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Tips for Building a Home in New Jersey

There comes a point in just about everyone’s lives where they’re ready for a new home. Maybe you got a new job and need to move or maybe you’ve decided to grow your family and your home needs to grow with it. No matter the case, building a home is becoming increasingly popular. With new innovations in construction materials and processes, building a home can be just as easy, if not easier, than buying a home and it offers plenty of benefits. Before you take the first step on this new journey, here are some things you need to consider.

Planning Your Budget

While building a new home may be cheaper than buying one, you still have to keep your budget in mind. Be sure to account for the things you absolutely need before you start looking into amenities that you just want. Things to consider when analyzing what you need can be:

  • Number of bedrooms
  • Size and layout of kitchen
  • Number of stories
  • Garage space


Remember that you’ll probably be in this home for quite some time, so you need to ensure that you account for your future as well.

Things that you may not need that can affect a budget include:

  • Swimming pools
  • Home theatres
  • Game rooms
  • Heated floors


Drafting Your Design

The main benefit of building your own home is that you get to decide how it is built. You decide on the floor plan, materials, paint colors, and everything else in between. Think about the function of your home and what you plan to do there over the years. Do you want to have a big family and have social functions there? Consider a larger home with an open floor plan and more bedrooms. Do you want a small family and plan and traveling more? Consider a smaller home that just fits the needs of you and your family. The things that builders can do is almost as limitless as your imagination, an experienced New Jersey home builder can help you design the home of your dreams.

Choosing the Location

There’s a reason that many realtors say one of the most important things when looking for a home is “location, location, location”, because it’s true! Once again, carefully weigh not just what where your life is now, but where it could be in the future. You’ll want your home to be near your place of work and great schools for your kids. If you don’t like the hustle and bustle of the city, consider building your new home in a more rural area.

Picking a Builder

So you have the perfect design and location for your new home, now you need a builder! When looking for a builder, look at their previous projects and what some of their clients have said about them. While most builders can construct just about anything, most have a style that they prefer more than others. Be sure to find a builder who’s style preferences align with yours. Always do plenty of research, ensure they are properly licensed and ask plenty of questions one you find a builder that interests you. This is going to be the investment of your life and the builder can make or break it.

Get in Touch with a Professional New Jersey Home Builder

Building a new home is an exciting adventure, don’t let the wrong builder ruin it. Here at Distinctive Domain, we’ve been utilizing our design-build methodology to build custom homes throughout New Jersey. Our process is simple, cost-effective and ensures the utmost quality. Call us at (732) 469-3227 to start work on your dream home today!



Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Your New Jersey Home

The possibilities when designing your New Jersey custom home are endless. However, there are still plenty of important factors to keep in mind as you plan everything out. At Distinctive Domain, we’ve been building custom homes in New Jersey for over 20 years. With this experience, we’ve learned quite a few lessons about what it takes to create the perfect design. Before starting your own design, check out some of the most common mistakes seen in client-planned designs.

Lifestyle Planning

Everyone leads their own unique lifestyles and they should have a home that matches it. There are plenty of great things like lofts, giant closets, and four-car garages that can look and seem like they’d be perfect for your new home, but do they fit your lifestyle? If you own an SUV and small car and don’t own recreational vehicles, a four-car garage may not be a great option. If you don’t own very many clothing articles, then a giant closet may not suit you either. Practicality is key when it comes to designing your new home and the money you save on implementing designs that match your lifestyle can go towards the ones that do. Maybe you love to cook and that money you saved from the only doing a two-car garage can go towards more countertop and storage space in the kitchen.

Budget Planning

When it comes to things like four-car garages, walk-in closets, swimming pools, and home theatres, one thing that can accumulate quickly is cost. Budget planning plays directly into lifestyle planning because you need to account for what you need before you start trying to implement the things you want. Making sacrifices now could actually give you great benefits in the future. Maybe you’ve been wanting a sweet man cave where your friends could watch the Jets every Sunday, but your wife is wanting to start a family soon. The money you save by skipping the man cave could be spent on more or larger rooms for the kids. More and larger rooms will also give your home more value if you ever decide to sell it in the future.

Take Your Time

Once your design is complete, you’ll probably want to get started right away, but be sure to take some time and make sure every detail is perfect. Rushing into a design can be one of the most costly mistakes you can make. Do some research online to make sure you’re educated on all of the latest design and building methods and trends, make a checklist of everything your home needs, and triple check everything. Lastly, do plenty of research when choosing your builder. Find someone who is established and you think you’d work well with, even with the perfect design the wrong builder can make or break the outcome of your home.

