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My4beautifulboys

For those that have built new

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My4beautifulboys

We are in the process of planning a new home. We have found a good architect. We gave them our brief. Then we were given three options of floor plans to choose from and then we can modify/add on to suit our needs.

The first floor plan that we took a liking too, which was like an L shaped design. Then the next stage the elevation sketches were done. Seeing it presented then, I’m not so keen on the design and focus of the facade. Is this common. It is only early stages yet. So time to modify things to our preference. If we have seen a build or floorplan we like, can that be presented to the architect. I know that it can’t be replicated though, as that would be copyright.

Would appreciate your tips and suggestions for those that have done a new build.

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Blossom11

You cant replicate exactly but if you make a certain amount of changes it can be nearly identical.

 

We didnt use an architect but we changed a fair bit of the existing plans.

 

Now i would use a company that does walk through floor plans - there is one in brisbane as that would have given us a better idea.

 

I chnaged my mind several times so its normal. I still missed a fair bit.

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rileys-mum

The most important part is to work out how and when you will use each space. Space is so important that storage in the wrong location or a room that becomes a thoroughfare become problematic.

Spend extras on kitchens and bathrooms. Ideally you want them to last 20+ years.

Make the kids bedroom as big as you can.

High ceilings are popular but make areas harder to heat - consider this.

How will you entertain in the space.

How will the house work as the kids get older

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can'tstayaway

If we have seen a build or floorplan we like, can that be presented to the architect. I know that it can’t be replicated though, as that would be copyright.

Would appreciate your tips and suggestions for those that have done a new build.

When I first meet an architect, I take along my scrapbook of ideas. Although I use Houzz and Pinterest, I print out the pictures I like and add them to my scrapbook with notes beside it identifying why I liked or disliked something in the picture. These scrapbooks have always been appreciated by my architects because pictures do tell a thousand words. It’s difficult to convey everything you need in a couple of meetings. I have also included floor plans of other places with notes of what I liked or disliked about them too.

 

A good architect will listen to your family’s needs and find a solution to them. Sometimes the solution will be unique or slightly out of the box but it should be custom to your family. That’s where copying another design may inhibit the potential of the architect. It’s up to you to gauge what kind of architect you have. You don’t want to waste time and therefore money in constantly having to pull them back from a certain bent if you have a definite thing you want.

 

Communication is the key.

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c.sanders

This is the time to really make sure you like why you have. Changing it later is an absolute nightmare!! Take your time. Be pedantic. Don't take no for an answer unless it has structural issues or council requirement etc. Good luck.

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YodaTheWrinkledOne

We took floorplans that we liked to our building designer and showed them the aspects that we wanted. It gives them a sense of what type of home we wanted. We still have an original design, it's not just a tweak from a project home floor plan.

 

You are better off making changes earlier rather later. This is the time to make the big changes. you want to only make small tweaks later on.

 

The most important part is to work out how and when you will use each space. Space is so important that storage in the wrong location or a room that becomes a thoroughfare become problematic.

Spend extras on kitchens and bathrooms. Ideally you want them to last 20+ years.

Make the kids bedroom as big as you can.

High ceilings are popular but make areas harder to heat - consider this.

How will you entertain in the space.

How will the house work as the kids get older

agree with all of this.

Also consider how the house is orientated to reduce thermal/heat variation, what insulation you should have, etc. Structural/building decisions you make now can have long term savings for power bills in the future (and comfort of living).

 

The HomeOne forum is a good place for design ideas and things you need to consider when building.

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*Spikey*

We visited innumerable display homes and collected their brochures - and then wrote notes about what we liked about them (and hated).

 

As it turned out, we ended up with a Rawson home as it ticked all of our boxes for layout and space. 20 years on, its still fantastic.

 

My sister loves this house - she ended up getting the same home built as an investment property, as it was the only house she liked. It's reversed, with a few changes, but honestly, the design really worked.

 

Go hit some display villages. They give you IRL experience that you don't get from online or imagination.

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Bauble Dinkleberry

We hired 2 architects to do the preliminary plans as it was hard to know who had the same vision. This is the cheapest part of a new build, and it really identified who shared our vision. We then made some changes to the plans, and never looked back.

