Designing a small home or a granny flat is just one part of the lengthy home-building process. Yet, it has the power to make or break your home. A good home design or design for your granny flat is key to ensure that your home is attractive, functional and a great space to live in. Preliminary design stage is when your vision for your small home or granny flat gets some form of semblance. This is the stage where a draft ‘blueprint’ of your home is given to you, based on your needs and requirements. Though you might want to delegate the task of designing your home to your builder, it is crucial to work with the builder at the preliminary design stage, and here’s why:
1. Design can make all the difference between a home or personal confinement space:
Imagine building a home without carefully considering your needs and requirements. This problem becomes pronounced when you are building a granny flat for housing your parents. Imagine a house that doesn’t support their age and encourage independent living. You don’t want that – a house that is not built for its occupants is not a house at all. Remember, the standard designs that most builders offer are just the starting point – you can modify the design or custom design your house based on who will live there and what features you want.
2. Analyzing how professional the builder is:
The preliminary design stage is before you sign the contract. The builder will come to your property to see the site for the build and to listen to your thoughts, ideas and needs. During this meeting, the builder will discuss the ideas with you, tell you which of the elements or features will work and which won’t and should be able to provide a ballpark figure. Some common red flags to keep an eye out for are when the builder agrees with everything you say or doesn’t want to listen to you.
3. Easy to include the features you want:
You might love some features at your current home. This is the perfect time to list down those elements. Also list down the elements that you don’t want. You can also discuss and change room arrangements, dimensions and measurements. During this stage, you can also pick where you want the entrance of your small home or granny flat to be. It is easy to include the necessary features at this stage than during later stages as now, the changes will be only on paper. And for some of the changes, you might not incur any additional charges. It is also important to note that giving the builder a list of features to include or omit, will make for a solid brief that will help the builder come up with a final design that is close to what you had in mind.
4. Understand what is possible within your budget and backyard:
Talking to your small home or granny flat builder can also give you a deep insight into how a construction project works, what is a realistic expectation and what is not and what can be achieved within your budget. You might want a 70sqm granny flat for example. But let us say your backyard doesn’t have the space to build a 70sqm granny flat and have council required setbacks – then you will have to reduce the size of your granny flat by a few sqm.
5. Set a strong foundation (virtual) for your home:
The preliminary design or the first draft of the design is a representation of your home to be. Which means, the first draft will lay the course for –
- Size of rooms
- Features such as a fully functional kitchen, pantry or additional storage space
- What furniture to buy or keep for your home, etc
The preliminary design stage is the starting point to make your dream and vision a reality. A professional builder will understand what you need, the restrictions, your budget and you will get to understand how different elements in a building project will come together and work together. Working with the builder at this stage will help the builder to give you a fixed price quote and provide you with a practical and tailored solution.