Popular Materials and Trends for Custom Home Builds

Many people build custom homes in a particular location and in a particular architectural style to deliver the home of your dreams. Maybe it’s a cabin in the woods. Maybe it’s a beach home. Maybe it’s urban net-zero home build with a rooftop deck. Once you have the building lot and a feel for the general style and orientation of the new custom home, then you’ll quickly start to transition to the interior design and home building materials.

The number of options can quickly overwhelm the home buyer who doesn’t recognize how involved the decision-making process can get. Here, it can be helpful to narrow down the options and refine your thinking about home design and interior furnishings by surveying popular materials and design trends for custom home builds. Easier said than done. After all, custom homes are, you know, customized. To wit, I’ve tried to research, organize, and present these ideas in a way that you can adopt as your own.


Custom home building trends

While this guide is a few years old now, I still think this overview of custom home building trends from D Magazine is holding up well. Lots of large windows seem to be the new perennial exterior design element. Traditional facades are still popular, but marrying these two features together isn’t easy. The larger principle, to my mind, is to think of clean, simple lines that can put the focus on a single feature with a more elaborative flourish. On the inside, subway tile, hardwood, and natural stone are popular materials. For decorating, the desired vibe is contemporary without being stark and without being afraid of splashes of color, including brass and gold.


Sustainable custom home builds

This is one of the most common things people are looking for in a new custom home. They don’t just want a dream home; they want a guilt-free custom dream home that is environmentally-friendly. Sustainable homes can be measured in a couple different ways. There are Net Zero Energy Homes that produce at least as much energy as they consume. There are also more or less sustainable building materials. Sustainability-minded builders tend to choose natural materials, not foam, for their insulating materials. Exterior and interior surfaces can be made from recycled or salvaged materials. But even raw materials can be chosen with the environment in mind. Quick-growing bamboo is a more renewable resource than ancient hardwoods and oil-based plastics.


Budget-minded custom home materials

Not all custom homes are multi-million dollar mansions. In fact, some custom home buyers are working with tight budgets when choosing home materials, but they know what they want and can’t find it in the existing housing stock. Concrete, stone cladding, and reclaimed materials from timber to corrugated metal to industrial steel. Most often, people find a low-cost option for their exteriors—concrete, stone cladding, and reclaimed materials from timber to corrugated metal—while going balls to the wall with their interiors. Some are true concept homes that can be built from shipping containers, natural landscaping features, and other found and repurposed materials.