6 Tips For Smart House Design
Considering custom-designing your dream home? Before you start, there are some considerations that you need to bear in mind. Here are 6 tips for making sure that you wind up with the perfect house for yourself, your budget, your lifestyle and your future:
Set a budget… and stick to it!
When it comes to making your dream home a reality, it is all too easy to blow your budget. To make sure that you don’t wind up penniless, it is important that you plan your budget thoroughly… and stick to it. Your budget should include every cost related to your home including land and house purchase, construction, interior design and completion – factor it all in before you start, so that you’re not met with any unexpected costs. To make figuring out the costs of your home (and setting a realistic budget) easier, you can use a budget calculator or design software that includes a cost estimator. Don’t forget that you don’t need to add in all of your dream furnishings immediately – you can always upgrade your home as you go.
To make sticking to a budget easier, prioritise your needs. Custom home design can easily exceed a budget if you let your fancies take control. With so many luxury inclusions to choose from, it’s important to prioritise the most important aspects of your design.
When planning your house design, start from the very beginning. Don’t get carried away deciding on the furniture for your lounge room before you have even decided on the bedroom count! Basically, you need to have the fundamental elements of your home in place before you rush into the exciting part, which is designing the floor plan and interior. Bear in mind your building needs and limitations, and be realistic. When creating a criteria list for your house design needs, start off simple: How many storeys? How many bedrooms? How many bathrooms? How many family areas? Open plan or separate rooms? Once your basic list is complete, you can move on to planning the individual rooms in more detail. Remember to include the most important and features first and then add from there. Here are some important factors for you to consider:
- Privacy – how important is privacy to you? Your design will need to reflect this.
- Current furniture – consider the furniture you will be taking into your new home, and make sure that it will fit through the doors and into the rooms.
- Guest rooms – do you need guest rooms now? Will you in the future?
- Outdoor spaces – How much outdoor space do you need? Are you installing a pool? Will you want to have a pool one day?
- Storage – make sure you have adequate storage throughout the house.
- Access – do you, or will you, need ramps for someone with limited mobility or a wheelchair? The elderly, young and disabled may have difficulty with stairs and uneven flooring, so you many need to make considerations based on this.
Consider your needs… now and in the future
A house is a long term commitment, so you need to consider your long term needs. When planning, consider whether you will need extra space for children, ageing parents, relatives or friends. Think of your future self and set the groundwork. You don’t need to include everything your future self will need now – but you need to make sure that your house is built in a way that will allow for upsize/renovation when the time comes.
Once you have a clear idea of your location, block of land, wants, needs and limitations, you need to bring them all together and write them down. We suggest that you create 2 lists – one of your house needs and one of your wants. Consider making a ‘top 3’ and ‘bottom 4’ for these lists. We also recommend that you create 3 ideal house design plans. This will give you greater flexibility and help you to clarify the mix of elements that are most important to you/your family and your lifestyle. Having 3 plans (at least) will also make it much less devastating if your builder nay says or recommends adapting one of your designs!
Consider the ‘flow’ of your home
When mapping out your floor plan, make sure that your house design is logical and flows well. Not only will this make easier for your building contractor, but it will simplify life for you and you family. For example, consider having:
- Direct access to the kitchen from the garage
- All your plumbing in one general area, which reduces pipe distance
- Your heating ventilation and air conditioning system as central as possible, allowing for better temperature balance throughout your house
- Isolated bedrooms – this reduces noise and increases privacy
- Your washer and dryer on the same floor as bedrooms (for two or more story homes)
- Doorways, hallways and stairways that are wide enough to move furniture through
- Light switches that are conveniently placed and appropriate to traffic flow
Let there be light
Consider how you can maximise the natural light in your home. One way to do this is by adding skylights, which reduce the need for artificial light and provide as much as 30% more light than vertical windows. Light should also figure into the placement of your rooms – for example, if you want to enjoy natural morning light in your lounge room, it would be wise to face the lounge room east, where it will catch the rising sun. Or, alternatively, if you would like to sit on your deck in the evening and watch the sunset, make sure that your deck faces west. It’s also important to consider your artificial lighting – a bright light is necessary for the kitchen as it facilitates food preparation, however softer lighting with dimmer switches may be more appropriate for the bedrooms and more ambient spaces.
If you would like more expert advice about creating your dream house, contact us today. From initial layouts to the final delivery of your home project, we work with our clients to bring them homes that are customised to their taste, budget and lifestyle. Our goal is to bring your dream home to life. Want to get an idea of the great features your home could include? Why not visit our display village and check out our house designs .