Building your dream home? Renovating? Good planning results in value for money and lets you avoid costly rebuilds through change of mind, or missing out on energy-saving devices and designs.
Consider writing a wish list of everything you want your house to have, and include ideas such as ‘light and airy’ in addition to specifics. It’s more important how your home functions and makes you feel rather than how many square metres it is.
Light, neutral colours are recommended for permanent finishes like tiles and bench-tops, with bolder accent colours for feature items like walls or decorative objects. This way when you feel like a change you can update the style cost effectively.
The best living space flows from inside to outside, so design the outdoor living area as an extension of your lounge and kitchen -this doubles your living area and makes family life easier because children are much happier playing outside when they can see indoors where you are.
Considering energy-savings, make sure there are openings on more than one side of your living area to let cooling breezes flow throught in summer and reduce the use of air-conditioners. Generally place glass facing north to capture light for most of the day, and consider placing windows higher up to release hot air as it rises. Ensure windows are double-glazed with good seals to keep in winter warmth.
A good kitchen offers room to move but is compact enough that allow easy reach between various activities.
– Make sure it isn’t a thoroughfare.
– Allow for bench space between the sink and the cooktop, because this is the most convenient area for food preparation.
– Include drawers of differing depth under bench-tops rather than cupboards -drawers give easier access to items.
– Situate dishwashers near sinks to allow ease of loading. This also means plumbing is in one space and therefore saves money.
– Multi-bin sorters under sinks are a good idea – you are able to separate your rubbish for recycling straight away.
– For safety, avoid sharp bench-top corners and factor in a minimum of one lockable cupboard for harmful substances.
– The fridge uses more electricity than any other appliance, so choose one with a high energy star rating. Be sure to allow a gap around the fridge of at least 50mm for good ventilation.
5-Star Green Designing
Installing rainwater tanks means you family can use pure water free from the many contaminants and additives that may be present in public supply. Think about the best place to locate tanks and wastewater systems, and integrate them with the design to avoid having them look like an ‘add-on’ later on.
Leave space for an outdoor washing line and also plan for the best place for recycling bins, rubbish bins, compost bins or worm farms.
Plan a mix of paving and planting, as too much concreting or paving can mean pooling of water and drainage problems. Consider ‘permeable’ paving that allows rain to filter down to the soil underneath.
When planting trees, be careful to place them so in the future, their roots won’t damage walls or footings.
If you want to see some great home designs, visit Bush and Beach.