Being wise with your house plans

11 March 2016

When visualising your dream home, there are potential issues that could end up affecting the plans. You can be prepared by being aware of some of these in advance.

Orientation of your land.

The layout of your land can have a large bearing on the design of your house. For example, if the best views are to one side of the block, you will be better off with a design that has two frontages such as the Camden or Windsor, rather than one that faces to the front.

Ideally, your home should have a northern aspect, so that as much sunshine as possible will enter the living area. Verandahs will shade this in summer.

Land that falls away to the front requires a home that is positioned left to right, such as the Richmond or Elizabeth. Building a deep-shaped home on this site would require an excavation, or bearers and joists.

If your block is narrow or deep, then a Paal design such as the Fitzroy, Kiama or Windsor could be the most appropriate choice. The Windsor is a double-fronted home with the verandahs primarily to one side, while the Fitzroy and the Kiama are both less than 10 metres wide.

Room placement

If you have two living areas, keep them well separated, so that their functions don’t merge. Think about whether you need a formal lounge room at all, if you will spend most of your time in the kitchen and family area.

These days, the formal lounge is often replaced with a media room or home theatre. In warmer parts of the country, a roofed alfresco could be the ideal complementary space to the family room.

For peace and quiet, situate your master bedroom well away from the children’s rooms, although if you have baby or young child it’s a good idea to place the nursery bedroom close to your own.

Paal’s Stanthorpe design has a generous-sized rumpus room between the children’s bedrooms at one end of the house, providing them with the freedom to express themselves while not encroaching on the parents’ living area.

This design also features a computer room with half-height walls. It offers the privacy of a workstation while allowing parents to supervise children doing their homework but not shutting them off from the adjoining family area.

Workshops and mudrooms

For truly convenient living, it’s hard to beat a dedicated workshop next to the garage, which means that your workbench and outdoor equipment don’t have to be squeezed into the space left by the cars. Paal provides a roomy workshop in its latest design, the Franklin.

Ensuite bathrooms and walk-in robes are expected partners of master bedrooms these days, but at the other end of the house have you considered the practicality of a mud room?

Standard in Paal’s Hartley design, the mud room is an ideal clothes-and-boots removal zone, allowing this necessary function of daily living in rural areas to be carried out away from the laundry.