Complete Guide to Building Luxury Homes

When you’re spending a lot of time and effort on a brand new home, it has to be perfect.  You’ve decided to put your time and money into designing, building and decorating your dream home – it should work for you. Plus, you’ll be in your home for a considerable time, so it needs to be a space you love!

If you're looking for a luxury home, choosing to build instead of buy is a great option.

Building Luxury Homes

The surest way to achieve your dream home is to plan it yourself with the help of a reputable luxury home contractor. When you build, you have a say in every last detail of your home. You get the quality and materials you can comfortably afford, the floor design you want, the most amazing interior décor, and more!

You’re probably thinking: “But I can save myself the hassle of building and buy a luxury home instead!”.

If you are in the market for a luxury home, it’s best to weigh the pros and cons of building versus buying an existing home. Building your home allows you to control the home’s design. You can also choose special amenities that function for your lifestyle and family.

When you close your eyes, what do you see in your dream home? Building a home from scratch allows you to breathe life into your home’s design.

The last thing you want after buying a home is to have to start stressful renovations because you find things that just don’t work for your family. In the end, you’ll find that building a custom luxury home would have been a better option instead! By building your luxury home, you can turn your dream into reality.

When you decide to build a luxury home, there are many things to consider.

Identifying the perfect location

Do you want to live out on a secluded lot where you get up in the morning to the sight of wildlife in your front yard? Or do you want your home to be a stone’s throw away from freeways and shopping? When planning to build your luxury home, location is of utmost importance!

You should also factor in the possibility of resale. Even though you’re planning on living in your luxury home for life, things change. It’s important to consider all the possibilities.


It’s time to build your dream home!

Download our New Life Process to see how we make it easy.

Our New Life Process guides you through exactly how we help make your dream home a reality.


Choosing the right contractor

As for selecting the right contractor, you want a builder who has great experience in designing and building custom luxury homes. A company with unmatched craftsmanship and a legacy of high-quality work. You need a contractor who can speak to both the contemporary and classic building styles. Someone who understands your personality and exactly what you have in mind for your luxury home.

Costa Homebuilders has been building custom luxury homes in the Pittsburgh, PA region for generations. With a proven track record, you can trust Costa to build your dream home and exceed all your expectations. From an open floor layout to beautiful domed church-like ceilings, we can do it all.

Forming a budget

Whether you’re planning to have an open stone partition in your kitchen, a fireplace in your sauna-like bathroom or another custom feature, it’s important to think through each aspect of your home.

Truth be told, sticking to a budget for luxury homes is an enormous challenge –  especially when building a custom home. Though you may not have a problem covering any extra expenses, it’s advisable to form a financial plan.

Your budget will help determine every feature added, from custom high-end fittings, to electronics. What you don’t want to happen, is to get near the end of your project and find that you’ve depleted your budget.

Take your time in figuring out what you absolutely can’t do without in your luxury home, and how much you’re planning on spending. Making a list of your “must-haves” lets you choose where to allocate your budget.

Designing Luxury Homes

Luxury homes should put function first, so they work for your family.Putting function first

Have you been in a luxury home that feels a little empty? You want a home that oozes warmth. If your builder doesn’t plan to make each space functional, a luxury home can easily feel unwelcoming. It’s up to you and your builder to plan how to make the most of each space, so your entire home feels warm and inviting.

The true definition of a custom luxury home is a home that provides a great family setting. At the same time, you need a friendly and engaging space for entertaining guests. Talk to your builder about how you’ll spend time in your home, to ensure your home functions the way you want it to.

Securing your home

You want to keep your family safe and protect your valuables. When designing and building your home, privacy and security are critical factors to consider.

With modern technology, there are tons of high-tech security options to choose from. Consult with your contractor and security company on the system that’s best suited to the design and layout of your custom luxury home.

Planning for resale

Luxury homes should be designed with resale in mind.What if later in life you want to relocate to a different state and choose to put your home on the market? Will potential buyers appreciate your custom luxury home? Though your priority should be to design a home that fits your lifestyle, you should keep ‘collective home charm’ in mind so your home will still appeal to other buyers.

For example, say you add a huge living space off your master bedroom, where no one can access it unless they walk through bedroom. This would make resale difficult. While you might want the space for your private office or a private lounge, the majority of people wouldn’t find the space functional.

