

After all, shouldn’t your “dream home” match your dream?

To help that dream become a reality, here are 4 Reasons Why You Should Choose a Custom Home Design Over a Stock Floor Plan.

#1 Your Unique Needs

No one else’s lifestyle is identical to yours. A generic floor plan will almost certainly not meet the specific individual needs of you or your family. And the more unique those needs are, the more important customization becomes.

Important considerations that demonstrate why a custom home design might be the right choice for you include:

  • You have a large family — This affects more than just the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. You might also need larger living and dining areas, wider hallways, a bigger garage, expanded laundry space, a high-capacity kitchen, and more closets and storage than is typical.
  • Younger versus older children — An open floor plan that allows easy supervision might be the best option if you have young children, while older kids or young adults have a greater need for privacy. And while your younger children might like a playroom, older ones want bigger bedrooms.
  • Elderly or special-needs family members — Properly equipping a home for someone with physical challenges often requires several design modifications — wheelchair ramps, wider hallways and door openings, handrails, accessible bathrooms, lower countertops and cabinets, and special flooring, for example.
  • You entertain often — If you like to throw parties and have friends over, you might need a larger living area than would be typical for just your family. Frequent entertaining also necessitates a bigger-than-normal kitchen and more pantry space.
  • You work from home — The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we work, making a private home office a greater necessity than ever. A stock floor plan might not include the features you need for your ideal workspace — soundproofing, storage, premium lighting, extra electrical outlets, etc.

With just these few examples, you can clearly see how your lifestyle is the biggest factor that should determine the design of your home

Instead of wasting time and getting frustrated  by generic floor plans that do not fit your unique lifestyle, find the right Dallas home builder who will listen and create a custom home plan with your needs in mind.

#2  You Might Save Serious Money

It is true that using a stock floor plan is generally less expensive in the beginning than having a custom home design created and constructed. But those savings start to rapidly evaporate if you need to make extensive modifications.

Matt Clancy, Director of Sales at eCommerce, says, “Oftentimes, it costs more than the plan itself.”

Making major changes to an existing floor plan may mean that your home builder has to temporarily bring in an architect on a cost-inefficient hourly basis. In general, modified ready-to-build house plans can run 1.25% of the total value of the home or more.

Then there are the risks associated with “redlining”. As the name implies, this is when modifications are made by making red marks on the plan.

Problems can arise during construction, however, because the builder — the person you mainly deal with — will typically have the main working copy of the house plan, while the subcontractors will have their own copies. If a quick redline change is made on the builder’s main copy, and it is not communicated or transcribed properly on each of the subcontractors’ copies, the result can be expensive mistakes and delays.

As Clancy warns, “(Redling) can be very costly to the homeowner.”

On the other hand, customized home plans are formally drawn up exactly to specifications. Everyone receives identical copies, reducing the likelihood of human error.

Another advantage to opting for a custom home design is you can also include the services of the architect who created the plan. While they may not normally show up on-site when frequently-used stock house plans are being used, architects often oversee custom home construction projects.

#3 You Home Can Match the Land

The land you decide to build on will largely determine the best plans for your home. The old phrase, “location, location, location” is especially apropos here in the Dallas area.

For example, if you have purchased a lot in the Belmont Conservation District, the Homeowner’s Association may place limits on the style of home you can build.

In a case like this, your best bet might be to go with an existing stock floor plan.

On the other hand, if you want to build your custom home in a more rural or scenic area, you are freer to choose a more customized home design. After all, if you own land south of Dallas along the Texas Bluebonnet Trail, or you decide to go west of Fort Worth and live among the peach trees in Weatherford, you will want a custom home that complements the natural local beauty.

#4 Your Home Can Truly Be One-of-a-Kind

Why do you want to build a home in Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington? It’s probably not because you want a house that is just like everybody else’s. And yet, that is exactly what happens in too many neighborhoods.

Many of these houses were the same, and many were completely identical to each other because they were being built by a single developer. At the time, it was criticized for wasting land and all looking the same,” says Richard Mohler, Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Washington.

