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Tips on Laying out a Floor Plan and Questions to Ask Your Home Builder


Think of your home builder as your confidant. For a period of six to nine months, your custom home builder will be intimately involved in planning your future. No, we don’t need to know when you plan to get married or have your first kid, but we do get to be involved with the planning of your home that will be so intricately involved in all of the above things. Inevitably, we learn a lot about each other during our time working together! It’s a truly unique relationship. At Villa Custom Homes, we embrace the time we have with each one of our clients. 

Here in Las Cruces, tucked away in the eastern part of the state, we have made a great many friendships with folks we’ve built homes for. After doing this for so long, we’ve learned some of the common concerns that grip people looking to build their first home. Let’s look at some upfront considerations when thinking about your floor plan and some of the key questions to ask your builder when shopping around. 

New to Home Building? Here’s What You Should Consider!

People often characterize the custom home building process as “stressful.” It doesn’t always have to be like this! You just need to find the right builder. Then you’ll experience the opposite of stress. In fact, building your home should be one of the most fun ways to embark on investing. Here are some of the cool things you get to think about. 

Consider your lot dimensions

Lots of beautiful things in this world begin as just a plot of dirt, and your next custom home is no exception. New Mexico’s desert landscape offers plenty of breathtaking lots wherein mountain views and sunsets will fill every evening. Knowing the basic measurements of your lot and allowable building area can help you sort through possible floor plans. It will also prompt you to think carefully about how much space you want in your front yard, back yard, doggy run, or whatever you want to have on your land. 

Take a look at the topography & surrounding natural landscape

All lots have different features and here in the desert or throughout the state of New Mexico, you’ll likely get flat land with the occasional slope. Asking your home builder about this can help you make decisions on how to make use of the natural topography and surrounding landscape. It can prompt questions about where to put a window, what size window, the orientation of the home, etc. Ask your home builder how they might best utilize the lot.

Our rammed earth homes out here in New Mexico have an intrinsic earthy presence and using the surrounding desert to enhance this will only make the final product that much better. Many of our lots here, for example, have a view of the Organ Mountains, hills, or other unique natural features. 

Prioritize important features for you

Every year, you’ll see real estate gurus talk about the next “fad” or homeowner obsession. This is all well and good, but you shouldn’t follow a trend that doesn’t apply to your personal preference or lifestyle. Consider the features that really tug on those heartstrings. Sit down with your family or significant other and talk about the features that are “must-haves.” These can be things like:

  • Walk -n closets 
  • Built-in shelves
  • Storage
  • 2 floor or single floor home
  • Laundry room
  • Mudroom
  • Home office
  • Bathroom design
  • Kitchen design
  • The layout of the rooms
  • Garage
  • Types of windows
  • Breakfast rooms

Those are the big ones. And once you sort those out, you can go to the smaller details like light fixtures, colors, and other decorative features. As your home builder, we help homeowners with this as well. Ask us about some of the popular features we’re seeing. We provide examples and options from previous floor plans of our Southwestern-styles homes. 

Go with the flow

“Flow” is a phrase that has gained some traction in recent years. It’s not a dance move. To put it simply, it refers to how a floor plan can determine the natural “flow of your home.” Depending on how your home is designed it typically dictates where people tend to congregate, flow highlights certain rooms, or naturally leads guests to certain areas of the home. 

Good flow refers to a plan that has rooms grouped together that are used together. For example, bedrooms and bathrooms will usually be located in a quiet section of the home, apart from the kitchen and living areas. With open floor plans, this means making the most of a central open area that creates a shared-space vibe that opens up the entire house. But it’s up to you. Ask your home builder how they recommend laying out the home. 

What’s your style? 

You’ve likely established a style of home that you prefer already. We specialize in building rammed earth Southwestern-style homes, but we can build anything. Do you want a more traditional layout that speaks rustic or reminds you of your grandmother’s house many years ago? Or are you looking for something a lot more modern and minimal? 

Consider what’s to come

You can’t plan the future but having a sense of where your life is and how you want to change, can set you up for success. Whether you plan to live in a home for ten years or make it your “forever home,” considering the future can give you some flexibility and help be the deciding factor on certain features. If you think your family will be growing and changing in the next couple of years, let us know and keep this in mind. This might mean you can set the house to where it is easy to add extra rooms, or it might lead you to add an extra room in the floor plan. 

Contact Villa Custom Homes, Today!

Call us and ask us how to get started. We’ll get to know each other well. We’ve been building homes in New Mexico for many years and our clients are very much part of why we love doing this. Are you looking for a home that accommodates your growing family? Looking for a home that inspires? Want to build a home that you will retire in and then leave a legacy for your children? Decide your own legacy with Villa Custom Homes.