5 Common Mistakes to Avoid when Designing your New Home
By Mark Dawes, Managing Director, CAD Architects
One of the most attractive aspects of building your own home is that you get to choose exactly the features that you want. This can be a very exciting process. However, it is vital that you have the patience to consider all the details of your plan. Mistakes made along the way may mean that you won’t get the house you ideally wanted. Some mistakes can be corrected further down the line, but this could be a costly process.
Here are five common mistakes that people make in new house design. With some expert support from your architect, you will be able to avoid these.
- Not taking enough time to evaluate the plot
It is sometimes easy to fall in love with a particular location, but you must consider its implications for the cost of the build and for the lifestyle that you plan to live. For example, if you choose a very rural location, then it is possible there may be significant costs involved in connecting essential services such as power, water and drainage. Preparing the land for construction can be an expensive process, so you need to be able to factor this into your costings.
You also have to assess the wider neighbourhood in which your plot is located. Is it within easy reach of any important facilities that you will need, such as shops and schools? These aspects will also affect the resale value of the house in the future.
It is therefore a good idea to use your residential architect to give you an objective view on your plot and to help you identify the benefits and drawbacks of your proposed location.
- Making changes during the construction phase
This sounds obvious, but you may be surprised at how often it happens. Working this way can add substantially to your costs and will disrupt the timing schedule for the build.
Make sure you spend plenty of time with your architect during the design phase, understanding and visualizing the overall configuration of your new home, so there are no surprises or backward steps once the build is underway. There may be small elements that can be changed or adjusted, but these should be the exception rather than the rule.
- Not fully understanding your budget and costs
Make sure you ask questions about any costings so that you have a full understanding of how your budget will work and what end result it will deliver.
It is a good idea to have a contingency budget in reserve, for any unforeseen expenses that may occur during the process, and your architect will be able to advise you on this.
Don’t be tempted to make savings by specifying lower cost materials. Your home is an important investment and you want to achieve a quality result that will last and that will maximise its value in the marketplace.
- Making poor use of space
One of the biggest decisions you will make is your floorplan and how you will configure your rooms. How exactly will you use each room and where will you spend most of your time? Getting this right will pay huge dividends.
A couple of common pitfalls here are designing rooms that are bigger than you really need and creating underused rooms. For instance, you may have always dreamed of having a games room, but will it be used often enough to justify taking a large chunk of your budget?
This is another area where the advice of your residential architect can be invaluable. It is possible to generate 3D visualisations of your floorplans, to help you understand how the space will work for you and your family.
- Failing to plan for the future
The house you design may be perfect for your day to day needs right now, but have you considered how these will change in the future? Are you planning to start a family soon? Or will you be retiring in the foreseeable future?
You want to be sure that you have thought about how your lifestyle will change and how your new home can adapt to these changes. Failure to plan this aspect thoroughly may mean that you need to make some expensive alterations in the future.
At CAD Architects, our team has the experience needed to help you navigate all these issues successfully. We will listen carefully to understand the vision that you have for your new house design, then work alongside you to bring it to life. You can see examples of stunning new homes that we have created by visiting our Projects page here.