You have the ability to design your dream home. Don’t be constrained by conventional thinking – but make sure you have someone to sense-check your wilder ideas and flights of fancy. The raison d’être of a self-build project is to get the most out of your project, so design it around you. Incorporate the design aspects you want and think forward to imagine how the place and space will be to live in.
There are several practical considerations when designing a home, but the more imaginative and innovative you can be within the ‘rules of the game’, the better – the rules in this case being the Building Regulations. The building needs to fulfil its function as a usable living space. If you’re including two bathrooms, you could put them next to each other, but it’s probably best to put one upstairs and one down. Kitchens in the vicinity of dining rooms is conventional thinking, but not set in stone, while merged spaces such as kitchen-diners and lounge-diners have become the norm, as multi-functional rooms. Televisions, often the focal point of family living spaces in the digital age, are getting bigger and wall-mounted, which frees-up floorspace but needs to be thought about at the home design stage in terms of positioning – where such items as doors and windows occur in the design. So too with fireplaces, so often the other focal point of lounge areas. These days with central heating they are often purely for show.
Home connectivity is everything these days, so in modern houses it makes sense to include as many connectivity points as possible – Wi-Fi, streaming, the internet, gaming, telephones, you name it, all require power and access to wireless. Also give a great deal of thought to the positioning of plug points. All of the above require power and there’s no point in having the only plug in the room being in an area that is also the main thoroughfare.
Going green with home design
With the surge to prominence of ecological and sustainability issues, even construction hasn’t escaped scrutiny. We’re trying to make houses and their services as energy efficient and environmentally friendly as possible. Years ago, the idea of something like a green roof would have sounded like a flight of fancy, but nowadays they are appearing more and more. A ‘green roof’ or ‘living roof’ is the roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation, which is planted over a waterproof membrane. In our eco-friendly world, ideas such as these are becoming more commonplace – within reason. Roof designs are a great way to make an impact and there is an array of ways to make your structure look unique.
Built-in courtyards create an ‘outside’ inside, while upside-down houses can make the most of views. This involves having the daily living spaces – kitchen, dining and living room – located upstairs, with sleeping accommodation on the ground floor. These are most popular by the coast, but could just as easily be built in rural, urban or suburban neighbourhoods.
A design-and-build specialist such as CB Homes can help you evaluate the pros and cons of your design, however far-fetched. We can help you decide which will work for you and the practicality of carrying out your scheme to create your ideal home.