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This is how YOU design your dream house

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So you've decided to build your next home. Whether it's a lavish family dream house or a neat micro abode, finding an existing residence that fits your exacting specifications can prove challenging and rare. If you are lucky enough to find yourself in the position where you can build yourself a new home, you will undoubtedly have a fairly definitive idea about how your prospective dwelling might look. 

There are plenty of considerations when planning and designing a new-build residence, the least of which can present some laborious and demanding problem-solving skills. You will need to think about your vision, your goals, as well as the end result you are hoping to achieve. These factors may seem like the easier or less problematic component of the process, but when combined with more practical aspects such as materials, budget and location, can quickly turn into a challenge. In addition to your design, you need to look at where you will construct your home, and investigate potential neighbourhoods you are interested in. Expect a sketch pad and pencil to become your best friend as you attempt to narrow down and focus your ideas into a feasible reality.

Here at homify we love a little ingenuity when it comes to design, and have collated a series of tips that we believe will help you plan and design your dream home. Check out the step-by-step guide below, and start envisioning your dream today!

1. Get inspired!

The first step to designing your dream home is to get inspired and start with a vision. Before you start drawing, sketching and looking at locations, you need to take a peek at how others have designed their homes. Here at homify we have an abundance of stylish projects with an analysis of design features and elements. To obtain some ideas and gain a little inspiration you can check out the endless array of Ideabooks on our site. 

To get you started, you might want to take a peek at the articles below: 

The Space Invaders House

How to plan a place for kitchen furniture and appliances

2. Look at your current home

Secondly, you will want to diagnose the potential of your current home. You need to look at what can be improved, what needs to change, and features you like or dislike. By analysing the different elements of your dwelling you can impart that knowledge onto your own design, ensuring you include all the essentials. 

You might find that a toilet or bathroom is situated in an awkward area of the home, or perhaps you wish you had a walk-in robe. Each of these different elements will help to create the perfect floorplan for your new dwelling. Additionally, it can be a good idea to keep a list as you go of all the little things that irk you, and all the things that you find helpful; that way they can be included in the final design. 

3. Sketch and design

During the design process a sketch pad and pen will become your best friend. You don't need to be a Picasso to draw your ideas onto paper, simply grab that pencil and draw, draw, draw! Once you start the process you will find that amazing ideas begin to present themselves and your design will change and transform before your eyes. 

In addition to drawing you can find plenty of different online and downloadable sketch programs for the computer that will help you to realise your vision. Many of these tools are simple enough that even your grandparents could use them! Look for programs that have good reviews and are built for first time designers. Once you produce your drawings it will give you something to show your architects or builder once you begin the planning/building process. 

4. Call in the professionals when needed

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Of course, when you design your own home there is only so much you can do by yourself, and unless you are a skilled draughtsperson you will have difficulty in transmitting your idea across to builders. This is where you need to call in the professionals to assist you. 

When you begin looking for a professional you should take a gander at their portfolio and previous projects to see if they fit in with your ideas and design theme. Let your ideas be guided by an architect and remember to ask for a budget before initiating any actual works. 

When you begin looking for a professional you will find plenty of individuals and firms on the 'professional' section of the homify website. 

5. Set your budget

Possibly one of the biggest considerations when designing your home, the budget is a crucial factor that will influence the end result and overall design of your home. You should set yourself a conservative budget and allow for a small 'over-budget' amount just in case. It is far better to try and design under-budget, rather than maximising your monetary allowance and consequently ending up in debt, or over-budget.

Obviously most of the money you spend will be given to the actual builders labour in constructing the house, but the architectural and planning fees can also add up considerably. Try to provide your professionals with a generous amount of information. This will help realise your vision, and avoid costly re-draws/changes to your plan. Additionally, the more detail you provide the better, as once you begin building changes will drastically affect the cost of your dwelling. 

6. Get organised

Getting organised is an extremely important step in the process of designing a house. Although having a dream is great, it won't come to fruition if you aren't organised. Along with your sketchbook of notes, you should get a folder and put everything in a logical order. This will help keep your thoughts in order, as well as assisting your professionals when you meet with them. 

7. Consider the big picture

As you get closer to having determined exactly what you want from your design, it is essential you look at the big picture. There are a few different elements associated with this, but will likely include the following:

- Know what you want, how much it is approximately going to cost, as well as a realistic deadline for build and completion dates. 

- Where you want to live. This might include neighbourhoods, rural or city living, ability to purchase land in particular areas, and schooling options. 

- Whether you want a sustainable design, or are happy with traditional building methods. 

- And finally, whether you can build your dream home within your budget. 

8. Build your dream home

Once you have designed you home and consulted with the relevant professionals, you will need to look at building your house! This is definitely the most challenging step as it involves liaising with many different experts and contractors to get everything running smoothly. Of course if this is a little too much work, you can always enlist the help of a project manager to get everything happening quickly and stress-free. 

If you are ready to get your design started, check out 6 latest trends for a modern bathroom design to get you on your way!

Do you have experience designing a home or planning a renovation? If you would like to start a conversation, leave a comment below!
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