So: you’re looking at the plans for your new home and landscape, You can't wait to plant the vegetables beside the compose bins and water tanks. Or buy the furniture, pillows and throw rugs. You have thought through each activity and entertainment your family enjoys: A room for theater, play station, quiet reading, book keeping for the business, Lego, dolls house, etc. Entertaining: when the tennis club come to your place, they are wonderful friends who relax and hang around the family room happily for hours. Family dinners are quite crowded and easier if more formal so dining room is required. Lots of folks pop in through the week and of course the Scrabble and bridge nights. Life is busy and wonderful.
Looking at the house plan allows separate area for each activity and more not listed above. This house is enormous: you will issue a map on entry! The mortgage figures are enormous too: not comfortable do-able even on two good full time incomes.
Look again at the block size, plan and additions. How happy are you at mowing lawns, weeding long garden beds? How many cars do you really need to provide for?
Look at reducing the house footprint: not smaller rooms but try eliminating passages, halls, traffic and large circulation spaces. How much pantry space do you really need? If you need an extraordinary length of linen cupboards: have you collected too much “stuff”? Think through the houses where you have lived in the past, consider what was in each area of the house, how often items are in use, how much you really need now.
Consider too the appliances: how different is one oven to the other several hundred dollars cheaper. In ten years time will the $1,900 bath still feel like a “must have...” when the $400 will be just as relaxing? Once a new home is completed there are always hundreds of little things to be spending on too: towel rails, toilet roll holders, rubbish bins, clothes line, furniture (Oh yes that can be a big one!), garden setting, garden tools, blinds or curtains, fences, gates, letter box, house numbers! The list can go on and on.....
Erring on the side of caution, economy and good sense makes for a wonderful new home or renovation. Every detail of the site, the plan, the inclusions, fittings and fixtures can be beautiful, practical and avert extravagance. Stress, worry and anxiety to meet mortgage and bills payments is not conducive to rest or contentment. Preference should be given to providing maximum time with family, friends ensuring your happy relaxed life.
Rather than over spending, a calculated, reasonable and cautious, financial investment will ensure your new home provides you protection from the weather and time to fully enjoy your lifestyle.
Margot Kirke is a qualified architectural drafts person with a passion for practical living, making the best use of space and use of natural light and warmth.