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.
Get started here:
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.
Get started here:
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:
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?
Built in bookcases, open shelving, cubbies, kitchen pantries
Get ideas for custom home built in bookcases, open shelving, cubbies, kitchen pantries, and storage spaces for every room from Chatham County new home builder Travars Built Homes:
Chatham County New Home Storage Idea #1: Built in Bookcases Alongside a Fireplace
Built in bookshelves next to the fireplace are a popular choice in new homes by custom builders in Chatham County and across central NC. [Get floor plan ideas here.]
Bookcases can be set into the wall with open shelving, cabinets, specialty trim, and other features. Nearly all fireplace surround bookcases are built with a standard height between shelves (similar to when you buy a furniture bookcase). Just give us a picture – we can build it! Travars Built Homes can space shelves at custom heights that you ask for at one of your meetings with the builder on site. It’s part of our standard design/build process!
Chatham County New Home Storage Idea #2: Open Shelves Above a Kitchen Serving Bar
Looking for something more unique in your built-ins? Ask your new home builder how much flexibility you can have for touches like this throughout your home – and what materials they offer for open shelving, such as the Cedar above this kitchen bar and master bedroom beam ceiling.
Chatham County New Home Storage Idea #3: Built In Drop Zone by the Garage
Drop zones with shelves, cubbies, cabinets, and drawers are a very popular addition to new Chatham County homes. We can build them anywhere in your home, with the most common choices between the garage and laundry room or kitchen. This drop zone has a built in bench, shoe cubbies, and bead board trim. Send us a link to a look you like – we can build that, too.
Chatham County New Home Storage Idea #4: Large Pantry with Custom Shelving
A U-shaped pantry is great for “at a glance” storage. A U-shaped pantry requires more depth (and less width) than an L-shaped pantry – so ask your builder what can fit into your floor plan. Adding more pantry shelving at different widths and heights is a popular request.
In this example, one wall of shelving is designed with thin shelves for spices and specialty items, while the other two walls are deeper for cans, boxes, and paper goods:
Chatham County New Home Storage Idea #5: Built in Benches
Add hidden storage to your breakfast room, mudroom, hallway, or nook with built in benches.
Chatham County New Home Builders
At Travars Built Homes, our design build capabilities offer you the opportunity to modify your floor plan to fit your lifestyle. Let us know if you want to plan for extra storage spaces after building your home.
We can modify your floor plan with things like a prepared alcove with the dimensions you’ll need later on.
In this Chatham County custom home, the upstairs loft includes a stretch of half wall (instead of more open railing) designed to accommodate future storage built-ins:
Contact Travars Build Homes for new home pricing in Chatham County, NC – and the surrounding areas within about an hour of Chapel Hill, NC.
Give everyone the space they need. Combine living arrangements where it makes the most sense for your new multi-gen home (with a dual master, mother in law, or extended family layout). What do you need to know, when you look at plans and look for a multi-gen new home builder?
Travars Built Homes builds new, custom multi-gen homes in NC. Ask us for house plan options that fit your needs – click here.
As you consider space for long-stay extended family members, caretakers or guests, here are the top myths about building a multi-generational new home in North Carolina:
North Carolina multi-gen new home myth #1
I can attach a separate apartment to my home that is private, as long as it is part of the initial home structure. FALSE.
Any portion of your home that is separated by a wall, as opposed to having an access from one part of the home to the other, can be considered a duplex and would likely not be approved as a single family home in NC.
Be careful to choose a floor plan that includes any multi gen, mother in law, or dual master elements as an integral portion of the home. Although there can be privacy, there must be access into the home. Although it can have a private entrance from the exterior, it must also have an entrance on the interior. Additional regulations may apply.
Even floor plans that have a little apartment attached will need to have approval from all applicable entities before it can be built. This is especially true when you want to add a little apartment on the other side of the garage, for example, as it will have it’s own systems and is self-contained, which means it can be considered a separate residence.
North Carolina multi-gen new home myth #2
I can build a guest cottage on my lot if I have a big yard. FALSE.
Your ability to build a structure on your lot – whether it is a cottage, outbuilding or gazebo, needs to have approval from the building department, architectural review board (if you live in a community with an HOA) and other factors such as water and septic or sewer systems.
Even if your lot is in a countryside location, you will need to familiarize yourself with county or town regulations applicable to your land. You’ll need a building permit before you get started.
Most custom home community covenants do NOT allow a guest house on the same lot.
If the lot has a septic system, it will typically be rated for 3-4 bedrooms. So even if a separate structure is allowed, you will need to divide the amount of bedrooms per dwelling to use that system – and you may be required to have a separate system, which will need to be approved.
Some custom home communities allow a second structure such as a garage or an art studio. It may be possible to have a small cottage, which may require attachment with a breezeway. See the community covenants for their rules. All structures will need to be approved the the archiectural committee as specified in the covenants.
It may be possible for a guest house to be considered a separate home, as opposed to a single dwelling on the lot, depending on the regulations for that location. This would also need to be approved by the building department as well as the architectural review board in the community.
North Carolina multi-gen new home myth #3
As long as I have an entrance from one part of the home to the other, I can have two full kitchens, great rooms, and pretty much duplicate my home as though it is a duplex as long as it is accessible from both sides via a doorway. FALSE. GET APPROVALS AND PERMITS – THIS IS NOT THE INTENT OF A SINGLE FAMILY HOME.
Be careful about trying to combine two families into one structure, with what amounts to two separate homes if zoning is for single family homes. This can be rejected by building department regulations, zoning, and community covenants.
