Advice for Building a Home, From Someone Who Just Built a Home!

There's an inspirational saying, "new beginnings require you to open a new door." Well, there's no better way to do that than to build a home. You're not just opening a new door, you're creating it – and picking out the paint color!  

Mapping out the next chapter of your life is exciting and empowering – and a bit overwhelming, if we're being honest. It's completely normal to feel this way. Also normal are the hundreds of questions that will swirl through your mind as you make decisions throughout the building process. So, here to help you work through some of those questions are Buffington homeowners Terrah Grayum and Ryan Barber.
This lovely couple and their three dogs, K9 Rickie, Colonel, and Temperance (or Tempi), just moved into their home in Allen's Mill, so the experience is fresh in their minds. Terrah also happens to work for Buffington Homes, so she offers a unique perspective that most homeowners don't get to experience. 
She not only hears what the most common questions are but also faced them herself. In the end, Terrah and Ryan are thrilled with their home (and their decisions) and want you to be just as happy in your new space. So, Terrah was kind enough to share some of her best advice for those embarking on the home-building journey.

1. How do I choose a homesite?

Taking a quick step back, you'll first need to select a community. Oftentimes this decision is easy because it's dictated by distance to work, access to schools, and the price of homes. Once you've nailed that down, you'll need to decide on a homesite within that community. 
One of the best pieces of advice is to ask yourself what's most important when it comes to the location of your new home. Make a list and identify your top two or three "must-haves" and a few "wants." For example, if you must have a home that faces west or has a view of the park, you've already narrowed down your options. Keep in mind, it's rare to check everything off your list, which is why it's important to be clear on your most important needs. 
Not sure what you need? In addition to facing a certain direction or wanting a certain view, other needs could include living in a cul-de-sac or deeper in the community where there's less traffic. On the other hand, you may prefer living on a main street because it's easier to get in and out quickly. You'll also want to think about long-term plans. Will you add a pool one day? If so, you'll need a level homesite with plenty of room in the backyard. 
One more factor that helps Buffington homebuyers, in particular, is to think about the type of exterior on your home. If having a light color or painted brick is your #1 desire, we offer specific homesites with these options to ensure the community maintains its visual interest and appeal. So, that decision alone can help you focus on a specific homesite!

2. How do I decide on a floor plan?

Depending on your community, there will be a list of floor plans to choose from. For instance, Allen's Mill offers seven plans! The best way to sort through and assess these plans is to start with the number of bedrooms you need and whether you want a single or two-story home. 
Some families want bedrooms downstairs so their kids are close, and others want their kids upstairs. Some homeowners need a secondary bedroom with a bath for parents staying with them. Once you know how many bedrooms and where you need them, then you can think about the "extra" rooms, such as a game room, formal dining room, study, or bonus room. 
For these additional rooms, it's helpful to think about what your current home might be missing. Do you need an additional bathroom? Do you need more storage space? Is there room to grow if you add a family member? Add these items to your wish list to help you decide on a floor plan. 
At the end of the day, you really can't go wrong with any Buffington floor plan because they're all designed for modern lifestyles. They're thoughtfully planned with no wasted space and offer beautiful and open layouts. They also have large closets and extra storage space. So, having that knowledge might help relieve some of the pressure.

3. How do I prepare for my design appointments?

One of the biggest benefits of building with Buffington is our design studio! We have professional interior designers on staff who are incredibly helpful. They make the multitude of decisions that come with building a home so much easier. And I never fully realized how nice it was to have a design studio with everything all in one place until I went through the process myself. 
While the designers will seamlessly guide you through the process, there are a few things you can do to ensure the vision in your head (and Pinterest boards on your computer) fully come to life as you go through your design appointments. 

  • Share those Pinterest ideas with our designers! Having as many visual examples of things you love will give them a clear picture of your personal style. 
  • Decide if this is your forever home or one you will only be in for 2-5 years. Things like designer door handles or plumbing upgrades may be something to splurge on if this is your forever home. 
  • Think about the specific ways you'll use each room. Do you need additional outlets, a larger kitchen island, or wiring for outdoor speakers? Tell your designer so she can incorporate them into your plan. 
  • Also, read this helpful      blog post before your first design appointment! It's packed with great advice.

4. What emotions can I expect throughout this experience?

The beginning is super exciting because you've made the decision to build. You're signing paperwork. You're choosing designs. And, the idea of starting a new chapter is finally sinking in! This is the stage where you're super involved. After the design phase, you meet with constructions, which is still exciting, but also the last bit where your involvement is needed until your home has drywall. 
It can take months until they actually starting digging, which can feel like the downhill portion of a roller coaster. There's still progress being made, though. Lots of things are going on in the background. You just aren't involved, which can make you anxious. Know that the day will come when you have drywall, and your home will start to look like a home! 
At this point, you'll get excited again. You'll see everything come together, but you can't walk through your home for a while after this point. Your brick will go up, and it's dangerous to be around. Next they will start cabinets, paint, trim, and flooring. So many things are happening at once, and you don't want to get in the way. The good part is that when you finally get to walk through your home again, the amount of progress will be awesome. You get to see your design go from samples on a table to the home you have been dreaming of all these months. The process can feel like a roller coaster, but truly trusting your builder can help even-out the ride.

5. Any other tips you might have for someone going through the process?

Be patient, don't doubt your original selections, and don't worry about your home's punch list until it is actually completed! So many people get stuck on the little things that need to be done. You don't need to put that weight on yourself, which can make a really fun and exciting process seem stressful. You shouldn't feel like you've taken on a second job managing something that will get completed in the end anyway. Remember why you are doing this, and try not to fall into the "when-then" trap. Meaning, you tell yourself, "When this is completed, then I will be excited." Enjoy each step of the way, because each step should be savored when you're building a place to love and call home.

Here's to New Beginnings!

If you're interested in building your next home with us, explore our communities and go tour our model homes! Curious about our floor plans? Visit this page for all of the details. 

And, if you're currently building with us, be sure to check out our design studio page or follow us on Pinterest for some added inspiration!
Build a life you love

You might also like...

Sweet New Suprises in the Design Studio
Hello, and Happy Valentine's Day! We're excited to share several new design options waiting for you in our in-house design studio. If you're n...
Read More →
New Year, New Things Coming to Springdale!
As we kick off the new year, we’re excited to talk about the incredible energy and new developments happening in Springdale, Arkansas. Buffin...
Read More →
Tips for Downsizing Your Home in Northwest Arkansas
Many families and couples these days are drawn to the idea of downsizing, which is an intentional step toward simplicity, comfort, and a more manag...
Read More →
Christmas in the Cottages
Buffington Homes is excited to offer several designer homes that will be move-in-ready just in time for the holidays. We’d like to walk you t...
Read More →
- [ ]
Request Info
Hi! Click here to connect with us.
Request Info
Buffington Homes of Arkansas
The first step in our process is to select a community and visit our model homes! To schedule a tour or ask questions, contact our Online Sales Counselor.