Building & Renovating

‘There’s No Perfect House,’ And Other Insights On Home-Building From The Kramer Family

For those who want to work on their dream house.

Building your dream home is an exciting endeavor, but it can be overwhelming without the right guidance. Doug Kramer especially had first-hand experience with this when he made sure that he’ll be present in the conceptualization of his family’s dreamhouse down to the last week of laying down the necessary interiors. In this article, we'll provide you with five valuable tips that he and Cheska Kramer mentioned to make your home-building journey smoother and more satisfying.

Tips When Building Your Home

When it comes to suppliers, try to get two or three suppliers.

Don’t settle for one supplier when you’re still in the brainstorming phase of building your home. If possible, you need to get two or three suppliers so you won’t have a hard time with back-up plans in case things don’t exactly go your way.

For one thing, relying on a single supplier for all your materials and fixtures can lead to delays and may limit your choices. Consider working with multiple suppliers for different elements of your home, such as plumbing fixtures, electrical components, and building materials. This way, you can compare prices, quality, and availability to make informed decisions even before you get started with your project.

Doug has been passionate in building their home and confessed that he even went the extra mile to oversee the entire project from start to finish. During this time, he knows for a fact that “you will never find the perfect contractor.” He further explained that there’s also no such thing as a perfect house because “there will always be mistakes.”

“Because sometimes you might be able to get another architect or a contractor that can build it probably a bit cheaper. But the same quality, right? There's a lot of budgets that you can work with,” Doug further explains based on what they experienced from building their dream home from scratch.

To add to his insights, don’t forget to do your homework and research more about the suppliers. If possible, ask around and check reviews of their former clients to see how they work with different people under different “home projects.”


Make the most out of your allotted space and make sure your floor plan has a “good flow.”

One of the key elements of a well-designed home is an efficient floor plan that offers a "good flow." To achieve this, consult with an experienced architect or designer. These professionals can help you conceptualize the designs that maximize the available space in different parts of your home. Prioritize an open concept design that allows for a seamless transition between rooms. Ensure that your floor plan not only looks good on paper but also functions well in real life.

Look for the focal point of your lot.

Every property has unique features and characteristics. When building your home, take advantage of these natural assets by identifying the focal point of your lot. This could be a breathtaking view, a lovely garden, or any other distinctive element. Design your home to maximize the appeal of this focal point, creating a harmonious connection between the indoors and outdoors.

watch now

Doug stressed out that you need to ask yourself, “What is the biggest advantage of that lot? You build something around that. So for example, if it's a view, you need to maximize your view. You need to put a good balcony, a good lanai. So you need to have the foresight of visioning. My house will look good now, it will still look good later on.”

Be hands on.

While it's essential to hire professionals for the construction, don't forget to be actively involved in the building process. Regular site visits and communication with the contractors can help you ensure that your vision is being executed correctly. Being hands-on allows you to address concerns and changes promptly, ultimately resulting in a home that truly reflects your desires.

Build like it’s the endgame.

When building your dream home, think about the long term. Consider your future needs and how your family might evolve over the years. Build a home that can adapt to these changes, whether it's by designing flexible spaces, using durable materials, or incorporating energy-efficient features. Building with the "endgame" in mind ensures that your home remains relevant and functional for years to come.


Frequently Asked Questions About Building the Kramer’s Dream Home

How do I choose the right suppliers?

When selecting suppliers, research their reputation, quality of products, and pricing. Seek recommendations from other homeowners or professionals in the industry.

What is the significance of a good flow in a floor plan?

A good flow in a floor plan ensures that your home is easy to navigate and that spaces are interconnected efficiently. It enhances comfort and functionality by reducing dead-end spaces and making daily living more convenient.

How can I identify the focal point of my lot?

The focal point of your lot is usually a visually appealing or unique feature. Walk around your property and assess what stands out, such as a scenic view, beautiful landscape, or architectural details. Design your home to showcase and complement this element.

What should I look for during site visits as a hands-on homeowner?

During site visits, pay attention to construction progress, workmanship, and adherence to the plan. Look for any deviations from the original design and address them promptly with your contractor. This proactive approach ensures the quality of your home.


How can I future-proof my home during the building process?

To future-proof your home, focus on design flexibility, use durable materials, and integrate energy-efficient features. This can include versatile room layouts, high-quality construction, and sustainable technology for lower energy consumption and lower operating costs in the long run.

How can I stay within my budget when building my dream home?

To stick to your budget, start by setting a clear budget from the beginning. Create a detailed cost estimate with the help of a professional, include a contingency fund for unexpected expenses, and constantly monitor your expenses throughout the project. Prioritize needs over wants, and be open to cost-saving alternatives without compromising quality.

What permits and approvals do I need to build a home?

The specific permits and approvals required can vary by location, so consult with your local building department to determine the exact requirements. Typically, you'll need permits for construction, electrical, plumbing, and zoning compliance. It's crucial to have all necessary approvals in place before starting construction.


How do I choose the right architect or designer for my project?

When selecting an architect or designer, review their portfolio to ensure their style aligns with your vision. Check their qualifications, experience, and certifications. Seek recommendations and check references to gauge their reputation. Ultimately, choose someone who not only has the expertise but also communicates effectively and understands your goals.

What are the key considerations for energy-efficient home design?

To create an energy-efficient home, focus on proper insulation, energy-efficient windows, HVAC systems, and lighting. Incorporate passive solar design principles to maximize natural light and heating. Explore solar panels and other types of renewable energy options and see if they are something that you can integrate within your home. Additionally, choose energy-efficient appliances and fixtures to reduce ongoing energy costs.

How do I ensure the safety of my construction project and workers?

Safety is paramount during construction. Ensure that your contractor follows all safety regulations and guidelines. Have a well-defined safety plan in place. Require workers to wear appropriate safety gear and maintain a clean, organized construction site. Check the site at least once a week so you can immediately see potential safety hazards. This way, you can address them ASAP before they cause problems in the future. It's essential to prioritize safety for both workers and the project's success.


More on


Read more stories about

Latest Stories

How To Compute a Property's Market Value

Real estate, unlike most luxury goods or cars, doesn't depreciate over time, making it a good investment. But have you ever wondered why?

What All Those Pinoy Construction Terms Mean

Here's a handy glossary to help you decode your contractor's or worker's lingo, from Asintada to Tambol

Exploring Baby Bean's Enchanting Farm: A Celestial Retreat

Baby Bean's farm has a lot of potential.

Yeng Constantino's Dream Beach House in Zambales

Their vision is coming to life.

7 Popular Local Materials For A Filipino Home

Show your love for Filipino design and culture with these local products and the indigenous materials they are made from

What Do Ascott and St. Luke's Have in Common? A Bedsheet Supplier

You can get the same hotel-quality sheets from Filipino brand Doyle & Furnham.

Which Type of Wood is Best for the Home?

Tanguile, Narra, or Mahogany? Each type of wood has its pros and cons.

Christmas Gifts for Every Budget

Some suggestions for that holiday cheer.

Here's Everything You Need to Know About Anne Curtis' Trending Camaleonda Sofa

Plus, where to buy similar sofas that can elevate any space.

This Resort in Quezon Gives A Modern Filipino Take on 30sqm Prefab Homes

Planning your next family or barkada staycation? This resort in Quezon lets you unwind in comfort.
Load More Stories