Homestyles Interior Design team. Pictured left to right: Brittany Raines, Wendy Yeakley and Courtney Williams.

A new year is here! It’s time for changes and new possibilities—perhaps you’re dreaming of a new home.

Though it is possible to build year-rounds, Winter is hands down the best time for planning. Start planning now and you could break ground as early as Spring.

You can start building year round, but the winter might be the time for planning rather than breaking ground.

What are some guides for planning a new home?

“Budget, of course,” said Wendy Yeakley, designer and partner in the firm Homestyles Interior Design. “But then helping the client create their vision for their new home by having them show us pictures of things they like.”

Yeakley’s Cornelius, NC-based design team focuses on custom homes, primarily in the Charlotte metropolitan area. She and business partner Brittany Raines regularly consult with Pine Hall Brick and advised on our brand’s Design Guide that you can download for free HERE.

“For the exterior, we try to be sure the home will be ‘different’ from others on the street but complement their neighbors’ homes as well,” said Yeakley. “We start with the roof, windows, brick/siding/shakes/stone/stucco and present to them a combination that will show well on their exterior.”

Grey Roof home for planning

Designer Wendy Yeakley likes to start at the top when she designs home exteriors. Pick a shingle color then work your way down.

start with the shingles when planning a new home

Greensboro builder Mauro Ruggieri advises his clients to—somewhat—build for the next owner. Even though it’s your dream home today, most people eventually move.

Everybody who says, ‘I’m never going to move’…they’re the most likely to move!” said Ruggieri. “I always recommend that you build something easy to sell to others.”

Pine Hall Brick sampleBrick is a good choice because it’s popular. Twenty-one percent of new homes are brick, according to a National Association of Home Builders survey. Yes, brick is a little more expensive than other sidings, but it’s also a wise investment since it yields a 6% higher resale value.

“Stay with timeless classic designs which are made with quality materials,” said Yeakley. “A good architect or architectural designer is worth the investment to ensure your home will stand the test of time and the design will stay true to its style.”

Oh…“Don’t mix styles!” warned Yeakley.

What are the most popular styles of homes in the coming years?

“Modern is very much trending right now—Frank Lloyd Wright inspired design,” said Yeakley. “Of the modern homes we are currently working on, one is painted brick. Coastal is also very popular in our area—Hamptons and Nantucket styles with shake and stone or brick combinations. Also, a Craftsman bungalow like you would see in Dilworth area of Charlotte would be a good choice.”

What about colors?

“I predict that black windows will gain even more momentum going forward,” advised Yeakley. “Black and white exteriors are, and will, continue to be strong.”

Pine Hall Brick has a wide range of popular white brick. But painting brick is always an option to achieve true white.

“I predict that painted brick will continue to be a good choice as it is timeless, classic, and less typical than traditional brick colors, as it allows for more of a transitional or even modern look to follow through on the interior,” said Yeakley.

January is the perfect month to start sketching up your own ideas for a new home. Brick’s a great value and today it gives you a lot more latitude with an expansive range of color and texture. If you want design help, consult a pro. Or you can DIY it with your local builder.

pine hall brick in modern craftsman home

Don Hammrick’s Craftsman design pairs brick with shakes.