With the current economic climate in Australia driving many householders to tighten their belts, anyone considering building their own luxury designer homes might be seriously re-considering their budget. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the ‘luxury’ needs to come out of luxury home designs however. And in fact, investing in a new home, with a sensible eye to your dollar spend, could be the smartest move you’ll make in the coming months.
Here are six helpful hints for optimising luxury home construction on a budget,
ONE: Budget for success
An obvious recommendation, but so important – if you set your budget from the outset, you can use this as a framework and work backwards. Once you’ve determined your outer spending limit, you’re in a good position to begin your planning and design. If you haven’t yet purchased land, consider that unusual sites might be less costly, unusual configurations, slopes and so on can all have an effect on the price you pay; but remember that they can also result in higher costs if they entail more complex builds – so you’ll need to balance your considerations here. Budgeting also means you’ll need to gather as many quotes and estimates as you can early on; the most important of these being the general contractor. Ensure that anyone you appoint isn’t simply competing on price; good references will be a must in determining who you appoint. Research your materials and appliances and comparison shop as much as you can. If you’re bold and creative enough you may want to use salvage for some items, such as for example second hand industrial stoves for the kitchen. It’s also worth remembering to spend strategically. If your budget is tight, look for the items in your home that might be easier to upgrade at a later stage, such as faucets, flooring, door handles and lighting. Spend on the more permanent aspects of your home such as construction materials and services, with a plan to replace less permanent items as you can afford to.
TWO: Small + simple
While you may want to create a wow factor in your luxury home construction, remember there are simple ways to do this, through for example, the use of natural light and generous but straightforward spaces. Complex configurations are difficult and expensive to build. And in most cases, smaller houses are more affordable to build and more economical to maintain. A small, well organised and designed home can ‘feel’ just as spacious as a huge one. It’s also often more liveable and much less of a headache to maintain. Santa Monica-based architectural firm Minarc’s energy-efficient modular home Plús Hús (pictured top) demonstrates the levels of aesthetic and luxury that are possible on a small budget.
THREE: Get to know your plans
Before you choose a plan for your new home, you’ll want to know how much space you’re paying for and work with an architect or interior designer to ensure that you’re optimising every single square centimetre of space. Clever designs can incorporate under stair storage and other smart tricks to ensure that you’re making the most of what you have.
FOUR: Consider modular
Some of the most stylish and affordable properties being built today (pictured below: Avava Systems, USA) are prefabricated homes. These come in a variety of options from volumetric (three dimensional) elements to panelised options. If you have good reason not to make your entire home this way, consider that certain areas of the home can be quicker and easier to deliver if they come in prefab form.
FIVE: Design in energy efficiency + cost savings
Save money in the long run by choosing insulation, energy-efficient appliances, and HVAC systems appropriate for your climate. Energy-efficient heating systems and “Energy-Star” rated appliances may cost a little more, but you can save money (and the environment) over the long haul. Consider harnessing natural light through a well designed floor plan and installing low energy appliances and heating and cooling systems.