How to Get a Designer Home at an Affordable Price
Rework a project home to create a designer look without blowing your budget.
With the rising costs of materials and labour to build a home, more people are turning to project home companies to get their dream home.
Project home companies have better buying power – they build more homes than a private building company so they get better deals on product and trades, which enables them to reduce their costs.
There has never been so many options available in Australia, so the challenge becomes finding a project home that suits your needs, is in your price range and is with a company that has a good reputation for service and quality – the last thing you want is to build a home you don’t like or one that looks like everyone else’s.
So how do you create the designer look you are seeking without paying too much?
Find out which project home companies build in your area. Visit nearby display homes to get an idea of the quality of their product and note how helpful their staff are.
Next, you need to think about what design and layout you are hoping to achieve:
- Do you want the master bedroom separate from the other bedrooms?
- Do you need a study?
- Do you want a large kitchen and/or family area?
While project homes can be limiting in style, there are a number of ways to create an individual design to suit your desires – like something you would expect to find in a master build.
Take a look at the different options available between different companies. In particular, ask each company if they allow you to make changes (most do at increased cost).
You may wish to change the façade, alter the layout, add or deduct windows etc. Be sure to get quotes on these costs before you make changes to the plans so you can decide if it is worth it.
The advertised build cost of a project home is not the final price and there can often be a dramatic difference depending upon what you add and the upgrades you select throughout the whole process.
While some companies have lower priced basic home plans, they may charge a lot for any changes. Other companies maybe a little more expensive to start with but are more flexible with changes and don’t add high fees for alterations to their plan.
Think about the style you want your home to be.
Do your research online or in home living magazines to help you define what you like before you begin your search for the right project home company.
What look do you prefer? Beach Cottage, Japanese, Mediterranean, Retro or Contemporary?
What façades are available for the house plan you are considering and/or what do you need to do to the façade to customise your own look?
If you need help, you can always engage the assistance of a designer.
Study the plans carefully and ask lots of questions. Get the company to email you with the options you have requested and make sure you get all quotes in writing. Ask them to include any details you are concerned about in the contract, which is signed by both parties before construction.
Be really clear with what you want changed and what standard of finishes you want in your home. Not all project homes are equal and in a lot of cases, the home on display is the deluxe version of the project home – which costs substantially more.
If you have a limited budget, think outside the square and try to create the look you want with budget priced options.
For example, you may not be able to afford a marble/natural stone bathroom, so use a cheaper but lovely white tile with a marble tile as a feature wall or inlay.
If your budget doesn’t allow for a stone benchtop in the kitchen, then choose a similar look in a laminate finish and frame it in either timber, stainless steel or aluminum – disguise it and most people will not be able to tell the difference.
There are many little tricks you can do to give a project home a customised finish and once you add the furnishings that suit the look you are after – your home will truly be a personal expression of everything you love!
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The 2 Belindas
Published: 21 January, 2016.