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My Custom Home Build Regrets

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written by:

Carrie Barker


I’m letting you in on a little secret. I’m sharing a behind-the-scenes list of my own custom home build regrets 9 years after building my house. 

The good news is that I still LOVE my home nine years later, but there are a few things I would do differently if I built this house again and that’s what we’ll talk about today. Possibly one (or more) of these things will resonate with you as you build your own dream home.


Honestly, there is very little I would change about my custom home. Our floor plan is cozy, functional, and perfect for the way my family lives, and I’m still happy with my timeless design decisions over NINE years later. 

However, this episode is all about what I WOULD change if I were to build again … so let’s talk about it. Do keep in mind that these are ALL things I can certainly live without BUT I plan to incorporate some (or all) of these in my next home.



I can’t just talk about what I regret in my home because I still absolutely LOVE my house that I built almost ten years ago.

There are so many things that I LOVE about my home … from the large windows and abundant natural light to the extensive trim work throughout my home … I love my white kitchen, the subtle paint colors we chose, the textured grasscloth wall coverings, my small cozy office with a large window (that I’m sitting in right now), and my exterior selections … just to name a few things.

While I love my choices, there are definitely a few things I would do differently if I were to build this exact same house again. 

As I mentioned before, these are all things I can certainly live without (and I *have* lived without for nine years), BUT if I were building this house again, here’s what I would change:

  • I would add high, sloped ceilings in our second-floor bedrooms and possibly even in my first floor primary bedroom
  • I would definitely have a larger kitchen island (which = a larger kitchen)
  • I would separate my laundry room and mudroom (to divide the mess that is ALWAYS in this room!) and I would add a window in BOTH of these rooms!
  • I would (probably) choose light oak floors and a less busy kitchen countertop (however, light oak floors won’t be the ‘it thing’ forever … the trend will go back to dark floors because we all know that trends come and go)
  • I would definitely have two primary closets … no more dealing with my husband’s laundry piled up right NEXT to the hamper (not IN the hamper; next to the hamper)
  • I would add a bonus room above our garage for my girls to have an amazing teen hangout area (this wasn’t in our budget when we built), and the last thing I would change …
  • I would increase the size my screened-in porch so we would have plenty of space for casual seating area plus a casual dining area

Ok, there’s my list of what I would change if building the same home again. 

But let’s be real … none of these things are true ‘regrets’ … these are just things I would do differently if I were building this house and this floor plan again with the experience that I have after living in the house for nine years.

Alright, this was a short and sweet episode, but I really hope it was helpful for you to learn from my experience building a custom home and living in it for nine years. I love learning from others who have been there and done that and I hope you find it valuable too.

With that said, I’ve created a *FREE* on-demand training for you … 3 Simple Keys to Confidently Design Your Dream Home (without second-guessing your decisions or making costly mistakes you later regret). I encourage you to grab a virtual seat in this free training if you haven’t already watched it. 

Click here to grab your (virtual) seat!

  1. Amanda J says:

    Thank you it Is my first ‘listen in’ podcast and value your honesty….makes me feel more confident about the decisions I have made and now listening to you will re think one or 2 of them.

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I designed my own custom home from the ground up, inside and out. A home that is cozy, comfy, laid out perfectly for the way my family lives, and makes us happy every single day. Oh, and did I mention I did this all without blowing the budget?! 

Yep, it’s true. I’ve been there, done that, and actually lived through it … and you will too. Pinkie promise!

a.k.a. Caroline on Design

I’m Carrie Barker.

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