9 Design tips for Building Your Dream Home in the Madison Suburbs

Your dream home is an ever-evolving collection of hopes and plans, right until the moment you ink the deal on your final plans. Do you need another bedroom? Should you add a second kitchen island? Ensure you reap every possible benefit by designing your custom home with Conklin’s top tips in mind.

9 Design Tips for Building Your Dream Home in the Madison Suburbs

Conklin Construction Company is one of the premier home builders in Madison, WI. Our beautiful new residential construction can be found throughout the Madison suburbs. We would love to partner with you to design and build the home of your dreams.


Our #1 Design Tip: Choose Design-Build

The traditional process for building a home begins with the homeowner hiring a designer/architect to create custom plans and then soliciting bids from contractors to complete the work. This creates brand new builder/designer pairings with the homeowner as the de facto project manager for their custom home build. This inefficient process is addressed by design-build firms where designers and builders partner as a single company. These longstanding pairings create efficient processes that play to everyone’s strengths. Since all the communication is in-house, updates and problem-solving are streamlined and efficient.

Factors to Consider in Designing and Building Your Dream House

Factors to Consider in Designing and Building Your Dream House

Building a custom home is often a once-a-lifetime experience. This is the opportunity to include your wishlist items and finish every detail to your taste. Think through your upcoming custom home design from several different angles to ensure you don’t miss the opportunity to build exactly the right home for you.

What Catches Your Eye?

The easiest way to whittle down your design preferences is to look at lots of different options. The internet has blessed us with the opportunity to review endless floor plans, features, and motifs with ease. Keep track of your favorites with bookmarks or Pinterest and review them for common threads, style trends, and floor and wall color combinations.

Drive around your area and take in the architectural design elements. Check out the style of windows, siding, roofing, shapes, finishing, and stories. What’s popular? What’s your favorite look? Knowing the style of house you like will help you narrow down your search for the best floor plan.

What Do You Need that You Don’t Have?

What everyday problems are you hoping to alleviate with your custom home? Are you counting down the days until you have the cabinet space for every appliance? Are you dying for another bathroom? Is a walk-in closet the morning game-changer your routine requires? Everyone’s dream home is devoid of different struggles that plague their present living space.

What Do You Already Have That You Like?

There are some features that have become staples in your daily routine. Have you come to count on your Jack-and-Jill bathroom to keep the peace between the kids? Do you love your current open-concept floor plan and vaulted ceilings? Do you have a patio oasis you’d like to replicate? Including features you already know you enjoy is a great start when designing a custom home.

What Might You Need in the Future?

Your future self or family will be thankful that you considered their needs. If you have or are planning a family, you will need more storage than you think, no matter how much storage you think you need. If you’re planning to age-in-place, accessibility features like barrier-free showers, extra-wide doorways, and main-floor living might be important elements to weave into your custom home design.

Unique Ideas for Your Custom Home

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Tips to Keep in Mind During Your Custom Home Design

Create the Perfect Layout

Whether you’re adopting and tweaking an existing floor plan or creating something new from scratch, your layout is an essential step that locks in several design choices. The location, size, and number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces are established here. We dug into all the important factors to consider when selecting the best floor plan for your custom design in our recent blog.

Room Aesthetics for the Ages

Choose a design that will age well. This concept means different things depending on your ultimate aims. If your custom home is not your last residential stop, and you’re planning to resell, your decor and design choices will need to reflect universal appeal. Your builder and designer will be great resources for design trends in your area.

If you’re building your forever home, the look of your home will need to be pleasing to you for the foreseeable future. If your choices reflect your consistent taste, you will likely enjoy your design choices for years to come.

Tips to Keep in Mind During Your Custom Home DesignHonor Your Budget

Sometimes small changes to your vision can save big money. Be open to suggestions from your team to make informed choices about cost. Altering the material, size, or location of your customizations may save you much more money than you expect. Your builder and designer will best be able to help you understand which sacrifices will best please the budget gods.

Unique Ideas for Your Custom Home

Here are a few of our favorite cool ideas for custom builds to add extra fun or utility to your one-of-a-kind home.

  • Secret Room- Hide your mess, or take your solace in a secret room. Consider a secret door behind a built-in bookcase or a cozy cupboard under the stairs.
  • Pet-Friendly Features- Build a pet washing station into your new custom mudroom, include a pet-friendly perch by a sunny windowsill or easy storage for food and pet supplies.
  • Pass-Throughs and Convenient Doors- Include easy ways to move items through space. Consider a “Costco door” from the garage straight into the pantry for easy unloading or a pass-through from the kitchen to the back porch living space to make serving guests outdoors easy.


Madison, Wisconsin’s Best Home Builder

Conklin Construction Co creates stunning custom homes for Cottage Grove, Deforest, Windsor, Waunakee, Sun Prairie, and the surrounding areas of Greater Madison, WI. We’d love to connect about your custom home plans. Contact us here!

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