Learning from past mistakes

I want to get this house right. We’ve built and renovated in the past and been happy to trial new products, layouts, styles. With this house I want everything to be planned out from the beginning so it ties in nicely.

While I love the house we’re in at the moment, it was never meant to be our home and we built it in a rush in the lead up to our first babe. I was on the phone to suppliers and stopped around the check up on the builders while I was in labor!

Needless to say there are a few things I’ll be doing differently (and a few I’d keep the same) this time around and I thought while I’m still planning I should jot them down so I can remind myself.

  1. Plan, plan, plan – I’m happy to make quick decisions, choosing tiles for the bathroom based solely on ‘whats in stock at the warehouse today’ is not something I’d like to do again. A few handy tools I’m using this time around: Floor PlannerPinterest, Reece Bathroom Planner.
  2. Measure it out – we built 2 x 3bed houses on a subdivided block a few years ago and while we knew they were going to be small, I didn’t anticipate how small the living areas would be. We had chosen a Huxley design specifically for narrow blocks but in hindsight I would have extended them a few extra meters at the back. So this time around I will be physically measuring things out. We’re pretty lucky this time as my Mum is currently living in the house so we can go around as often as we need and I’ll be taking full advantage of that.
  3. Stick to your guns – this is one thing I’ve always done. The first draft layout we received for our current house from the architect was not the layout I had asked or envisaged. It’s a small older style home and we wanted to open it up and connect the outdoor so we have more space. The first plans the architect showed us had the whole back of the house blocked up and a single door around the corner. My husband thinks I was harsh, but we didn’t have time to mess around (with a baby due in 5 months) so I marked up exactly what I wanted and sent it straight back. I’m so happy I did, I think it really works well for how we live and who needs a ‘formal’ dining room when you wouldn’t even have an ‘informal’ one?! I know this time around the build is a lot bigger so we will be relying on the architect a bit more which brings me to my next point.
  4. Research your architect! I’m in the process of narrowing down architects at the moment and as yet I haven’t spoken to any of them. I’ve been stalking residential and commercial buildings they have listed on their websites and asking anyone I know who has dealings with them what they think. I’m confident I’ve narrowed it down to 4 and will set-up times to go see them in the next few weeks.

One thing I will definitely do next time around is a bathroom without a shower screen – this was the best layout decision I’ve ever made! Given we currently only have 1 bathroom, the open ‘wet room’ behind a wall means you can use the loo while someone is in the shower and the kids can splash about as much as they want in the bath.


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