If you are reading this post, I’d be willing to bet that on at least one occasion you’ve found yourself scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest drooling over kitchens and front porches that would make Joanna Gaines jealous. There is no shortage of perfect photos of beautiful homes online, so why does it seem like these houses don’t exist in real life? 

If you’ve been in the market for a home, I’m sure you’ve experienced what I’m talking about after you’ve spent an entire day walking through homes for sale and none of them seem to have the designer touches that you set out looking for.  Even most ‘custom’ homes are typically lackluster at best when it comes to design and finishes.

So how do you find a home that is Instagram worthy with high design finishes that looks and feels like every detail was custom made with you and your family in mind? 

I’m glad you asked.

Amazing homes that are showcased online do not happen by accident. They are not mass produced, ‘maximum-square-footage-for-minimum-price’ floor plans. Rather, they are a labor of love and dedication – the result of a highly talented team of professionals, each bringing their best efforts to the team effort to create working together to literally create a work of art. 

In every successful custom home project, there is a team behind the project. There are 3 specific and essential positions on this team that must all be filled by excellent team players. If you have excellent players at all 3 positions, there is a high likelihood that the end result will be an Instagram worthy custom home.

I call this the Custom Home Dream Team:  

1) The Architect 

2) The Designer 

3) The Builder

It is important to realize that these 3 roles are distinctly different in the skills they bring to the project. Without the strengths of all 3 of these players on your custom home dream team, you’ll likely be disappointed with the finished product.

The Architect

The architect is responsible for creating the blueprint and building plans for the home. He or she is generally the lead creative mind when it comes to interior floor plan layout, the exterior elevations, roof lines and sizing and placement of windows and doors. Typically, the architect is the liaison between the truss designer and structural engineer and is responsible to ensure that the design of the home is structurally sound and buildable. 

The architect creates the construction drawings that will be submitted for the building permit. The architect may also be involved in material specification for items like framing lumber, structural framing components and sometimes other design related items such as exterior siding details, but usually is not  involved in the selection of or layout of items like cabinetry, appliances, lighting, tile, paint, etc.

The Designer

If it’s the architect who creates the canvas, the black lines on the page, it’s the designer who artistically fills in the black lines with color, texture and detail, bringing the picture to life.

The designer is a critical part of the team because he or she will direct the aesthetic components of the home, including color selection, lighting and plumbing fixture selection and layout, cabinet design, tile design and trim and door selection. The designer should also be part of the architectural design phase of the home to ensure that design considerations are taken into account when deciding on the placement of doors, window sizes and spacing, exterior details like porches, shutters, siding and stone. It is the designer who creates interior CAD elevations and renderings that guide the installation and placement of light fixtures, hardware, trim details, etc. to make sure every interior detail is perfect. In addition to picking paint colors and tile, the designer has a vision for the complete finished home from the beginning of the design process and will help provide valuable insight to the architect during the space planning and architecture phase to ensure that the symmetry and flow of the home are maintained.  Simply stated, a good designer is the key behind the houses in those Instagram photos you have been dreaming about. 

The Builder

The role of the builder is more than just creating a schedule and providing labor to construct the house. The builder is typically the ‘Quarterback’ of the team. The builder is the one who builds the project budget and specifications for the project. A good builder can help value engineer the design of the home to ensure that the project sticks to the initial budget. Some of the many responsibilities of the builder include:

  • Preparation of the budget
  • Creation of the schedule
  • Procurement of Materials
  • Management of SubContractors
  • Quality Assurance
  • Job Site Safety and Security
  • Financial Record Keeping
  • Draw Request and Bank Documentation
  • Permits and Inspections
  • Adherence to project specifications and budget
  • Change Order management
  • Communication with the Owner
  • Coordination  between the Designer, Architect, Engineer and other project professionals
  • Much more!


As you can see, each of the members of the Custom Home Dream team play a crucial and irreplaceable role in the custom home project. When you are looking to design and build a custom home worthy of showing up in your Instagram feed, I recommend hiring a Design + Build company that specializes in custom homes who has all of the team members listed above in their organization rather than hiring separate architect, designer and builder.  A Design + Build company and is different than a general contractor or traditional custom home builder. Learn more about Design + Build here.

Remember that ‘Teamwork makes the dream work” and hire only the best team for your custom home project!

If you are considering building a custom home in Monument, Colorado Springs, Castle Rock or Elizabeth, contact me here and let’s chat!