Designing a luxury home is an exciting experience. When you’re building a new home or completely renovating an existing one, you have the opportunity to personalize it in ways that others can’t. However, it’s easy to overlook some crucial details that could throw a wrench in the whole project and push you to make major changes to your original plan. Here are four things you should consider when building a luxury home so that things go as smoothly as possible.

Craft a Budget, Then Keep It in Mind All the Times

Determine your budget and especially your upper ceiling. Communicate this budget to the architect, the engineers and the builders. Create a budget for each room and stage of construction. Then keep this budget in mind when making every decision regarding the design. This ensures that you won’t make little changes on flooring and the location of a wall that add up to more money than you can afford to spend. It prevents you from running out of money before you’re finished, and it ensures that you don’t end up with amazing heated floors but a cheap, tacky roof for everyone else to see.

Finalize the Floorplan Before You Start

A general engineering rule of thumb is that the cost to make changes goes up tenfold as the project progresses. It costs ten times as much to make changes during construction as it does when you’re looking at the blueprints. It costs many times more to alter a finished house than to change things before construction is finished.

Have a finalized floor plan before you order materials, pour foundation and start building. Agree on the number and location of bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas. Know now if you’re going to have a single-story home or two-story building. Decide now where the garage and main doors will be. If you aren’t certain what to do with a room, perhaps it should be a multi-functional space. Whether it serves as a den, home office or game room is then up to you, and you can change how you use it over time.

Go with the Experts

This is your luxury home. You can and should pay for the experts. Go with a luxury builder with a strong track record. Only hire professional tradesmen to do the work, since you don’t want to have inferior results. If you want to install advanced safety features like an indoor sprinkler system with either a fire pump or rooftop water tank, consider hiring sprinkler engineers to design and install it. Let the project manager handle the day to day issues that arise in construction, though you should keep the lines of communication open.

Design a Home You Can Live In

A common mistake with luxury home design is failing to design a home you can live in. You’d be surprised at how many people make layout decisions simply to impress visitors. Or they design large entertaining spaces but don’t have enough bedrooms and leave out a cozy family area. Select a kitchen that you can use day in and day out, not one that looked good in a lifestyle magazine. Be careful about installing luxuries that are hard to maintain or difficult to use.

If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll end up with the home of your dreams, and you’ll have sidestepped the nightmares that make many people avoid building a luxury home even though they could afford it.