8 Tips for designing your Dream House
Building a home is a big and expensive undertaking. To get your dream home, it is very important that you get the best house plan (architectural design) possible. You can get it easily by considering the following:
1. Know your budget
Before you start looking at house plans, have a realistic idea of how much you are to spend.
It is best to get a design you can afford to have done to perfection otherwise you end up with an unfinished or shoddily finished building.
Custom designs and materials usually cost a lot more and introduce complex construction challenges. .
To get a general idea of the money required to build a house locally you can ask knowledgeable friends or a construction professional.
2. Find out the local approval standards
Local authorities have by-laws which indicate what kind of construction is allowed in your area. Your design needs to fit these to be approved.
Some of these may limit the allowed size of your cottage to not more than 80 square metres and even allowed number of bedrooms (weird but true). Double storey structures are allowed in some areas and illegal in others.
You can learn more about these from a professional architect or construction company.
3. Evaluate the building stand
The size, terrain and location of your housing stand will play a large part in determining the type of house plan. A design that works well with the lot is less expensive to build especially if your stand is not on flat or gently inclined ground.a
The stand should be enough for the size of the house you want to build. This includes the house itself, the driveway and easements (storm drains, sidewalks, sewer access, etc.).
The orientation of your home must provide for practical access to connecting roadways. It is also best to have adequate driveway space which can be used as parking if you are entertaining visitors.
Consider the direction of the rising/setting sun when choosing where in your house plan you prefer to have windows, doors and verandahs.
4. Make a wish List
Form your current experience living or seeing other houses critically think about what works for you and what doesn’t. Create a list of features you want in your home. Split this list into 2; a list of ‘must haves’ and a list of ‘nice to haves’. Lastly create a list of things you just never want ever.
Having lists will make discussions with your architect more productive and stops you from making mistakes.
5 . Consider your Lifestyle.
Your wish list should fit your lifestyle in terms of layout and practicality.
The size of your immediate family can be the main determinant of the square footage and number of rooms in your home building plans.
Determine how often you are likely to entertain guests, and whether you want to have rooms for them to stay in for longer periods of time.
Identify places that you and your family generally congregate. Some families spend most of their time in the lounge while others might spend more time gathered in the kitchen area.
The work spaces in your house plans of choice should fit with your lifestyle. For example, if you do a lot of yard work or outdoor hobbies, then you will want a wash-room that can be accessed from outside the home. If you have an interest or work that is noisy (music, woodworking, etc.) or requires quiet and concentration (writing, programming), then it might be best to have a work space that is far removed from the home's living areas.
lso consider if you want something Open Plan, or closed off rooms. Open plan can be desirable if you want to be able to do things in another room(e.g. Kitchen) and still be able to keep an eye on kids in the lounge area.
Consider if the plan will give you flexibility as your family expands or gets older. For example; a 2 storey building might not be ideal if you have ageing or young occupants, if you are a growing family multiple baths might be a good idea.
6. Make sure there is enough Space for your furnishings
Make sure the sizes of the rooms will be adequate for the usage you want for your lifestyle.
If you plan on using your current furniture, it is best to actually measure sizes of your favourite or most important furniture and visualise how they will be placed in your new space.
Remember that you need at least 0.9 m of walking space around each item of furniture.
Keep in mind both the traffic flow from room to room, and how your furnishing arrangement fits with that.
Remember doors need space to swing.
Consider the flow of natural light. Make sure your furnishings will fit and not obstruct windows.
7. Consider your Privacy
Consider how much privacy you want and need from other occupants and neighbours
Most home owners prefer home plans with more privacy in the master bedroom and personal living spaces, others might want privacy in a home office space.
If privacy from neighbours is important to you, consider a design with an L or U shape design when building in an urban or suburban stand.
Check your home plan for placement of windows to see if they will provide adequate privacy from your neighbour’s windows and yards.
If your house plan features like decks, patios, porches or pools, check if the placement of these meet your needs for privacy. It is possible to get home designs with enclosed patios, porches and deck areas which are fit for you.
8. Outdoor living
The geographical and natural landscaping features of your stand can have a large impact on the style of home plan you will need to choose.
Therefore, when choosing a house plan, consider whether you can provide a lawn area for outdoor games, gardening, pools, landscaping features and pets.
If you plan to also include a boundary wall (durawall) the space immediately near the wall might not receive a lot of light as the sun moves. This can affect gardening.
If you've already purchased a building and need some assistance. Contact us and we’ll be happy to talk you through the house plan design process.