8 Key Design Alterations Considerations
As the majority of New Zealanders spend more time in their homes than ever before, anything that you perceive negatively about your home is magnified. Did isolation highlight any of the key elements you would like to fix within your home?
1. Space: If you weren’t isolating alone, did someone else in your ‘bubble’ start to drive you a little crazy? In these unprecedented times, for those of us who LOVE having time to ourselves, did you crave the ability to create a ‘bubble within a bubble’ ie a little time on your own? Having space for different family members is ideal, but reducing land sizes and subsequently smaller footprints make this challenging to achieve. One solution is to create multi-functional spaces or rooms. Having rooms functionality align with how you want to spend your time in your home will create a much more pleasant living environment, and allow you some much needed time out from others if you crave it.
2. Flow & Room location: How does the current flow and room locations within your homework? Do you get the winter sun in the lounge? Is the toilet in the right location? Do you hate how visitors can see into your living space when approaching the house? Is your bedroom on the wrong side of the house? List everything you would want to change about the flow or room location as a starting point ‘wish list’.
3. Future Proof: How long do you anticipate you will live in the home? Did you want to create a space for a close friend, family member or even expanding your own family? One thing we find that people often underestimate is how their space requirements change as their children or even grandchildren grow. When the kids are young, you want to have a visual on them. With teenagers, both of you want as much space as possible!
4. Indoor/Outdoor flow: How does the indoor/outdoor flow work? Would you like to add covered outdoor areas, sliding doors? Creating an ‘outdoor room’ is often created as an afterthought, however, this can create an entirely different space if designed in the correct way.
5. Storage: Cleaning out spaces may not have been on your ‘to-do’ list during the lockdown, however, if it was, did you find you were getting frustrated due to insufficient storage? Storage is the one thing people absolutely love, and if you do ever want to sell your home, something you can be sure that potential buyers also take note of. So you can have a place for everything and everything has a place!
6. Noise mitigation: If you weren’t living alone, there is one thing that would have driven you crazy during isolation and, it was that someone in your ‘bubble’ making noise whilst you were trying to work/sleep/watch TV, etc. In our household with the kids all ‘homeschooling’ and us being on video calls proved to be a bit of a challenge. You can create zones for each member of the family if space permits, however, it is the noise that can be challenging. Consider noise-reducing GIB and insulation, but clearly the positioning of spaces plays a critical role.
7. Heating/cooling: How important is it to you, that home is warmer and in winter and cooler in summer by optimising passive solar energy? As the majority of New Zealanders will seek to reduce the running costs of their home, this will be the time to really analyse your electrical and water bills. This may involve upgrading joinery, retrofitting insulation and upgrading or integrating new eco-features, or even a simple fix of putting on water-saving devices to your tapware.
8. Design ascetic: Finally when undertaking a major alteration or renovation think about if you want the design to be sympatric to the existing design/era or completely modernise? Either way, it is critical that the addition or renovation incorporates seamlessly with the existing building.
Thorne Group before and after Alteration.