Jenn Albrecht, contributing writer

Over the last few years, the building market has exploded in Cache Valley. As a result, many of you may be thinking about building a new home. If you are considering a new home, and are anything like me, you have probably spent hours fantasizing about your dream home — you know, the perfect house in the magazine or the pictures on Pinterest that make you sigh. So, how do you create a real-life dream home? From my recent experience of going through the building process, here are three tips that might help make your dreams become reality:

Define spaces

As you look at floor plans, think carefully about the spaces your family needs. How many people will live in the home? How many bedrooms and bathrooms will you need? Is there a chance that, at some point in the future, parents or married children may be living in your home?

Once you have defined and know the spaces you will need in your home, you can consider the “extras.” For example, do you want a room dedicated to music, a craft room, a TV or theater room, or an indoor sports court? While all these extras can really add to the home and provide fun, they also create wasted space and the costs can add up quickly. If you are like me, you might get excited about spaces you want and, perhaps, overlook the spaces that your family really needs. This leads to my next point.


We can hear our mothers’ voices saying, “A place for everything, and everything in its place!” I have come to realize that having a spot for everything is essential to keeping my house clean and organized.

A good friend once told me that every home needs a landing pad, meaning a space where family members can put all their personal items when they walk in the door, for example, shoes, backpacks, keys, phones, mail, and soccer bags. Whether you choose to provide an individual locker for each person or simply have a couple of large shelves for the family to share, having a landing pad creates a foundation and organization throughout the home. In today’s world, many landing pads even include electrical outlets and USB ports for electronics. My husband has said many times that the ‘landing pad’ is his favorite place in our entire home.


This is where you get to create the ambiance you have been dreaming about. Whether you have an eye for design or hire a professional decorator, design is how you achieve the “look” you have always wanted. Over the last few years, I loved designing my own home. If there is one lesson that I have learned throughout the building process, it is that “less is more.” I have come to realize that I don’t need lots of furniture or even decorations in every corner. Rather, a few key pieces that display my style is enough. Second, I have learned that I need to choose my style and stick with it. Consistency in style and design from room to room helps create a seamless feel.

Design and style allow us to put our personalities into our homes. My home has become an outward expression of me. I knew that I love windows and natural light; it makes me feel closer to nature and provides an uplifting and positive environment. As such, windows and lighting, including the type and placement of light fixtures, was an important aspect of designing my new home.

I highly recommend the book, The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live by Sarah Susanka. It influenced many of the decisions going into my own home.

If now is the time for you to start down the path of building a new home, good luck! Hopefully these tips help you along your house-building journey.