The New Zealand Building Guide magazine has been helping Kiwis design and construct their dream home for more than 10 years. Over that time, they’ve picked up some tips.
The biggest tip? Take your time.
Refine, rework, rethink. The more time upfront at the design stage, the fewer changes you’ll want to make during construction, and the more satisfied you’ll be with the outcome.
Here are 13 other tips to consider before you build:
- Indoor/outdoor flow is vital for modern living but…
- Make sure your doorways have shelter from rain with eaves or porticos
- Outdoor living in New Zealand can be done for much of the year in northern climes, less so down south, but it is essential that shade is provided. Consider waterproof shade either through shadeclothes that are waterproof or solid roof materials
- Think about sun-lines. Shade at midday may be inadequate in the early evening and the sun can still be brutal at that hour
- Go with a Smart Home installation. It will soon become essential for any home so get it in now
- If you can’t afford to install outdoor heating, make provision for it by running gas pipes or electrical wiring during the build
- Look at running your music outdoors with outdoor speakers. It’s actually more considerate for the neighbours as you don’t need volumes up as loud to be able to hear.
- Sight lines for children’s play areas can be incorporated into your design early in the process. Separate spaces for children (no matter how old) can be a very valuable asset to living.
- Lighting is vital to enhancing a home’s natural features and ambience and don’t forget to install outdoor lighting, or cable it up even if you can’t afford the lights yet
- Run speaker cable and computer cable throughout your house, even if you cannot afford to install computers and speakers – add them later
- Ensure the materials you build your home from are of good quality from reputable suppliers – from the framing you choose, to the cladding, electrical cabling and plumbing to glass, roofing and interior linings. Fittings can be changed out – you cannot change your framing
- Spend money on quality fittings wherever you can
- If you’re building, site levelling beforehand can be an excellent way of making the full use of your property – making space for entertaining areas, kid’s play areas or parking. Don’t be scared to move dirt around – it’s never cheaper than before things are built.
Above all else, think about how you want to live in your new home and build it around your requirements, your needs and desires. This is the ultimate benefit of building your own bespoke dream home.