Monday February 19, 2018

New Home Construction: Tips from a Builder

by Joann Whetstine

Cascade West, a Washington home builder, was contacted by a homeowner after they toured the Clark County Parade of Homes in Ridgefield. They were very drawn to the Super Ranch design featured on the home tour. It included an open concept layout and details that could allow the occupants to age-in-place.

It’s All in the Details

Once they decided to proceed with building the home of their dreams, they talked to the builder about the features they found appealing and Cascade West made suggestions for details that might get overlooked when a new home construction project gets underway. The next step was to tour the private acreage and conduct a feasibility study. The gorgeous hilltop property made it clear that the main feature of this home should focus on the amazing view.

Building the home of your dreams

Universal Design Focus

The 3,700 square foot house was designed with one main level, but also included a daylight basement. The clients wanted this to be their forever home, and asked that the builder pay special attention to ADA features, aging-in-place, and Universal Design elements to ensure that they would be happy and comfortable in their home for as long as possible.

Universal Design focus new construction home

The Open Concept Floorplan

The covered entry was designed with an open concept floorplan and leads straight into the great room and main living areas that include the kitchen and dining room. Although they are retired, the couple has an active outdoor lifestyle, and wanted a mud room entry from the garage to provide a place to leave their gear between adventures. The other half of the main floor consists of the master wing, including a master bedroom, bathroom, walk-in closet, laundry room, and two guest suites. Downstairs is a large media room with a wet bar and an additional guest suite and storage.

Open concept floor plan

Vinyl Windows: The Perfect Match

“We chose Milgard® Style Line® Series vinyl windows for a few reasons,” Tim Holley from Cascade West told Milgard. “The windows are incredibly reliable, designed with usability in mind, and selection is unmatched. Being a custom builder we receive a lot of requests for interesting shapes and sizes and Milgard can manufacture them. 

Vinyl windows were the perfect match on this new construction home

Expansive Glass Walls

“Our favorite part of this project has got to be the 12ft by 8ft double sliding glass door in the great room,” Tim went on to say. “The large wall of glass offers beauty, light and a focal point for the room that is exciting to engage with, while providing an open comfortable feeling.” The homeowners are fortunate enough that when they exit through the sliding doors, they experience a beautiful, treetop setting to personally take in all the splendor that the outdoors provides.

12ft by 8ft double sliding glass door flanked with windows make a beautiful glass wall

Builder Tips

Here’s some tips Cascade West suggests when planning to build a home:

  • Get creative in the way you make use of natural light.
  • Consider a classic, timeless design, not trendy.
  • Focus on the view whenever possible.
  • Be forward thinking in your home’s design (Cascade West likes to “create for the future while drawing on the past”).

Serene and luxurious mater bathroom en suite

Getting Started

If you are ready to start a new home construction project, consider the following:

  • The Plans: Don’t let this be a hurdle. Look through extensive libraries and take note of every plan that resonates with you.
  • Questions to Ask: What are you gravitating towards and why? What parts of the house do you love? Which do you need now? Which will you need later? Is there anything you can do without?
  • Share: Once you’ve begun to narrow what the idea of your house is, share those notes with builder who will take those ideas as seriously as you do. If they jump right in and share your vision, they should be able to work with you and create the perfect house plan.

Project Info:

Milgard Series Used: Style Line® Series vinyl windows 

Builder/Contractor: Cascade West Development Inc.

Architect: Alan Mascord Design Associates

Photographer: ExposioHDR

Milgard Dealer: Troyco Window & Door, Oregon

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Leave a comment


Considering new construction

This article has been a big help for me as we are considering doing new home construction.

Timeless design

My parents want to build their "grandparent" home soon. So, I liked that you pointed out that they should think about making the house have a timeless design. It might also be smart for them to pick materials that will be very durable.

Dream Home

It sure got my attention when you mentioned the importance of having a floor plan if you want to build a home from scratch in order to have nice zoning and flow to the spaces. I'm planning on having a house built for my wife and children by the end of the year. That is why I want to hire an architect to help me draw up some plans and translate my ideas on how I want to configure the space. Thanks for your home construction tips!

new home construction tips

I loved the way you have described the various new home construction tips. It is a cumulative guide for beginners and those who want to construct a home of their own. What is recommended, however, is going for professionals who will be able to guide you through the entire process, and help build the new home, efficiently.

New Home Construction

This came across to me as an all-inclusive guide on the things you need to keep in mind when going for new home construction. However, I can give you a simple way out. Yes, you need to do your research, but get in touch with a reputable general contractor working with new home construction to get a clear view of how things are supposed to happen. This would not only allow you to have a glimpse of what the result would be, but professionals would also give their perspective on the case, enhancing the results in the process.


I appreciate you talking about this topic. It is so important.

Great tips!

Thank you so much for the tips. I am looking to build with a fast builder and it's great to have tips about everything. Even if it isn't a custom home, I still like advice!


It's great that you mentioned that the covered entry was designed with an open concept floorplan and leads straight into the great room and main living areas that include the kitchen and dining room. My sister will have a house constructed on the land she bought outside the city and finally build her dream home. I'll share this with her to give her tips on the design of her home. Thanks!

Window tips

I loved what you said about glass doors and walls! I have always wanted a super modern home. I wonder if I could work with builders to make it happen.

good point

I thought you made a good point when you mentioned that it is a good idea to share your notes with a builder when constructing a custom home. I would think that it would be a good idea to work with a construction contractor during the entire planning process. Getting the planning process seems like it would be crucial for getting the custom home you want.


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