Question: “Why should you design your new home with Coastline Homes”
The importance of design when choosing your new home can not be understated.
With the exception of carefully choosing a builder that is approachable experienced and respected, getting the design of your new home correct is the most important aspect of the building experience.
There are numerous factors you need to consider in designing your home, and you need to find an experienced designer that will work with you, and importantly work within your budget to produce the best possible outcome for you and your family.
You can go to a salesperson from one of the mass production project builders. You can definitely get their services for free, and so long as you don’t stray too far from one of their “off the shelf” designs you might be o.k. You can also try going in armed with a sketch of a personal design you want, and brave the salespersons’ response, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
You can find a draftsperson or architect to help you with your design, and in some rare cases this is the best possible way forward. The problem with this way is firstly, there’s always a cost associated with employing one of these designers. For a simple concept plan, you could be up for $2,000 or more, and if you employ an architect, then expect a bill nearing 5 figures in length. The second problem is one of budget. These designers are not builders, and designing within your budget seems to be a mighty challenge for many of them. I have lost count of the number of times people have brought designs to me from architects or from a draftsperson, only to be disappointed when they exceed their budget by 20% or more. A waste of two to ten thousand dollars in design fees.
If only there was a builder that had those design skills, and was confident enough in their own ability to satisfy your needs as a client, that they provided the service for free.
Enter Coastline Homes!
You can come in and sit down directly opposite your designer at Coastline Homes. I have nearly 30 years experience in the industry, and am Greensmart accredited. This means you can chat about floor plan design, styles of home, energy efficiency and building materials, all the time knowing that I will also be the registered builder of your new home and, as importantly, I am the owner of the business.
I thought about how best to describe how we guide our clients through the design process, and decided that a real life case study would be the way to go.
The following sketches are the result of a real life client that started discussing what they needed in a new home with us just 4 weeks ago.
They are excited and amazed by the process so far, and that’s how it should be! They are signing their building contracts in a couple of days, and they will be living in their new personally tailored home early next year.
Stage 1: Initial Meeting. The clients came to the meeting with a few things. They had been referred to Coastline Homes by a previous client who had opened up the house we built for them and given us a warm recommendation. They had seen a few display homes from the bigger project guys, and had spoken, without success, to some of their sales consultants. They had purchased a block, knew exactly what their budget was for the build, and they had a hand drawn sketch (see below).
This sketch has a lot of good ideas in it, and whilst the final drawings look quite different from the sketch, the intentions of the client to build an open plan, free flowing design with separate storage area for their camping and travelling gear was maintained.
Their initial sketch didn’t reflect the best thinking in energy efficient design, to be expected since they aren’t experts in the field. Upon explanation of the broad concepts of energy efficient design, they started to warm to the relocation of rooms to best capture and use their Northern aspect.
The entire meeting took a relaxed 2 hours or so, during which we filled out a design brief and sketched out the following layout for their home.
The arrows on the sketch show North being to the upper left of the sheet, and the 4 arrows flowing in the other direction show how we were going to bring winter light and warmth into the home through hi-lite windows, utilising this to warm the interior for radiated warmth over winter evenings.
Stage 2: Initial Design/ Pricing & Specification. In this phase of the process, Coastline Homes take everything we have learned from the interview process and translate that into a housing sketch, an addenda (specification list), a quote including an estimate for site costs, and some simple 3ds.
You can already see design elements such as the 40cse Living room ceilings, hi-lite windows, extra store area, and the amazing kitchen design coming out in the sketch.
The blue writing on the floor plan was done by the client by way of explaining possible changes to the design. This is done at a meeting to go through the concept and discuss how close it is to the brief, and budget. It is pertinent to mention in this case the home was exactly on budget (a common occurrence).
Stage 3: Refinement of Design/ Pricing & Specification. In this phase we start to narrow down specifics of the design including ceiling heights, furniture positions, structural alterations, elevations etc. We often give clients multiple selections to chose from, and in this case we provided a number of front elevations from a number of vantage points for the client to select from.
We also updated the sketch plans with changes from a couple of meetings gradually refining it further and further until it reflects exactly the needs and wants of our clients.
Notice the “fleshing out” of the kitchen and ensuite areas, the variation in ceiling heights, and the widening of the alfresco, all suited to the clients needs.
This design stage can take from a few days to a number of weeks depending on a number of factors such as the original designs proximity to the clients wishes, how many changes they have along the way, and how they wish to add or subtract to manipulate the budget.
In a process that is completely flexible, this stage is the most important to get correct.
By way of further refinement, once the client had settled upon the broad strokes of their design, we started talking about colours, and the overall look they wanted through the home.
Here we see a number of 3ds, all the same design but with different colour palettes. My what a difference colours make.
We also started narrowing down requirements such as their electrical needs, ensuring no nasty surprises or costs at prestart.
Try to get a project home salesperson to do that!
Stage 4: Translating all this into formal documents
Working drawings, site surveys, engineering details, quotes for earthworks and services, and fixing of provisional sums. Unlike the project home companies, you will receive a fixed cost contract with Coastline Homes, with everything you want priced up front.
We will do your electrical quotes, siteworks quotes, service costs, cabinetry costs and anything else you want up front so you get the entire picture before you commit to your new home. That is how confident we are in the relationship we build with our clients through the design process.
So, after 4 exciting weeks, what does the house look like in the working drawings?
And so in 4 relatively painless and simple processes you can design that home that you have always wanted, without having to settle for the mass produced design from the project home end of town.
I can not express how enjoyable we find the whole design, documentation, and building process at Coastline Homes.
I suggest you come see for yourself.