Most of us have a little snapshot in our heads of how we would like our ideal home to look. Mine is a modernist construction featuring lots of glass, built on a bluff overlooking the ocean, but yours might be a palatial mansion in the Hollywood hills surrounded by acres of landscaped gardens and a vast swimming pool.
The problem is that buying a ready-built home to match our ‘vision’ is usually impossible. You are going to have to compromise in a number of areas, so the property you end up with is unlikely to fit your dream home at all. But there is another way. Instead of making do with someone else’s vision or buying an identikit, you can build your own home.
Desperately Seeking Inspiration
There are lots of places you can look for inspiration.
- Online is a great place to start – browse through home design websites and check out what other people have done.
- It is also a good idea to buy some home design magazines and clip out photos you like.
- Watch home design shows on the TV and make notes of the things you like and don’t like.
- Visit homes in your local area and see if there are any features you find really inspiring.
Must-Have Home Design Features
Everyone has a list of features they want in their dream home. If yours includes a walk-out basement with an indoor heated pool, then put this at the top of your list. Or perhaps you envisage an open plan living area with a huge atrium ceiling where the light can floor in. Whatever your dream is, make a list of things you can’t live without and incorporate these things into your design.
Work Out a Budget
Since you will probably have to stick to a budget, it is a good idea to work out what your budget is before you begin a home design project. The smaller the budget, the less leeway you have to make mistakes, so get this right from the start and you won’t have to compromise your plans at a later date.
Experiment with Designs
There are lots of cool software packages that let you create designs and home plans on a computer screen. Experiment with designs and play around with how you envision your dream home should look. Its good fun and could inspire you to do something very different from your original concept.
Engage an Architect
House plans can be bought here, but if your ideas are very complex or you want to create a completely bespoke design, it is better to consult with an architect. An architect’s job is to take your ideas and turn them into a living breathing home. They will work within your budget to make your ideas a reality – but you do need to find the right person to work with, so talk to a few and check out their work before you make a final decision. Designing a home from scratch is far more economical than buying ready-made home. You normally get a lot more bang for your buck when doing a self-build, plus you get to live in the home of your dreams!