What tips do custom builders have for buyers looking to build a custom home?  We asked the experts at Design Gallery Homes by Drees, who cater to buyers looking to build in custom communities or in unique locations in and around Indianapolis. Their answers may surprise you.

3917 Idlewind Dr web1. CREATE A WOW KITCHEN

Your kitchen is the heart of your home and a central hub of activity. To really make an impact, splurge on the countertops and cabinet features. Consider a dramatic granite paired with cabinets that extend to the ceiling. Or incorporate open shelving with a dramatic tile backsplash.


Wiring and lighting in the kitchen, as boring as that sounds, is key. LED lighting within cabinets and drawers is becoming a major must-have for buyers. Connected appliances can keep an inventory of your food, send spoilage alerts, suggest recipes and even place reorders for grocery delivery. Think about what to incorporate and plan ahead with your builder.

iga 0448 00 MonticelloB masterbath1 web3. Create a spa getaway

You’ll spend a lot of time in your owner’s bathroom, so splurge a little to build a relaxing sanctuary. Consider incorporating unique tile designs and upscale lighting fixtures. We’re seeing an increasing number of buyers choose super-showers with built-in seating instead of bathtubs. And don’t forget to place outlets where you’ll need them!

NGT 0009 A Channing II A Entry 01 web4. Make a grand entrance with a stylish front door

This may surprise you! But the front door sets the stage for your exterior and the main entrance of the home. Make a statement that will really wow guests.

5. Plan for outdoor living

If you love fresh air, definitely think about establishing an outdoor living space. This area will allow for an extra entertaining area. There are many options for adding covered spaces with built-in fireplaces. It’s a home upgrade you won't regret. 

6. Add trim

This is an often-overlooked feature of the home. Add character by adding trim around windows and creating statement walls with your favorite trim treatments. For example, a special finish in a tray ceiling above your bed or a statement wall in your dining room will add style. 

7. Incorporate high ceilings

Ceiling height allows for an open and airy feel. Plus, it adds dramatic impact to your home. If you are looking to finish your basement, let your builder know to plan for 9 foot ceilings if possible.

8. Future-proof your home

Pre-wiring for any needs you might envision down the road will save time and money. It is easier to get the wiring done prior to your home’s completion than to tear up walls later. Also consider adding rough-in plumbing in unfinished spaces in case you might like to add a bathroom in the lower level in the future.

IGA 0481 00 family2 web

The home building process can be fun and easy! With so many options to include in your custom home, you need a team by your side who can provide expert advice every step of the journey. Interested in learning more? Have a lot or need help finding land? Design Gallery Homes by Drees can make your custom dream home a reality.


Sign Up for Free Carmel Insider Newsletter

Fill out the short form below to start receiving the latest info about what's happening in Carmel.

Thank you to our Trusted Partners for helping support local entertainment, tourism and economic development.

Trusted Partners

Charleston Sc Site Logo 2


From road crews to restaurants, banks to breweries, Carmel local entertainment and tourism impacts nearly every local business each year. That ripple effect lasts longer than the average family visit to Carmel. Many of today’s visitors become tomorrow’s residents, neighbors and coworkers, creating even more economic and cultural growth.

We ask you to join ExploreCarmelIN.com as a Trusted Partner and be part of a select community of leading local businesses – of all industries and sizes – that work together to build a stronger future for Carmel, Indiana.