Contact a Top New Jersey Custom Home Builder

At Distinctive Domain, we have the experience to build the New Jersey custom home of your dreams. Our team’s versatility and knowledge help ensure that your home not only fits your design requirements but that it is done so with the utmost quality. Let us help you dream, design, and build the perfect home that will fit your lifestyle now and in the future by giving us a call at (732) 469-3227.


Should You Get a Home Security System?

In a word, yes. Yes, home security systems can be expensive and yes, there are alternatives to installing such a system, but is the peace of mind that comes from having an effective security system in place worth its cost? For most homeowners, the answer is “yes.”

Remember, your home is where you keep the things that matter most to you – including the lives of your spouse, children, and pets. Never settle for anything less than the most secure system possible for your home.

Home Security is More than Just an Alarm System

You might not initially realize it, but the materials used to construct your home have a lot to do with its security. Choosing secure materials will not replace the need for a surveillance system, but they will complement it and increase your home’s overall security.

A few ways our New Jersey design-build team can build additional security into your new home include:

  • Using casement windows;
  • Using solid or metal-clad doors at entry points;
  • Adding bright lighting at points around the property where would-be burglars could hide;
  • Creating a landscaping plan that eliminates hiding places and keeping all shrubbery neatly trimmed. Other ways to use landscaping to deter potential burglars include gravel beds and thorny bushes below windows; and
  • Using motion detection lights around the property.


Protect your Berkeley Heights New Jersey Luxury Home

When you build a custom home, you have the luxury of working the home’s security system into its plans so it is an integral part of the house, rather than an addition to be worked around existing structures.

Many homeowners are dissuaded from buying home security systems by their high cost and the availability of cheaper anti-burglary strategies, like using stickers and yard signs to advertise a security system without actually buying one or relying on the family dog to act as the security guard. But a security system has many benefits, such as:

  • A lower homeowner’s insurance premium for having one in place;
  • The peace of mind of having the security system’s staff always available to respond to alerts;
  • Some systems offer multiple types of alert, such as a smoke and carbon monoxide detector alongside break-in alerts; and
  • With a security system in place, you and your family have sufficient warning to get to a safe place before a fire grows, before a carbon monoxide leak becomes deadly, and before you come face to face with an armed intruder. You can also purchase a system that allows you to monitor your home remotely.


Work With an Experienced Design-Build Team to Build Your Home

Home security is your family’s security. When you choose to build a brand new home, you can build security measures right into the home, rather than having to work with or update existing ones. To learn more about working with luxury home builder Distinctive Design, contact our team of luxury home builders today to schedule your initial consultation with us.


The Benefits of Outdoor Living Areas

In New Jersey, we are fortunate to enjoy all four seasons. During the warmer months, many New Jerseyans choose to spend time outdoors. Rather than spending money and time to head to the beach, the park, or other outdoor attractions, invest in your home’s value and the future memories you’ll make with family and friends by creating outdoor living areas on your property.

The right type of outdoor living space depends on your personality and your family’s personal needs. An active family might enjoy a swimming pool while a more relaxed, low key household might benefit more from a fire pit or a garden. No matter what you choose, creating an outdoor living space will serve you tremendously in the years to come.

Outdoor Living is Fun

The main reason why homeowners create outdoor spaces is simple: they’re fun! Think about summer barbecues, lazy days by the pool, and cocktails or coffee on the patio. With design-build, you’re in control of every aspect of your new home. We can work with you to build your ideal outdoor space into your new home’s plan and bring it to life with the materials you choose.

If you’re planning to add a deck or another type of outdoor space to your yard, there’s a lot to consider. For example, the right material for your deck depends on your budget and your environment. If your plan includes a custom grill and outdoor eating area, work with a design-build professional to optimize your space so your future barbecues are the talk of the block. When you have a nice outdoor area, you’ll want to spend time at home. You might find yourself considering a “staycation” for your next vacation – which will save you time and money.

Many Outdoor Amenities Add Value to your Home

When you have a pool, deck, patio, or other outdoor feature on your property, your home’s value increases. When you list your home for sale, prospective buyers will see these outdoor features and be more inclined to purchase the home because they can envision themselves and their families enjoying time outside in the warm weather. A bare yard, on the other hand, doesn’t inspire or excite much. When you’re showing your home to prospective buyers, you want to provide them with rooms and spaces they can imagine themselves inhabiting. Other outdoor features to consider adding to increase your home’s value include a fire pit, an outdoor bar, a pergola, or even just a neatly manicured landscape.

