Your home is one of the most significant investments you’ll make in your lifetime, so it’s only natural that you want it to reflect your needs, taste, and lifestyle to a tee.
Building your dream home is an exciting endeavor to take on and one that you’ve probably been looking forward to for a long time. Although thrilling, the process is not exempt from challenges. Designing a home is an ambitious project that requires time and thinking.
In the spirit of a smooth design process, here are six things to avoid during the design stage of your dream home.
1. Underestimating the extent of the planning stage
While you may think that you’ve already achieved most of the design planning in your head over the last years, try and steer away from this belief.
During the planning phase, there are a series of steps to consider, from finding an architect whose philosophy best aligns with your vision to standing before the final house plans. By underestimating the duration of this initial process, you would be doing yourself a disservice.
Depending on the size and complexity of the custom design you want to produce, expect this stage to take from two to six months minimum. Though the process may take longer than you initially expected, the meticulousness of the planning will ensure that no details get overlooked. The result will be worth the wait.
2. Location, location, location
Regarding the lot on which your home will be built, overlooking its characteristics is a mistake you want to avoid. Firstly, consider the size, shape, and view you anticipate for your dream house, and find land that responds directly to your wants and needs.
Next, scout the area to see what’s around in terms of grocery and retail stores, schools, parks, and anything else that matters to you and your lifestyle. You may also want to research the area and its future projections to evaluate its present and future desirability.
On a more technical note, you want to inquire about the costs associated with the lot, such as property taxes and sewer, water, and gas lines. You may also want to analyze different lots to compare prices.
This is an important step that you’ll want to consider carefully. After all, what is a dream home without the corresponding dream land?
3. Misconfiguring the home’s plan
Completing your floor plans only to realize that the room placement wasn’t well-enough thought out can be a very discouraging experience.
Beyond allowing the planning process to take the time it needs, another way to avoid this kind of unfortunate mishap is to set aside time to sit down and thoroughly reflect on the type and number of rooms you want and the way you want them to flow altogether.
Here are some questions to get you started in your reflection:
- Do you enjoy hosting dinners? If so, you may want your kitchen to open up to the living area to prevent the guests from overcrowding the kitchen while ensuring that the cook is not isolated from the conversations.
- Do you have enough bedrooms? If you have young children or plan on starting a family, think about designing enough bedrooms and ensuring they are situated near the master bedroom, as young children typically need their parents close by.
- Do you value natural light? If you enjoy lots of natural light, you may want to design the rooms where you spend most of your time strategically, in locations where they will benefit the most from the sunlight.
Thinking through every tiny detail will ensure you don’t have any regrets once the design process is over.
4. Misaligning your dream home to your lifestyle
On the topic of reflection, don’t forget to contemplate the kind of life you currently live and the one you see yourself growing into. You want your home design and location to match your everyday routine perfectly. While sometimes, certain design ideas can seem great on paper, try to picture yourself living among those design decisions, and consider whether they are best suited for your reality.
5. Overlooking the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
If these last two years have taught us anything, it is that a proper ventilation system is incredibly beneficial to our health and the absence of one can be, well, detrimental.
Without an adequate HVAC system, the air quality in your home will be poorer which can lead to negative health repercussions, including sleeping difficulties, allergy flare-ups and asthma attacks. A proper HVAC system also prevents mold and moisture, which are dangerous to your health and complex and pricey to eliminate, from setting in your home.
Although your architect should already be aware of the importance of the HVAC system design, you have nothing to lose to bring it up during the design stage.
6. Disregarding the expert eye
While you may know exactly what you want the layout and appearance of your dream home to be like, don’t make the mistake of overlooking your architect’s advice. What one wants is not always what’s best, and the designer’s job is precisely to provide a second, expert set of eyes to help you achieve your vision whilst ensuring that your home meets the highest standard of functionality.
At Widler Architecture, designing highly functional homes that respond to our clients’ every wish is what we do on the daily. Give us a call and together, we’ll get started on making your dream a reality.