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10 unknown tips for quality home design

Need to design your dream residence? You may want to consider space for storing, lighting, and residential upkeep. Architect Julian Owen reveals the important thing components to recollect on the design stage
With a lot to consider when designing a brand new residence, it’s no shock self-builders can get overwhelmed. It’s straightforward to miss key components that would make a big impression on the completed property. Beneath I spotlight 10 issues to recollect when designing your private home.1. Price range past the development work

Your design can be dictated significantly by your funds. Whereas most individuals notice that they should think about the price of the constructing work, it’s straightforward to overlook in regards to the different facets that must be accounted for on high of this.

Fairly some huge cash needs to be spent on issues that appear minor on their very own however collectively can tot as much as 1000’s of kilos.

Don’t overlook to price range for:

  • landscaping
  • finance and insurance coverage prices
  • skilled and native authority charges
  • website surveys
  • entry from the freeway
  • service connections

The value of some components could be pretty precisely predicted – comparable to planning charges and sewer connection prices – others must be estimated.

2. Cut back noise

The soundscape is commonly neglected in home plans. Undesirable noise is a typical drawback, not least due to all of the devices we now have for our leisure.

The format of the home additionally performs a key position in decreasing disturbance. Kids are noisy, so look into how you can distance their bedrooms from others. You’ll be able to attempt, for instance, loos or built-in wardrobes in-between the rooms. Sound travels extra simply to rooms under, which implies a second flooring or attic house shouldn’t be at all times a great place for the loudest members of the family.

With open-plan dwelling turning into commonplace, don’t overlook to think about a cosy or front room remoted from the principal areas of exercise. This may present an oasis of calm for quieter actions comparable to studying or homework.

3. Storage options

A significant gripe from homeowners of recent houses is commonly the shortage of space for storing. Within the early levels of a design, it’s straightforward to underestimate what number of possessions you personal or are going to accumulate sooner or later. That is one purpose why most garages are hardly ever stuffed with automobiles. As an alternative, you might be more likely to discover bikes, fitness center gear, undesirable Christmas presents, and different particles. A lot of space for storing could be integrated at little additional value or lack of flooring space, however, you’ll plan this at the beginning of the design course of. Constructed-in storage can prolong the complete top of rooms and likewise work to turn out to be a design function, making it extra environment friendly than free-standing chests of drawers and wardrobes. One other factor to think about is a pantry, for separate kitchen storage – sturdy cabinets enable easy accessibility to kitchenware and merchandise which may in any other case be awkwardly crammed into customary cabinets.

4. Dwelling upkeep

In the end, each component of the development of a home will want upkeep. Predicting your private home’s maintenance ought to affect how supplies and fittings are built into the design. Roof tiles and bricks will final for a lot of many years without consideration, however, different supplies require work extra incessantly. As an example, plastic fascias and barge boards are well-liked however must be redecorated usually atop a tall ladder. An open roof over a stairwell with skylights and a centerpiece chandelier appears dramatic; nevertheless, it additionally presents a problem for whoever has to vary the sunshine bulbs or clear the glass. Self-cleaning glazing and cables that enable the sunshine becoming to be hooked throughout to the touchdown will clear up these issues however redecoration might require scaffolding and is, due to this fact, a specialist job. Unblocking gutters is one other troublesome chore, particularly for high-level valleys between pitched roofs. Plenty of effort could be spared by placing roof home windows within the attic, which is able to assist you to attain out safely with a rake.

5. Future-proofing the house

In the event you’re planning to reside in your self-build residence for many years to return, the format must have built-in flexibility so it will possibly evolve with you and your loved ones. Plan for will increase within the dimension of your loved ones, whether or not that’s extra youngsters, younger adults boomeranging again residence after school, or older relations shifting in. Contemplate getting planning approval for an extension to be constructed at a later date; you would put in foundations and capped-off drainage connections prepared for use.
Create a loft with a transparent house appropriate for conversion, maybe even a structural opening already in place for a future staircase. It may be a good suggestion to future-proof in case members of the family and pals turn out to be infirm or disabled. Discrete options could make an enormous distinction, comparable to preserving doorways wider than customary and permitting a house for a wheelchair to maneuver in a downstairs lavatory. You possibly can even think about the house for a raise to be added at a later date.

6. The end may not be good

Many self-builders have a pure need for his or her home to be as good as potential. Nevertheless, particular person individuals have completely different interpretations of what a high-quality end means, which is usually a drawback if what the consumer is de facto after is a pristine end result. Utilizing pure supplies with easy finishes can add attention-grabbing options to a construction, significantly timber left unpainted on the surface or oiled with a transparent end on the within. However, if you happen to put two items of the identical wooden from the identical batch subsequent to one another they don’t often look similar and can climate in another way, too. I as soon as had a consumer who was able to ship again a complete batch of oak skirting as a result of every part had a barely completely different shade and grain sample from the subsequent, fairly than the uniform coloration he was anticipating. He needed a clear end and had forgotten that nature is inherently irregular. It may be straightforward to lose perspective. It’s additionally price remembering that architect sketches and illustrations might not talk the ultimate impact of this divergence.

