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8 Questions to Ask Yourself When Planning Your Dream Home

Updated: Oct 3, 2021

Like any life adventure, you need to research your trip and PLAN. Building a home is most certainly a journey you need to plan for thoroughly. Whether a new build, knockdown re-build, or a renovation on an established house you need to know who you are, what you want/need, and distinguish the lifestyle you wish to live while factoring in the B-word...... BUDGET!

building a house yourself

The process may come across as very personal and confronting for some, raising conflicts in opinions when creating a home with a partner howbeit creating a home is more than building bedrooms and bathrooms with a few design aspects slapped together.

Let’s look at our suggested questions in the planning process.

Assuming you have smashed your goal to obtain funds/knowledge of your borrowing capacity for your project it's now time to get down to the nitty-gritty of what your project will look like, smell like, and feel like. Below are a few starter questions to commence setting your goals against your vision.

building a house

Who are we?

A big part of who we are is our lifestyle and choices. Envisioning where you spend the majority of your time will help shape your design and define your priorities for functionality/layout. For some people, the kitchen is genuinely the heart of the home. For those who enjoy cooking together, they converse there, entertain there, and practically live in the kitchen meaning a large open plan kitchen/living area with a colossal island bench would suit their lifestyle. However, with the forever evolving times we live in and restrictions on our normal social activities you may want to factor in a movie theatre, pool area or a playroom for the children. The main positive when building from scratch is you can personally plan the space, so do not be bound by tradition and expectation, it's your home.

Who do we see spending time with us in our home?

This is an important question to ask yourself to guarantee you have the space to host 50 guests for birthdays every year or do you require the dimensions for an 8 seater table for close family only. Ensure you have the space to comfortably accommodate, like having a spare room for the drunken best friend or nan and pop for a sleepover on the holidays.

questions to ask when building a house

How do we want to feel living in our new home?

This might sound a little out there, but home is as much a feeling as it is a place to live. Different design elements provoke different feelings in each person. For some, it will come from the sense of calm created by modern clean lines and polished surfaces; for others, it will be about the warmth created by a soft cosy Hamptons vibe. Whatever it is for you, your new design should evoke this feeling every time you walk through your front door.

What will the cost be?

How long is a piece of string? Budgets can be easily drained by lavish Pinterest designs and tempting luxury options. While the price of the land and the size of the house will be your biggest factors, smaller items add up quick and fast. Contacting your local builders for quotes is a helpful starting point to gauge if what you're envisioning aligns with your budget (recommendations go a long way).

Can we achieve it?

Where there's a will, there's a way. Like anything in life compromising and flexing is essential. This is no different in building, it could be the size of your build or even location. A counter-question I would ask if aspects aren't achievable is, "what are you willing to compromise on?" you may be required to make some tough calls when building to get you to a point where you can move into your home then slowly add the nonessentials at a later time.

How long will our build take?

Each project has a different completion timeline and many factors to consider eg, builder/trade availability, organisation, material shortages and more importantly how quick you decipher hard decisions. A simple renovation can take anywhere from 1-6months, some even a few weeks. New builds and knockdown re-build projects will take far longer anywhere from 6-18months. Your builder is the best person to indicate timeframes for your project and should have it noted in your contract.

How much maintenance will our home require?

Details like a natural timber deck, ornamental landscaping or a substantially large pool are undoubtedly beautiful. However, they also take a lot of maintenance to keep them looking their best. If you're not the type to enjoy the maintenance of staining the deck, pruning your roses, or cleaning the pool it might be best to avoid these elements unless you have a budget to engage contractors.

What’s our plan B?

This isn't a negative question, it's practical. Having a backup plan that's just as beautiful as plan A ensures a sense of safety but also control so you're not starting back at step 1 again.

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