Building your ‘dream home’ is widely considered to be a daunting task; and whilst managing contractors and abiding to budgets can be challenging, it is not the predominant cause for concern. Making definitive decisions in the design process, both in terms of the final appearance and layout options can prove to be much more challenging than merely adhering to a budget. Homeowners can easily be bombarded with thousands of tile samples, paint colours, layout options and other elements that will determine success of the final product long before the completion of the structure. It is important to remember that many of these decisions have logical and simple solutions to them – and that is the exact purpose of this article. By following a few simple principles, one should be able to look back at the overall experience with a tremendous sense of achievement.

First and foremost, start with a competent and professional team. There are many areas in which one can curb excessive spending – but the professional fees of an accredited architect and builder is definitely not the time to be cautious with your money. In our experience, there is no such thing as cutting corners on a construction site; but there is the option of working smartly. This is exactly what your team can help you with, but only if they have the desired experience. Many of our investors include their professional team when selecting a stand to build on, in order to tap into their expertise.

From the onset, try and be clear in terms of your vision for the final building. Identify the style that you will be implementing; for example modern contemporary versus French colonial. These are important factors that can aid in the process of choosing a stand, as a property with a steep slope lends itself to a modern contemporary home, whereas a level stand could accommodate a typical colonial home. Once a stand has been selected, it is important to assess what it has to offer towards your dream home. Established trees, feature rock formations, an interesting slope are all natural elements that can aid in a unique home that could never be replicated. One should also try and combat stereotypes such as always looking for a North facing property. North-West light has proven to be much more ideal in passive climatic design and could be harnessed through clever architecture, such as high windows and roof designs. Ensure that the house faces the view, as this is another element that is unique to your home, and can never be replicated elsewhere.

One of the most important things that a person can do prior to briefing their architect, is to establish a visual language for your home. One should strive towards uniformity and avoid a mix-and-match approach that could ultimately cheapen the overall aesthetic. Different styles will clash and understanding the visual language, prior to selecting tiles and finishes, will go a long way to ensuring that the home has a coherent visual approach. Feel free to make use of programmes such as Pinterest to start a collection of images that capture your desired look-and-feel. This will go a long way in briefing one’s architect and builder to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Try and keep the architectural features as simple as possible to ensure that the house does not date or alienate prospective future purchasers. One can always introduce trends through clever interior design, which will be much more affordable to replace once a trend has passed. Establish the visual language of the home by repeating certain elements throughout – like matching your kitchen cupboards with the rest of the house’s built-in cupboards. Repeat other elements, such as flooring throughout the entire space. Wooden floors (or new laminate options) will bring warmth to your internal spaces, especially in the bedrooms.

Certain ‘tricks of the trade’ will also assist in creating a unique home. One should avoid standard windows and doors, and always opt for extra height as it is guaranteed to create a luxurious impression. This theory should also be applied to ceilings and skirtings; aim for higher rather than lower. Clever material choices will also add to the house’s resale value, such as aluminium windows that require hardly any maintenance. When deciding on your window options, we would suggest that homeowners spend a little more, as double-glazing will go a long way towards insulating the home from warm summers or cold winters. Another method to ensure uniformity within the home, is to have consistency with wall colours. Feature walls are important, but moderation and constraint should be applied at all times. Several test swatches should be painted in different parts of the home, prior to finalizing the colour selection. This should allow the opportunity to see the same colour in brighter- and darker areas.

Research has shown that certain houses sell better than others. These homes typically have the applied recipe of four bedrooms with a study, staff accommodation, triple garages and an established garden with a pool and entertainment area. Additional features that have proven to be popular are built-in braais, wood or gas fire places, air-conditioning or fans in the bedrooms. Green initiatives will minimise the running costs of the home and particular attention should be given to solar power, rainwater catchment systems and other passive climatic design elements. It is important to note that retrofitting these initiatives into an established home could be a lot more costly than incorporating them in the original build. Pay attention to back-up power systems as they will affect your house’s resale value. Gas installations for cooking and heating should also reduce the monthly operational costs, making it a good investment for the next purchaser.

The housing market can be a really competitive arena. What seemed like a novel idea five years ago, might be a standard feature in all homes from that era. It is critical to think outside the box with features like vertical gardens, outdoor showers and impressive garden atriums. Kitchens fittings, feature wine cellars, bathrooms finishes and walk-in dressing rooms are areas that can easily transform a house from something average, to something spectacular. Landscaping and the clever use of indigenous plants can contribute to the overall visual language of the home. Making smart decisions in terms of lighting could also aid in setting the tone for the house. Those are the elements that will ultimately allow your home to stand out from the other options within the property market.

Building your ‘dream home’ is widely considered to be a daunting task; and whilst managing contractors and abiding to budgets can be challenging, it is not the predominant cause for concern. Making definitive decisions in the design process, both in terms of the final appearance and layout options can prove to be much more challenging than merely adhering to a budget. Homeowners can easily be bombarded with thousands of tile samples, paint colours, layout options and other elements that will determine success of the final product long before the completion of the structure. It is important to remember that many of these decisions have logical and simple solutions to them – and that is the exact purpose of this article. By following a few simple principles, one should be able to look back at the overall experience with a tremendous sense of achievement.

First and foremost, start with a competent and professional team. There are many areas in which one can curb excessive spending – but the professional fees of an accredited architect and builder is definitely not the time to be cautious with your money. In our experience, there is no such thing as cutting corners on a construction site; but there is the option of working smartly. This is exactly what your team can help you with, but only if they have the desired experience. Many of our investors include their professional team when selecting a stand to build on, in order to tap into their expertise.

