There are lots of decisions to be made, and without a clear vision of what you’re trying to achieve, it can fast become overwhelming. Visiting display homes and checking out recently completed projects online is a great way to source design ideas and find out what’s popular. But it’s not just the aesthetics of the design you need to look out for. The layout, size, location and practical features are all really important too.

Tip 1: Build a home that’s the right size

When considering the right size home, you’re likely thinking in terms of how many bedrooms and bathrooms—but what also matters is the overall size of the design. While in years gone by, building the biggest home you could afford was what most people strived for, recently, the trend towards smaller homes has gained plenty of traction.

The benefits of building small are many. They cost less to build, furnish, run and maintain, which means you can often afford to include quality fittings and furnishings which may not have otherwise fit into your budget. It’s also possible to include everything you need in a small design home, so you don’t need to compromise. With an efficient design, the available space is customised precisely to suit your needs, without any unnecessary excess.

Tip 2: Design for style, comfort and livability

If you’re lucky enough to have a home that is stylish, comfortable and well-suited to your lifestyle, any time spent in lockdown would have been slightly more bearable—but for those who don’t, the extra time at home may well have highlighted any areas that need improving!

Tip 3: Love your location

As Newcastle home builders, a significant change we have noticed over the last year, is the growing movement to shift away from cities towards rural locations. While not so long ago it was mostly retirees opting for a tree or sea change, these days, many families and couples (especially first home buyers) are making the move too.

The reasons often include environment, lifestyle, community and affordability—and there’s no doubt the benefits to your wellbeing and health are many. Some rural and coastal towns are also now within easy reach of major cities via freeways and trains. Add to this the greater flexibility around working from home, and a rural move is now an option that many more who work in the major cities can consider.

Tip 4: Consider your changing needs

The design needs of the average family is always changing, which is why building a home that is adaptable has long been a key aim. However, the area of focus gradually shifts and this coming year is sure to throw up some new trends. Already we have seen more designs featuring dedicated work spaces, whether a study (or extra bedroom) or a nook in the living area that can be used for that purpose.

On top of this, living spaces, both inside and out are sure to be a real focus. Many are looking for a flexible space that allows the family to get together, but also spend time apart when they need some downtime (lockdown and home schooling are both still very fresh in our minds!).

Tip 5: Focus on eco-living is a must

The movement toward reducing your eco footprint continues to grow in momentum, and when you build a new home you have a unique opportunity to set yourself up to reduce your environmental impact significantly. Orientation, size, materials and appliances all contribute to your footprint. Small design homes provide a strong foundation for building an eco-friendly home—in particular, they require less energy to run compared to a larger house, which makes a massive difference over time.

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