If you hate the idea of living in a boring cookie-cutter home, opting for a custom design over a stock plan gives you the opportunity to build a home that fits your personality and interests.

The Bottom Line: Custom Design versus Stock Floor Plan

At the end of the day, you build your home for yourself. While resale value will always be a consideration, the most important thing is the enjoyment you and your family get out of living there.

And because your home is an extension of your personality, you can never go wrong when you choose a custom design instead of a stock home plan.

In the past, we used to see more enclosed spaces. And (lately) people have been opening it up and doing more open floor plans in general. Now that we’re faced with the reality that we do have to use our homes as our working places as well, we have to be mindful of that and create the best of the interior, where function is just as important as the aesthetic.”

~ Oksana Kreiman, Interior Designer

One of the first steps in the process of building a custom home in Dallas is deciding on the right floor plan for your family and your lifestyle. For the past 70 years, one of the most popular styles in new home construction has been the open floor plan.

But what does that mean, exactly?

And more importantly, is an open floor plan still the best fit in 2021 and beyond?

The pandemic has changed how we view and use our homes, blurring the lines between home life and work life, aesthetics and function, and even indoors and outdoors. Now more than ever, we expect – or even DEMAND – that our homes meet all of our needs.

To that end, we are going to take a closer look at what an open floor plan is, and the Pros and Cons you should consider. This way, you will be better informed and can make your dream home a reality.

First Things First — What is an Open Floor Plan?

Prior to World War II, most rooms were single-function and separated by walls. For example, the kitchen, dining, and living areas were each individual rooms within the home, and there was little-to-no interaction between them. Even common or entertaining spaces were separate from other rooms.

Post-war improvements in materials and design made it possible to change all that. Interior load-bearing walls could be replaced with heavy-duty beams, thereby opening up the common areas and forming a “great room”.

Private areas such as bedrooms, bathrooms, and home offices still follow the traditional closed-off design. With an open floor plan, you literally get the best of both worlds.

The Benefits of an Open Floor Plan

(Open floor plans are) definitely more desirable for most buyers. I’d say about 90% of buyers want some sort of open floor plan in their house.”

~ Andrew Dellavecchia, Real Estate Professional

There are many good reasons why open floor plans are so popular among both buyers and those who are building a custom home.

PRO: More Room for the Size

With fewer partition walls, you can enjoy more room on the interior of your home without having to actually pay for a larger house. You make maximum use of the space you have.

PRO: Higher Resale Value

According to, a home with an open floor plan has an annual appreciation rate of 7.4%. That places it above other “premium features” such as a patio (6.8%), hardwood floors (5.7%), a fireplace (5.3%), or granite countertops (2.5%).

PRO: Flexibility

Because the kitchen flows into the dining area and because the dining area flows into the living area, there are no hard-and-fast limitations as to how you can use the interior of your home. If you want to make a change, all you have to do is rearrange your furniture and decorations.

PRO: More Interaction and Engagement

With an open floor plan, you are not cut off from family and friends just because you are in another room. For example, while you are preparing dinner in the kitchen, you can still keep an eye on your children as they play in the living room. In an open concept home, the family can be together, even when each person is busy doing their own thing.

PRO: Better Traffic Flow

Without walls and doors to get in the way, you and your family can move around your home easier. This is an especially-important consideration if you have a large family.

PRO: Shared Light

Again, the lack of walls means that light is not blocked inside your home. Instead of independently lighting an individual closed-off room, the windows in an open-floor plan home work together to increase the amount of health-boosting natural light.

PRO: Better Air Flow

With an open floor plan, the common areas of your home will not feel cramped or stuffy. Because there are no obstacles, air can circulate more freely.

The Drawbacks of an Open Floor Plan

The thought was that an open and informal plan would create a sense of ease, but people are realizing that it also means everything has to be organized, or else the house can quickly feel cluttered.”

