• Maria Luisa Castellanos

What 20 questions should you ask yourself before building a new house in Miami?


Photo by Alberto Castillo from Unsplash

Many people start daydreaming about a house but have not reflected deeply on what they want in this new house. This is an important aspect of building a new house.

Why do you want a new house? Have you asked yourself that? What do I dislike about my present home?

You need to do a deep analysis of what you want and your lifestyle before you even approach an architect. Thoughtful consideration of these questions below will most certainly give you a house that will be more in line with what you want:

  1. Do you need more room or are children grown and moving on? So, do you want a bigger house or a smaller one?

  2. Are you planning on changing your lifestyle? Are you expecting to have more children or are you nearing retirement?

  3. What is your lifestyle? Are you a homebody or do you like to go out a lot? Do you like to entertain at home? For example, if you eat or order out most of the time, do you really need a big kitchen?

  4. Do you work at home? Will any part of the house be dedicated to working?

  5. How much time do you spend in each of the following areas? Bedrooms, living room, kitchen, den, family room, office, laundry room, garage, etc.? Do you like to spend time outside on a terrace – covered or uncovered? What rooms do you want to prioritize to make really outstanding?

  6. How much time and energy are you willing to invest to maintain your home? What materials do you want to use to minimize maintenance?

  7. What do you want in the new house that you don’t have now?

  8. Have you selected the site, or do you need the architect/realtor to find one for you? If you have a site, is it in a flood zone or near the ocean?

  9. What style do you want for the house – do you want it to be modern with flat concrete roofs or do you want a sloped cement tile roof with standard wood trusses or joists?

  10. Do you have hobbies that will need a particular space in the new house?

  11. How much can you spend on the new house?

  12. Do you plan to hire a general contractor or subcontract the house yourself?

  13. Do you want to spend a lot of time in the garden and are you going to devote a large part of your budget to exterior areas?

  14. Will you want a pool after you finish the house?

  15. How many stories do you want? Will it be a one-story or two?

  16. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want?

  17. How many square feet do you want? Will it be a rambling house or one that is compact?

  18. Do you prefer certain materials just because you like the way they look?

  19. Do you like sunlight in your bedrooms in the morning or do you want your bedrooms sited so that sun does not come into the rooms in the morning?

  20. Have you collected photos of what you want?

The answer to these questions will likely determine the kind of house you want and how functional it will be for you. It will be very helpful for any architect to know the answer to these questions.


As Miami architects, specializing in residential coastal construction, we would like to know the answers to these questions prior to working with you.


If you would like to discuss your project, call Maria Luisa Castellanos, R.A., on her cell at 305-439-7898. We would welcome a discussion with you.

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