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6 things to remember when designing a custom home

D360 Custom Home

Being involved in planning and custom designing your own home is a very rewarding experience. You’ll be hands-on in making all the decisions that go into building your dream home.

You might think it starts with your floor plans, but you need to take a step back as there is a lot to consider before you reach that stage.

It’s important you create the right layout to fit your needs.

Whether you’re working with an expert custom design team, who will take you step-by-step through every detail, or going it alone, you’ll still need to do your research and make some important decisions. It’s a bit late to change your mind once the slab has been poured!

Here are six things to consider when preparing to design your custom-built home.

1 - Take your block of land into consideration 

A great home is designed around the unique properties of your land. It may seem obvious to start with your land when custom designing your home, but every block of land is different and may present some challenges in relation to your layout.

One of the key things to work on with your building designer or builder is getting the optimal orientation of your home on your block. You don’t want to just ‘plop’ your home on your block in any random position. Ideally you want to orientate your bedrooms and living areas to face North or North-East to provide as much sun protection as possible.

If this isn’t feasible, discuss other cooling options with your designer, such as extra insulation or solar powered roof ventilation systems. You can also design the layout of your home to allow unobstructed airflow into and through the house, making it easier to maintain a comfortable internal temperature which will save you on power bills.

You also need to take the size, shape, soil and contour of your block into consideration. If you have grand plans in mind for the design of your house, you’ll need to first check that your plans won’t be limited by areas which are sloping or rocky. Retaining walls can be expensive. The flatter your block is, the easier and more economical it will be to build on.

Soil conditions are particularly important for slab and footing construction, and the wrong type of soil conditions can provide many difficulties for home construction.

Essentially, your new home should be designed around any limitations your block poses so your home design works perfectly for your land.

2 - Think about what's important to you and your lifestyle 

Everyone has different lifestyle needs and will use the areas of their home in a variety of ways to accommodate those needs. It’s important your home design reflects your personal preferences and how you like to live.

Many modern home designs incorporate an open plan living and dining area, but this may not suit you. You might prefer to keep these areas more separate or more formal.

Alfresco entertainment areas are popular too, but if you’re a green thumb, you might want to have as much garden space as possible in your backyard and sacrifice having a patio.

With a custom design, you can have your home exactly the way you want it, built to suit your lifestyle.

3 - How can you future proof your home design?

Future proofing is key to making sure you love the home you build for years to come. With good planning, you can ensure you and your family are happy to live in your new home now and in the future.

When you envisage your home design, think about your plans and your life goals.

If you don’t have children but are planning to grow your family, you’ll obviously need to allow for this in your floor plans. Ask yourself whether you’ll want to have your newborn’s nursery close to your master bedroom. Growing kids need room to play. Do you have enough space for both indoor and outdoor activities?

If you have children, think about their needs in the coming years. As they get older, they may want a bigger bedroom, or their own bedroom if they’re currently sharing. If they like to do their homework in their room, they might prefer a separate, quiet study space. Do they play a musical instrument? A soundproof practice room could be a good idea!

Once your children grow into young adults and become more independent, they’ll probably start coming and going at all hours. If you’re a light sleeper, you might design your home so your bedroom is located at the other end of the house to the front door.

You may also need to consider how much longer they may be living at home with you once they start working and building a life of their own. How many spare bedrooms will you have once they’ve flown the nest, and how can you best utilise those empty rooms?

Finally, it’s important to plan for the potential of elderly relatives coming to live with you. If this is a possibility, a guest bedroom with an ensuite on the first floor will help eliminate any problems if your relatives have health or mobility issues.

4 - How much entertaining space do you need?

Consider how you would like to entertain guests in your home. Are you a social butterfly who loves to have people over regularly? If so, you’ll want to ensure you have the perfect party house layout, maybe with plenty of spare bedrooms for guests who want to stay on afterwards!

Are your parties formal or informal? Do you need a larger dining area with enough room to seat everyone, or do you like to keep things more casual?

Are your gatherings mostly indoors or outdoors? Having a patio with plenty of shade is a great choice for summer BBQ’s. You might want to include in your home design an outside undercover kitchen area or a pizza oven if you love to cook outdoors friends and family.

5 - What about storage areas?

Blocks of land are getting smaller these days, especially in estates so house designs need to make the most efficient use of space, especially when it comes to storage.

If you’re the type of person who tends to have a lot of stuff, then storage needs to be a high priority for you. There’s not much point in designing and building a custom home from scratch only to realise later you need to hire a storage shed to keep half your belongings in!

Do you have loads of clothes and shoes? Built-in or walk-in wardrobes are the way to go. You might include in your design ‘his and hers’ wardrobes. The choice is all yours when you’re custom designing your own home.

Having a garden shed may not always be feasible if you have a small block, so you’ll need to think about alternatives. Allow for cupboards in your garage to keep your odds and ends neatly organised. An attic ladder is also a good way to make use of the storage space in your ceiling.

Is your kitchen a bit crowded with appliances and crockery? A butler’s pantry or high doors on your cabinets could be solutions worth looking into.

6 - How does your home design cater for your family pets?

Whether it’s dogs, cats, birds or reptiles in your menagerie, you’ll have to incorporate the needs of your pets into your home design.

Adequate fencing is obviously something to factor in if you have a dog. Ensure you communicate this with your home builder early on in the process as fencing can sometimes be tricky when it comes to existing neighbours and council requirements.

Any cat owner will tell you the importance of having stainless steel mesh on your windows and doors to protect them from  scratching and clawing.

If you have indoor pets, you might want to invest in high quality carpet that can neutralise odours and withstand wear and tear, or choose easy to manage tiles.

Are you ready to design the custom home of your dreams? Talk to the team at Design 360

Our expert custom home designers will work with you to create your beautiful dream home from scratch. If you have your own designs, they will work with you to customise them until you have the home design that is perfect for your needs. 

Whichever you choose, you’ll have 100% ownership of your plans. You can hire a builder of your choice to construct your home, or we can put you in touch with highly reputable builders that we trust. 

If you live close enough to visit our North Lakes office, we can offer you the ability to ‘walk through’ your new home before the building even begins with our Digital Full Size Plan Walkthroughs. Using the latest technology, we project your floor plans onto the floor of our custom-built studio on a 1:1 scale.

This means you can walk through your home and see exactly how everything fits, down to the smallest detail. We can even make adjustments to your plan and you’ll see the changes in real time!

Simply click here to request your no obligation consult today.

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