CUSTOMISING A PROJECT HOME TO PERFECTLY SUIT YOUR LIFESTYLE
Putting your own stamp on a standard design is easier than you think, writes Chelsea Clark
While many of us will dream of a custom-built home, the cost is often prohibitive. Going down the tried and tested route of a project building company can make more sense because you know exactly what you’re getting and how much you’re up for from the very start.
They can take care of everything from permits to managing the build.
When you choose to build with a project home company though, you are working within their design suite and with their list of suppliers, materials and fixtures.
But before you write off project designs as the “cookie cutter” option, speak to the builders to see exactly how you can put your own stamp on a pre-designed floorplan orplan to build something truly unique.
Ask what’s possible
Your best bet in finding out exactly how customised your project home can become is to talk to the building company about what’s possible.
“Knowing what features you want in your new home is crucial,”,” says Metricon’s Jason Biasin, general manager, northern states.
“Speak to your sales consultant who will discuss what’s possible with your chosen home design — it’s important to us that homes are tailored to each unique buyer to best suit their individual needs.”
Talk with representatives from each building company you are considering so you don’t commit to anything before finding out the alterations you want aren’t possible.
“We recognise that standard designs aren’t going to suit everyone, so do allow some design flexibility,” says Eden Brae Homes state sales manager Bill Hawie.
Open a window
Changing the positioning of windows, walls and doors is one of the easiest ways to switch up a standard floorplan.
Rawson Homes marketing executive Natasha Dunsmuir says the company allows clients to create taller doors and/or windows but some restrictions do apply.
““Buyers should take note of the windo windows of the homes on display because these would have already met the Basix 5 star energy rating, addressing cross ventilation, orientation and privacy concerns.”
If you’re considering moving windows, make sure the new position frames a nice view and think about adding frosting, laminating or shutters where there is a need for privacy.
Some structural alterations might be possible internally to change room sizes or the orientation of certain rooms but talk to your builder early before your heart becomes set on that extra large master suite.
The wash-up on bathrooms
Here’s where you can really put your stamp on your new home by choosing from the builder’s range and pairing colours or textures together for a unique look.
If your budget can stretch a little further consider replacing the standard vanity with something custom designed. Most builders will require you to fit this after handover.
According to Jason, the kitchen is often the space subject to the most changes by clients wanting to personalise their home.
“Kitchens are often considered the most favourable communal space,” he says.
“We see a considerable amount of change in this space, with popular options for upgrades including customised joinery and stone benchtops.”
Floor and wall coverings are a great way to personalise your home.
Most builders will have a wide selection of tiles, timber, flooring and carpet styles available so ask to see the entire range — not just the standard inclusions.
Eden Brae, for example, offers traditional floor tiles and carpet selections as standard with timber floor and timber laminated flooring offered as an upgrade.
If you love the look of concrete floors, ask your builder if they have any concrete-style laminate in their range which gives the same look without the hefty price tag.
On the walls, consider creating a personalised feature wall post-handover or add some stand-out wallpaper.
Don’t forget about light fittings which can really set the tone for your home.
Before building starts consider what type of mood you want in each space and how that will impact on your lighting plan.
Are downlights the best option? Do you want the option of a dimmer switch?
After you’ve moved in, add some style with unique lampshades.
The great outdoors
If an alfresco living space isn’t included in your design talk to your builder about adding one from one of their other floorplans to extend your home’s living space.
Landscaping often isn’t included in the price of your project home so, if budget allows, employ a reputable landscaper to get to work on creating a usable space. Think carefully about the plants you choose in terms of the climate and the time you can devote to tending a garden.
ChooseC building materials such as bricks, timber and tiles carefully to get the finished home you desire.