For most of us, getting down to the task of building a home is a life time mission and comes with plenty of excitement. You have also burnt enough midnight oil sketching out your home mentally and perhaps in company with your partner. Chances are also that you have driven or walked around your neighbourhood visually examining some of those beautiful homes and creating a picture in your mind so that it is vivid when you get down to the task of actually designing your home with your architect.
Planning comes ahead of architectural design
There are many components to planning the construction. Site investigation, neighbourhood, layout of the home, plumbing, electrical connections, local regulations, accessibility, and similar factors will need careful consideration even before you decide on your first meeting with the architect of your choice. In other words you need to prepare a flow chart or in simple terms, a list of where things will begin and end. This will also be an all important document that you will refer to all through the process from soil testing to the final beautification of your home. On that note, let us broadly understand each of these components to learn how they play out in your dream home.
You will possibly need professional services to complete this part of the job. Site investigation will include soil testing to ensure that the site can comfortably take all the load that comes on it when the construction is complete. For instance, if your proposed home is closer to the sea or another water body, chances are that the soil strength turns out to be poor at a depth of 30 to 40 feet because of the proximity to a water body. However, with technological advances there are many ways to address this. Pile foundation is one such method wherein the columns supporting the superstructure are taken to greater depths by drilling deep down and reinforcing the pit with a mix of cement, sand and jelly. Only an expert acquainted with addressing soil conditions can advise on the exact procedure to be followed. Another factor that would be considered is the impact on the integrity of the structure in the event of heavy floods or earthquakes.
Site investigation will also take into consideration the surroundings, air flow, plumbing aspects, electrical connections and designing your home itself. Importantly, cross ventilation can be an aspect that your planning expert might look into.
Ideally, your home should synchronize harmoniously with other homes in your neighbourhood to ensure aesthetic appeal.
Layout of the home
Layout of the home should be determined before you start any work on the site. Possibly, this is an area where your architect and planner, together will determine the layout in consultation with you to ensure that the final output presents your dreams perfectly.
Plumbing and electrical connections
This would rely on where you get your water and electrical connections from and once again your architect would work in collaboration with the planner to achieve perfect harmony.
Local regulations are in place across the nation and can vary from one region to the other. You may also need to obtain some kind of permission or licence before you commence work on your site.
Throughout the construction of your home, you will need to get plenty of heavy truck loads like cement, steel, sand etc. Therefore, accessibility and provision for storing some of these materials is a critical factor that will go into the planning of your home. Would you also perhaps need a temporary shed to store some of these materials and protect them from the elements?
Designing your home
Once all the aspects of planning are carefully addressed and documented, you can move on to the design part of your dream home with the architect. The architect will consider two major aspects before coming up with one or more designs for your home. Structural stability and aesthetic appeal are the major factors that will go into the designing of your home. Aesthetic appeal will deal with the overall external appearance while structural stability will address issues like load factor, air flow, soil condition, potential threats from storm, earthquake etc.
This is one area you may want to pay particular attention. The best way to deal with elevations details is to go around your neighbourhood (preferably on foot) and appreciate the overall appeal of other homes in the neighbourhood. You can seek the permission of the owners and take photographs to compare later with the design provided by your architect. You can also use a world of samples offered by the digital world to compare your own design.
In deciding the elevation details, you should also bear in mind that you could need plenty of cash after you move into your new home. These expenses could come in the form of new furniture, furnishings, may be new gadgets and paraphernalia to make your new home functionally and aesthetically appealing. If you decide against spending too much on front elevation and go with a simple design, you may not be able to alter the elevation design at a later date.
Finally, everything should fit into your budget. Do remember that there can be items like internal embellishments that can be put off by some time. Painting is another important expenditure to beautify your home. However, it may be advantageous to allow some seasoning time for the cement plastered walls before you take up painting. This will allow water particles inside the walls to evaporate leaving a completely dry surface. This way, you can also ward off issues like blistering when you take up painting of walls and other wooden/metal components in your home.