~ Andrew Cogar, President of Historical Concepts Architectural Firm

Despite the many advantages, there are nonetheless other considerations that you should be aware of.

CON: Higher Construction Costs

Because there are fewer load-bearing walls, contractors have to use more-expensive heavy-duty beams to support the roof and any upper levels. This could make a real difference in the final cost of your custom home.

CON: More Expensive to Heat and Cool Your Home

The typical open-concept home has high ceilings and large windows, making it much harder to keep heating and cooling costs down. On the contrary, traditional floor plans let you heat or cool individual rooms as needed. This is a major consideration in the Dallas-fort Worth area, where the summers are long and hot.

CON: Less Privacy

While an open floor plan promotes greater social interaction, it does make it harder to find a quiet space for studying or reading, unless you want to retreat to your office or bedroom.

CON: Noise Control

Without walls to block and absorb sound, a home with an open floor plan tends to be much noisier. This can be a nuisance if you are trying to relax, work, or have a conversation.

CON: Less Wall Space

The lack of partition walls means you will have fewer places to hang artwork, decorations, awards, and family pictures.

CON: Fewer Electrical Outlets

In the same way, fewer walls means fewer places to install electrical outlets. This can somewhat limit where you can place your electrical devices within your home.

CON: Harder to Keep Neat

While you might think that having a large open area makes it easier to keep clean, the opposite is often true. Because you can see everything at once, the common areas can quickly appear cluttered if you do not constantly keep them clean and organized. In an open concept home, organization is a must.

The Bottom line About an Open Floor Plan in Your Custom Home

As evidenced by their enduring popularity, many home buyers and builders prefer open floor plans. Although there are drawbacks, they are generally outweighed by the many positives. The best way to maximize your options and truly have the custom home of your dreams is to discuss the available open floor plan designs with your building team.

There are a lot of things to consider when building a custom home in Dallas — who to hire, the building materials you will use, eco-friendliness, the number and sizes of rooms, the amenities you want to include, and so on. But what is often overlooked is a design consideration that can mean all the difference when it comes to feeling comfortable and secure in your own home — privacy.

According to, 65% of owners say it is important to have a home that provides personal privacy. Yet 21% admit that they are not satisfied with their current home’s level of privacy. In other words, a significant number of people want, but cannot find, existing homes that meet their need for privacy.

Jeremy Burbank, the Vice-President at the Demand Institute, says, “The lack of privacy is more pronounced among younger households who live in cities and close-in suburbs.” That description certainly fits Dallas and some of the nearby communities. 

Your home is supposed to be your sanctuary away from the world, where you can escape from the constant noise and hustle and bustle of a busy metro like Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington. You want to keep the outside world from intruding and spoiling your peace, and you want to know what happens in your home stays in your home.

But there is also a need for privacy within the home, so you can separate the public and private spaces. For example, when you have guests over, you do not want the entertaining areas to encroach on private areas like family bedrooms or your home office.

With that need in mind, let us take a closer look at some of the things you and your contractors can do to build your custom home with privacy in mind.

Location, Location, Location

It is an old adage because it is completely true. 

In terms of privacy, peace, and quiet, where you build is just as important as how you build. For example, according to D Magazine, a Department of Transportation “noise map” found that the areas around Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Love Field, and the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base west of Fort Worth are the noisiest local neighborhoods.

How noisy?

Anyone unlucky enough to live nearby could potentially have to endure over 80 decibels every day, multiple times a day. To put that in perspective, that is roughly the equivalent of the noise produced by a garbage disposal. Neighborhoods near major highways are also to be avoided due to noise pollution. Busy traffic can produce up to 70 decibels, about the same as a vacuum cleaner.

To help you determine which DFW neighborhoods are most-affected by transportation noises, use this interactive map, created by the DOT.

But you have to consider more than just airports and highways, because sometimes, the trouble comes from the neighbors. For example, one neighborhood in West Oak Cliff  generated 320 noise complaints in just one year.

Keep in mind that the noise level of your home can also be affected by proximity to construction, railways, schools, sporting events, entertainment venues, certain types of businesses, and, of course, your neighbors.

