Monthly Archives: December 2018

Building Site for Your Custom Home Design

Once someone has come to the decision to build a new home the next step is often choosing a building site. There are many factors in choosing a building site. Consider asking yourself a question regarding the location of your new home: is it in good proximity to work, shopping and schools, or does recreation, a scenic view or an ideal setting outweigh the demands of a daily routine? This is where your selection process should start, and it’s important. Our homes are the place that we come back to at the end of each and every day. They need to be a place that we want to come back to at the end of our daily activities and a place to be proud to call our own.

Contacting a professional at this stage of the home design process can be key to the fulfillment of your dreams. The advice of an architect or a residential designer can also help you avoid unforeseen difficulties with a potential site. A good designer knows where to go to investigate property easements, riparian setbacks, soils reports and zoning bylaw information. Can you even build the intended home on the subject property? Are there going to be unforeseen development costs? Residential designers can provide the answers to many of these questions.

Years of wisdom also help designers work with you as you consider sight-lines, seasonal weather patterns, wind direction, sun angles and site grading to develop a schematic site analysis. Other distinct site attributes will also be noticed by your designer including existing vegetation, either to be retained or removed. Some municipalities even have tree bylaws that impose heavy fines for the removal of certain trees. Looking at these and other factors lays the proper groundwork for a home that will have every room in it’s proper place with it’s intended function.

Recently a potential client contacted me and asked to interview me. I suggested meeting at the site and they agreed that it would be a good idea to do so. While on site I asked if they were aware of the current zoning restrictions and that the front triangle of the property belonged to the city. Though they had contacted other designers about the planning of the home, no-one had mentioned these issues to them. Further, they were due to close on the property the very next day! I accompanied them to city hall to have the issues clarified. In the end they backed out of the purchase of the lot and are looking for another building site, avoiding an additional $120,000 in land acquisition and development permit costs plus 8 months of legal process. Surely, there is value in the advice of a multitude of councilors!

Comparing Custom Home Designs

The advancement in information technology has enabled modern people to design their own homes. An individual has option to browse through a large collection of online home designs, along with using home designing software applications to create custom home designs. But a homeowner must remember that the home designing trends and techniques change at frequent intervals. So he must consider several options to design custom homes according to the most recent trends in residential home design.

Ideas to Optimize Your Custom Home Designs

Avoid Cutting Trees

While constructing or renovating a house, people often forget to save trees. You must remember that you can avail several benefits by saving the trees. The tree will keep your home and shaded, while enhancing its aesthetic appeal. Thus, you can save energy bills over a longer period of time. While placing the decks of your house, you must remember the existing trees. The design will make your home more energy-efficient, while reducing the number of trees to be cut down.

Explore Options to Generate Green Energy

You can even consider generating green energy to curtail your monthly electricity bills. However, the choice of energy source will vary based on the location of the property. If your home receives adequate sunlight you can consider installing solar panels. The photovoltaic panels will generate electricity by converting sunlight.

Similarly, you can consider installing a residential wind turbine if you live in an area with high average wind speed. The wind turbine will generate electricity by harnessing the kinetic power of the wind. The electricity generated through the solar panels or wind turbine can be further stored for future by using batteries or a grid.

Consider Roof Improvements

A number of reports have highlighted that the attic temperature can be reduced by using the right roof color and material. You can always opt for the light colored tile roofs to decrease the temperature. It is also a good idea to reroof the property with white tiles. The color and nature of the tile will reduce the amount of heat gained by your attic.

Conserve Home Energy

You can even conserve home energy by concentrating on the doors and windows. The doors and windows must be inspected thoroughly to detect air leaks. The air leaks must be fixed immediately, along with applying weather stripping. Similarly, you also need to seal the less obvious spots that can result in energy loss. For instance, the areas around electrical outlets and light switches must be sealed to prevent energy loss.

Home Design for Everybody

3D Home Design is a different way for architects to design homes, it is not far from the conventional 2D way of designing, but is more competitive. 3D Home Design, just like the traditional way also includes the floor plans, elevations and the perspective of the project. The only difference is that 3D Home Design features 3D Floor Plans and 3D Elevations instead of the conventional 2D.

3D Home Design in an Architect’s point of view

For architects, presenting for a client using 3D Home Design can be a great advantage since the presentation will be able to capture the client’s attention from the beginning, with the color rich presentations of the floor plan and elevations.

3D Home Design in a Client’s point of view

For clients having no background in architecture, watching an architect’s presentation, especially with the architect showing boring 2D drawings and talking about it in technical terms that you don’t even understand a bit, can be a boring task. But when an architect presents you with a 3D presentation, you will be able to understand right away what the architect is conveying. There is no need to decipher the technical terms and the plan drawings, you just need to look at the presentation and you will have an idea of what the project will look like.

3D Home Design and its components.

Presenting for a client consist of 2 phases, the primary phase and the major phase. The primary stage is the presentation of the floor plans and elevations, which was discussed in an earlier post. The major phase includes the presentation of the interior and exterior perspectives.

· 3D Interior

3D Interior presentations include views of the inside of the house in certain parts. It is for the client to see and feel how the house will look like, and if the spaces will work according to their preferences, it can also serve as an attachment to the floor plans if the client need some verifications on how a certain space in the house will look like.

· 3D Exterior

3D Exterior presentations include views of the outside of the house as a whole, including the background to apply the environment where the actual house will be built. It can also serve as a medium for the clients to see how the house will look like and it gives the chance to the client to tell the architect whether they want to change some colors or part before the construction begins.

