Building fresh or renovating both start with the same first consideration. Your intention for the finished product. In the case of building or renovating to keep, your budget is a pretty big factor. To design and build a property you’re going to live in, long term, requires vision for the future. Your future.
Design and Build To Keep
This is your Forever Home (for now).
So shift your vision towards your Next Life Stage. How long are you going to be in your current Life Stage? And how long will those trendy tiles that you like last?
So for now, lets look at important design considerations to take into account if you’re keeping this house.
Well for one, you can put in that wine cellar or special library. Or complicated roof configuration if that’s what you like. You just have to have the budget for it. And because you’re going to be living there for 20 years or more, all going well, don’t worry too much about over-capitalisation. After all, you need to like living there.
The only trap there is believing that these things will matter to someone else later on. Ditto a pool. But you don’t need to worry about that right now.
Right now, designing for your budget is your biggest concern. If you go off a budget of $1,400 per square metre, that will buy you medium finishes as long as you have minimal earth works to do in your preliminaries.
If you do have expensive tastes, a sloping block or both, make sure you don’t max out your square metres, simply design a more compact house. Areas where you can save money are in those over-designed spaces that no one sees, like the roof configuration. You don’t want to skimp on things like insulation because you need to be comfortable.
Try to put your windows in strategic locations that encourage air flow, so you can skip the ducted air conditioning. Of course if you live in Brisbane, that doesn’t apply, always put in air conditioning and also a concrete floor because it has a very good thermal rating (cool in summer, warm in winter).
Keeping your house to one storey will seriously help with the budget – building factors such as scaffolding and twice the framing, plastering and painting all take their toll. There are some very clever one-storey designs that give a feel of spaciousness, especially if you incorporate a higher ceiling or void in the living areas.
In the case of renovating a property to keep, you may have just bought the property and your budget might be squeezed out from all the purchase costs you just incurred. You might have to wait a few years to save up for the renovation. In that time, you’ll benefit from being able to observe your property. Every house is different and there might be something about it that residency will help you identify as a priority to change. So observe. Then design and build.