Se­lect­ing a de­sign

Find­ing a floor­plan that won’t date over time is not so straight­for­ward, writes Cather­ine Nikas-Bou­los

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add-ons such as a but­ler’s pantry, out­door en­ter­tain­ment area or home theatre room.

“By for­ward plan­ning the de­sign fea­tures you both want and need, it will make se­lect­ing the best suited floor­plan much eas­ier,” he says. “Know­ing what fea­tures you want in your new home is cru­cial, and will help make it easy to se­lect the per­fect home de­sign.”

Make a short­list

Mak­ing a list of what you do and don’t like in in­di­vid­ual dis­play homes will help whit­tle down your op­tions.

“Think about what sort of home is go­ing to suit your needs best,” Luke says.

“Do you want one or two storeys? How many bed­rooms will you need? If you al­ready have a block of land in mind, then what size and width is it? Know­ing your bud­get can also help in nar­row­ing the se­lec­tion.”

To make the best use of your time, it’s also smart to re­search home de­signs on­line to help you to make a list of per­ti­nent ques­tions to ask sales staff at the dis­play sites.

“There are a range of fac­tors that you should con­sider when look­ing at a dis­play home de­sign,” Luke says. “Start at does the lay­out suits your fam­ily’s daily life­style? How does the home look from the street? Is the fa­cade of the home im­pres­sive? Do you feel a ‘wow’ fac­tor when you en­ter the home? What sort of gar­den and en­ter­tain­ment area will suit your fam­ily’s life­style? Is the flow of the floor­plan good?”

Luke adds that when you’re view­ing a home, look for qual­ity. He sug­gests keep­ing an eye out for prod­ucts that you know and trust, es­pe­cially in the kitchen and bath­room.

“Also, is the home built us­ing qual­ity ma­te­ri­als? The dis­play home’s con­struc­tion is a good in­di­ca­tor of the qual­ity you can ex­pect for your home so make sure it passes your in­spec­tion,” he says

How to com­pare houses

When it comes to com­par­ing homes, it’s im­por­tant to con­sider how much your life­style and your needs will change over time, and to choose a home de­sign that caters for your fu­ture life­style and of­fers room to grow.

To help make the de­ci­sion eas­ier, it’s im­por­tant to keep all in­for­ma­tion and pa­per work or­gan­ised. Luke says that once you have made a short­list, the fi­nal de­ci­sion is close.

“The fi­nal de­ci­sion on what home to build should all come down to your stage of life,” Luke says. “Is this your first home? Are you down­siz­ing, or is this your for­ever home? Think about what your life­style needs are both now and in the fu­ture.”

He says it’s likely that you will be liv­ing in your new home for at least 10 years, so imag­ine what your needs will be over that time frame.

“If you have young kids now, con­sider that they’ll soon be teenagers, so your home will have to cater for that,” Luke says.

Like­wise, if your kids are all grown up and are ready to leave the nest, con­sider how this will change your life­style and what you need from your home. These are all cru­cial as­pects to keep in mind when mak­ing de­ci­sions re­gard­ing your new home.

Ul­ti­mately, Luke says build­ing a house is an ex­pen­sive, emo­tional and time-con­sum­ing process, so it’s not a de­ci­sion that should be rushed into or taken lightly.

“It’s easy to be won over by a beau­ti­ful de­signer kitchen, but don’t for­get to con­sider smaller day-to-day fea­tures that you may re­quire over the years, such as in­ter­nal garage ac­cess or ex­tra stor­age cup­boards, which can make a big dif­fer­ence in your life­style,” he says. “Mak­ing a list of all these fea­tures that you need, as well as the ones you love, this will help give a strong in­di­ca­tion of which home is the per­fect fit for your fam­ily’s needs.”

This open-plan de­sign by Met­ri­con is a pop­u­lar choice with buy­ers.

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