Work with a Bridgewater Luxury Home Builder

Work with our team of Bridgewater custom home builders at Distinctive Domain to make your dream home a reality. When you work with a New Jersey custom home builder from our firm, you are working with a professional who will help you through each stage of your home’s development, including its outdoor areas and landscaping. Give us a call today to set up your initial consultation and learn more about what we can do for you and your project.


Choosing the Lighting for Your New Home

Lighting fixtures are an important part of any home’s interior and exterior design. The light fixtures you choose and the bulbs you use with them do more than just express your aesthetic tastes – they set the mood of each area of your home and can increase or decrease its energy consumption.

When you create a custom New Jersey luxury home with the design-build system, you have access to a variety of home lighting options. Your options go beyond fixture and bulb types – if you want, you can incorporate motion detectors into your lighting system, make use of solar-powered outdoor lights, and use apps like the Google Nest to remotely control the lighting fixtures in your home. One of the greatest benefits of building a new home is the level of customization available to you – rather than buying an older house and working with what exists, you can create a home from the ground up.

Indoor Lighting

The right lighting for each room depends on its use. A glass chandelier that looks great in a dining room or foyer simply won’t fit in a bedroom or bathroom, from a design or a practical standpoint.

Think about what each room needs – in a bedroom, you want to circulate the air to create a healthy environment conducive to sleeping, so a ceiling fan with a light fixture is the way to go. Bedrooms are also a great place to install lights with dimmers and softer lighting. For high-traffic areas like the kitchen and the living room, recessed lighting can illuminate the whole area without getting in the way. In the hallway or the kitchen, pendant lights can add some fun and personality while providing targeted lighting.

Outdoor Lighting

When you’re planning your outdoor lighting, there are a few things to think about. One is how outdoor lighting can increase your home’s security. Outside, consider using motion sensor lights and even solar-powered lighting. Other outdoor lighting options to consider are floodlights and garage lights.

Finding the Ideal Lighting for your New Jersey Luxury Home

Your design-build specialist can work with you to determine which types of lighting your new home needs. You’ll want to use multiple types of lighting throughout your home – as discussed above, some areas are served well by recessed lighting while others need the softer touch that comes from floor and desk lamps.

You don’t want to buy too much or too little lighting for your home. A design-build professional can walk you through your floor plans and show you where lighting is needed. The lighting you choose will do more than make it possible to see in your new home. It will add warmth to each room and in many cases, act as a focal point or part of your décor.

Work with a Chatham, NJ Custom Home Builder

When you are ready to build your New Jersey luxury home, work with our team of experienced design-build professionals at Distinctive Domain to make the process as easy as possible for you. With design-build, you save money and time by working with one contractor to handle all stages of your home construction or renovation, rather than having to subcontract out each job.


The Advantages of Building a Custom Home in New Jersey

If you’re in the market for a new home in New Jersey, stop immediately and consider the benefits of building a custom home. After all, you’ll have the opportunity to customize your home according to your own unique requirements and specifications. But there’s so much more to custom homes. Read on below to find out more about the benefits of a custom home through the design-build methodology!

Energy Efficiency

When you customize your luxury home in New Jersey from the very beginning, you’ll have a lot of opportunities to utilize energy efficient features into your new home. For example, you can install features like water saving toilets and sinks, high-quality windows and insulation, as well as energy efficient appliances. This should be a lot cheaper than having to do this later through renovations.

Customer Satisfaction

When you buy an already existing home, you’re getting a home that was made for another person’s unique needs. With a custom home, however, you are the final word in every design decision. When you’re the one making all the decisions, satisfaction is nearly guaranteed. There’s no need to compromise.

Special Needs

It can be quite costly to retrofit an already existing home and make it more accessible to wheelchairs, or handicap-friendly in general. By opting for a custom home in New Jersey, you can address and special needs concerns from the get-go, and incorporate accessibility features right into the initial plan. So you can install wheelchair ramps, wider doors, stairway lifts and any other accessibility options right during the construction phase instead of having them incorporated later.

Lower Maintenance Costs

A custom home in New Jersey requires much less initial maintenance than an existing home. All fixtures, paint, flooring, and electronic work is guaranteed to be brand new, and future maintenance can easily be tracked. With an existing property, appliances and HVAC systems may need repair or replacement and the condition of internal components like plumbing and electrical wiring may be difficult to ascertain, let alone repair.

