When initiating into the design phase for your project; whether it be a new home, renovation, extension or unit development, it is important you do some thinking and gather some information to share with your building designer / architectural drafts person. Having this information could firstly save you in consultation fees, and secondly help you achieve the right design that you’re after.
First up, I suggest you provide the building designer with an understanding of your lifestyle and cultural needs. That may include the number of children you have or plan on having, if you like to entertain often, if you have any specific cultural or religious requirements within the design ie. Feng Shui or separated living spaces etc. Experienced home designers will ask a series of questions to obtain this information to incorporate it into the design but it is also best for you to be prepared with more information.
Provide your home designers with your minimum room requirements in terms of the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, toilets etc., also the sizing of the rooms and more importantly the maximum size of the overall house/extension to suit your budget. It’s a great idea to get a visual idea of the room sizes by either looking at a room of similar size or marking out the size within a space to get a more visual idea – sometimes gauging off a piece of paper just doesn't cut it.
Ensure that your home designers have a clear understanding of the style of house design that you prefer so that suitable floor plans to match that style can be designed. This is very important as you could end up with a great floor plan that does not meet with your preferences of facade types or requirements. Gather ideas of different façade looks before meeting with your building designer. With thanks to the wonderful little thing called the internet, you have access to an abundance of images for you to begin your research if you don’t already have an idea of what you want. Of course, copyrights exist on designs so your building designer cannot directly copy a design you present to them but it is to simply gauge your ideas and preferences for overall design styles. You can search for images directly through Google or you can also search through websites/apps such as Pinterest and Houzz to collate ideas. You may also want to ask your building designer for examples of previous designs they have completed to help build on your own ideas and preferences.
Building designers Melbourne deal with a lot of different cultures and each culture may have different requirements, this is the beauty of Melbourne and what makes it so unique. Don’t be afraid to provide as much information to the drafts person as possible to ensure your building design ends up just the way you desired.
When you’re next looking for a building design for a new home or house extension and renovation, contact me for a free consultation to discuss your next project.
I overheard a phone conversation at a shopping centre the other day where someone was asking “…a building consultant? What are they?” Thanks lady, you’ve given me some inspiration for my little blog post ;)
Building consultants are qualified people within the building industry that are registered with the Building Control Commission (BCC). Whether it is a building surveyor, building inspector, energy rater, engineer, building designer/home designer, architectural draftsperson or builder, they must all be registered to be able to perform works in Melbourne.
Whenever having any house extensions, new house plans or any associated building works performed, always ask if they are building consultants registered in Melbourne and ask to see a copy of their registration so you can be sure that all works will be done to regulation and to an approved standard.
Aside from the obvious of knowing how many bedrooms, bathrooms, single/double/triple garage etc. we have listed some tips and things to consider when designing your new house plans.
- Land contour: Before anything, if you are looking for land and are budget conscious, you should consider a level block of land rather than an elevated block to minimise site costs. Wherever possible, always obtain a soil test report prior to purchasing the land so you are aware of any excessive land fill or rock formation that could bump your site costs up.
- Orientation: Again, if you haven’t already got a block of land and are looking to buy, it is highly recommended to consider the site placement. A correctly orientated block allows for a more solar efficient design. If you have land already, you should consider custom designing your home in order to plan your design around the solar orientation to allow for maximum energy efficiency, in turn, saving money in the long term. With standard display homes, you only have the option of mirror imaging the floor plan which may not necessarily be suitable for your orientation. Of course, you have the option of shopping around until you find the right design you are happy with and suits your requirements.
- Future House Extensions: As much as you plan you won’t know exactly how well your house will suit you in the following years, therefore, it’s always wise to have a design that allows for future extensions to be made easy (if the land permits) without major structural changes.
- Wish list: When you are at the design concept stage, it is highly recommended to have a wish list which incorporates items such as style of house, minimum room sizes, ceiling heights, window sizes/type, any features you wish to incorporate and most of all the preferred maximum house size. The more information provided to the designer initially will save you in preliminary design fees, so be sure to do some homework!
- Budgeting for construction: Once the preliminary concept design is completed, it is always advisable to be in contact with a Master Builder to obtain a budget costing for your preliminary design to ensure you are within your budget before progressing to the final design stage.
All in all, be sure to know what falls within your budget and work with your designer to meet your requirements and your budget. The last thing you would want is to spend thousands of dollars on your design and engineering then realise the construction costs will be out of your range.
Be wishful but realistic and don’t be afraid to ask questions!