7. Home windows and warmth switch

Having loads of pure illumination pour inside by means of giant expanses of glazing is a pleasing function, therefore the recognition of bi-folds, sliding doorways, and double-height home windows – plus these items can create a lovely trendy aesthetic. A glazing unit’s impact on thermal consolation depends upon its orientation in relation to the solar; when that is badly positioned then a room can turn out to be unpleasantly scorching, so watch out with the design. The best method to keep away from this drawback is to work out how the sun passes over the plot and prepare the glazing in a means that may assist to scale back the photo voltaic acquire when it’s not needed. If sizeable home windows must face in direction of the south (the place the solar’s heat is strongest), there are components that may be inbuilt to scale back the results of warmth acquire. Incorporate giant overhangs overhead, for example, or brise soleils, that are horizontal screens with slats angled to let some daylight by means of in addition to offering shade.

8. Synthetic lighting

As soon as nighttime has fallen, there are all kinds of prospects to form and alter the character of your private home with rigorously thought-about lights. Plus, a single house might be put to many alternatives makes use of, every higher by altering the factitious illumination. An excellent instance is a kitchen-dining-living room as a result of it’s typically the hub of the house. It is going to be used for grabbing breakfast within the morning, for cooking and chatting with pals through the day, and afterward as an area for homework, a shared household meal, or time in the entrance of the tv. There need to be other ways of lighting the house to swimsuit every one of those actions. When constructing from scratch, it’s very straightforward to cover cables within the partitions and match programmable lighting controls if deliberate prematurely.

9. Plan furnishings association

It’s uncommon for home plans to indicate any greater than clean rectangles indicating the situation, form, and dimension of rooms. Generally, the home contents are solely thought about as soon as the property is definitely constructed. Extra useful designers will embrace customary furnishings symbols on their drawings, however, these are actually solely diagrammatic and bear little relation to what you personal or want to purchase. The chance of your furnishings not becoming in with the design of the rooms is kind of excessive until you’ve thought about this from the beginning, particularly if you need giant open-plan areas. A lot of self-builders need to maintain household heirlooms, comparable to an eating desk or chest of drawers, which should be accommodated. If the furnishings is an uncommon form or dimension it will possibly have a significant impact on the association of different gadgets and the proportions of the room. In contrast to trendy furnishings, which is designed to be disassembled to get by means of a regular door opening or up a cramped staircase, interval items might show troublesome to maneuver around the home.

10. Houses get messy

The well-known architect of a much-admired home not too long ago admitted that his personal property had by no means correctly been lived in. He used the house to advertise his follow and felt it will have been spoiled if his household lived there. What this tells us is that it’s vital to do not forget that the method of dwelling includes mess and litter, even for essentially the most streamlined of personalities. We have to acknowledge that the unnaturally tidy houses seen in magazines and on architectural websites are deceptive. A well-designed constructing needs to be robust sufficient to shine by means of the stresses, strains, and abuse that occur when it’s being loved as a house.

Want to design your dream home? You’ll need to think about storage space, lighting, and home maintenance. Architect Julian Owen reveals the key elements to remember at the design stage
With so much to think about when designing a new home, it’s no surprise self-builders can get overwhelmed. It’s easy to overlook key elements that could make a significant impact on the finished property. Below I highlight 10 things to remember when designing your home.1. Budget beyond the construction work

Your design will be dictated considerably by your finances. While most people realize that they need to factor in the cost of the building work, it’s easy to forget about the other aspects that need to be accounted for on top of this.

Quite a lot of money has to be spent on things that seem minor on their own but collectively can tot up to thousands of pounds.

Don’t forget to budget for:

  • landscaping
  • finance and insurance costs
  • professional and local authority fees
  • site surveys
  • access from the highway
  • service connections

The price of some elements can be fairly accurately predicted – such as planning fees and sewer connection charges – others have to be estimated.

2. Reduce noise

The soundscape is often overlooked in house plans. Unwanted noise is a common problem, not least because of all the gadgets we now have for our entertainment.

The layout of the house also plays a key role in reducing disturbance. Children are noisy, so look into how to distance their bedrooms from others. You can try, for example, bathrooms or built-in wardrobes in-between the rooms. Sound travels more easily to rooms below, which means a second floor or attic space is not always a good place for the loudest family members.

With open-plan living becoming commonplace, don’t forget to factor in a snug or living room isolated from the main areas of activity. This will provide an oasis of calm for quieter activities such as reading or homework.

3. Storage solutions

A major gripe from owners of new homes is often the lack of storage space. In the early stages of a design, it’s easy to underestimate how many possessions you own or are going to acquire in the future.

This is one reason why most garages are rarely filled with cars. Instead, you are likely to find bikes, gym equipment, unwanted Christmas presents, and other debris.

Lots of storage space can be incorporated at little extra cost or loss of floor area, but you’ll need to plan this at the beginning of the design process.

Built-in storage can extend the full height of rooms and also work to become a design feature, making it more efficient than free-standing chests of drawers and wardrobes.

