Dream Home Design- Planning & Building

When the time comes to settle on a design for the new home you are planning, you will no doubt sketch a few floors plans to drill down on what you want. Leading up to crunch time, you will also probably have visited several builder's display homes and taken home lots of brochures with floor plan layouts to mull over. This is, of course, is the fun part of the adventure. Working out what features you are looking for in your new home will take a lot of consideration and if you have a spouse, there will be collaboration and compromise involved. It can be an enjoyable process going to trade shows and builder’s display homes to discover wonderful new materials and inclusions and finishes that will make your dream home a modern marvel.

When building your dream home, you must begin with location and floorplan

For any home design, you need to choose between single-story or two-story, on a slab or piles, masonry cladding or light cladding, tiled roof or metal roof, and choices like attached or detached car accommodation. Some of these factors may be dictated to you by the features of the building site on the block of land you own. Homes on hillsides are more often pole homes or built on piles rather than on a concrete slab, for practical reasons and cost considerations. Homes on level land have more choices.

That takes care of the fundamentals, but you still need to decide on the layout of the internal floor plan. How many living spaces will you want? How many bedrooms or studies, how many bathrooms and how will the kitchen, dining, and living areas be spatially oriented and interrelated? What storage do you want, and what features will you need in your laundry? Then there is the color selection and inclusions to nail.

 The Planning Stage

This planning stage can become a lengthy process and you may despair at the enormity of the task, but help is at hand. You can consult a home designer for guidance, or you may find a builder that you find compatible and easy to work with. You should feel confident to seek their advice to help clarify your dream home design. After all, they are interested in doing business with you and should be happy to assist. You may end up choosing a floor plan from your preferred builder's catalog and just make a few changes, called variations, to personalize the design to your specific needs. Alternatively, you might decide to have your dream home design brought to life by an architect or professional design-build firm. This route would allow you to customize your home in all aspects. However, there are a lot more unknowns when you embark on the latter path. While you have a vision of what your dream home will look like, and what inclusions you want, the reality you face is whether or not it will match your budget. But remember, if you want a fully customized home build, you get what you pay for.

design build firm contractor looks at blue prints of clients dream home design

 Cost differences: Design-Build Firm versus basic residential builder

Homeowners choosing a floor plan from a builder’s portfolio will know what price range their choice fits in. Then the builder will promptly estimate the cost of the variations you want and discuss ways he can realistically meet your budget with any changes you want. However, when you embark on a custom design with an architect or home designer, knowing the finished price for your dream home can be a long way off.

While the designer will give you some guidelines on what sort of costs you will be facing with various design features, you won’t know what your working drawings will come out at until you have some builders run estimates and tell you what they can build it for. Many builders will tell you that, typically, architect-designed buildings often won’t come in under the budget you stipulate. Their view is that architects and designers are artistic professionals who bring marvelous visions to life on paper. But the builder has to make it happen. They have to translate paperwork into a solid, three-dimensional finished building. The great part about working with a design-build firm is that this whole process happens as your go. Everyone works as a team in the same space, so you will know what your costs look like as you move along with the design. And your designer will work within your budget every step of the way.

After consulting professionals with your working drawings, if you find that your home design is exceeding your budget, there will be a process of revisions which will then need re-quoting. This, of course, takes time and may run up further costs with the architect or home designer, depending on your initial agreement regarding revisions. However, with a custom design-builder on the side working with you to make your dream home a reality at this stage, they will offer practical advice showing you alternative ways to achieve similar results at a more economical price. The builder will be able to suggest viable options that will make building the home more affordable, hopefully without losing all of the desirable and unique artistic elements you wanted to be included.

It might sometimes feel like a minefield you are treading when designing your perfect new home but with the advice and guidance of the professionals and trade experts with a vested interest in your success, your dream home will sooner or later become a solid reality for you to be proud of.