Project Build: designing the floorplan

It’s been a little while since I told you about our building project that we’re embarking on, but since then we’ve been visiting display homes, sorting through design books and scrolling through Pinterest, and we think we’ve finally come up with a basic floorplan for our forever home! Our plan is to make use of a builder and their design service, but figure that we should at least have a reasonable idea of what we want when we go to talk to them. Given the slope of the block (gradual, but it’s there) we won’t be able to go down the path of a project home, and we want something a bit more custom anyway!

High on the priority list were the following:

  • 4 bedrooms – we have family and friends all over the country and the world that we often have to stay with us, so extra bedrooms were a must!
  • A library – hubby works from home at the moment, and we both have a lot of books, so we knew we needed something more than just a regular study. This room will be large enough to have a meeting table in the middle, as well as a desk and be lined with bookshelves.
  • Dressing rooms in the master – I have a lot of clothes and shoes, and we’ve finally just gotten some decent wardrobes in our current home, so I’m not going backwards!! Good storage is a must, with space for natural light and a central display unit for jewellery and bags.
  • Meals corner – I want to have a formal dining room for having nice dinners at, but I also love the idea of something more casual for breakfasts and lunches. A meals corner with booth seating against a window is my dream – I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to this!!
  • Theatre room – we want to have a theatre room, but we want it to be multipurpose too. Growing up my parent’s house never had the extra space for teenagers and their friends, and I imagine this will be that space in our house. The idea is that the wall between it and the dining room will be bi-fold, so that we can open up both rooms and use them for indoor entertaining if need be.
  • Split level – we want to work with the slope of the block, rather than cutting and having huge retaining walls everywhere. So, we’ve opted for 2 splits which you can see from the steps in the hallway of the drawing.

Now we’ve put our artist’s hat on and done a rough sketch on the computer – rooms aren’t quite in proportion and we’ve already decided to switch around the master so that the ensuite is overlooking the garage and the bed overlooking the outdoor area – but it’s a good start we think. We’ve been and met with a builder (an update on that will come soon) but we’ve been told it’s a great document to have and they can certainly work with this – yahoo!

house

 

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Project Build: In the beginning

As many of you will know, hubby and I purchased our first home 6 years ago. In that time we got engaged, got married, have travelled to Europe and been on many a cruise. At the same time, we’ve slowly but surely been carefully renovating every part of our house. It wasn’t a small project that we took on, but we knew we could do it if we had the patience and stamina. I won’t lie, it’s tested our relationship some times, but what’s that saying – if you can survive a renovation, you can survive anything?? We can survive anything! We’re nearly finished now and in the end we will have completely gutted and rebuilt our living, dining and kitchen area, terraced our front yard including a new retaining wall and garden beds, redone our entertaining area and decked our pool, gutted and re-did our main bathroom, master bedroom and ensuite, and refurbished the remaining bedrooms with new carpets, paint jobs and replaced the lovely amber glass windows with modern ones. It’s been a big job but the results have been very satisfying.

Along the way, we’ve often been asked “what are you going to do when you finish?”. We’ve always said we would sell and many people didn’t believe us, after we’ve put so much hard work into this house, and it does look beautiful now. The truth is, we never had any intentions of this being our “forever home”. This was pure and simple a business decision. Buy what we could afford to enter the market, renovate as much as we could without paying others to do it, sell for a great profit and move on. The move on part was what we weren’t sure about. Do we renovate again? Do we build? Where do we want to live? Near the city, or the country? We both agreed that if we decided to renovate again, we would be doing it to stay put and we would probably pay people to do it for us now. Hubby’s job has improved greatly since we began this journey and now our time is worth more than what we can pay someone else.

One day, I was scrolling through my realestate.com alerts (like any savvy home buyer, I have a number of these set up to come through daily!) and I happened across some land that grabbed my attention. I flicked it to hubby and we decided to go and have a look at it. At this stage we were leaning more towards building, but land is expensive and we weren’t sure we could get it in an area we liked, so we were still seriously considering a major renovation. When we saw the land, we fell in love. It was perfect, exactly what we were looking for, and crazily enough, within our price range. Suddenly, it was on. Meeting with our mortgage broker, figuring out what we had left to do on this house, how we would finance a build, what kind of house we would build, how much it would cost us, time frames…. the list was endless. We did all of this in about a week, and decided to go for it. We found the block that was the smartest buy (we buy with our heads, definitely not our hearts) and rung the agent to put our deposit down. And it was sold. Yep, it sold 5 hours earlier. I was gutted. Mentally it had been a huge week and I had finally come to terms with what our financial position was, the fact that we would be moving (increasing my work commute by 20 minutes each way) and what it meant for the next year as we built. I was exhausted and gave up.

During the week, hubby couldn’t let go of it. He kept looking at the maps, studying the contours and trying to find us another block that suited our needs. On Friday morning he told me he wanted to go and have a look at another block. I was over it, and told him he could do what he liked and what he needed. If he thought it was good, I was happy for him to buy it. So off he went, taking his dad to have a look while I was at work. I got a phone call a couple of hours later telling me I was the proud owner of a block of land!

And so there we have it. The beginning of our Project: Build. Settlement isn’t until around May 2016 so we’ve got plenty of time to tie up lose ends at our current house and prepare for the building process. Then we’ll be selling up, renting somewhere short term and building our forever home. I’ll be documenting the process along the way, so I hope you’ll enjoy coming on this ride with me! In the meantime, here are some pictures of our land. There are a fair bit of earthworks to happen before May, which will mean that it is significantly levelled out, particularly at the front of the block, but we are happy with this and that is one of the reasons we bought the block.

Til next time, check out the pictures below of our purchase!!

L xxx

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