Have you spent your weekends visiting open houses or walking through models? If you are reading this, you have probably reached the conclusion that you want a home that is completely customized to your liking, not one that is “close enough.”

What are the details that make a custom home truly custom? There are a lot of aspects that distinguish custom homes from the rest. When dealing with a custom home builder, it's vital to know what elements are most essential to you and how they fit your budget.

After building custom homes for more than 200,000 families over the last 60 years, we've learned a thing or two about what it takes to make a truly custom home.

Here are the "Top 7 Game-Changers For A Truly Custom Home."

1. Outdoor living space with fireplace and grill.

One of the best things about custom homes is that you can make them your own from the ground up. You have the freedom to choose every element, from the layout to the finishes, and everything in between. But if you really want to take things to the next level, one great way to do it is to include an outdoor living space with a fireplace and grill. This type of space lets you enjoy the best of both worlds – the comfort of indoor living with the beauty and relaxation of nature.

When you include a fireplace, you can extend your outdoor living season well into the cooler months. Imagine getting cozy by the fire on a crisp autumn evening or sipping hot cocoa under the stars. Even in the rain and snow, you can still enjoy your outdoor living space – just move the party inside to the covered porch or patio.

And with a built-in grill, you can enjoy summer BBQs all year long! No more leaving the party inside while you go out to flip burgers – with a custom outdoor kitchen, you can do it all in one place. So if you're looking for a truly custom home experience, be sure to build in some outdoor living space. It's an investment that will pay dividends for years to come.

2. Custom-built, built-ins.

Custom built-in cabinets and bookshelves are more than simply attractive; they're also useful. There are several options for incorporating these custom built-ins into your house, including bookshelves, TV cabinetry, and desk. Create living areas that complement your life by working with your builder to create functional spaces. The most popular rooms that people want custom built-ins are the family room, office or study, and mudroom.

When you have a custom home, you no longer need to go to the big box store and purchase prefabricated cabinets that may not fit your space well. You also don't have to worry about things looking "cookie-cutter" like everyone else's homes.

3. Staircases that invite.

A custom staircase can really make a statement in your home. Throughout history, fine architecture has always included intricate staircases. While a traditional straight-run staircase is functional, it can be quite dull. If you want to add some interest and drama to your home, consider a custom staircase with landings, curves, or other interesting features. You can also use different materials and finishes to create a one-of-a-kind look.

For example, you could use all wood for a classic look, or mix things up with metal and glass. You could also add some lighting under the stairs for a bit of drama and intrigue. If you're not sure what you want, take a look at some home design magazines or websites for inspiration. Then, work with your builder to bring your vision to life.

If you have the space, consider a grand staircase with custom railing. There are many options for making your staircase stand out, from curved stairs to circular stairs. Whatever design you choose, make sure it is well-crafted and fits your home's overall aesthetic. A great staircase can be the centerpiece of your home and an awe-inspiring sight for visitors. With a little bit of planning, you can have the custom staircase of your dreams.

4. Media room for watching movies and sports.

The date of October 6, 1927, the first feature film, The Jazz Singer, was presented as a "talkie." Almost a hundred years later, movies are still a popular form of entertainment. And with the rise of streaming services like Netflix, people are watching more movies at home than ever before. If you're a movie lover, why not create a custom media room in your home?

But why go to the theater when you can have your own private screening room right at home? Creating a space for media and entertainment is a must for any custom home. With all of the technology available today, it's easy to create a state-of-the-art media room that will be the envy of all your friends. You can include features like surround sound, projection screens, and comfortable seating. If you're a sports fan, you can also add in a number of TVs so you never miss a game.

Your media room can be as simple or elaborate as you like. It can include comfortable lounge chairs for movie nights or a wet bar for entertaining guests. If you want to go all out, you can even add a popcorn machine or home theater system. Whatever you decide, be sure to work with a custom home builder who can help you create the perfect space for your needs.

5. Detailing of walls and ceilings.

Your walls are a blank canvas, begging to be designed with your personal touch. There are many ways to add custom details that will bring character and personality into your home. Consider paneling, plaster, wallpaper, or paint colors that are unique to you. These customizations will help your home feel like it was made just for you.