The High Price of Home Design

All too often I speak with friends, family, and home owners who know that they need to do something with their house — but they don’t know where to start. Maybe they are bored with their same old vinyl exterior, tired of the lack of green space or gardens out front, or envious of their neighbors custom patio and deck. We all know that feeling – but acting on improving your house is a whole different matter!

I have to admit, my family members are big fans of that addicting web site and App called Houzz. We scrolled through their iPad app for weeks on end looking for cool ideas that may have worked for us – when we decided to do a big home reno. But ideas are one thing – albeit a fantastic starting point – committing to a reno without actually seeing what YOUR house would look like is pretty darn scary!

That’s when we decided to hire a professional house designer to draw up some sketches of “what could be”. Unfortunately we must have forgot to have her also draw up a more concrete list of what her deliverables “would be” along with a firm price quote. *sigh*. But, she was a friend of a friend and we were anxious to get moving. Lesson Learned.

After nearly $1,000 in “designer fee’s,” we ended up with a couple pages of loose leaf paper that had some new design concepts sketched of our homes exterior – plus introductions to some of her contractor friends who would give us a “great deal” on the work. Needless to say – we declined.

We wanted to do something to our house – but in our haste we learned just how expensive professional designer fee’s can be. We didn’t want architectural drawings, schematics, plans for city approval… we wanted some basic ideas, colors, and concepts that we can could quickly say we either like or dislike. We didn’t want any pretentious expert to have sit down meetings with us about our motivations, desires, likes and dislikes… heck we just wanted someone to make our real estate look great! This simple and quick approach is something that professional designers often have a hard time doing – and fair enough. They want to display their best talents, best ideas, and best abilities to you – a potential client. And their time is worth money. Lot’s of money depending on who you hire!

But sometimes we just want to get it done. Make it quick – make it affordable – make it great.

So here are the top three tips to get you started… and remember, you should always start out with the basics. Play around with your own ideas surrounding colors, materials, and landscaping before ever hiring someone to spend thousand of dollars designing your dream… because you may just find that all you really wanted was a little help spurring your own imagination and giving you that quick glimpse into “what could be”.

1) Outsiders Opinion

This is so important – talk to friends, family, colleagues and see what they would suggest for your home. But don’t forget they can be a little nice. The real home run opinion is that of your neighbors… you know… the ones with the perfect lawn, seasonal flowers, and freshly painted window trims. They have a vested interest in you doing the right reno’s as it only helps their curb appeal!

2) Online Ideas

Visit apps and websites for home design and home improvement. Don’t spend hours – spend seconds scanning photos & videos. Find something that looks like your house and quickly note what you like and what you hate. Can you recreate that archway with your roofline? Would that outdoor rock work be suitable for your climate? Take note of the improvements or designs that stand out the most to you as being “difference makers” then try to think about whether they would work on your property.

3) Affordable Designer Options

The web has an abundance of highly talented and highly motivated individuals and companies. You can hire a professional design Company half way across the world who may be hungry for work, or an independent contractor from Croatia who has just the skills you need. Search for “freelancers” or “online contractors” and then find the perfect worker for your needs.

So before shelling out thousands of dollars for exterior and landscape designs – start of with the basics. New ideas don’t necessarily have to mean big bucks, and who knows – maybe you’ll discover your own inner designer!

New Ideas In Modern Home Design

Home trends change along with the needs of consumers and of the general population. Modern home design aims to satisfy those changing needs by providing simplistic design with loads of storage space–a common problem found in older homes where dwellers find it impossible, or at least challenging, to store their personal items in a logical and organized manner. The design must be capable of providing such solutions for the home to be functional, and that has architects, interior designers, and builders scrambling to come up with great ideas every year.

Given the opportunity to build simple home designs enable the homeowner to add personal touches to customize their future home so that it meets their own needs. For instance, a very outgoing and athletic family needs solutions to store away their sporting equipment when it’s not in use, but in a way that their equipment is easy to reach whenever necessary. This is what makes a home functional, and it is imperative in modern home design. Future homeowners can work side-by-side with architects to customize their homes to perfect them according to their individual lifestyles. It can be a small adjustment to increase the size of a closet, which could make all the difference, but would likely not greatly affect the budget.

New home ideas can turn an otherwise simple home into something spectacular, such as with adding features that would have been more common in older homes, like the ceiling medallions and crown moldings. Such features add beauty and interest to what would otherwise be very bland spaces. A smart idea that uses space wisely includes maximizing every square inch available, such as in the commonly wasted space beneath a staircase, which can be altered with fitted pull out drawers. This would provide space to store outerwear, footwear, and much more!

Focus on lighting–both artificial and natural light. The home can never have too much light, and so the budget should allow for numerous light sources throughout the home, from one room to the next. Keep in mind that one central ceiling-mounted light fixture just won’t do, and instead, aim for six light sources per room. As for natural light, with all the advances in insulated windows today, choose a design that lets the sun shine in through as many openings as possible.

Building and design trends today incorporate numerous innovative ideas for achieving the optimum comfort level, with interest to spare. Design software readily available to professionals and consumers alike allow each to develop a space in 3D that simplifies expression and enables those ideas to come alive, whether they are related to the must-have kitchen island or the fire pit in the center of the sunken living room. Knowing how to communicate visions and desires is the key to achieving the home of your dreams.