There is good news, however, if you are looking at building a custom home within Dallas city limits, because local officials are trying to crack down on excessive noise.

All this means that you have to choose your build site carefully, and may even need to consider smaller nearby suburban cities or even more rural areas.

Soundproofing Solutions

After you have picked as quiet a location as possible, the next-best way to keep the noise level down in your home is to employ any or all of several different soundproofing options during construction:

  • Acoustic Panels — These sound-deadening panels are installed on your interior walls, not under them, and come in different thicknesses. Just one inch is sufficient to stop the noise of a train.
  • Floating Hardwood Floor — Sound penetration is reduced by the gap between the subfloor and the actual floor.
  • Carpet, Rugs, and Padding — Reducing vibration lessens sound transference.
  • Solid-Core or Insulated Doors — By installing solid-core wooden doors or doors with insulated foam cores on both the exterior and the interior, you will see a drastic reduction in noise.
  • Window Upgrades — Did you know that windows are typically the biggest culprit in your home when it comes to noise transmission? Triple panes, gas fillings, foam insulating within the window frame, bulb seal seats for the glass, and even the caulking makes a world of difference. Also, the materials matter, because wooden, vinyl, and fiberglass windows conduct far less sound than windows made of aluminum.
  • Wall Insulation — Spray foam insulation works best for dampening airborne noise, while fiberglass insulation is superior for impact noise.

Thinking Outside the Box

If privacy is one of your top priorities in your new custom home, you will definitely want to discuss this with your builder. There are sure to be house plans that satisfy your desire for privacy, although finding your ideal solution may mean looking at other-than traditional designs.

For example, one innovative idea may be to build your custom home with no ground-level windows facing the street. While you might expect that to lead to a darkened interior, you can compensate by adding a bank of extra-large windows in the back of the home. You could also increase the amount of natural light with the installation of a skylight, clerestory windows, or reflective solar tubing.  

And that is just one option. If you can be creative, you will find multiple ways to increase the privacy level of your home, while still showcasing your sense of style. 

Looking at the Layout

The floor plan of your home matters a great deal when it comes to privacy, from both guests and visitors and from other family members. While many of the noise-proofing measures reduce sound transference within the home, the right physical layout also helps prevent intrusions into private areas.

For example, family bedrooms or private offices should not be immediately adjacent to or accessible from public or entertaining areas like the living room. Instead, there should be some kind of buffer between the two. In a single-story home, this could be a guest bathroom or bedroom, while in a multi-level home, all the private family bedrooms could be placed upstairs.

Another way to promote privacy within your home is to have more bathrooms than bedrooms. If possible, each individual family bedroom should have a bathroom, and there should be an extra bathroom — or even a half-bath — for guests, near the public areas of the house.

Not only does this keep the personal area undisturbed, it also increases the resale value of your home.

Planning with Plants

Believe it or not, one of the best ways to protect your privacy at home is through strategic landscaping. In fact, you get the best of both worlds — privacy and natural beauty.

 Some suggestions:

  • Privacy Hedges — These are fast-growing evergreens that help seclude your property. Popular varieties include cherry laurel, box hedging, holly, and privet.
  • Trees — Mature trees provide privacy, beauty, shade, and can form a natural fence boundary around your home. Consider species such as Thuja Green Giant Arborvitae, Willow, Leyland Cypress, Eastern White Pine, or Paper Birch.
  • Climbers — Climbing vines can take your landscaping in a whole new direction as it covers fences and walls. And because many climbers are also flowering plants, they add a splash of color to your yard. Among the top choices are clematis, wisteria, trumpet vine, and climbing roses and  hydrangeas.

Finish with Fencing and Walls

For the ultimate in outdoor privacy, it is hard to beat a quality fence or wall. 

Most backyard privacy fences are  6 or 8 feet tall and are made of wood or vinyl. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Wooden fences — usually pine or red cedar — can be stained or painted any color, allowing you to create any look you can imagine. In the event of damage, you can purchase individual panels and pickets at any home improvement store, which means repairs are simple and inexpensive. 

