Here’s how to get it right, as you work with your NC custom home builder to design build personal space that provides independence for your new multi gen, next gen, mother-in-law suite, au-pair/nanny quarters or small apartment home within a home.
7 multi-gen must-know build factors to discuss with your NC design build custom home builder:
#1 Multi Gen must-know: Local Regulations
As you consider which lot to purchase for your new home, your real estate broker can guide you through local regulations, zoning and community covenants that define build mandates at that location. Talk to your builder about lot requirements for your multi gen new home.
#2 Multi Gen must-know: Access
A home within a home in NC must have a door leading into the primary home. It can also have a private door to the exterior, to add more privacy and independence. In this floor plan, a separate door leads to the exterior (past the kitchen and mudroom):
#3 Multi Gen must-know: Space
How much space do you want to devote to a multi gen suite? Private bedroom and bath? Personal living room? Kitchenette? Second laundry room? Travars Built Homes can add the additional living quarters you would like to nearly any floor plan. Get floor plan ideas here and let us know what else you would like.
#4 Multi Gen must know: Shared kitchen requirements
While some multi-gen arrangements include a kitchenette in the home within a home, it’s more common to share kitchen space. Huge kitchen islands with room for several people to share work space are especially popular. This kitchen pantry includes a second sink, separate microwave, built in cabinets and storage, all separated by a door:
#5 Multi Gen must-know: Preparedness
Your NC custom home builder can put features in place to prepare for future disabilities. Travars Built Homes has a certified expert in aging-in-place to talk with about design, materials, colors, lighting, accessibility, and anything else that can be built into your home to provide additional comfort.
#6 Multi Gen must know: Flex Space
Make sure to allow enough space in shared gathering areas for everyone to feel comfortable together. Lofts, bonus rooms, sun rooms, keeping rooms and libraries all offer great opportunities to spread out in common areas.
#7 Multi Gen must know: Garage space
Design build capabilities enable NC custom home builders like Travars Built Homes to add another bay to nearly any garage. Talk with your builder about the possibility of a carriage garage, if you prefer separate garage space.
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Large kitchen islands are a great place for gatherings: Food. Hobbies. Homeschool. Projects. Here are 9 photos of popular NC 2021 home design trends to help choose your next kitchen island.
Kitchen Island Design Tip #1: Placement
This Chef’s Kitchen designed by Chatham County new home builder Travars Built Homes is designed to provide as much working space as possible, with a massive kitchen island, cabinetry and countertops.
Kitchen Island Design Tip #2: Size
Island kitchen floor plans separate countertop space from the rest of the kitchen, to increase its potential to be used for a variety of purposes.
Kitchen Island Design Tip #3: Design
This kitchen island was designed to be noticed, with a look all its own as the focal point of the room. The ability to create the look you’d like is a great benefit of working with a creative team in design build custom homes.
Kitchen Island Design Tip #4: Style
Your sink choice can make a big difference in the appeal of your kitchen island. Apron sinks (also known as Farmhouse sinks) are especially popular in 2021 new home design trends.
Kitchen Island Design Tip #5: Lighting
The pendants you choose for your lighting are especially important over the island. They serve as a punctuation of your architectural style and highlight everything in your design build new home.
Kitchen Island Design Tip #6: Seating
Tuck under seating is the choice made most often for big kitchen islands in 2021 home design trends. The ability to place bar stools out of the way when not in use provides a feeling of functionality and great use of space.
Kitchen Island Design Tip #7: Purpose
This formal kitchen island exudes elegance in design build custom homes, with a furniture look that draws the living area further into the kitchen – an inviting look of luxury that increases importance.
Kitchen Island Design Tip #8: Color
This kitchen island blends beautifully into extended gathering areas with its muted tones that create a sense of comfortable informality. It’s one of the most requested styles in island kitchen floor plans.
Kitchen Island Design Tip #9: Surface
The surface material you choose for your kitchen island can be just about anything in a design build custom home. Granite. Quartz. Marble. Tile. Wood. Recycled glass. Cement. There are a lot of possibilities to explore in 2021 home design trends.
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Modern Farmhouse architectural styles are a top request for 2021 new homes in NC.
Farmhouse style homes feel familiar and flexible – designed with simple lines, covered porches, gable roofs, dormers, and big kitchens with islands open to living spaces. See some of the most popular modern farmhouse features in the photos, below. Contact Travars Built Homes for farmhouse floor plans and pricing.
Modern farmhouse feature #1: White exteriors (with black window frames)
This countryside modern farmhouse illustrates the simplistic allure of classic black and white – with a pop of color for the front door that adds interest.
Modern farmhouse feature #2: Built in bookcases and custom storage spaces
When you create your new home with one of the best custom home builders in Chatham County, you can ask for built-ins like this wherever you want them. Built in bookcases, cubbies and storage spaces are another practical feature in modern farmhouses.