Another thing to consider is a pantry, for separate kitchen storage – sturdy shelves allow easy access to kitchenware and products that might otherwise be awkwardly crammed into standard cupboards.

4. Home maintenance

Sooner or later every element of the construction of a house will need maintenance. Predicting your home’s upkeep should influence how materials and fittings are integrated into the design.

Roof tiles and bricks will last for many decades without attention, but other materials require work more frequently. For instance, plastic fascias and barge boards are popular but have to be redecorated regularly atop a tall ladder.

An open roof over a stairwell with skylights and a centerpiece chandelier looks dramatic; however, it also presents a challenge for whoever has to change the light bulbs or clean the glass.

Self-cleaning glazing and cables that allow the light fitting to be hooked across to the landing will solve these problems but redecoration may require scaffolding and is, therefore, a specialist job.

Unblocking gutters is another difficult chore, especially for high-level valleys between pitched roofs. A lot of effort can be spared by putting roof windows in the attic, which will allow you to reach out safely with a rake.

5. Future-proofing the home

If you’re planning to live in your self-build home for decades to come, the layout needs to have built-in flexibility so it can evolve with you and your family. Plan for increases in the size of your family, whether that’s more children, young adults boomeranging back home after college, or older relatives moving in. Consider getting planning approval for an extension to be constructed at a later date; you could put in foundations and capped-off drainage connections ready to be used.

Create a loft with a clear space suitable for conversion, perhaps even a structural opening already in place for a future staircase. It might be a good idea to future-proof in case family members and friends become infirm or disabled. Discrete features can make a big difference, such as keeping doors wider than standard and allowing space for a wheelchair to maneuver in a downstairs bathroom. You could even factor in space for a lift to be added at a later date.

6. The finish might not be perfect

Many self-builders have a natural desire for their house to be as perfect as possible. However, individual people have different interpretations of what a high-quality finish means, which can be a problem if what the client is really after is a pristine result.
Using natural materials with simple finishes can add interesting features to a building, particularly timber left unpainted on the outside or oiled with a clear finish on the inside. But if you put two pieces of the same wood from the same batch next to each other they don’t usually look identical and will weather differently, too.
I once had a client who was ready to send back a whole batch of oak skirting because each section had a slightly different shade and grain pattern from the next, rather than the uniform color he was expecting. He wanted a transparent finish and had forgotten that nature is inherently irregular. It can be easy to lose perspective. It’s also worth remembering that architect sketches and illustrations may not communicate the final effect of this divergence.

7. Windows and heat transfer

Having plenty of natural illumination pour inside through large expanses of glazing is a pleasant feature, hence the popularity of bifold, sliding doors, and double-height windows – plus these units can create an attractive modern aesthetic.
A glazing unit’s effect on thermal comfort depends on its orientation in relation to the sun; when this is badly positioned than a room can become unpleasantly hot, so be careful with the design.
The easiest way to avoid this problem is to work out how the sun passes over the plot and arrange the glazing in a way that will help to reduce the solar gain when it’s not wanted.
If sizeable windows have to face towards the south (where the sun’s warmth is strongest), there are elements that can be built in to reduce the effects of heat gain.
Incorporate large overhangs overhead, for instance, or brise soleils, which are horizontal screens with slats angled to let some daylight through as well as providing shade.

8. Artificial lighting

Once nighttime has fallen, there are all sorts of possibilities to shape and change the character of your home with carefully considered lights. Plus, a single space may need to be put to many different uses, each better by changing the artificial illumination.
A good example is a kitchen-dining-living room because it’s often the hub of the home. It will be used for grabbing breakfast in the morning, for cooking and chatting with friends during the day, and later on as a space for homework, a shared family meal, or time in front of the television.
There should be different ways of lighting the space to suit each of these activities. When building from scratch, it’s very easy to hide cables in the walls and fit programmable lighting controls if planned in advance.

9. Plan furniture arrangement

It’s rare for house plans to show any more than blank rectangles indicating the location, shape, and size of rooms. Sometimes the house contents are only considered once the property is actually built.

More helpful designers will include standard furniture symbols on their drawings, but these are really only diagrammatic and bear little relation to what you own or are looking to buy.

The risk of your furniture not fitting in with the design of the rooms is quite high unless you’ve considered this from the start, especially if you want large open-plan spaces.

Lots of self-builders want to keep family heirlooms, such as a dining table or chest of drawers, which must be accommodated. If the furniture is an unusual shape or size it can have a major effect on the arrangement of other items and the proportions of the room.

Unlike modern furniture, which is designed to be disassembled to get through a standard door opening or up a cramped staircase, period pieces may prove difficult to move around the house.

10. Homes get messy

The well-known architect of a much-admired house recently admitted that his own property had never properly been lived in. He used the home to promote his practice and felt it would have been spoiled if his family lived there.

What this tells us is that it’s important to remember that the process of living involves mess and clutter, even for the most streamlined of personalities.

We need to recognize that the unnaturally tidy homes seen in magazines and on architectural websites are misleading. A well-designed building should be strong enough to shine through the stresses, strains and abuse that happen when it’s being enjoyed as a home.

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