 

It is such an amazing process, but does require fresh eyes sometimes. Good luck

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My4beautifulboys

Thank you for the tips and suggestions, that really does help. We actually live rurally so we are lucky that space is not a problem. So predominantly the home will be North facing to utilise the light, with less cooling in summer and hopefully more solar passive in the winter months.

We have employed an architect, he is very good and very open to ideas. It is some thing that we’ve never done before, so is a little daunting to begin with. As we really want to get it right.

At the moment we’re just trying to decide on a floor plan from the best of the three he’s put to us. To best suit our family. Then we have to decide if we are to have a traditional roof or a mono pitch roof. Which seems more the the trend now days to become a more solar passive home.

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YodaTheWrinkledOne

Thank you for the tips and suggestions, that really does help. We actually live rurally so we are lucky that space is not a problem. So predominantly the home will be North facing to utilise the light, with less cooling in summer and hopefully more solar passive in the winter months.

We have employed an architect, he is very good and very open to ideas. It is some thing that we’ve never done before, so is a little daunting to begin with. As we really want to get it right.

At the moment we’re just trying to decide on a floor plan from the best of the three he’s put to us. To best suit our family. Then we have to decide if we are to have a traditional roof or a mono pitch roof. Which seems more the the trend now days to become a more solar passive home.

also consider if you are planning to have solar panels and if so, what roof would work to maximise solar collection?

 

Also eaves are really important to maximise shade in summer and maximise sunlight getting into your house in winter. We have different width eaves around the house (depending on orientation) and it really does make a difference.

 

A couple of things I am glad we included

- a "school/activities" cupboard - set up for the kids to dump all their school bags, tennis/netball gear, shoes, hats, etc. It's one of the first places you hit if you enter from either the front door or the garage, so it's hard for the kids to miss when they come home from school. Back wall has a corkboard for notes, etc. Internal sides have hooks. It has two shelves with the lower shelf holding school bags. The floor has a few wicker boxes for shoes. Very high shelf for craft gear and school life boxes. And it's perfect when you close the doors - all the mess is gone!!

- office cupboard - holds the modem/router, printer, office stuff (pens, papers, staplers, envelopes, etc). Again, back wall has a cork board. 2-drawer filing cabinet at the bottom. Powerpoints for a charging station for multiple devices. It's in the centre of the house, very central.

Edited by YodaTheWrinkledOne
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My4beautifulboys

Thanks for the suggestions and tips. Just a question, we have given the architect our brief and he has designed according to that. But we have since thought of a couple of changes we like to make from the original brief. From the original drawings the architect has asked us to draw the exact preferred layout.

Is it in order for us to sketch out the layout we’d like to build. Is that rude to do that or not. As I understand it’s his job to present the drawings to us.

Have you gone through many preliminary design stages to get the perfect one you’d like or is it just us?

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MrsPuddleduck

It’s your house. Make sure it’s exactly what you want - it will likely be the single biggest investment you will ever make. Let the architect know the changes you’d like based on how your family lives and see what he recommends. He may take your suggestion and make it even better!

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SeaPrincess

When we built, we built with a project builder in WA (they have a south-west division). We were able to look through different variations that they had previously built based on the standard design, but ultimately we made our own changes to their plan. We were in no rush - the land where we had put down a deposit hadn’t actually been surveyed, so nothing could be done until then. Some of our changes cost extra, but some gave us credits to use towards the expenses.

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JennaJ

You don’t have to like any of the 3 options. Pick out what you do & don’t like from all of them & they will be able to modify the next option to suit. The first few sets of drawings are nothing like we have ended up with. He originally drew us a 3 bedroom house (but you only have 2 kids, no we definitely have 3 was one area of discussion!!!) with the main bedroom coming directly off the kitchen. I hated it. We have ended up with a house we love & works perfectly for our family. It’s such an individual choice. Tell them what you want & don’t let them talk you into something you will regret.

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My4beautifulboys

Thanks, yes I also feel the same. It is a very important decision and we want to be completely satisfied.

