Creating a new home is one of the biggest projects you will undertake in your life, so taking the time to get it right is important and it all starts with a plan. Here are my recommendations for making the process as smooth as possible so when they hand over those keys and you open the door you really are stepping inside the home of your dreams.
1. Start with the end in mind
It is most important to get clear on what you want as that will dictate the outcome of every decision you make. Getting clear on what you want is not just about seeing a house you like and saying you want that, or worst still seeing multiple homes and picking something from each, because it will end up a hodgepodge. What you need to do for a successful outcome is to start with where you plan on living. Have a look at what geographically that tells you about the sort of home that would best suit that landscape. Is it rural, urban, beach, the location will dictate what type of house sits well on that landscape? You then need to consider the local landscape and the other types of houses in the area. This is not about having a cookie cutter approach to homes but what will be harmonious with the area you plan to live in.
2. Budget realism
Research and planning are everything in house design. The first step is to think about the budget. A good way to gauge an average budget is to research what other homes in the area you want to live are valued at. This will help you determine what are you going to get for your money and what sacrifices you might have to make to get what you want. Then question “is it worth it?” The worst thing anyone can do is spend more than what they can recoup in the short-medium term. No one can predict the future, so you just never know if your circumstances will change. If you spend more on land and the build than you can recoup in the capital growth of a property within 5-10 years than I think it’s foolish. Even if you deem the property your forever home, never put yourself at too much risk.
3. Floor plans are king
Making sure you get your floor plan right that will suit your lifestyle from the get-go is going to save you so much pain when you go through the build. Consider practicalities like allowing the right space for a bedroom. The minimum room size to accommodate a queen size bed is 3m x3.5m. Think about bathrooms close enough for servicing the bedroom area. Consider having a toilet separate to the bathroom that can service the living areas but is far enough away for acoustic privacy.
Look at grouping rooms by purpose and function. Kitchens and dining rooms need to be close; living and outdoor entertaining should work together; bedrooms should be isolated from entertaining and noisy areas.
4. Be patient
Understand that building a home is a huge project and one of the biggest undertakings you will endeavour. Doing it right takes time but know that the more time you put into planning, the smoother the entire process will be. It is something to savour and enjoy as the final product is a signature of who you are the life you want to live.