Modern farmhouse feature #3: Board and Batten front exteriors with dormers
Board and batten is the top choice for exteriors on modern farmhouses. The classic lines you see here are framed by roof pitches and a dormer indicative of this popular architectural style.
Modern farmhouse feature #4: Metal roof accents
Metal accents on modern farmhouse roofs like this add just a touch of texture, in a nod to historical structures. Popular locations for metal accents include the roof over the front porch, bump outs, and the roof over a back porch to give importance to outdoor living.
Modern farmhouse feature #5: Porches
Big covered porches and big screen porches are indicative of the emphasis on outdoor living inherent to modern farmhouse lifestyles. Custom builders like Travars Built Homes include extra details that make these spaces even more enjoyable.
Modern farmhouse feature #6: Open kitchen and great room
Wide open spaces reminiscent of prairies and heartlands compel the main areas of modern farmhouses to feel spacious. Beams, lighting, hardwoods and multiple entrances inspire free-flow traffic and conversation.
Modern farmhouse feature #7: Big island
Large kitchen islands have become the mainstay of modern farmhouses. Ask your builder how to customize yours to include everything from a sink, tuck under seating, wine cooler, microwave, cabinetry or other special features. Most of all – endless uses for the huge surface from gatherings to cooking, crafts and projects.
Modern farmhouse feature #8: White cabinets
A white exterior is often replicated inside new modern farmhouses, with white cabinets throughout the home – contrasted by pairings with dark gray, espresso, or even blue islands.
Modern farmhouse feature #9: Apron sink
Ceramic or stainless steel apron front sinks (also called farmhouse sinks) are considered to be a staple in modern farmhouse style homes. They typically are wide and deep, without a barrier in the middle. Like the picture below, they offer a seamless, smooth surface at the front, for easy cleanup.
Find more information about building a new modern farmhouse in North Carolina:
See the shake up in top priorities for 2021 custom homes: Top 11 “must have” requests from new home buyers.
2021 custom home trend #1: Stock-up space
Convenient places to store paper goods, food, cleaning products and emergency tools are all in huge demand, as people focus on preparedness.
Walk in pantries are designed for a lot more than food storage, with sinks, pull out shelving, countertops, nooks and crannies, and natural light
Walk in closets are designed with custom cubbies, cabinets, furniture, shelves and dressing areas
Walk in attics can be so huge you can ask to have them finished like the rest of the home, like this optional “Craft Room”
2021 custom home trend #2: Secret passages
Secret Passageways are popping up all over the place in new custom homes.
We create creative secret passages from one child’s room to another. Behind hidden panels. Through bookcases. We can’t even tell you everything we build. It’s secret.
2021 custom home trend #3: Flex space
There’s often at least one room in new homes designed to be converted, such as this loft spaced just right for a play room, office, study area, or crafting – flexible with life.
Need something special built-in, such as additional walls, soundproofing or aging-in-place features? Ask your builder what can be added to tap into for future use.
2021 custom home trend #4: Massive Island kitchens
Kitchen islands in today’s new homes are stretching size limits as high as space allows, like the massive island with microwave beneath in this custom designed two story kitchen created for great cuisine gatherings.
2021 custom home trend #5: Main floor owners suite
Homebuyers planning their “forever home” appreciate “aging in place” features and a floor plan where the owner’s suite – and day to day living – is all on one floor.
2021 custom home trend #6: Guest suites
Dual owner’s suites, guest suites, and private apartment quarters within the home are top reasons homebuyers look to custom home builders who can go beyond stock floor plans and build in what’s needed.
2021 custom home trend #7: Work space
Custom built-ins create special spaces for office, homework, quilting, shop, or anything else you need to get the job done.
Often, a small pocket office can be woven into a plan to create a a nook that can also be used for storage, hobbies, or a pet room.
2021 custom home trend #8: Mudroom with drop zone
Drop zones have become the top focus for mudrooms as a way to leave coats and clutter at the door – where it’s easy to find later.
Drop zones are often designed in conjunction with laundry rooms and are typically by the back door – but a custom builder can tuck them in other places, too, like this this all-purpose room that also has a dog house.
2021 custom home trend #9: Indoor/outdoor living
Fresh air has taken on a whole new connotation in today’s lifestyle – with increased requests for indoor/outdoor living, like covered and screen porches
2021 custom home trend #10: She Sheds
She Sheds are taking over the demand for Man Caves, as women seek a calming place in their new homes to relax with no rules.
2021 custom home trend #11: Energy efficiency
Long term advantages of building a new home include lower energy bills. From ultra-e windows to effective HVAC systems and radiant barriers, ask your builder for ways your home can be more comfortable and affordable through energy efficiency.
