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10 Tips for Smart
Home Design

Once you've made the decision to build rather than buy your next home, the biggest step after finding the right building lot is to have someone design your future abode. This may seem tough; putting together a home design that reflects your taste, yet also fits your needs and budget is a balancing act that takes planning. The following are 10 considerations to help you on your way.

1. Do Your Home Design Homework

You must first decide what type of home you want to build. House styles today are as varied as those who live in them, offering you a banquet of ideas from which to borrow. When you see a home that appeals to you, decide exactly what features or characteristics caught your eye.
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Make a note of these or, better yet, make a quick sketch. Keep all these ideas together in a file. You could also use the DCF Design Group - Design Brief located in the consultation section of our website. You don't have to decide how to implement them all yet, but eventually we can help you decide how best to fit these into your home design plan.

2. Create Your Home Design List

When creating a list of criteria or the Design Brief for your home design, start with the basics: the number of bedrooms, the number of bathrooms, the number of family areas, the choice between a formal dining room or a more open, community eating area, porch or deck styles for your home's entrances and the size of your garage. 
Once your basic list is complete, someone from our design team can tackle planning for individual rooms. You'll want to list features that are most important to you first and then add from there. This list can include kitchen features, master bathroom features, audio wiring for speaker systems, Internet and phone connections and so on.

3. Check Local Zoning Laws

Zoning laws can affect everything from house framing to yard fencing. Checking first to see what zoning laws are applicable to your property can save many headaches. Understanding what regulations will affect the design is a critical time saver.

4. Design Within Your Budget

Once your list is completed, we will assist you in comparing it to your budget and adjust to fit. This can be particularly difficult for first-time home builders.
DCF Design Group can provide you with a budget estimate for design and building works. We can guide you to ensure you stick as close to your budget as possible. It is a good idea to have a contingency in your budget plan for those unforeseen items that may pop up.

5. Design to Fit Your Site

Your land is unique; each property has opportunities and challenges. We keep these in mind whilst creating your home design and use existing grades of your property to your favour. For example, if your lot slopes sharply to the side, we would consider a walkout side basement door instead of the traditional back door. Working with your land, instead of against it, saves you excavating costs and retains more of your property's natural character.
We would also suggest that you should position ground-level bedrooms and bathrooms toward the back of the house, away from street and foot traffic, and design windows, foliage and fences to maximise beauty and increase privacy.

6. Maximise Your Space Efficiency

When mapping out your floor plan, we make sure there is a logical flow to your home design. We want to simplify life for your contractor while he builds and for your family while they live in it. Some suggestions you should consider:
  • Direct access to the kitchen from the garage
  • Having all your plumbing in one general area, reducing pipe distance
  • Placing your heating ventilation and air conditioning system as centrally as possible, allowing for better temperature balance throughout your house
  • Bedrooms should be isolated to reduce noise and increase privacy
  • Placing your washer and dryer on the same floor as bedrooms (for two or more story homes)
  • Making sure all doorways, hallways and stairways are wide enough to move furniture through

7. Plan for Expansion

If you decide that you can't afford to build your entire dream house now, we suggest a plan where expansion is not only possible, but easy. One way of doing so is to build your home in phases.
For example, build your main house first, add your detached garage or second storey in a few years. Pick affordable priorities and tackle those first.

8. Picture the Interior Design

When putting together your floor plan, we place your furniture in the design to see how it all fits together. Also, we suggest you consider your lighting scheme, paint and flooring choices, and how your design will work for entertaining - planning for all your favourite activities will help you create proper seating, dining and socialising spaces.

9. Don't Forget the Sun

The position of the sun can affect your home design in many ways, depending on the direction your home faces. Placing windows to take advantage of natural light, will allow for better energy conservation. And if you particularly enjoy sunrises or sunsets, then we would consider designing places into the east or west sides of your home to spend time doing so.

10. Beautify All Sides of Your Home Design

Remember that window placement affects the inside and outside look of your house. Whether you live on a corner or in the middle of the site, the sides of your home are going to be seen. DCF Design Group will ensure that we design the look of your home so that you'd be proud to let anyone walk around it, putting small design elements here and there - whether they be design elements (decks, porches or a covered patio), landscaping or better yet - both. We work to create a pleasing, comfortable atmosphere wherever visitors may go.