1. SKETCH AWAY
You don’t need clever software and design technology. A pad and pencil are a good place to start. Sketch ideas you have about your dream home.
You don’t have to be good at drawing. Sketches for the basis for discussions with friends and family and also with architects and builders. They are a starting point for other ideas.
2. PLAN AHEAD
Make some assumptions about how long you expect to live in this house. As you do this, consider what life changes might happen to you. Plan to take account of these in your design.
If this is a retirement home you may be in great health now. Try to anticipate the implications of mobility problems in later life.
If you plan to have children or grandchildren, is the design child-friendly? Is the pool safe? Do you have enough rooms for the little guests you may have in the future?
3. STORY BOARD IT
Getting your ideas across to others is sometimes difficult. Making sure they are coherent is also a challenge. Using a storyboard can help with this. Cut out inspirational pictures from design or lifestyle magazines. Print out ideas from websites and blogs. Take photographs whenever you see a design feature, building or room that excites you.
Assemble these images and ideas in a scrapbook. Make notes and add sketches next to the images. Use it to stimulate discussions and creative thinking.
4. CHECK THE LAY OF THE LAND
If your vision is of your dream house you may have clear ideas about the interior and even the exterior. It’s really important to consider the context that the house will sit in. For this, you need to know where it will be.
Imagine or sketch the house in the landscape. Workout how it will be orientated. Understand the lay of the land.
Slopes can make a huge difference to a house. Will you need to excavate? Will some of the house be underground?
5. LIGHT AND HEAT
Where will the sun come up and go down? Where will shadows fall? Where is the best place for a garden or BBQ area?
6. GET YOUR PRIORITIES RIGHT
Make a wish list and prioritize it. If it’s essential that you have five bedrooms rank it in a priority list higher than the non-essential space. Prioritizing will be important when you start turning your dreams into a budget.
PLAN FOR SUCCESS WHEN BUILDING YOUR DREAM HOME
Better to decide your plans before the first spade full of earth is dug. Changes are usually much more expensive after you’ve started work on building your dream home. Take your time and get it right on paper first.