Build a custom home in North Carolina:
Custom homes in North Carolina can have build costs between about $100 per square foot to several times that, depending on the builder, the floor plan, the selections chosen, and the location requirements. Get started, here, with pricing information from Travars Built Homes.
It’s challenging to compare custom home builders apples to apples, with differences in materials, processes, quality, craftsmanship, energy efficiency and services – with few builders willing to detail what goes into your home, including important factors beyond “cost”.
NC custom home cost per square foot: Home style
Measuring by square footage alone can be deceptive, when the size of the home is only one factor in determining build costs. The type of home you choose can make a big difference. A one story home has more foundation and roof, so it typically costs more per square foot than a two story home.
Architectural styles can impact your cost considerably. For example, Contemporary homes can be more expensive to build than Colonial homes.
NC custom home cost per square foot: Floor plan layout
An “average cost per square foot” may also not the best indicator of value because even plans with similar layouts can have differences that impact the build cost. For example:
- How big are the kitchens – how much cabinetry and countertops? What kind of appliances and lighting?
- How many bathrooms? How extensive is the tile work?
- How big is the garage?
- How many and how big are the windows and doors? A wall of windows or sun room can make a big difference.
- How much square footage is on the main floor, versus upstairs?
- How high/complex is the roof line?
- Does the home have a lot of cut outs or is it designed more cost effectively?
- How much outdoor living space is included in the footprint? How big are the porches and screen porches? Is there an outdoor kitchen or see-through fireplace?
NC custom home cost per square foot: Building materials and selections
The materials you choose can change the cost considerably. The selections you choose for lighting, appliances, features and finishes can make a dramatic difference, which is why it is very important to determine what comes “standard.” What builders offer can differ extensively as to what is “basic”. We can help you find a cost-effective floor plan. And we will help you compare advantages.
NC custom home cost per square foot: Location and building lot site work
The site work required for your lot can also make a big difference. Ask your builder what it costs to build a home on your lot:
- Is a sewer available or do you need a septic system? Is it conventional or engineered?
- Do you have over 2 or 3 acres? If so, a well may be required.
- How long is the driveway? What will it be made with?
- What is the topography? Do you need a tall crawl or basement?
- What are the setbacks?
- Is it in a neighborhood with an HOA? What are the community covenants?
At Travars Built Homes, new homes from cottages to estates can cost between the $300Ks to $1 mil, depending on your floor plan, location, and what you want to build into your home.
Our quotes come with about 10 pages of details, so you know exactly what’s included in your build cost – and what that means in terms of quality materials, craftsmanship, air quality, energy efficiency and everything else that can make a big difference not just in cost per square foot – but in the comfort and strength of your new home.
Want to know the cost per square foot? We’ll give you that, too.
You have a lot of choices for flooring in North Carolina new homes, from hardwood to tile and carpet, as well as custom options.
Travars Built Homes offer the highest quality features, finishes, materials and craftsmanship, including real oak hardwood flooring in every home. See what else comes, standard, here.
All types of flooring will see some wear and tear over time. But which types of hardwood flooring stand up best to daily traffic from people and pets? Here are 10 tips for choosing hardwood flooring in NC new homes:
Hardwood flooring tip #1: Soft woods cost more — and provide less protection
If you want to avoid flooring that dents easiest, avoid American Cherry, American Walnut, and Pine. Better versions of these hardwoods for a harder surface? Brazilian Cherry and Walnut.
Hardwood flooring tip #2: Consider a Harder Hardwood
Hickory, Brazilian Cherry and other hardwoods rank high on the Janka scale. They come with a premium price, but are much harder than the 3/8 “hardwood” flooring most builders use. Travars Built Homes uses ¾ solid oak hardwood – a much higher quality wood with more resistance to wear and tear than most new homes start with.
Hardwood flooring tip #3: Strong grains can hide more scratches
Red oak has a stronger grain than white oak. Red oak, 1290 on the hardness scale, hides scratches better than Brazilian Cherry, which is 2350 on the Janka scale.
Hardwood flooring tip #4: Hand Scraped and Distressed Hardwoods provide modern rustic character that makes wear look appealing
The more wear you put on these hardwoods, the more realistic they look. Knots and other character traits also give “real hardwoods” a natural look that feels comfortable and welcoming.
Hardwood flooring tip #5: Mask imperfections with a Matte Finish
Ask your builder to use a matte finish on your site finished hardwood floors. Glossy finishes will be more reflective – and imperfections more glaring.
Hardwood flooring tip #6: Light stains hide scratches best
Another great characteristic of oak hardwood flooring is that it’s already a naturally light wood. The stain shade you choose can make a difference in how much scratches show, with lighter hues hiding more scarring than dark colors. lighter hue on the stain you choose And if you’ve chosen oak, a naturally light wood, even if the finish is scratched off the scratch is more likely to blend with the rest of the floor.
