What to do when planning a house?
Thinking of building your dream house? Multiple things need to be considered before you embark on the journey to build your home. If you are a newbie and have no prior experience with building, this checklist will come in handy. In this article, we discuss the 5 most important things you should follow to ensure the process goes smoothly.
You know you want to build your dream home... But before you kickstart your project, you need to have plan. Your plan should include how you would want your home to look like. Also make sure you have a budget and financing options to fund the project. Can you get a loan? Do you have enough savings? Do you have emergency funds?
Location, location and location
Location, where you build your house is very important. Your block could be close to your work, your kids’ school or in the suburbs, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Site inspection can be undertaken to ensure the land is suitable for construction and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. The size and shape of your location will determine the floor plan of your house. A flat block will be cheaper to build on compared to a sloping block.
Hire the right builders
There are 3 options when it comes to building a new house: DIY, buying a land and house package or hiring builders.
If you are planning to hire builders, search for local builders in your area. Shortlist the builders according to their past projects, experience, licenses and reviews.
Talk to at least 3 builders and obtain written quotes for your building project. Even though price is an important factor, you should go for a reliable builder rather than the cheapest.
Modern homes are reliant on air conditioning to keep cool. A poorly designed house can act like a plastic bag in summers. Although homes follow building codes and are designed to be energy efficient, they are not necessarily heat-resistant. Needless to say, the house will remain extremely hot in summers and cold in winters.
Orientation plays a key role in maintaining a perfect temperature in your house. Passive design includes incorporating natural ventilation, shading, insulation, double glazing and controlling the amount of sunlight. This ensures the house remains comfortable despite the outdoor temperatures.
Air conditioners and heaters are used but homeowners do not need to depend on it entirely. Passive design reduces the energy consumption and saves on carbon footprint. Make sure the orientation of your living rooms are to the north and for the bedroom, north-east.
Note: Speak to your builder or architect for the best orientation for your regional conditions. They can also create strategies to overcome challenges if your site doesn’t have the desired orientation.
Choose a floor plan
Floor plans are a pictorial representation of the layout of a house. It's a two-dimensional drawing of a property indicating the layout of the property.
The floor plan shows the different rooms and flow of movement. It is advisable to experiment with different floor plans to see which layout works best for you.
When evaluating the floor plan:
- If you do not understand the floor plan, ask your builders. Also, ask them for what’s not mentioned in the floor plans
- Check if it will suit your lifestyle, your current and future needs
- Visualise the floor plan - consider the flow of movement between different rooms and if it feels right
- Measure the size of your existing furniture and compare it with the floor plan for your new home. This comparison will help you evaluate how your new home will look like with the existing furniture