In addition to customizing your walls, don't forget about the ceiling! If the Sistine Chapel has taught us anything, it's that a little bit of ceiling detail can go a long way. Adding beams, molding, or other architectural details can really make your ceilings pop. And if you have high ceilings, consider adding a chandelier or other statement piece to really make a statement.

Your home is your blank canvas. Use it as an opportunity to express your unique style and personality. With a little bit of creativity, you can create a space that is truly one of a kind. When combined with other design elements in a few key spaces, custom ceiling detailing can help create a cohesive design where it matters most. So go ahead and get creative - your home will thank you for it!

6. Brighten up with unique lighting.

A custom lighting plan is essential for any custom-built home. Lighting can create a special look and feel to any home, and custom built homes especially need lighting as the accent that makes the home truly unique. Beyond the regular mix of recessed cans and basic hanging fixtures, there is so much to consider when creating a lighting plan for your custom home. Even the thought of creating a "lighting plan" for many people is a new concept. It can be daunting to try and figure out what types of lighting you need, where to place them, and how many you need.

Consider the following when creating your lighting plan:

- Task lighting: This type of lighting is used for specific tasks like cooking, cleaning, or working.

- Accent lighting: This type of lighting is used to highlight certain features in your home like art, photos, or sculptures.

- Ambient lighting: This type of lighting is used to create a general feeling of lightness in a space.

- Natural lighting: This type of lighting comes from windows, skylights, and other openings in your home.

In addition to the different types of lighting, there are also a number of different fixture options to choose from. You can go with traditional light bulbs, LED lights, or even solar-powered lights. And don't forget about dimmers! They can help you create the perfect ambiance for any occasion.

Your Wausau Homes builder will be able to help you create a lighting plan that is tailored to your specific needs. Be sure to discuss your options with them so you can find the perfect solution for your home.

7. Trim and molding are your crown jewels.

There's nothing like custom trim to give your home that built-in look. But with so many styles of crown molding and baseboard trim to choose from, how do you know where to start? With the many options available today, there is sure to be one that matches your personal style.

Once you find a trim you like, you can use it for all of the baseboards, crown moldings, and door/window trims in your home to create a cohesive look. Having custom trim throughout your home gives it a true "built custom" feel, rather than the "builder-basic" or even semi-custom feel that many homes have. Not only does this give your home a more polished look, but it can also increase its value.

Some molding has detail that can make a big impact, while other molding is more subtle. It all depends on your personal style and the overall look you are going for in your home. So if you're looking for a way to add some personality to your home and make it stand out from the rest, consider custom trim!

Bonus: A luxe primary bathroom retreat.

Your primary bathroom should be a true oasis – a place where you can relax and rejuvenate after a long day. But many homes fall short in this department, offering only a basic bathroom with little to no amenities.

If you're looking for ways to make your primary bathroom truly luxurious, consider the following:

- Double vanity: Having two sink areas can be a game-changer when it comes to getting ready in the morning. No more fighting for space!

- Large walk-in shower: A spacious shower with multiple showerheads is a must for any luxury bathroom.

- Clawfoot tub: There's nothing like soaking in a clawfoot tub to relax at the end of the day.

- Heated floors: This is a must for any primary bathroom – there's nothing worse than cold feet in the winter!

- Natural light: Lots of windows or even a skylight can make a big difference in the feel of your bathroom.

By adding just a few luxurious features to your primary bathroom, you can create a true retreat that you'll never want to leave!

Build the best by working with the best!

The last step is working with a true custom builder. There are some builders out there who will call themselves “custom,” but in reality, they are semi-custom because they have a set number of floor plans that you can choose from and then make some minor changes. While Wausau Homes certainly offers an array of more than 150-floor plans you can start with, we also offer the ability to design a completely custom home from scratch.

If you want to build a one-of-a-kind home that is truly personalized to your specific needs and wants, you need to work with a builder who offers true custom homes. Wausau Homes has a team of experienced designers who will work with you to bring your vision to life. We'll help you navigate the many design options available and make sure that every detail is accounted for.

From start to finish, we will be there with you every step of the way to ensure that your custom home is everything you've ever dreamed of – and more!

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