Multi gen plans can be customized and there are many possibilities. However, a single family home is not the same thing as a duplex, which requires different zoning and other requirements.
The best approach to having a multigen home accepted by regulators is to choose a layout that is designed for a single family with a long term guest or caretaker. For example, a kitchenette could be more appropriate for a mother in law, care taker, or guest suite than a home with two full kitchens and living areas. As with all homes, your floor plan must adhere to the approval process, and follow all the rules.
North Carolina multi-gen new home myth #4
A full apartment in the basement is always acceptable in single family zoning. FALSE.
Nothing is “always acceptable” – your custom home builder will help guide your choices in adherence to rules and regulations. As with any addition to the home that is designed to accommodate multi-gen situations, a full apartment in the basement must be approved as applicable by the county, town and any other entities that have say in the process, including the community HOA (where applicable).
Although multi gen accommodations within the home are accepted more widely than a stand alone cottage or a separate apartment on the other side of the garage with it’s own systems, acceptability depends on local regulations and requirements.
More often, you will find new multi-gen homes with two master bedrooms or a master suite and guest suite on the first floor:
North Carolina multi-gen new home myth #5
A multi gen home must share the same laundry room FALSE.
You can typically have as many laundry rooms as you would like in your home. You can also have as many bathrooms as you like. The only rooms limited by septic system regulations are the amount of bedrooms – as the indicator of how many people live there full time.
In fact, it’s becoming common to have two or even three laundry rooms, for added convenience inside non multi-gen new homes. Some custom homes have a laundry room on each floor. Some have laundry setups in the master suite closet or extended guest suite.
Whether you are seeking to create a mother in law suite, multi-gen, dual master, or small apartment in the new home you want to build, the most important thing to keep in mind is how to divide gathering areas and personal space.
We will help you with that! Contact Travars Built Homes to get started.
What questions should I ask builders about building a new home in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill region of North Carolina?
“Price per square foot” is NOT the most important thing to know.
Use this checklist of new home construction cost questions – and learn why to avoid asking “what’s your cost per square foot”? Contact Travars Built Homes for answers to these questions.
Questions to ask NC home builders: (Not) cost per square foot
- Why does price per square foot come out much higher for some homes than others, even though the size and layout look very similar?
- What comes included in this home, as a starting, “basic” build?
- Can you give me a detailed package that has everything in writing, so I can see just what’s already in there and what I need to add?
- How long will it take to build my new home?
Questions to ask NC home builders: Location and site work
- Where can you build my new home in NC?
- Is site work included in your price? Do you give that to me prior to contract?
- What does it cost to build this home on my lot, as opposed to on a lot in your community?
Questions to ask NC home builders: Floor plan layout and style
- How do I find a cost-effective floor plan?
- Why does a home with a large kitchen cost more to build than a home with a large great room?
- Why does an owners suite on the main floor cost more than an owners suite upstairs?
- Why does it cost more to have a sprawling footprint than one that has more square feet upstairs?
- Why does a home shaped like a “box” cost less to build than a home with “cutouts?”
- How much less does it cost to build a bonus room over a great room than to add a keeping room on the main floor?
- Why do contemporary home architectural styles cost more to build than traditional architectural styles?
Questions to ask NC home builders: Selections and features
- How much does a typical homebuyer pay in addition to the “base” price for your homes once they start including things like microwaves and other features that are in typical custom homes?
- How many choices do I have for selections in your “base” pricing?
- What kind of energy efficiency (features and processes) does this home have?
- How much do windows and doors matter when adding up costs?
- Does it cost more to have a carriage than a third bay in the garage?
- Is a sealed crawl space included?
- Are there built-ins? Trey ceilings? Trim around windows and doors? Crown moulding?
Learn more about building a new home in North Carolina in our FAQs. Contact Travars Built Homes to start asking questions!
How is a custom home financed in North Carolina?
When you build a new custom home in North Carolina, it’s typical to need a construction to perm loan, as opposed to a mortgage loan, which is more common when purchasing an existing home.
Construction loans are short term loans, most often with interest-only payments that are intended to last the length of your new home construction – up to one year.
Your lot purchase and the construction of your home are typically bundled into one transaction with a construction loan, so you do not need to buy the lot before you build. Travars Built Homes can be built on your lot, in custom home neighborhoods or countryside locations within about an hour of Chapel Hill.
Interest payments in a construction loan are only due in segments, with the construction loan accessed gradually by the builder through draws as specific portions of your home are completed.
The North Carolina county or city inspector will approve each portion of the home as it is completed, and your construction lender will review the progress before dispersing the draw to the builder.
What About when the Home is Complete?
What happens with your construction loan upon completion of your home depends on the program you have entered with your lender. It’s most common to subsequently take on a mortgage for permanent financing, with terms up to thirty years. However, some construction loans have a one time close, which has different terms than a two time close. Your lender will advise you of the differences.
Where can I learn more about North Carolina Construction Financing?
Daniel McCoy of the McCoy Team at MVB Mortgage #485895 offers a variety of programs to choose from for your new home construction loan.
This Portfolio Lender has programs with:
- As low as 95% LTV, conventional up to $453,000 on primary residence
- As low as 90% LTV, conventional up to $453,100 on second home
- 100% financing for eligible VA borrowers
- Jumbo financing to $2mil
- Cross-collateralization and Bridge options
- Interest only payments during the construction period
- 660 Minimum Credit Score
- All loans subject to credit approval