Resale Value

Buying a home is one of the most major investments people will make, which means that it should have an excellent rate of return. Getting a custom home in New Jersey provides the buyer with just this. A custom home in New Jersey that is built to modern construction standards will hold its value better than an existing property. This means that if you decide to sell it later, you will have a much higher resale value.

Contact a Madison, NJ Custom Home Builder

Make sure to choose a reputable home builder if you decide to go with a custom home. Distinctive Domain’s unique design-build should help you get a start on some design templates you can build your unique vision now.


Signs You’re Ready to Build a New Home

There comes a time when some fixer-upper homes turn into giant money pits, rather than a classy HGTV home of sheer perfection. Reconsidering the home route can be a process with many contributing factors. The idea of building your dream, a custom home may sound more and more appealing when compared with the negatives of staying in your current space. The Warren, NJ design-build methodology attracts families and individuals who have seen the pitfalls of their current home and need a fresh start.

Larger Space for Family

When you have started cramming three beds in one room to make space for storage and other items, you know you need a bigger home. Families can grow quickly, and your starter home will no longer provide the basic necessities you need from toddlers to teenagers. Perhaps you need a better backyard so pets and kids can have a safe place to explore.

Many adults work from home and need a separate room away from the noise. Relatives and friends can visit more frequently than expected, and you may desire more room to entertain guests. Whatever your needs are, our Warren, NJ custom home builder team is best known for their ability to help families and individuals design exactly what they need with high-grade materials.

Renovate Or Relocate

Older homes, with all their charm, can have secrets of their own beneath the surface. What may appear to be a simple fix of AC systems or rooftop patchwork can, in reality, be a more costly issue. Of course, every home needs maintenance, but it may be in your best interest to invest your money in a new home that will last for years to come.

When deciding how to sell your own fixer-upper and earn a profit, there are simple things you can do to make a return. Exhibiting the space it does have and cleaning up the house have will attract buyers. A simple “facelift” with fresh paint, exposing hardwoods, planting some flowers, or fixing up older accents can impress buyers, even if the house is aging.

Finding A Safer Neighborhood

Crime rates are on the rise in larger cities, and finding a home in a smaller suburb or in the country could be an oasis for many families. Of course, protecting your home and belongings is important, but also providing safety for your loved ones is a top priority. Warren, NJ custom home builders ensure your home will be in a safe location where you can rest peacefully at night.

Get in Touch With a Custom Home Builder in Warren, NJ

The reasons for moving can be few or many, but the ultimate decision to build is always a good investment of your time and money. The Warren, NJ design-build allows each builder to streamline the design and construction process. This minimizes miscommunications and allows you to participate during the course of development. Our experienced teams ensure quality homes that withstand the test of time and seasons.


Checklist for First-Time Home Builders

If you are looking for a luxury home in New Jersey, the last thing you want is a cookie-cutter house that looks like every other home in the neighborhood.

Building a custom home gives you many advantages over buying an existing home. While you might be able to save money with an existing home, it still has many hidden costs. Even after a thorough home inspection, you might find hidden problems once you move in. Then, money is spent on repairs, renovations, and upgrades.

A New Jersey custom home might take a little longer but it can be worth it. You get exactly the house you want with all the modern features and no old fixtures or plumbing that needs to be redone.

Consider These Steps When Building Your Custom Home

Building your own home for the first time can be extremely exciting, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. Remember to take it step by step. Here are a few pointers:

1. Find Your Location

Are you building on a vacant lot, or tearing down an old house and replacing it on an existing lot?

2. Remember Your Permits

Make sure the home you are building abides by the zoning regulations and government guidelines for your location. Even adding a treehouse to a property may require a permit in some localities.

3. Choose Your Team

You’ll want an experienced, qualified team to build your first home. We recommend our New Jersey Design-Build services. This means that we handle your entire project from start to finish, rather than your worrying about managing multiple contractors, which can be time-consuming and costly. It can also lead to communication problems and delays if separate teams aren’t working together smoothly.

4. Review Your Options

Getting your own home built from scratch means you get to choose how it looks and functions. Make a list of all of your “must-haves” and “nice-haves.” Do you want a wraparound porch in the back? What about a separate office? What kinds of sinks and faucets would you like?

Some planning will be required to get all the details correct. Remember, some things can be decided upon later. For example, it will be a lot easier to upgrade your faucet fixtures later on than to add a new bedroom.

5. Check on Your Home’s Progress

Stay in communication with your custom home builder in New Jersey, and check on the progress of your new house every week.

Hire a Qualified New Jersey Custom Home Builder

A properly built home will last for decades without major repairs needed. If you are looking for a top-notch New Jersey Custom Home Builder, consider Distinctive Domain. We can build you a beautiful, affordable custom home that you will love and cherish.


