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 minimize site costs. Wherever possible, always obtain a soil test report prior to purchasing the land so you are aware of any excessive landfill 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 the style of the 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 realize the construction costs will be out of your range.
Be wishful but realistic and don’t be afraid to ask questions!