Cost Effective Design
The biggest gun in the arsenal in keeping costs down when building a new home is of course, to reduce its’ size. No surprises here, but this doesn't need to mean a compromise.
There are a number of concerns that most people have when this is suggested, mostly to do with the eventual adequacy of the home; “will it be big enough”, “will it have enough resale value”. For reasons like these it can be an unpopular solution. It doesn’t need to be, and this is where ebs can help. With some clever efficient design, spaces can be made to feel larger like their expensive, more inefficient cousins. Some examples of some smarts that should be considered:
- Design to minimise circulation space. Long corridors are an obvious waste of space, but poorly designed rooms can become even bigger corridors if they have many doors opening into them. Circulation space should generally be placed on the edge of a room, or used to divide a room into usable / furnishable areas.
- Adding some purpose built joinery to a room can double its’ functionality and will usually enable you to get rid of another room. A clutter free room also appears bigger. That guest room really could be a study as well.
- Design a home that is specific to your current needs and consider options for extending it later on. Your needs will change, and they will be different in 5 years to what you think they might be, so design some flexibility in to enable your family / needs to change.
When budgeting for a new home, consider reducing your ongoing running costs by incorporating the best of energy efficient design principles. You may live in a home now that is expensive to run; an old hot water system, inadequate insulation, inefficient heating and cooling, and of course most existing housing stock is poorly oriented for solar passive design. If you build a home with energy efficiency in mind, you will find that you have a bit more to spend each week on the mortgage. With increasing energy costs imminent, this consideration has the potential for an even greater effect.
There are many other money saving strategies that we could discuss in further detail.
Last updated 15 March 2009