For those with families that have built. We are considering having second (children)living area adjoining main Living/kitchen/dining area. But with wall and possibly door separating the two. Versus children living area other end of the house, I feel to save trudging back and forth all the time. Then master bedroom would be off to the side, adjoining second living area.

Does that make sense and sound a sensible choice ?

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MrsPuddleduck

Sounds like it would work for our family. Like a rumpus (perhaps with sliding double doors or similar?) directly off the main living area would mean mum and dad could be in the kitchen or on the lounge while the kids play nearby. And then you could shut the doors when it was messy!

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JennaJ

Definitely a second area for the kids. I think of our house as in zones. One for all of the family area (kitchen dining lounge), one for my husband & I (bedroom en-suite WIR, study) & upstairs is the kids area (3 bedrooms, their bathroom & rumpus). Can you upload a photo of the drawing?

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brownowl

...

Edited by brownowl

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My4beautifulboys

Sorry Im not able to download an image, it doesn't seem to work from my computer. We are planning on having a long home facing to the North, as we live on acreage. Do you think its a good idea to have main bedroom away from childrens rooms? Initially I did think that it would be a good idea to be near children, but perhaps not so much as they are getting older. That is why I mentioned second living area adjoining the main kitchen/dining/living.

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Veritas Vinum Arte

We have kids bedrooms and kids Rumpus upstairs seperate to main living and master bed.

 

Kids were grades Prep, 2, 4 when we started this process and now grades 4/6/8 when it will be finished.

 

 

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MrsPuddleduck

How old are the kids? Is this your forever home? How long will the kids be living there? Is there a uni nearby or will they have to move away for higher education?

 

I think having the master near the kids makes sense when the children are young but as they get older it’s nice to have some separation, especially if they will be living there as young adults. I grew up rurally and moving away was just a given if you wanted higher education so it wasn’t a factor for us, but friends who stayed with their parents until early twenties enjoyed having a little privacy and separation (as did their parents!!!)

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My4beautifulboys

MrsPuddleduck, thanks for the ideas. Yes it will be our forever home. Our eldest is 14, 12, 11 and 6. I imagine that yes they will move on once they come to uni ages. We live fairly isolated, with no higher education nearby, so will more than likely leave home at some stage. If there choice is to persue further education.

I agree it is nice being close together in bedrooms when they are young. But as they become older and bring back future extended family etc. then the separation and privacy would be nicer.

Do you think it’s wise to have living areas back to back, as then again as their getting older it’s not so Children’s activity area, but more an extra lounge room as such.

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Veritas Vinum Arte

I would not do living back to back. Older kids will want their space. Then there is the watching of different shows.

 

 

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My4beautifulboys

Currently second living area is located far end of proposed build. The home is going to fairly broad,(28 metres) with children’s bedrooms located on the same end. I just feel that it’s a fair distance from main living/dining/kitchen area, to be going backwards and forwards all time. So that is why I perhaps thought locate living rooms adjacent to one another, with a wall dividing them both.

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LittleBrownMouse

Sounds like you are building a similar home to what we have. We’ve got a 5 bedder, architect design on acerage. House is roughly 40 meters wide (facing north) and 15 meters deep. Built it about 7 years ago.

 

Re: the architect, we ended up with about 8 drafts, took about 12 months. Butted heads with the architect over a couple of things, like the placement of our front door, which she wanted centered but it would’ve ruined the flow from garage to mud room to entry. I dug my heels in and it was the right decision.

 

She insisted on no front verandah at the front of the house (I wanted wrap around verandas) so that winter sun came in and warmed the house. I capitulated and she was right, it works.

 

Re: plans. Our kids were babies when we built but we still put them at the other end of the house. I still always hear them and it’s really not too far. Give hubby and I a bit of privacy and warning... if you know what I mean ;)

 

We have 3 living areas and the kids one is at the very end of the house and it’s great! We entertain a lot and we can send kids down there and adults all get some peace and quiet. Helps keep a quiet house when they have their tv on etc.

 

I know it’s a painful process but it is worth spending the time and getting it right.

Edited by MrsCee
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