Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - RESIDENTIAL -

SANDGROPERS are blessed with good weather, a phe­nom­e­nal coast­line and the op­por­tu­nity to build the home of our dreams with any bud­get.

But un­like our nat­u­ral abil­ity to take ad­van­tage of cool dips in the ocean in sum­mer and nights out dur­ing our warm win­ters, plan­ning and cre­at­ing that new abode doesn’t come as easy.

To make it all a lit­tle less mind­bog­gling, we asked our ex­pert panel to find out their answers to our fre­quently asked build­ing ques­tions. How do I choose the right block of land?

Pin­dan de­vel­op­ment man­ager Sandy Bi­a­gioni: Choos­ing the right lot for you starts with the house type and size that suits your life­style and bud­get.

An easy-main­te­nance prop­erty – such as a 7.5m or 10m-wide laneway lot – would suit singles, pro­fes­sion­als, empty-nesters and down­siz­ers who don’t want large ar­eas of gar­den to main­tain.

The slightly larger cot­tage lot is gen­er­ally 12.5m wide, around 375sq m, and suits first-home buy­ers or those with a young fam­ily or down­siz­ers.

A large tra­di­tional lot is typ­i­cally greater than 450sq m and would usu­ally suit buy­ers with a fam­ily look­ing for room to grow, or some­one who just needs that ex­tra space for a boat, car­a­van or work­shop.

Other im­por­tant things to con­sider in­clude the avail­able ser­vices, in­clud­ing gas and broad­band in­ter­net, the slope of the land, and fenc­ing and land­scap­ing.

The shape of the lot is also im­por­tant. Sim­ple rec­tan­gu­lar shapes make it eas­ier for builders to de­sign your home more eco­nom­i­cally.

How do I de­cide which home de­sign is best for me?

Prom­e­nade Homes owner and builder Rob Frigo: First, think about how you live in your cur­rent home. Are there rooms that you rarely use? Do you have a for­mal din­ing area but never ac­tu­ally eat in there? Are you al­ways com­plain­ing about not hav­ing enough stor­age? Do you wish cer­tain rooms were big­ger and oth­ers smaller?

Make sure you de­sign your new home to suit how you re­ally like to live, and take some key learn­ings from how you use your home right now.

If you’re plan­ning on liv­ing in your home for a long time, then try and con­sider how your fam­ily’s re­quire­ments will change over time. This might mean cre­at­ing rooms that can be more mul­tipur­pose rather than spe­cific, or rooms that can evolve over the years.

Con­sider util­is­ing dif­fer­ent zones in your home. If you have young chil­dren, you might want a play­room for the kids where you can keep an eye on them, but con­sider how they will use this space when they are teenagers.

These are all ques­tions worth ask­ing your­self now, so you have a plan for the fu­ture.

If you need help de­sign­ing your new home, you can down­load our guide 11 “I wish I’d thought of that” De­sign Ideas for Your New Home at www.prom­e­nade­homes.com.au. Should I build a sin­gle or dou­ble-storey house?

Brolga De­vel­op­ments man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Dene Pur­don: This can be tricky. This will largely come down to your lot size ver­sus your needs.

Lot sizes are get­ting smaller, so a multi-storey home must be con­sid­ered to fit all needs into a home. How­ever, a multi-storey does cost more so this must be con­sid­ered care­fully when choos­ing a small lot.

The ac­ces­si­bil­ity around the home is also an im­por­tant fac­tor, es­pe­cially if you have very young chil­dren, are get­ting older or sim­ply have some­one in the fam­ily with spe­cial needs. Lifts are be­com­ing more af­ford­able in a res­i­den­tial home and can now be con­sid­ered if your bud­get al­lows.

Give se­ri­ous thought about where you would want your bed­rooms, liv­ing ar­eas and kitchen.

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