Designing your dream home? Going open plan? It can mean a lot of work. Whether you’re moving or renovating, there’s the décor, materials, fixtures and fittings to sort, as well figuring out how the rooms will work together as one space. Then there are building regulations and fire safety standards to comply with, and that’s before you start thinking about hiring an architect and all those contractors. It’s enough to give anyone a headache. So before you start looking at paint charts, how can you make it easier on yourself?
Be in the know
If you’re starting from scratch and building a brand new home, you’ll want to do a soil test before you buy the land. But whether it’s a new build or an old Victorian terraced house, a flat in the city or a cottage in the countryside, find out as much as you can about the land and surrounding area. Ask what services like gas and electricity are available, what sewerage and water supplies are connected, research what might be being built next door and check out how much the neighbouring properties are selling for. It’s good to be in the know.
Think about the weather
Before you put pen to paper and start designing, think about what direction your new home faces. Which rooms will get the most sunlight? If you’re creating an open plan kitchen, do you prefer the sink overlooking the garden, or will you get more light from a kitchen island facing patio doors? Considering these questions before you start will really help maximise your design.
Colour choices can have a dramatic impact on heat and energy efficiency in the home, so choose colours that reflect the heat over those that don’t.
Hire the professionals
Make sure you invest your cash wisely by using reputable tradesmen and builders. Asks friends and family for recommendations or check out reviews online if you’re unsure. Don’t part with your money unless you’re confident and happy, and never, ever, pay anything up front.
Stick to your budget
Once you’ve worked out how much you’re going to need, and you’ve added a 20% contingency fund, let your architect, builder and contractors know your budget as this’ll help them with pricing and design. If you need a little extra cash, consider seeing a lender to see if they can help.
When it comes to any renovation project, there are bound to be hiccups along the way, but with our tips to help you reduce stress before you start, we think the final look of your open plan dream home will far outweigh any worries.