This is it! You’re about to take the plunge and build your first home from the ground up. But before you break ground, you’ll need to spend some time working on your design. Whether you are a new home buyer or a seasoned veteran, here are 4 tips for designing your new home!
- Assemble Your Team First
Before you begin the process, you need to make certain to assemble your design team. This can include your interior designer, contractor, architect, etc. If you are unsure how to find this team, ask around for personal recommendations within your circle. Always make certain to ask homeowners that experienced a project on a scale similar to your own!
If you’ve already found a contractor, make certain to check their input as well: in most scenarios, they already have a trusted professional circle of artisans and tradespeople.
- Get Everything in Writing
This may seem obvious, but you need to make sure that each and every specialist is working off a contract. Building houses is a complicated and messy business. You need to arm yourself for any future calamities.
It doesn’t matter if you know the builder, or if they have a trustworthy aura; this is a business relationship. As an employer, you need to protect your employee and yourself from possible delays and mistakes.
Most professional contractors will provide a legal contract. Make certain to have your lawyer thoroughly examine this before you sign it. If your contractor does not provide said document, it is up to you to draw up the paperwork. Make certain that the contract includes specific deliverable dates and costs, and create a contingency plan in case things go wrong.
- Design for Details
During the design process, you need to take into account the minute details of the house. It’s easy to be blinded by the grand scale of your project and forget about the smaller things. It’s understandable: designing Dutch thatched roofs will always seem more interesting than your basement insulation materials.
However, these unseen details are important to remember. Although the world will see the grand facade of the house, you will see its smallest details on a daily basis. You will experience and live this detail for decades. This is why it’s crucial to think on a smaller scale.
This scale includes deciding where electrical outlets need to be, ensuring each room has access to ample lighting, and making sure the kitchen is close enough to the water heater. Check with your contractor to ensure everything in the design is up to code. They have undergone multiple types of exams and countless building projects: this allows them to find flaws that are nearly invisible to the untrained eye.
This may seem tedious, but it’s worth it. If you put the leg work in now, you can save yourself a whole lot of grief in the future.
- Consider the Future
If you are going to design a house, make certain that you are creating it for every possible version of yourself. This means that you must design for your present self and for your future as well!
Remember, a house is a semi-permanent fixture of your life. The average mortgage loan term is thirty years. As such, you should design your home as something that will be inhabited for that period of time. For example, a spiral staircase may be easily maneuvered now. However, thirty years in the future, it may pose a mobility problem.
Take into account any possible lifestyle changes. Do you have children? If not, do you see them in the future? Are there elderly family members who will be moving in with you? All of these scenarios should be considered and accommodated. By factoring the future into your design, you can create the perfect home that suits you at every stage of your life.