Top Tips For Designing a Renovation
If you're renovating, it's worth taking time to get the design right.
In all but the smallest home improvements, you'll need professional advice. Use this checklist for guidance in your dealings with your architect and/or builder.
No additional cost
- Get to know the site - its climate, landforms, waterways, soil types etc. will all influence your design.
- Contact your local council to find out about planning guidelines and requirements in your location.
- Design to catch the sun - by orienting your main living areas and biggest windows north, you'll maximise the amount of sun getting in.
- Design to minimise your home's impact on the site - a home that has a smaller 'footprint' and doesn't require earthworks is likely to cost less.
- Design to avoid waste - by designing to be economical with materials, and by re-using or recycling wherever possible, you may be able to reduce your building costs and save on landfill fees.
- Think about the future and how your needs might change while you're living in the home.
Low additional cost
- Install more insulation in your ceiling and walls than the minimum Building Code requirement.
- Choose materials tha aren't toxic to you or the environment.
- Install double glazing on windows, glazed doors and skylights.
- Get professional advice: a designer or architect can save you money by coming up with a design that uses materials efficiently, is energy efficient, and is appropriate for your site. A home that you see in a magazine might not be suitable for your location.
- Install solar water heating.
- Add an extension to collect winter sun and cool summer breezes.
- Install insulation above the minimum requirements
- Install new windows or doors when renovating to improve light and ventilation.
- Add a north-facing extension to your home, to collect winter sun and cool summer breezes.