On the downside, wooden fences require regular maintenance. An untreated wooden fence quickly fades and becomes an eyesore. Without that protective treatment, the wood is also susceptible to warping and rot.

Vinyl fences are made to be virtually maintenance-free. They do not rot and they do not require seasonal treatment.

On the other hand, low-quality vinyl fences are subject to UV degradation. In extreme temperatures, they can warp or become brittle. Color options are limited, and they cannot be painted.

Although they are considerably more expensive than fencing, boundary walls made from brick or stone protect your privacy, provide security, and give your home a stately appearance.  These walls are completely maintenance-free, resistant to the elements, and impervious to incidental damage.

Besides the price, the biggest drawback to stone and brick walls is the need for structural support limits their height. Taller fences might need to use a veneer, rather than the real thing.

The Bottom Line About Building for Privacy

As you can see, there is no one measure you can take to ensure your complete privacy in your custom home. It takes planning and coordination to employ several methods that complement each other, allowing you to enjoy peace and quiet, security, and privacy without sacrificing aesthetic appeal or function.

***Have questions or comments? Let us know below!***

When most people plan their dream home, they simply do not put enough thought into their windows. While they might care about the basics — the number of windows, for example — they neglect other important considerations that can make a huge difference in their long-term satisfaction.

That explains why over 60% of new windows are used in replacement remodeling projects, rather than new construction. But as any builder will tell you, it is always better — and less expensive — to do it right the first time.

To that end, let’s take a quick look at some of the things you should keep in mind about the windows in your Dallas custom home.

Materials Matter

Windows can be constructed from several different materials, each with their own advantages and disadvantages:

Wood — Most typically made from Pine, Fir, Knotty Adler, or Mahogany


  • Versatile, easiest to customize
  • Natural, eco-friendly
  • Woodgrain patterns create unique beauty 
  • Can be painted or stained any color
  • Excellent thermal performance


Wood Clad — The exterior of the wooden window is covered in another material, usually vinyl or aluminum.


  • Customizable
  • Interior/Exterior dual color options
  • Energy efficiency


  • Expensive
  • Not available with most manufacturers
  • The exterior cladding can separate from the wood interior



  • Least expensive
  • Resistant to corrosion, warping, and swelling
  • Low maintenance
  •  Slimmer frame profile allows more glass
  • Available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes


  • Condensation-prone
  • Worst thermal performance

NOTE: The thermal rating of most basic aluminum windows is so poor that they do not meet the minimum energy codes required in North Texas.

Vinyl — Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC — a type of plastic


  • Inexpensive
  • Resistant to corrosion, warping, and rotting
  • Extremely low maintenance
  • Very energy-efficient
  • Recyclable


  • Limited color options
  • Lower-grade vinyl windows are susceptible to UV degradation
  • Because vinyl is not especially strong, frames and sashes can be comparatively bulky.

Fiberglass — A composite material of glass fibers and plastic polymer.


  • Very strong — up to 10 times stronger than vinyl
  • Excellent thermal performance — 500 times less conductive than aluminum
  • Takes less energy to manufacture than vinyl or aluminum
  • Extremely low maintenance
  • Able to withstand temperature extremes from -40 degrees to 350 degrees
  • Paintable
  • Thin frame and sash profiles allow for more glass


  • Expensive
  • Not available through all manufacturers
  • Requires very strict safety precautions during installation

Composite — The windows are made of two or more materials, such as resins and wood particles.

Every manufacturer that produces composite windows uses their own proprietary mixture, and as a result, the quality and performance can vary widely.

Glass and Gas

Because most of your window opening is glass, that glass package is the biggest factor determining how good the thermal performance of your window really is. Most people think that merely having a “double-paned” window is enough, but here’s the thing — “double-paned” does NOT mean “energy efficient”…it only means that there are two pieces of glass.

