Tips for designing your ideal home

All, Miscellaneous, Interior Contracting

Identify your reasons:

Recognising your reasons for moving forward with a new build and identifying your future plans helps you develop a design brief that your designer, architect or builder can turn into a workable house plan. If you are unclear of your requirements or you try to accommodate conflicting needs, then you may be disappointed with the outcome. So to get this stage right consider two elements: Owner occupier or investor – It sounds simple, but this decision has major ramifications depending on how you work on it. If you skip this step, you may be dissatisfied with your new build. If you plan to live in it, you will have completely different needs and expectations. Designing for your needs likely means different choices and spending much more money as compared to building it as a rental or sale property.

 

Get advice: 

Before you start, it’s always worthwhile getting some advice. An architect, for example, will advise clients where best to invest in their homes and will try to recommend ways to save money and keep the job within the budget. You could also consult a contractor to get a guide price on what you are planning to do.

 

Don’t be afraid to say how much you have to spend: 

It’s very important to be upfront about your budget. There is a misconception that telling an architect or builder how much you have to spend is a bad idea. This is absolutely not the case. Without knowing how much you have to spend, it is impossible for them to advise you appropriately. Understanding that the funds available are vital will allow your architect to prioritize and steer you in the right direction in terms of where your money would be best spent and what, if any, compromises need to be made.

 

Know what's included in the contractor price: 

The contractor’s price do not include the purchase of things like windows, kitchens, bathroom fittings or finishes but do cover all construction works, electrical and plumbing works, internal doors and the fitting of all finishes and sanitary ware.

 

Do your research: 

For the items not covered in the contractor's price, it’s a good idea to get quotes from a number of different suppliers. The important thing here is to make sure that each company is working from the same brief. Even the most subtle of differences can have a huge impact on the total cost. If everyone is quoting for the same kitchen you can compare the quotes, and go forward with the one that promises you the best deal.

 

Factor in professional fees: 

Fees are another cost you will need to factor in. If you are planning on working with an architect, speak to them about how their fee structure works; is it percentage-based or a fixed fee? A percentage-based fee will mean that if the budget were to increase, the fee would also increase, so this is a very important to factor into your cost plan. Aside from the architect’s fees, you will also need to include fees for other consultants, such as structural engineers and a quantity surveyor.

Gather sample materials:

Source samples of timbers, architraves, floors, tiles etc., to include on your mood board. Whilst a lot of this can be considered interior design, your choices here will help convey the right feel for your home to your designer.

Budget for other costs: 

If you need planning permission for the work you are proposing, there will be contributions to the council. These will vary depending on the works you are planning. If you need to move out while the works are going on, for example, will you need to rent? Or will you need to pay for storage costs?

 

Set aside a contingency: 

Once you have a firm idea of what your budget is, you will need to set aside at least 10% as a contingency for any unexpected extra costs. Building projects can often run up against problems that are impossible to predict from the outset.

 

Changing your mind can cost you money: 

Finally, once your project is underway, be careful about making any changes or last-minute additions. These will be things that the builder had not priced for, and will add up quickly and can lead to an add-on to the existing budget.

Add value:

Consider the resale value of your new home and how you can add value into the house plans for your future. Even though you are far from having it built, thinking ahead can not only improve your current lifestyle but can also result in realized gains later.

 

Lastly, a very important aspect, the amount of light that enters the house depends on its orientation, design, and window placement. Consider the views as well. If you are fortunate enough to have beautiful views into the distance, then take advantage of this and plan for windows or French doors in a spot that allows you to appreciate this and provide added value.