Building a new home is exciting – it gives you the opportunity to create a home suited to your individual lifestyle and needs. Once the decision to build, instead of buying, an established home has been made, you’ll need to choose a home design. Looking through floor plans can be confusing and more than a little overwhelming. Fortunately, there are some handy tips to help you decide on the best floor plan for you.
Our top 5 tips:
1. Consider your block
If you have already chosen a building site, this could influence your choice of home design. Building regulations require specific set-backs from the boundaries of your land. A block with narrow frontage could place limitations on your choice of a floor plan to ensure your build is within council regulations.
2. Think about your family & lifestyle
A family with young children may prefer open living areas. This makes it easier to supervise them while you are in the kitchen, or relaxing in the living room. Older children and teenagers will want some privacy, as well as needing quiet areas for study. For those who enjoy entertaining, an open space area with good flow from the kitchen to both indoor and outdoor living spaces would suit. If you have regular guests, such as elderly parents, a second master bedroom with an ensuite will give them, and you, privacy when needed.
3. Home orientation
Consider how best to orient your home to take advantage of natural light throughout the year. In Australia, it is usually best to have living areas facing north, although shading is important in warmer areas such as Cairns. Remember that it is possible to flip (or mirror image) house plans, so if you find a design you like, which doesn’t suit the orientation of your block, it can be easily adapted.
4. Remember your budget
Unfortunately, most of us are constrained by budgetary considerations. We may dream of building the next Taj Mahal, but in most cases, it is just a dream. If you have already chosen and purchased your land, it will be easier to clarify your building budget. Remember there will be additional costs for extras such as power points and light fittings, and for some internal and external fittings and features. You will also need to establish a garden in most cases, or pay for landscaping. Speak to your builder to find out what is included with your land purchase and home build. House and land packages are a speedy, low-stress building option.
5. Think about long-term functionality
You may have young children now, or perhaps you’re thinking of starting a family. Your children may even be in their early teens. If you are building your home as a long-term residence, it’s important to consider how your needs may change in the future. Young children will grow into teenagers and need more privacy. Teenagers will gain independence and leave home. You may also need to consider your own needs in older age. While it’s not possible to foresee or plan for every eventuality, it’s worth having some flexibility in how your home is used over time. A spare or vacated bedroom may become an office, a guest room or a home theatre.
Michael Hoare Builders has an extensive range of floor plans available for download or viewing to help you in your design choice.
Our architect can also work with you to create a unique design.