In DFW, always look for soft-coat low-emissivity (low-e) glass. This special glass is coated with a microscopic layer of metallic oxide which helps reduce heat loss during the winter and helps reduce heat gain during the winter, cutting each by up to 50%.

In top-quality energy-efficient windows, low-e is an important feature of an insulated glass package, where the window panes never directly touch the frame. Instead, each of the double (or even triple) panes is seated in a non-conductive bulb seal that prevents thermal transference and creates a closed air space.

The air in that closed space is then removed and replaced with a heavier-than-air gas, typically argon or krypton. This further slows down any thermal transference through the glass itself. A low-e, gas-filled, insulated glass package also helps prevent frost buildup or condensation between the panes.

Deciphering Window Ratings

Because you will hear a lot of lettered values thrown around when discussing windows, it is very easy to get a bit confused. But the National Fenestration Rating Council has standardized four values that determine energy efficiency.

  • U-Factor — Measures how well a window keeps heat in. The lower the value is, the better the window’s performance is. According to the International Energy Conservation Code, the U-Factor for a window in the Dallas-Fort Worth area should not exceed .32.
  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient — Measures how well a window keeps heat out.  Again, the lower the SHGC is, the better. According to the IECC, the SHGC for a window in the Dallas-Fort Worth area should not exceed .25.
  • Visible Transmittance — This value shows how much natural light passes through the window. The higher the number, the less you may need to rely on artificial lighting. In the DFW region, the best windows will have a VT rating of .60 or greater.

***FUN FACT: Artificial lighting uses 15% of all the electricity in the United States***

  • Air Leakage — This value tells you how much air comes through the window when it is closed. Obviously, you want to look for the lowest number possible.

To make it easier to determine the type of windows that are best for your custom DFW home, the NFRC created this Window Selection Tool. After you have decided the type of window you need, you can find the specific manufacturers by referring to the NFRC’s Certified Products Directory.

What are the Hottest Window Trends for Dallas Custom Homes in 2021?

The pandemic changed the way most of us look at our homes, highlighting the fact that we need and expect more from our homes than ever before. How does that translate to what we want out of our windows?

Energy Efficiency

First, there is the aforementioned energy efficiency. Because we are spending more time at home, we want to be comfortable, no matter what the weather is like outside. And because heating and cooling costs are always rising, we also like the idea of saving money.

How much money?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heat loss and gain through windows accounts for up to 30% of a home’s  heating and cooling bills.

Larger Windows

Next, the idea that bigger is better now includes windows. Homeowners are requesting wider, taller windows and choosing the largest styles available. For example, while a traditional double-hung window may max out at 48 inches wide by 72 inches tall, opting for a fixed casement window means that maximum size can grow to an immense 72 inches wide by 80 inches tall.

Blurring the Lines

Homeowners are maximizing their space by erasing the rigid boundaries between the indoors and the outdoors. For example, instead of installing a boring bank of hung or picture windows, homeowners can instead open things up and choose a single large sliding window.

Not only does this make the opening a convenient pass-through to the outside, opting for one window lets more natural light into the home.

***FUN FACT: Exposure to natural light has several proven health benefits.


When designing their custom home, Dallas owners want it all — energy efficiency and savings, comfort, more natural light, versatility, and of course, convenience.

Advances in window and hardware technology make it easier for anyone within the home to operate its windows — the elderly, the physically challenged, and even small children. 

For example, earlier this year, Pella introduced the innovative and patent-pending Easy Slide Operator, which makes opening and closing awning and casement windows as easy as using a dimmer switch. Instead of time-consuming and possibly-difficult cranking, users can slide the window into the desired position.

The Bottom Line About the Windows in Your Custom Dallas Home

In some ways, choosing to install top-quality windows while building your custom Dallas home is an almost-foolproof decision. According to Remodeling, 65% of what is spent on a window installation is recouped as added resale value. That is on top of the energy savings enjoyed month in and month out.

And when you factor in the other benefits — added comfort, convenience, natural light, and ease-of-use — it’s easy to see why windows are worth a second look.