From the onset, try and be clear in terms of your vision for the final building. Identify the style that you will be implementing; for example modern contemporary versus French colonial. These are important factors that can aid in the process of choosing a stand, as a property with a steep slope lends itself to a modern contemporary home, whereas a level stand could accommodate a typical colonial home. Once a stand has been selected, it is important to assess what it has to offer towards your dream home. Established trees, feature rock formations, an interesting slope are all natural elements that can aid in a unique home that could never be replicated. One should also try and combat stereotypes such as always looking for a North facing property. North-West light has proven to be much more ideal in passive climatic design and could be harnessed through clever architecture, such as high windows and roof designs. Ensure that the house faces the view, as this is another element that is unique to your home, and can never be replicated elsewhere.

One of the most important things that a person can do prior to briefing their architect, is to establish a visual language for your home. One should strive towards uniformity and avoid a mix-and-match approach that could ultimately cheapen the overall aesthetic. Different styles will clash and understanding the visual language, prior to selecting tiles and finishes, will go a long way to ensuring that the home has a coherent visual approach. Feel free to make use of programmes such as Pinterest to start a collection of images that capture your desired look-and-feel. This will go a long way in briefing one’s architect and builder to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Try and keep the architectural features as simple as possible to ensure that the house does not date or alienate prospective future purchasers. One can always introduce trends through clever interior design, which will be much more affordable to replace once a trend has passed. Establish the visual language of the home by repeating certain elements throughout – like matching your kitchen cupboards with the rest of the house’s built-in cupboards. Repeat other elements, such as flooring throughout the entire space. Wooden floors (or new laminate options) will bring warmth to your internal spaces, especially in the bedrooms.

Certain ‘tricks of the trade’ will also assist in creating a unique home. One should avoid standard windows and doors, and always opt for extra height as it is guaranteed to create a luxurious impression. This theory should also be applied to ceilings and skirtings; aim for higher rather than lower. Clever material choices will also add to the house’s resale value, such as aluminium windows that require hardly any maintenance. When deciding on your window options, we would suggest that homeowners spend a little more, as double-glazing will go a long way towards insulating the home from warm summers or cold winters. Another method to ensure uniformity within the home, is to have consistency with wall colours. Feature walls are important, but moderation and constraint should be applied at all times. Several test swatches should be painted in different parts of the home, prior to finalizing the colour selection. This should allow the opportunity to see the same colour in brighter- and darker areas.

Research has shown that certain houses sell better than others. These homes typically have the applied recipe of four bedrooms with a study, staff accommodation, triple garages and an established garden with a pool and entertainment area. Additional features that have proven to be popular are built-in braais, wood or gas fire places, air-conditioning or fans in the bedrooms. Green initiatives will minimise the running costs of the home and particular attention should be given to solar power, rainwater catchment systems and other passive climatic design elements. It is important to note that retrofitting these initiatives into an established home could be a lot more costly than incorporating them in the original build. Pay attention to back-up power systems as they will affect your house’s resale value. Gas installations for cooking and heating should also reduce the monthly operational costs, making it a good investment for the next purchaser.

The housing market can be a really competitive arena. What seemed like a novel idea five years ago, might be a standard feature in all homes from that era. It is critical to think outside the box with features like vertical gardens, outdoor showers and impressive garden atriums. Kitchens fittings, feature wine cellars, bathrooms finishes and walk-in dressing rooms are areas that can easily transform a house from something average, to something spectacular. Landscaping and the clever use of indigenous plants can contribute to the overall visual language of the home. Making smart decisions in terms of lighting could also aid in setting the tone for the house. Those are the elements that will ultimately allow your home to stand out from the other options within the property market.

Once you have established the criteria for your ‘dream home’ and formulated the tick boxes that you would like to implement, it is time to sit with your professional team (architect and builder) to discuss the most economical way to build the house. One should discuss how the program will be running to ensure the best quality build within the shortest period of time. For example, making use of “precast” concrete slabs will negate the need to pour concrete on-site with a curing period of 31 days. One could also order the required fittings and finishes sooner rather than later, so that there are no unnecessary delays in the installation process. Carefully assess your choices of materials, such as the floor tiles in terms of their functionality and practicality. Both your architect and builder should be able to provide you with valuable advice in terms of installation technicalities and timeframes. All of this comes back to the fact that you need to select your builder and architect very carefully. A reputable builder will bring a wealth of knowledge with numerous competent sub-contractors. An experienced architect should avoid costly design mistakes that could lead to breaking down walls – which is both costly and deconstructive to the overall build.

Yes, building a ‘dream home’ can be a daunting task – but with an experienced professional team and careful planning, it can be an exciting adventure of self-expression and determination that will ultimately lead to a haven that is both your home and an outstanding capital growth opportunity.

Once you have established the criteria for your ‘dream home’ and formulated the tick boxes that you would like to implement, it is time to sit with your professional team (architect and builder) to discuss the most economical way to build the house. One should discuss how the program will be running to ensure the best quality build within the shortest period of time. For example, making use of “precast” concrete slabs will negate the need to pour concrete on-site with a curing period of 31 days. One could also order the required fittings and finishes sooner rather than later, so that there are no unnecessary delays in the installation process. Carefully assess your choices of materials, such as the floor tiles in terms of their functionality and practicality. Both your architect and builder should be able to provide you with valuable advice in terms of installation technicalities and timeframes. All of this comes back to the fact that you need to select your builder and architect very carefully. A reputable builder will bring a wealth of knowledge with numerous competent sub-contractors. An experienced architect should avoid costly design mistakes that could lead to breaking down walls – which is both costly and deconstructive to the overall build.

Yes, building a ‘dream home’ can be a daunting task – but with an experienced professional team and careful planning, it can be an exciting adventure of self-expression and determination that will ultimately lead to a haven that is both your home and an outstanding capital growth opportunity.

Elements to consider when building your dream home.