Recently, we have seen price hikes forcing those in the property sector and anybody looking to build, renovate or extend to contemplate how to achieve the outcome they hope for. It can be challenging to reduce costs when building a new home, but here at Lockhart Design we have helped hundreds of families over the years to create their dream homes.
These are a few recommendations that Lockhart Design have put together to help you spend less while achieving similar results:
Keep it simple! The greatest way to reduce cost is to keep your design and your style as simple as possible. The less ‘ins and outs’ you have in your external wall & the simpler the front of your home, the more cost effective it will be to build.
Prioritise At Lockhart Drafting and Design we often assist clients in working out what their needs and wants are. An example of this is that the client might like to install a pool but this will push construction cost over their budget. In this situation it is recommended to install the pool down the track. We then take note of this to ensure that no electricity or plumbing is installed in that region.
Standard sizing Standard sizing should be used as often as possible. This includes window sizes (& types), door sizes and ceiling heights. Custom designs are always going to cost more due to the additional labor that goes into designing, creating and installing the final product.
Window selections Window selections are quite surprisingly one of the elements that could increase the overall cost of your home & should be considered before building or renovating. Sliding windows are the most cost effective option, double hung windows are more expensive and louvres are more expensive again. Glazing options are another factor to consider when selecting your windows. Single glazed, double glazed and triple glazed options all come with different price tags. It is worth comparing the various styles when going over your selections.
Reducing m2 Reducing the square meterage of the house can help immensely! Imagine looking at your printed floor plan and drawing a line through the center from the top to bottom. If you took 100 mm from this line, we could save anywhere from 0.5sqm to 1.2sqm. If you were to draw numerous vertical and horizontal lines throughout & use the same method, the space that can be saved is multiplied. This can result in a lower-cost design without affecting the overall style of the home itself.
Tip: It’s important to ensure that you are not reducing space from areas that require extra volume while using this method. Some examples include kitchens, bathrooms or hallways.
Areas Less Used Consider areas less used to minimise square meterage. Sometimes the dream house with its HUGE rooms and MASSIVE open spaces is not always what we need to create a luxury, modern home. Have you ever thought about the space in your spare bedrooms? Is it necessary to have so much space around a spare bed for someone to only be there for a day or two with only a suitcase? Or is this somewhere where you can reduce sqm? Do you need an alfresco to be quite as large? What if you reduced the size of this area? You could always come back to pave around the concrete at a later stage in the building/ renovation process. We understand that this is not for everyone, but it is a great way to extend the outdoor living space at a reduced cost.
Cabinetry Cabinetry can be quite expensive, especially custom cabinetry. We’re talking about the custom designed cabinet that you are hoping to include as your TV cabinet, display cabinet or even the custom designed walk-in wardrobe. You may find that with a little hunting around, you can install a mass-produced item with the same look and style at a fraction of the price. Does your whole walk-in wardrobe (WIR) need to be custom cabinetry? OR do you simply need it to be functional with shelves and hanging space that can be installed by your builder? This may not be something that you are willing to compromise on, but certainly gives you some concepts to think about when trying to reduce costs.
Features Feature materials, mainly those that are being used on the front of your home, the ‘façade’, can be extremely expensive! It’s a great idea to ask your designer, your builder or research for yourself various ways of creating your style by using a more cost effective material. Specialty products and those currently on trend tend to blow the budget unnecessarily.
Wet areas Wet areas such as bathrooms and ensuites can often be the most costly areas to complete when building or renovating. Ask yourself if there is any way that you could slightly reduce the size of these rooms? If your plan is to install tiles from floor to ceiling, would you consider reducing this? Tiles are often overlooked when aiming to minimize expenses during the building design process. Perhaps you could choose a substitute tile? Consider selecting another style of tiles, especially if you are thinking of having a large tiled area. This substitute may not be ‘Made In Italy’ but will still result in an amazing ensuite feature. Another example is the use of rectified tiles. These do look incredible however, they can be quite expensive to lay.
The economy has not been kind to our wallets, but we endeavour to assist our clients wherever possible when it comes to home design and bringing their dream homes to life.