When you build a custom home in Dallas, you want it to reflect your taste and personality. But too many homeowners neglect to apply that same vision to the most personal room of all — the bathroom. As a result, they often settle for a bland, cookie-cutter design that is just like everyone else’s.

Not putting enough thought into your bathroom can leave you disappointed and may even cost you money in the future. For example, something as simple as having the right number of full bathrooms in your home can affect the value of your home by as much as 20%.

That’s not surprising, because bathroom renovations are the most-popular remodeling project, favored by 81% of homeowners. 

To help you stay out of that rut, here are the hottest current bathroom trends. We hope they inspire you to build your dream custom bathroom that is anything but boring.

Larger Showers and Bathtubs

Now more than ever, people want their homes to be a source of peace and serenity, and where better to find that than in your own private spa? That’s why so many people are opting for luxurious bathing choices such as:

  • Oversized Free-Standing Bathtubs — There is nothing more relaxing than a hot soak in a bathtub that is actually big enough for you. With a standard alcove-style tub, that is just not possible.

The difference in size can be very significant:

A standard tub measures 60 inches long by 30 inches wide by 16 inches deep.

A large stand-alone tub, such as this one by Badeloft is 75 inches wide by 47 inches wide by 23 inches deep.

Best of all, as the name implies, these tubs can be installed anywhere, giving you more design possibilities for your bathroom.

  • Luxury Walk-In Showers — A walk-shower creates a sense of elegance, eschewing a tiny, cramped area for space and freedom.

A standard shower stall can be as small as 30 inches by 30 inches.

A pre-made shower enclosure, such as this one from DreamLine, can be up to 72 inches long by 34 inches wide.

And that’s just a prefabricated option. If you go completely custom, your walk-in shower can be any size, with such luxury features as designer stone tile, bench seating, high-end fixtures, lighting, and even a sound system.

Smart Tech

We live in an age where connectivity equals convenience. We already use smart technology to control lighting, to keep our homes comfortable, to provide security, and in general, make our lives easier. According to a December 2020 survey, 57% of U.S. households already have at least one smart device, and over 80 million households intend to buy a new smart device within a year.

With those statistics in mind, it’s not surprising that people want to incorporate smart technology in their custom bathrooms:

  • Smart Toilets: Smart toilets are the most-desired feature in bathroom renovations or new construction. Although they can have a purchase price that runs into the thousands, the value you receive for that initial investment soon becomes apparent. Smart toilet features include:
  • Seat warmers
  • Night lights
  • Touch-free automatic lids
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Water-level detectors — Since this feature can help prevent overflows, it may even save you money on your homeowner’s insurance.
  • Self-cleaning options
  • Health monitoring and disease detection
  • Smart Faucets and Showers: The main benefits of this smart bathroom tech are safer and more consistent water flow and temperature, energy and water savings, and the ability to conveniently control your shower remotely, via a connected device. One brand claims that it can cut your shower water usage in half. 

Underfloor Heating

Underfloor heating — also called radiant floor heating — is an extremely popular choice for new bathrooms. In fact, radiant floor heating increases a home’s value by over 3%.

More energy-efficient than traditional heating systems, radiant floor heating keeps your feet warm through the use of thermal radiation from electric heating pads or heated water pipes. Compared to radiators or wall units, underfloor heating has several advantages:

  • The warmth is felt sooner
  • Controlled temperature
  • Uses less electricity
  • Cleaner — Because it is not a forced-air system, it does not circulate dust and allergens.
  • Suitable for installation under any flooring type

Depending on the type of system, radiant floor heating costs between $5 and $12 per square foot.

Choosing the Custom Bathroom That’s Right for You

Bathrooms no longer have to be spartan, utilitarian rooms used solely for bathing and necessities. Today, your custom bathroom can be a private oasis where you can escape and unwind from all of life’s stresses. Because you spend so much time in the bathroom, it only makes sense that you are as comfortable as possible while you are there.