For some people, the dream of building their own home will never be much more than that. The dream is enough. But if you have the money, the time and a great plot of land, you would be crazy to pass up on this opportunity of a lifetime.
So now that you are in a position to start your design – where should you begin? Which aspects of your fantasy home can you make a reality and where will you have to compromise? How can you build something you can be proud of?
Here’s what you should start thinking about if you want your home to be the envy of all your neighbours.
Sorting the Needs From the Wants
With endless money, time and resources, you could build anything you wanted. But in reality, you will have to stick to a budget and a timeline. Though this might feel disappointing to begin with – and many people put off building a house because they never feel that they have enough money or time to fulfill their ambition – this is a good parameter to have fixed.
By limiting your time and money, you will need to think more carefully about your priorities. You need to have bedrooms, bathrooms and a kitchen but do you really need a swimming pool and sauna? Could you live without a particular detail or a particular finish? If your floor plan was to shrink to a tiny house would it make a huge difference?
Asking these questions at the very start of the project will help you to define your home according to your needs rather than what you want. This makes a huge difference because it will cement the idea of living in the house rather than continue to treat the house as a passion project with no realistic aims.
Experimenting with Floor Plans
Once you have decided on what you really need, the next step is to start playing with floor plan ideas. It is important that you start playing with ideas like this because getting the flow of your home right will make a huge difference to living. For example, putting a bedroom over the living area might be fine but if you like to have parties or turn up the TV volume, this space might be better served as a home office.
While a pen and paper might be enough for you to get a rough idea of what you want, a site like www.promap.co.uk is great for getting into the details of the thing, especially if you need to produce a planning map to satisfy the local authority. An architect will also be able to help you refine and plan your idea in more detail.
Though many houses come with a very similar layout, there is no reason for you to stick to the same thing everyone else has if that is not what you would like. Use this time to experiment with different entrances and exits, work out where you are likely to go from room to room and take time to play. This is where fantasy meets reality so enjoy yourself!
Researching the Finishing Touches
The cost of building catches a lot of people out. Even if you have a planned contingency fund, you could be surprised how quickly it can be soaked up by your project. Indeed, some sites can quickly cause problems at foundation level!
But before you despair, the good news is that you can plan your building right through to the smallest details from day one. If you know that you have your eye on a particular set of tiles for your ensuite and you know what the cost is, you can factor that in at the beginning. This is a great way to manage your money and make sure that you can get everything you need.
The more detail you can plan ahead, the better an idea you will have of how much your project will cost by the time you are moving in. This will also give you a chance to think twice about that crazy chandelier you want or maybe you will choose to rethink the bespoke kitchen in favour of a modified high street kitchen.
One of the key things to remember is that a house is never really finished. So, if you need to get some cheaper tiles for the bathroom or furnish everywhere with IKEA’s finest for now, then so be it. You will have the pleasure of living here for a long time – you will have plenty of opportunities to change things up along the way.
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