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Designing your dream home – practically, economically, and functionally.

Discussion in 'Home Decoration & Improvement' started by radhee, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. radhee

    radhee Bronze IL'ite

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    This thread is for all of us who have been there and done that and for those of us who plan to do that in future. We can contribute our ideas which we used/plan to use in the areas of buying, planning, designing etc.

    Let me start off with what we did. You are welcome to contribute your experiences on all areas you think as appropriate.

    Pointers for Preliminary Planning:

    1. Buying – We are building on top of our existing house, so we were spared of the trouble of hunting for a good place. If you are in search of a good place, then you will do well to choose an area closer to your office/school/ or closer to relatives’ place etc.

    2. Planning – We designed the floor plan ourselves, keeping in mind the limitations of the existing ground floor design. We used floorplanner.com for this purpose and created our own floor plan. It is best if we do this ourselves as we know our needs and taste, rather than having the builder decide what comes where.

    3. Deciding upon the builder – For us, it is a close relative of DH who is doing this. If you do not know one personally, you could visit the recently built houses in your locality and inquire about builders and their rates. Please don’t go by just the designs, but also the usage of quality materials and construction standards.

    4. Cost estimate – We had the builder give us in writing the total estimate of the cost of construction. This included the rate per square feet, approximate cost for the alterations made to the existing house, cost of water sump, drainage line etc.

    5. Construction specifications – Since it is a contact, we had the builder give us in writing the specifications of the materials that he will use and the cost of the same. For example, what type of wood for doors and windows, what type of tiles and its rate, what type of switches, type of kitchen counter, sink etc. The purpose of this is that we know what is covered under the contract and if we choose something extra or costlier, that extra cost will fall upon our shoulders. It is better to know and decide all these in advance rather than getting bitter surprises later.

    6. Commitment for completion date – Ask the builder to commit a date by which we can have the house completed. If you have a particular date in mind, ask him if it is feasible to complete the house before that.

    This was the preliminary planning we did. Now our house is about 40% completed. I will share more experiences in the following posts. In the meantime, you can share your experiences here.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
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  2. lovelydecor

    lovelydecor New IL'ite

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    Hi, its a great information. Everyone should know this points before going for own home. I am having mine own personal home but I will spread this information.
     
  3. radhee

    radhee Bronze IL'ite

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    Thanks for the comments Lovelydecor.

    Here are some more points:

    Lighting:
    One of the main areas of focus was adequate lighting. Ours is one of the row houses, so it means we don't have a compound to allow lighting from around the house.

    Apart from wide windows in the front of the house, we also did the following:

    1. We left a 3-feet open area between the wall of the house and the wall of our plot on the backside. This gap was for about 3/4th space of the entire horizontal stretch in the backside. This gives us natural light in the kitchen and bedroom in the first floor and 2 bedrooms in the second floor. If you have adequate space, you can have 3-feet gap on the other 2 sides of the plot also.

    2. For natural lighting in the second floor, we have decided to put a small design with glass on the cieling of the second floor lobby which will allow sunlight within the house. It is better not to keep this big as if more sunlight infiltrates, the room will tend to be hot. Will post a photo once finished.

    Staircase:
    Ours lead from the dining to the first floor. Since we had lack of space to afford a big stairway, we designed a straight one with 3-feet length of the stairs. The height is 6 feet and the width 9 feet. Our measurements were limited by the area available. You can go for even smaller height which will enable easy climbing. It is best not to go for 7-feet high stairs as it might cause difficulting in climbing often. There are tiles specifically designed for stairs with the nosing. We plan to use that.

    Radhee.
     
  4. prss

    prss Gold IL'ite

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  5. keikoling

    keikoling New IL'ite

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    this is great info..and it is really very helpful/useful..everyone should keep this in mind..thanks for sharing..:thumbsup:thumbsup
     
  6. revathib

    revathib Bronze IL'ite

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    HI Radhee,

    Thanks for sharing... useful info.

    Revathi
     

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