Here you are, excited to design your new house!

  • KNOW YOUR BUDGET:  Pretty obvious I suppose, but unless you know how much you can afford to spend, you really can’t design a suitable house.  If money is no object, then design your ultimate home.  But if you have a limited or specific budget, then you need to work within it to make sure that you end up with the home you want without the nervous breakdown!


  • WHAT STAGE OF LIFE ARE YOU IN?:  First home buyers will have different needs to growing families or older empty-nesters looking to downsize.  And investors will have a different objective than an owner-occupier.  While your budget will be a large factor in what you build, creating a floorplan that suits your stage of life or financial intention is the key to ending up with a home that works for you. 


  • DECIDE ON THE “MUST HAVES”:  If you have your heart set on a stone waterfall island bench in the kitchen, but your budget is limited, then you need to decide what you can live without.  That might mean laminate on other benches or in the bathroom or forgoing the floor to ceiling tiles.  These are things that can be upgraded fairly easily down the track when you’ve built up a bit of equity in the home and can afford some renovations.


  • FUTURE-PROOF YOUR HOME:  The young couple building their first home might be perfectly happy in a small 2 bedroom 1 bathroom home.  But that might be just a bit too cosy if children arrive.  Give some thought to how long you intend staying in the home and design it to take into account potential changes in how it will be lived in.  The more flexibility you can build into the design, the better.


  • DO YOU NEED THAT MEDIA ROOM?:  This is the opposite to the previous point.  If your budget is a bit tight, and especially if you aren’t planning on living in the home for more than a few years, think about what you can do without.  A 4 bedroom home with 2 bathrooms and a media room might be nice, but you may be paying for a house that is far too big and therefore far more expensive than necessary.


  • INVEST IN QUALITY FIXTURES:  Consider upgrading to higher quality materials, fixtures and fittings if you’re able to.  While you can always renovate down the track, investing in these upgrades during the construction process if the budget allows is always cheaper than later on.


  • PLAN FOR PRACTICALITY:  You can never have too much storage – don’t scrimp on power points – do you have areas that can be multi-purpose? – is there good integration between indoors and outdoors?  Think about how you live your life and make sure your design allows and enhances this.


  • MAKE SURE TO MAXIMISE LIGHT:  Windows, glass doors, skylights and stairwells all bring light into the house.  A bright and fresh home is always more inviting than a dark and gloomy one. 


  • ORIENTATION OF YOUR HOUSE:  Depending on where you live, try to orient your home and the internal rooms to take advantage of the sun.  Passive energy as well as light can all be achieved if thought is given to exactly how the house is situated on the block.


  • IS “OPEN PLAN” THE RIGHT DESIGN FOR YOU?  While an open and airy home is inviting and fresh, it can also be noisy and make it difficult to find a quiet corner when needed.  Rooms that can be opened up or closed, such as with bi-fold doors, can be a good compromise.  Or try to keep the open plan kitchen and living areas separate from bedrooms and retreat areas.  A home should be a sanctuary as well as a place for family to get together.


Talk to the professional consultants at Drake Home Consulting who can assist you with qualified building designers who will know exactly how to maximise your budget and give you the home you’ve dreamt of.  Call us on 1300 711 985 or email us at enquiries@designapp.drakehomeconsultants.com.au and let us explain how a building broker can take the stress out of building your home.