When designing a custom home, people often focus on the features they want it to have inside. For instance, they may decide they want an island in the kitchen and a walk-in closet in the bedroom. It is fun and important to customize the interior of your home. But what about the outside? Here are some design features to consider as you work with your builder to plan your home exterior.

Wrap-Around Porch

Wrap-around porches are sometimes seen as old-fashioned and outdated, but they are making a bit of a comeback. They are a convenient way to build lots of covered, outdoor living space into your home. If you have a home designed with a wrap-around porch, you can turn part of that porch into an outdoor dining area. You can turn another part of it into a patio garden with potted plants. Since the same roofing materials can be used on the porch roof as on the primary home roof, you can usually add a wrap-around porch quite affordably.

A Portico

If you don't want a proper porch or patio, you can ask your builder to add a portico to the front of your home. This is basically a small structure that is built right in front of your front door. It has a few steps leading to it and a landing "floor" that's usually square. There's also a small, peaked roof that sits over the portico. This structure provides shelter, and it also adds character to the front of your home. 

Outdoor Kitchen

If you want to do more than just grill outside, you can have your home designed with an outdoor kitchen. You'll want outlets in the exterior wall, a poured concrete patio, and some sort of covering, whether that's a retractable awning or a permanent one. You can add whatever appliances you want later as long as these basics are here.

Accent Lighting

Work with your builder to create a nice lighting scheme for your home. It's better to do this from the get-go so the electrical wiring can be run accordingly. You'll probably want some lights shining down over key plants in your landscaping. You will probably also want lots of lights near the doors and patio areas.

Talk to a residential custom construction designer and builder about the exterior elements above. They can help you plan the features you want and find good ways to work them into your design.