Keep such little things in mind so you don’t end up needing to renovate your home in order to get the maximum resale price.  Buyers want to get a turnkey home that’s ready to move in, so designing a space with resale in mind is important.

Customizing Luxury Homes

Choosing amenities

After you’ve thought about initial design, it’s time to think about amenities. There are so many unique features you can add to your home. Things like a batting cage, an infinity pool, a basketball court, a gourmet kitchen. The best part of designing a luxury home is being able to add the amenities you’ve always wanted.

Depending on the vision you have for your luxury home, whether it’s to display your exquisite art collection or to entertain, design and build your home centered on your lifestyle. What your family loves doing and how you see yourself living in your home are at the heart of the design process.


Learn how easy it is to build your dream home.

Click to download our New Life Process for details.


A basketball court is a unique amenity to add to luxury homes.

Including the right rooms

Your luxury home’s floor plan can truly reflect your lifestyle and personal style. You want a home that meets all your needs. Think about adding rooms that will enhance how you live in your luxury home:

  • A large dining room

    This is a must for indoor entertaining.

  • A morning room

    This is usually just off the kitchen, and is the perfect room for breakfast, brunch or casual dining.

  • A huge and well-planned pantry

    It should be in your kitchen and should be fairly large, so you have room to stock up on plenty of food.

  • A butler’s pantry

    This is perfect if you are building a European style luxury home. This is a room between your kitchen and dining area that can hold crystal stemware, china for special occasions, or even something like a wine fridge.

  • A sun room

    This can be located anywhere in your home. Sun rooms provide a cozy area to enjoy the sun and the beautiful view.

  • A game room

    This is a great hang-out space that may include a pool table, a karaoke stage and arcade games.

  • A walk in dressing room

    If your clothing collection is ever-growing, you might enjoy a huge walk in closet!

  • A music room

    For the musically inclined, this room should have high ceilings for a rich look and for better sound. You can use it for your grand piano, drum set, and other music instruments.

  • A personal gym

    A great way to stay healthy and fit at home. Home gyms are typically located near outdoor amenities or off the master bedroom.

  • A conservatory

    Luxury homes feature special amenities.Provide your home with a beautiful glass-walled transition between indoor and outdoor spaces.

  • A home theater

    With a huge screen, cushy couches, and a popcorn machine, you can create your own movie heaven at home.

  • A home office

    This is a must-have for most luxury homes. Create a relaxing space where you can power through your workload.

  • A library

    A nice and quiet room for reading and peaceful reflection.

Perfecting every last detail

Every detail in your custom luxury home matters. Even something such as the duct work has an effect on how you live in your home. Your builder should be able to recommend what to add to your home, and how to get it at the best value.


Costa Series Luxury Homes feature all these specifications:


Plans & Drawings
  • Your lot or ours
  • Build our models or yours
  • Changes are almost unlimited
  • Steep-pitched roof design
  • Custom designed floor plans

Footer/Foundation
  • 24” x 12” with 3 rows of 5/8”
  • Foundation consists of 9’ high 10” wide poured foundation wall with both horizontal and vertical steel reinforcements on all 4 sides

Concrete
  • Concrete driveway, front porch, 42” front sidewalk
  • Concrete driveways 4” thick with wire mesh & rebar

Framing
  • 7/16” OSB and ½” dow board sheathing on exterior walls
  • Engineered floor systems
    • Uniform and consistent floor joists that resist bowing and shrinking
    • Available in long lengths for a more open floor plan
  • Tray ceiling in the master bedroom, a vault in the master bath, and cathedral ceilings installed (as per plans)
  • Energy Star rated Pella 450 Series windows featuring tilt-to-clean, aluminum-clad exterior, full screens, and grilles between glass on all windows
  • Pella Fiberglass 6 panel entry system with direct set glass sidelights including factory stain finish
  • Closed cell spray foam and batt insulation combo will be used on the exterior walls, with R-21 total insulation value

Exterior
  • Brick on 80-90% of the house
  • 30 brick color choices with several over-sized brick as standard
  • Roof is covered with Winter Guard, not paper
  • Ice and water shield is used around the roof perimeter and valleys
  • 12’ x 12’ wood treated deck or patio
  • Roof overhangs and shingled returns are included in every model
  • Limestone address stone included

