Perhaps you have read Part 1 of this series on custom design home advice and you feel really well equipped to move on to the next stage and get down to the finer design details. However if you find the entire process a bit overwhelming, don’t let it hold you back! We have seen families stuck at this stage for years and with the right professional advice it doesn’t need to be put in the ‘too hard basket’. We know the right questions to ask so that we can get right to the heart of what you really want in a custom home. The suggestions that follow are advice that we give to our clients but you may choose to speak to a professional builder right from the start.
1. Custom design home advice-what size room do I need?
Often it is tricky for homeowners to visualise the size of rooms, so it’s a good idea to ask your builder or designer to help you. Remember building a larger room than you actually require can increase not only the building costs, but also the heating and cooling costs for that area. If you are intending to keep any existing furniture you should ensure it will fit comfortably within the room. We advise that you also consider placement of windows and doors as they are often overlooked at design stage, but they can dramatically decrease wall area for large furniture or artwork. A room that is too small will not be practical, but an overly large room will simply be a waste of space (and money), so put some time into imagining where you will put your furniture in each room and make sure the room is the right fit. The best custom design home advice enables you to really get a good feel for the rooms and visualise what your home will look like. Our building designer uses the latest 3D modeling software to assist with this and it is a wonderful tool for helping you to decide if the overall layout is what you had in mind.
2.Don’t skimp your storage spaces
Any well designed house, in my opinion, must contain plentiful storage spaces. Don’t rely entirely on your furniture to solve this problem. Most homes that we design and build include dedicated store rooms. The uses for these rooms are as individual as the owners themselves, and they could be seen as a modern day version of the ‘junk room’ to safely store important ‘stuff’ that just can’t be kept anywhere else. The advantage here is that you can keep the rest of your home looking amazing by avoiding the clutter of everyday living. Internal storage can also be increased by clever cabinetry in your bathrooms, kitchen, hallways and laundry. In addition consider external storage where you may need room to store sporting or gardening equipment, materials for hobbies, large musical instruments or even a wine cellar.
3.The easy way to communicate your custom home design ideas
If you are computer literate you may like to use basic software to position your room layout (Room Sketcher is one that our clients have had fun with), or you could simply work on paper to sketch your ideas. Don’t worry about sizing and scaling as this is where the professionals will improve and finesse your ideas. And don’t be concerned at this stage if you think it’s not exactly what you want. It’s just a starting point and can be used to discuss with your builder/designer what you like or don’t like about it. Pinterest and Houzz are other valuable resources and can help you get a feel for the overall look of your new home and finishes that you may be considering.
4.Choosing the right building design professional
So you’ve put all this effort into researching and discussing the design of your new home, now you are ready to find a custom home design expert who can make it happen. This involves finding the right building professional to work with you. You may choose to appoint an architect if you have a generous budget and are looking at a cutting edge design. For most other new homes we recommend using a building designer. No matter who you choose make sure they offer a personalised service with a commitment to thorough research and investigation as this will ensure a highly efficient building phase. For the ultimate experience we offer a design service where we work cohesively with our talented building designer to ensure your design fits perfectly with your family, lifestyle and land.
If you have a design dilemma or are just stuck and not able to move forward, why not give me a call on 03 9776 7101 to see how our custom design home advice can assist you?