Where to start when designing your home

This one

You’ve weighed up the pros and cons of buying existing vs building new and decided on the latter. Now what? Where do you start when designing a new home? The earliest stages of the design process are about defining and refining your dream, so to get the ball rolling, here are some of the first things you need to think about or do…

Get inspired

You only need a basic idea to begin. To gather your thoughts on this, drive around the newer areas of town and see what other people have opted for. Flick through architectural magazines. Visit showhomes and open homes. Keep your ideas collected together somewhere, either in a notebook or online (eg. Pinterest).

Dream big and scale back

It doesn’t hurt to dream so why not begin without the budget. What would your new home have if money were no object? When you do have a solid budget go through the list and cut out what you can’t afford. Obviously, the really grand things will be easy to spot, but when it comes down to the realistic nitty gritty, what this process does is help you isolate the things that will be a ‘must-have’ and what will be a ‘nice-to-have-if-the-budget-allows’.

Be lifestyle-led

Think about the way you live your life now and how a new home could improve on that.

To help with this, think about who is going to live there now, how old are they, how much time they spend in the house and what they need from it? And think about the future - how many people might live there in 5, 10, 20 years time?

What kind of rooms do you need and how big should they be?

How much storage do you need now? How much will you need in 10 years time?

What do you need in terms of technology and energy efficiency?

How big a house are you prepared to clean?

Getting more detailed

Room by room, make a list of the things you’d like to have. This is where you can start getting more detailed about the features, fittings and fixtures you’d like. Get creative, let your imagination run wild. Once it’s time to lock in a floor plan you can come back to your list and whittle it down to the essentials.

We have some thought starters on our website

Sketch a basic floor plan

Do this just to give yourself an idea of how you’d prefer the layout and how you’d like traffic to flow from room to room. Ultimately you want something that’s both comfortable and convenient. A good floor plan fits your priorities, lifestyle and the size of your family and finds a nice balance between practicalities and architectural details. Please note, this really is just a rough draft as creating a practical floor plan takes a lot of thought (and skill to get the scale right) and compromises may have to be made based on where the house sits on the site, which way it faces in relation to the sun, how it links up to infrastructure, etc.

Try our online tool

Online Design & Build has created a modern home-building tool that makes it affordable for you to build a new home. Simply pick a house plan, customise your specifications, taking as much time as you like tinkering with the design to perfect the home you want, then we take care of the rest. Our process has been specifically designed to make it easy for you to be in control of building an affordable, top-quality home. Give it a try now. 

Published:  6 April 2018
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