Electrical
  • 200 main amp electric service
  • 5 recessed light fixtures
  • Front entry doorbell
  • Eight cable TV outlets using RG6 cable for high-speed internet connections in customer locations
  • Front light post with dusk to dawn sensor
  • 2 paddle fans included assembled and installed
  • 2 telephone outlets using category 5 wire
  • 2 weatherproof outside receptacles
  • 2 exterior spotlights
  • Overhead lights in all rooms and hallways
  • Custom electrical walk through with electrician
  • Belt drive garage door openers installed with sensors and key pad & 2 remotes

Plumbing/Kitchen & Bath
  • 50-gallon high efficiency gas hot water tank (if gas is available)
  • Granite allowance for kitchen countertops
  • All Kohler plumbing fixtures
  • Laundry tub with faucet
  • 3 hose bibs with shutoff valves
  • Maple raised panel kitchen cabinets with hidden hinges, dovetail drawer connections and soft-close doors & drawers
  • Gas and Electric hook ups for the stove and dryer
  • Rough-in plumbing for future basement powder room or full bathroom

HVAC
  • 95% efficiency forced air gas furnace and whole house air conditioning +3” filter
  • Metal ductwork in basement with sealed seams
  • Returns throughout the house versus central return

Interior Trim
  • 8 styles of doors with Schlage satin nickel knobs and hinges
  • Primed Pine Finger Jointed Wood not MDF base boards; 5” on the 1st floor, 3” on the 2nd floor
  • 1 coat of primer, 2 coats of quality egg-shell finish Sherwin Williams paint on the walls and ceilings, trim is white semi-gloss
  • Stained oak railings with standard iron spindles
  • Ceramic tile or 5” or 6” handscraped engineered wood flooring in foyer, powder room, dining and kitchen areas, ceramic in all bathrooms
  • Frieze style carpeting in other areas
  • Windows and doors trimmed with picture frame casing
  • Gas fireplace with ceramic tile or stone surround under a custom-built mantel and hearth flush with floor
  • Drywall in garage with masonry splashguard on attached garages

Costa Luxury Homes feature many specifications that other luxury homes do not.

In addition, Costa Signature Series Luxury Homes feature these upgrades:


  • Additional brick colors
  • Composite decking or stamped patio in rear of house
  • 5 additional recessed light fixtures
  • Upgraded plumbing fixtures
  • Upgraded lighting fixtures
  • Ceramic tile walls in master bathroom shower
  • 75-gallon hot water tank with recirculating line to the master bathroom
  • White ceilings, which allow for a larger selection of wall colors
  • 2 zone HVAC system
  • Granite or stone around custom built fireplace mantel
  • 2 panel front door option
  • Interior custom trim package with wood moldings
  • Solid core doors on bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Ceramic walls in master shower
  • Larger selection of paint colors

Modernizing Luxury Homes

Contractors of modern luxury homes are tasked with creating exquisite art pieces that satisfy homeowners’ lifestyles and personalities. As times change and advancements are made, the definition of ‘luxury’ design changes.

Here are the ways in which ‘luxury’ has been redefined:

Luxury homes suit your lifestyle

Luxury homes suit your lifestyle.There’s so much more to luxury homes than great designs and fancy finishes. They are built with the future in mind. For example, a master closet can be designed with a brilliant oval-shaped packing island, abundant shelving, as well as USB and electrical outlets. These features are attractive as the desire for extravagant walk-in closets rises.

Luxury is a lifestyle. Choose interior design features that improve how you live your everyday life.

Luxury homes are tech-y

Motion detectors, temperature controlled wine cellars, variable speed indoor air conditioning, and car lifts are just some of the smart-tech features you can add to your home.

Home automation systems are also taking center stage in most luxury homes. A single touch of an iPad can control everything from sound and video, to your sprinkler system. You can check everything that’s happening in your home from your smartphone. It’s a great way to check that your home is safe, or even shut off lights from anywhere in the world.

Luxury homes use space wisely

No space? No problem!

While today’s luxury homes may cover smaller ground, that doesn’t mean they are any smaller. Going vertical is the way to go when you don’t have a lot of space to sprawl. More and more luxury homes today have more surfaces, and less plot.

The perfect luxury home is achieved through your vision and through the help of a professional builder. At Costa Homebuilders, we help you build your dream luxury home by walking you through the entire home building process, answering all your questions and providing you with the best solution. We can build on a lot that you have purchased or help you find one that meets all your needs. Your dream luxury home is closer than you think.