Hardwood flooring tip #7: Solid Hardwoods have long lasting qualities
Site finished solid hardwood flooring can be refinished. So if you feel like freshening up your woods in a few years, either because you’d like it to look new or want to change the color, you can simply sand it and restain it, at a much lower cost than replacing the entire floor like you’d need to do with an inexpensive laminate.
Hardwood flooring tip #8: The bamboo effect
Bamboo can be beautiful, but it’s not always the best choice for a floor that will have a lot of people and pet traffic. Stained bamboo can scratch very easily. Although it is technically stronger than oak, dents show up more easily. Strand bamboo costs more than carmelized bamboo, but can hold up better.
Hardwood flooring tip #9: Furniture Felt Pads can prevent heavy scraping
Using felt pads under furniture (even with wheels) can protect your floors. Scattered rugs can also protect areas with heavy traffic, such as doorways, hallways, kitchen aisles and gathering places.
Hardwood flooring tip #10: Leave your shoes at the door
Still love soft woods best? Create a space where shoes go as people enter your home, to avoid scarring caused by pebbles, dirt and high heels. Custom built-in shelving, drop zones or even just a corner on the floor reserved for shoes can help your floors stay cleaner and less worn.
How to Build a House on Your Lot in North Carolina
Own land? Still searching? These questions help answer what to look for when you choose your lot, purchase your land with a licensed real estate agent, decide where to place your home, and select a custom home builder to construct your North Carolina new home.
Knowing what to ask can help ensure you know what it takes to build your new home. Here are some of the most important questions about land, lots, parcels, and homesites that enable you to be informed and prepared.
Contact Travars Built Homes to learn more about how to build a new custom home on your land.
What’s the best size lot for a new custom home build?
The best size lot for a new custom home build is determined by your floor plan, community covenants if applicable, local build requirements, what kind of septic/sewer system is required, whether you need a well, and other mandates. We will go over all of that with you, when we know what and where you’d like to build.
Here are more questions to ask about lot sizes:
- How can I find out how big my lot has to be, for a specific floor plan?
- Why do I need a bigger lot to have a side load garage?
- I own several acres – can I put my home wherever I want on my land?
Will the builder look at the lot I am considering purchasing prior to me buying it, and give me his perspective about what it will cost to build there?
When you build with Travars Built Homes, an on site assessment is part of our standard process. We will talk about the fit of your floor plan to your lot, your driveway, and other site specific build imperatives.
Here are some common questions we can answer, after we take a look at your lot together:
- How much does it cost to clear trees and shrubs off my lot?
- What is the difference between a soil scientist and the county doing a soil evaluation?
- What is an improvement permit and why do you need to get that for me that before the build permit?
- If a septic permit only allows 3 bedrooms, is it possible to have 4 bedrooms?
- How many bathrooms can I have in my home?
What kind of slope does my lot need to have for a walk-out basement?
Most basement homes in NC are walk-out, set into a slope of about 6 feet over the course of the home. We can add a basement to nearly any floor plan, but the the look of the home can change depending on the direction of the slope. Before selecting a home with a basement in the floor plan, talk with your builder about placement of your home.
Here are more common questions we’ll help answer related to site conditions:
- What is the difference between a sewer and a septic system, and how does that impact costs?
- What is the difference in maintenance and build cost for a conventional septic system versus an engineered system?
- What is the build cost for a well? How deep it will be?
- What is a community septic system, and how does that work? What is a grinder pump and how much does that cost?
Will the lender combine the lot purchase and home build cost into one loan, or do I need to buy my land and home separately?
Your lot purchase and the construction of your home are typically bundled into one transaction with a construction to perm loan, so you do not need to buy the lot before you build. Read more about NC new home financing and construction loans here.
Where can I learn more about how to buy land in North Carolina?
Work directly with a real estate agent with expertise and experience in lot and land purchasing. Kelly McNabb, NC REALTOR® at Costello Real Estate and Investments, can help get you started.
REALTOR®/Broker (919) 391-0315 Costello Real Estate & Investments
Here are the kinds of questions Kelly can help answer for you, in tandem with Travars Built Homes:
- Has the perc test been done on this lot? Is it possible to build a home on land that does not perc? How does that work?
- What does it mean when a listing says “water nearby”? How can I find out what it will cost to hook up to that city/county water source?
- What can I do if the lot I want to purchase is land locked?
- What do I need to know about flood plains?
- If I want to have a future pool, what does the builder and the county need to know about that?
- What is an impervious surface and how does that impact my build?
- What do I need to know about setbacks and easements?
- What is the difference between a lot survey and a plot plan and who handles that?