Step-by-Step Design-Build Process

Design-build is a trend in home construction that saves homeowners time, money, and stress by streamlining the entire construction process. With design-build, only one contractor handles the entire construction process. This includes the home’s design, obtaining zoning and building permits, and the aesthetic touches once the project is complete, like its landscaping and outdoor lighting.

If you are considering building a new home in New Jersey, consider building it with design-build. Take time to learn about what this process entails and what it can do for you. Homes built through this process are typically less expensive to build and quicker to complete without sacrificing quality of construction or materials. Below is a quick overview of the design-build process.

Determine your Goals for your Home

The first step with design-build is determining what the homeowner wants in his or her home. This includes the number of rooms, architectural features, and the types of features in the home. Go to your first design-build meeting with a few ideas in mind so they can work with you to determine which are feasible for your budget. During your meeting, the team might introduce you to ideas you had not considered for the home.

Create the Home’s Design

After you determine a budget and some preliminary ideas for the home, you will work with a designer to create blueprints for the home. At this point, you will choose fixtures and the designer will create interior plan drawings. You will also determine a tentative project schedule and the scope of the project. At this point, you will receive a tentative project budget as well.

Finalize your Documents and Sign your Construction Contract

After making any changes to the home’s design, the team will present you with a final presentation of the home and the project’s budget. If you are satisfied at this point, you sign your construction contract to begin work. Once the contract is signed, the design-build team will order the materials it needs and begin the construction process.

Build the House

The construction team obtains the necessary permits and builds your home. You will continue to be involved through this stage, discussing your home’s progress with the project manager and receiving updates on a regular basis.

Add Cosmetic Finishing Touches and Move In

At Distinctive Domain, we’re not done when your home’s construction is complete. We will install your new driveway and other outdoor features. Once the house looks exactly like the home you designed with our team, you are ready to move in.

Distinctive Domain will Work With You Through Each Step of the Design-Build Process

Consider working with Distinctive Domain to build your new home through the design-build process. To learn more, contact our office today to set up your initial consultation with us. During your consultation, a member of our team of construction professionals will walk you through the design-build process, answer your questions, and assess your preliminary plans to determine whether design-build is right for you.


Different Home Design Styles

In some neighborhoods, every house looks exactly the same. In others, each house is unique, which sometimes creates an interesting, varied feel to the neighborhood and other times feels incoherent. Sometimes, all the houses in a town or even an entire region share design elements, sometimes due to climate necessities and in other cases, due to the age of the development in that area.

When you plan your new home’s design, take a look at the other houses in your neighborhood for inspiration. You might find ideas you want to incorporate into your our home and you might see designs that you definitely do not want to duplicate. The best way to determine what you do and do not want in a home is to research different house styles and their elements.

Traditional House Designs

The term “traditional house” is a bit of a misnomer. This style of home, the most common style found in the United States, uses elements from various regional traditional home styles to create a spacious design to suit the modern American family’s needs. This type of house does not have any overwhelmingly regional or stereotypical features, which allows it to blend easily into any setting. Typically, these homes are constructed of wood or brick. Traditional house styles are often 2,500 to 3,500 square feet and include fairly open floor plans.

Colonial House Designs

Colonial house designs can be found throughout New Jersey and elsewhere on the East Coast. They are generally simple in design; two to three story homes consisting primarily of a large, rectangular structure rather than a complicated, angled dwelling. Colonial home designs often incorporate columns and simple detailing.

Beach House Designs

If you’re planning on building a shore house, look to beach house designs for inspiration. These houses are typically smaller than more inland homes, averaging 1,000 to 2,000 square feet. These homes are characterized by wide porches, cedar shake siding vinyl shaped to emulate cedar shake, and raised first floors to protect from flooding during storms.

Country House Designs

Whether you live in the country, suburbs, or even the city, working country-inspired designs into your home can add a sense of simple elegance. Though not all country homes are big, this style of home can be quite large and it is not uncommon to find dormers, a front porch, gables, and lap siding with a fieldstone facade.

Work with Distinctive Domain to Design your Ideal Warren, NJ Home

Your custom home can be anything you want it to be. What you want in a home might fit squarely into one of the categories above or another, or it might incorporate elements from across house design styles. When you work with the team of experienced design-build professionals at Distinctive Domain, we work with you to develop a house plan that provides what you need in a home while matching your aesthetic and most importantly, staying within your budget. Contact us today to set up your initial consultation with our team.

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