Budget

Budgets can be a dirty word if you are not used setting one.  With regards to building a new house, a budget is very important.  To have a budget, you also need a plan and to have done some homework. 

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Homework!

By this I mean, what you want versus need in order to live your life in the way that feels right to you.  Is the kitchen the hub of your home?  If so, take the time to work out your flow from preparation to cooking then serving.  How do the areas flow then into the living and dining spaces?  Do you need an indoor laundry so you can watch littlies at the same time?  Doing your homework does not necessarily mean designing the entire house yourself but it does mean being open to suggestion if we are able to improve the flow of the spaces. 

Take a look outside now.  Does the street suit the value of house you are proposing?  Can you start small and add to your house later with ease (concept plan at the initial stage helps) to increase the value to reach a higher value if need be?  Having a plan of the greater scheme (even if you change your mind later) helps to create an overall property that flows rather than being ad hoc buildings plonked randomly together, unless that is the look you are after.

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Plan

Without a plan and a budget it is very easy to over-react thinking you need bigger spaces than what you actually require.   An ad hoc attitude can change the whole flow of the house.  For instance, adding a library on to the west of a building will increase the footprint but it may hide the front door and may be larger than the living space and may darken the living room.  Pause your life for a moment and think about how you want to live.  Get a tape measure out and measure spaces around you now.  What works and what doesn’t?  Why don’t certain spaces work?  Really think about why you don’t like something rather than just “I don’t like that” as you may be surprised by the real reason.  For instance, the colour of the space may be annoying you or the power points may be in the wrong position which bugs you.  What can be changed or modified?  Where is the sun in relation to the television in both summer and winter?

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Budget

An ad hoc style can be expensive in the long term.  A plan allows you to source things early so that if you find them on special you can buy them.  A limited budget does not mean the end of the world.  It does mean being creative as to how you achieve things sometimes, being flexible about what you achieve by when and how.  Remember to put your money into visible areas to create that wow factor you may be after, rather than into non-visible areas.  Think long-term as well where you can. 

Having a budget also means not over-capitalising on your property and having a well designed house that suits your inner well-being.  Rash decisions can be the downfall of the house in the long-term as every time you walk past a rash decision you may feel "if only ..."  Start planning early.  Keep a scrap book of styles you like, suggestions to think about, colour combinations and concepts that have appealed to you.  Remember you may not be able to have everything in one house so look at what is important to you now.  This is where being mindful of who you are now and what is important to you helps.  Happy planning!