5 things to consider when designing your house (or extension)

It can be a daunting experience for those who have never undertaken the self build process before….but plan carefully, get the right design team around you…and it should be an exciting experience!

To get you started on the process, we have complied a list of the 5 most important things to consider:

1. Design your house for how you wantto live, not necessarily how you do live.
Dream. Aspire.
You would love your house to be a ‘gathering space’ for family? Design it as such.
You dream of having BBQ’s for friends? Design it in.
Want a space where you can hide away and read? Do it!
Dream big. Don’t settle for ordinary!

2. Future proof your house. Think about how your life is likely to progress.
Young toddlers will soon become teenagers, and then adults…eventually leaving the house. So, deciding against a mezzanine level because your 3 year old is a ‘climber’; when, in reality, he will be 5 before the house is built…. & has subsequently turned into the model child!!

3. Invest in the ‘big ticket’ items. Get the basics right.
Spend your money ensuring the rooms are the right size (not too big, not too small), & how the flow of the spaces work for your life. Construct your house to the highest standards you can afford – so as to reduce your living costs now and in the future. This will also make your house a more comfortable living environment. It is the one thing you will not regret.

4. Budget. As architects it is crucial that we know this – and how much flexibility there is in the budget. We need this information to inform the design: the size, complexity and specification of your house. Your budget is not necessarily how much you can afford to spend, but how much you are comfortable spending.  Checking with a mortgage advisor prior to starting to design your house is a must: you need to know the maximum you can afford before deciding how much you want to spend.

5. Start now. Make decisions as early in the process as possible; use Pinterest to help you. See a door you like? Make the decision there and then that is your door. When the building is on site, questions will be quick and fast – about things you never thought about before (door stops, architraves, door handles, chimney pots!); you will be thankful when you can say ‘I got this one!’
And… the details do matter!