How to choose the right house design

When you design your own home, decisions can pretty quickly go from exciting to terrifying.

How do you know you won’t regret your choices? Where do you even start? What if you pick the wrong layout and all of your loved ones abandon you for having the worst house in the world?

First of all, relax – everything will be okay. Once you’ve taken a deep breath, check out these key things to keep in mind when you’re deciding on a house design.

Choose a future-proof design

When you’re considering home design ideas, it’s important to look ahead. Remember, you’re not just buying for who you are now ­­– the house will also be home for future versions of yourself. Don’t get so carried away with the excitement of owning your own home that you forget to consider what you’ll want down the track.

That cute, single-bedroom apartment might seem like a great idea now, but what if you decide to have kids? Pick a house that you’ll grow into and give yourself wriggle room so you can easily accommodate new life choices.

This is true even if you’re only planning to be in the house for a few years. Even if you’re planning to trade up or rent it out, you’ll have to live in it until then. Remember, your financial decisions are there to help you with your life ­– not the other way around.

Read more: What you need to know about the First Home Buyers Grant

Pick north-facing living spaces

Block direction is something every first homebuyer should keep in mind. Without going into nitty gritty, in Victoria it’s generally better to have the living spaces in your house face north. That way you’ll get more sun during winter and less in summer. This small decision can make a huge difference to your power bill and the environment.

You can find out more about how house orientation makes a difference on the Australian Government’s Your Home website.

Focus on the layout

Beware of the two great floor-plan distractions ­– finishings and furniture.

When you imagine your new home, you’re probably thinking about the light that comes through the curtains, and the feeling of the carpet between your toes ­– not the millimetre widths of the door frames.

This is fair enough, but it can also be a mistake.

Your number one priority is deciding the underlying structure of your house. Everything else comes later, because it’s a whole lot easier to change.

Try to picture each room as an empty space, without objects or finishes. Does that space work for you? What could you do with it?

Find the right home builder

The best way to make sure you pick the right house design is to have a trusted home builder by your side. It’s important to have a great relationship with your home builder; after all, you’re trusting this person with the literal roof over your head – as well as your hard-earned cash.