When you’re thinking about your next home, one of the first questions you may be asking yourself is – is it a good idea to build from scratch? What are the advantages, and what will I need to take into consideration?
It’s certainly easier to move into an existing home, but if you have the time, the energy, and the urge to create something that fits your vision of an ideal home, then building is an option you should consider.
Let’s look at the essentials you’ll need to think about.
1. The perfect location
Start with your desired location. Let’s say you’re set on creating a dream home on the Sunshine Coast and have decided that Caloundra is the perfect town for you. The first question – is there any land for sale in Caloundra? If there is – does it have permission to build and are there any restrictions? If land in your chosen location is too expensive, could you grab a bargain not too far away?
2. Unique design or ready-made design?
While a unique design will reflect every aspect of what you need in a home, it will cost more. You’ll need to be working with an architect which will add to your project expenses, but they’ll be able to advise of any constraints and propose solutions. A ready-made design won’t be as original but can reduce expense and time-to-completion.
3. Clarify your needs
Make a list of everything you need in a home, as well as the things you’d like, but could live without if necessary. Think five or 10 years ahead and consider how your needs will change over that time.
4. Space Planning
Consider your interior layout – a day zone, a night zone, how bathrooms will be accessed, and whether you’ll include an office space/work zone. The zones should flow freely into one another so people can communicate easily, while still enjoying some privacy. Ensure that your space is designed so that the rooms which need the most light will get the most sun. Large windows in these areas can potentially reduce your power bills later.
5. The right materials
Now it’s time to consider the materials you want to use – are you going for a traditional/rustic feel or do you want an ultra-contemporary look of marble and granite?
6. Utilities and automation
One of the advantages of self-build is that you have to opportunity to install your wiring, lighting, and even automation just as you want them to be.
7. Fix your budget
Now it’s time to be realistic about your budget. Use your checklist, do your research and estimate the cost of each item. Include labor charges, property or land taxes, the cost of any loans, etc. Don’t forget the cost of finishing the outside areas – fences, driveway and paths, landscaping, etc. Set a budget for ‘finishing’ items such as furniture, appliances, and entertainment equipment, to prevent costs from spiraling out of control.
Having decided where you want to live, how you want to live, and how much you want to spend, you have the basics in place to create your ideal home! Enjoy the experience!