The urge to do home improvements is entrenched in human nature and with the emergence of television programmes following people as they attempt to build a home from scratch, more people are taking on these big projects. While the objective of these TV shows is to chart the progress of the daring builds, they aren’t for the majority of people who just want to use traditional methods and materials to build a house.
Michael Barnett, Head of Design at Strata Homes, has been working as an architect for more than a decade and suggests there are a number of tips to ensure you get it right when creating your new home.
Make sure you get the architecture right
One of the most important elements when starting work on a new house is making sure you select the right style. Michael recommends choosing traditional architectural styles to avoid your home looking dated in the future. Traditional architectural styles in homes include Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian architecture and are styles that you see repeated a lot in the look and style of homes that are built.
According to Michael, they are architectural styles that continue even in very contemporary architecture to make more modern-style homes because the elements include a history and processes that can be incorporated into any form of architecture. “Contemporary architecture is really simple and beautiful. It’s about understanding material, principles and philosophies, and proportionality. It’s not about seeing something and thinking ‘I can stick that on my house type and it’ll look good.’”
When you build your home and consider the type of architecture you want to go for, remember that the ideal architectural style is a marriage between both the styles: traditional and contemporary. Stay true to the most traditional elements of home building, like its mass and scale, but implement some modern influences to the design as well.
How to maximise your home’s potential
There are also specific additions that Michael suggests could improve the value of the house and offer more space. When it comes to adding space and increasing value, Michael places priority on the attic, “I would always build it with an attic truss, you can actually get a truss that allows you to walk through the attic and walk around freely.”
Using a truss means that there are more options for the occupier and it can add another all-important bedroom space to your home, which will mean the possibility of receiving more money when you come to sell the property.
Top tips for getting the right architect
As well as understanding what work should be undertaken, knowing who should be doing the work is the most important part of the project. Making sure you have the right architect for the job can be a difficult decision, but Michael reveals a few tips that can help in getting the right person for the job.
The first should be about the work they do, and although it seems like quite a forward question to ask, it’s one that can’t be avoided. “Ask to see some of their work, whether that be graphical work as part of their portfolio, or part of their actual imagery of samples of their work, and also ask them to sit down with you to sketch some conceptual ideas.”
Finally, Michael explains the importance of selecting an architect for their passion in what they do. “Part of that process is about a relationship between the architect and the client and they should be saying that architecture is a hobby. I’ve drawn all my life and I love it, it’s not a job, it’s something you love doing, it’s a hobby you turned into a job and get paid for and that should ooze out of an architect – if it doesn’t then you shouldn’t be appointing them.”