Depending on what life stage you are at, the term ‘future-proofing’ a new home build can mean a number of things.
Quite a common remark from anyone who’s built a home for the first time is that when it comes time to actually live in the home, there is usually one thing they would change.
Often, people comment that it takes two or three builds to create the perfect home.
Sitting down with an experienced consultant who can visualise the rooms and foresee any potential issues before they are built is a priceless service. Our Sales and Design team of 18 have all worked within the residential building industry for decades, with the majority of them having been at Plunkett for more than five years, some approaching 20 years of service.
It’s this consistency within the team, not only of sales and design consultants but designers and draftsmen that sees Plunkett build hundreds of quality ‘dream homes’ throughout the state each year.
So what are some quick take away points to make sure don’t get overlooked when building your dream home?
Singles, couples with no children:
The biggest debate for this section of the market is whether to go for the ‘starter’ home or to push the boat out and get a ‘longer-term home’. Opting for a starter home will bring down the budget, sure, but if plans to expand your family are on the horizon, it might be less trouble to incorporate that second living space and extra bedroom now. The smartest way to build a quality home is to focus on layout first and foremost, as this is not something that is easily changed later down the track.
Time and again, first home buyers especially, are driven to prioritise what to have included in the cost of their new home, and our team recommend structural changes above all else. Air-con, great to have, but can be added in later, benchtops replaced – tastes and trends change anyway, but those 28-course ceilings? They’re here to stay for as long as the home stays standing, so if high ceilings are up there on your list of wants, now is the time to get them.
Our Fast Track range offers a collection of homes from under $180,000, with the opportunity to pick and choose which parts of our specification you want to spend the money on, and which ones you don’t.
Families with young children
Small children take up more room than you might think. Space becomes a premium for families of young children, not only for bedrooms but also living space. But in our experience, the size of the dedicated space just for them (and all their toys) makes little difference as their bits and pieces seem to grow legs and inevitably encroach on the rest of the home regardless.
Many parents want a large family home with a large backyard for the kids to play in, or to install a pool, but with our block sizes shrinking this is getting harder and harder to achieve. Again, priority between the two takes place, or alternatively, a two-storey design could be explored. Depending on the location of the land, the cost of purchasing a large block can be the same as adding on a second storey.
If you do elect to build a two-storey home, bedroom placement is key. Our team recommend having all bedrooms on the same level when your children are young, with downstairs for living, and entertaining, helping to reduce the noise to bedrooms.
With single storey homes, keeping the bedrooms to the same area of the house will also reduce noise to bedrooms, the Copenhagen is a great example of a design that is good for families with small children.
Families of teens and young adults
Just as space is a prime commodity for families with young children, ‘personal space’ is the aim of the game for families with teens and young adults.
Having a separate wing for the minor bedrooms, and a separated second living space will do wonders in making everyone feel comfortable in the home. If opting for a two-storey home, our “Hideout” versions in the Custom Collection offer a downstairs master suite with minor bedrooms upstairs across all designs.
Bedroom sizes also play a crucial part in living comfortably with a young-adult family all under the same roof. Our team recommend minor bedrooms to have minimum dimensions of 3 meters by 3 meters to accommodate double and queen size beds and to include either walk-in or built-in wardrobes.
Alternatively, you could opt for a home with an additional guest suite for added privacy. Our “Full House” versions in the Custom Collection come with four bedrooms and three bathrooms across all designs, making them the perfect choice to accommodate independent young-adults or even travelling guests.
The kids have all flown the coop, you’re in the prime of your life, and looking to downsize the family home and add a little extra cash to the kitty, now what?
Our team believe that the key to a comfortable downsizer home is to convert some of the space from the extra bedroom or two that is no longer needed into extra living and storage space.
Accessibility is also an important aspect to keep in mind. Even if you are only in your fifties when looking to build your downsizer home, it makes sense to build a home that allows you to remain living in the home independently for as long as possible.
We recommend having one meter wide hallways and limiting the number of steps and stairs within the home. This includes the bathroom, where hobless showers help limit trip hazards and also allow wheelchair access to the shower. Additionally, having a dropped sill to external doors will allow you to easily push a wheelchair across the threshold.
Our Luxe Specification includes hobless showers to all bathrooms as standard.
The minimum door width that allows for wheelchair access is 850mm but standard internal door frames come at 820mm wide. It can be a relatively inexpensive undertaking to increase door widths to 870mm or larger, and it will save you a lot of hassle down the track.
Before you make plans to talk with a builder and choose your new home, our team advise that you take stock of what possessions you do have, and cull the things that you no longer need. After spending a lifetime accumulating ‘stuff’, many people often forget how much they really do have and haven’t factored this into the design of their new home.