Building & Designing your home - Introduction
Home ownership is often described as part of the 'great Australian dream', and throughout most of Australia's history has been encouraged and promoted by governments with direct measures such as cash grants and subsidies, and the favourable treatment of the family home in social security and taxation provisions.
For most Australians, the equity gained in their home represents a major part of their family wealth. As well as financial security for retirement, this equity also provides benefits such as collateral for loans to purchase items such as cars or holidays, or for numerous other activities or investments.
From an initial request from many Clients, for a documented guide on the correct way to approach designing their new home and how to correctly convey their thoughts and requirements to their Building Designer and Builder to ensure that their expectations were met, this undertaking has progressed from it's initial concept, into a more detailed series of articles to also include information on the relevant Australian Building Regulations that may impact upon your individual requirements; the basics of low energy design; information on covenants and Local Government overlays that may place a restriction on what you can build; how to read building plans; a guide to room sizes . . . . plus many more items all aimed at putting you, the owner, in charge of the designing process.
From the outset it was evident that there was a perception that many Builders and Designers either lacked the skills to communicate adequately with their Clients, or due to their 'familiarity' with the Building Industry, that they readily assumed certain aspects of the design or construction which was contrary to their Clients expectations.
From the Builder or Designers point of view, the lack of knowledge or direction displayed by some Clients, considering such a major undertaking and financial outlay is being approached, can in the very least be frustrating.
Having reached this point on the way to achieving the 'Australian Dream', you are possibly either lost as to how to proceed and are looking for guidance, or are reading these pages in an attempt to increase your knowledge base.
Whichever is the case, it is vitally important to remember that too much knowledge is never enough, and when it comes to conveying your ideas to your Builder or Building Designer, too much information is never enough.
Even though your Builder and your Building Designer may have your best interests at heart, at the end of the day your project will be one of many that they will be dealing with.
Again - you must be in charge and to do this you must have the knowledge to make the informed decisions necessary.
The following articles are laid out in separate sections, progressing through from the initial land selection to putting your design together. Many of the points looked at are inter related in regards to the final outcome - your new home tailored to your own individual requirements - so even if you feel an item may not be relevant, I suggest you study it as a part of the overall process.
There may be items raised, that have not come to mind, and that may influence your final decisions.