Monday, 06 February 2017 01:29

Building Your Future

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Building Your Future
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When it comes to completely transforming your home, inside and out, don’t make any rush judgments. Your decisions should be meticulously thought out, and choosing the right designer and builder is as important as picking the right foundation. Bojana Lazarevska explores the best ways to approach your home makeover.

Just about everyone wants their home to be stylish, modern and functional, but it can sometimes be difficult to align your wants with reality. Here, Melbourne Home Design + Living enlisted the help of highly-regarded designer and builder Graeme Alexander, of Graeme Alexander Homes, to find out how you can completely re-do your home, even on a tight budget.

Over the past decade, Australian homes have gone through some major changes, with homeowners increasingly opting for more open and modern floor plans. This doesn’t mean that you should automatically assume the most technically-advanced home is the best, because, after all, the most important aspect of your home is that it feels like one. Alexander, too, stresses that the most important quality of your home is its atmosphere.

“Sadly, you can have the most technically brilliant home design, but if you don’t like how it feels then you won’t enjoy living in it.”

If you’re not particularly pleased with your current property, then you may be required to change it completely. The best thing to do first, according to Alexander, is to write a wish or request list.

“You need to try to get what you really want out of the project, so write it down,” he says.

A scrapbook of your favourite designs won’t go amiss, and this is a good way to express what you’re really looking for – remember, you’re not just paying attention to the detail or furnishings of your home, but rather to the overall mood.

“Sadly, you can have the most technically brilliant home design, but if you don’t like how it feels then you won’t enjoy living in it.”

When you’re designing your abode, it’s easy to get carried away with the endless list of options and looks on offer, but remember to reel in your excitement and keep it timeless, classy and elegant.

After you complete your wish list and lookbook, you can start to get an idea of exactly how involved and extensive the works on your property will be.

“This ultimately drives the renovation, extension or knockdown/rebuild decision,” says Alexander.

Have a look at how much demolition will need to take place before your project can commence. Your requests and aspirations are key, but sometimes what you really want is not necessarily the most cost-effective.

“This is where you need confidence in your designer to be able to find the right compromises and solutions, both in [the] layout and structure [of the home],” says Alexander.

Getting this right the first time will save your budget in the long-run.

If your wish list is substantial, then often a knockdown/rebuild option may be the rightchoice as in order to meet your demands, it can mean demolishing most of what you have – a knockdown/rebuild is often a more budget- friendly option, in comparison to a renovation.

“[A] totally new [home] can be more cost- effective provided you don’t let your aspirations run away with the clearing of the site,” says Alexander.

If you love your home’s feel and ambience and you can compromise on a few things, then a renovation is the way to go. If you’ve purchased a character home with many period features, then a knockdown/rebuild is not an option becauseyou’ll want to preserve these unique features as best as you can.
“Contain your requests, as you’ll need to work within the established framework.”

Although demolishing a house is becoming a somewhat easier option, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best one. One of the biggest advantages of renovating over demolishing and building from scratch is that in some cases you can do it in stages, which means you may be able to have a roof over your head, while some of the construction work is completed.

Maybe you’re looking for more space. If you have a growing family, parents that are moving back home, or your own home business, it may be best to extend your home, rather than renovate or start from scratch.

A big addition can easily overwhelm an existing structure, so rather than attaching one big block, make sure you break it up into little pieces that relate to the current design.Ultimately, you will need to work with your builder to create your perfect forever home. Although intimidating at first, there are many advantages to be had from breathing new life into an old home.

Images courtesy of Graeme Alexander Homes.


Read 567 times Last modified on Monday, 20 February 2017 23:17