Although you may be designing the home of your dreams, and money may not be your prime consideration, it is worth knowing about those features of a house that will bump up the cost. The advice here will not be exhaustive but refers to many common features.
Local Authority Design BriefAt the start of your deliberations on design, ask the Local Authority planning department for a Design Brief which will provide their requirements that will affect the external design. The brief is intended to keep new builds in sympathy with the traditional designs in the local area. Examples of these requirements are:
- roof material - e.g. slates/concrete tiles, colours
- roof pitch
- wall finish - e.g. smooth render, roughcast
- windows - whether casement or sash plus further requirements e.g. "vertically proportioned" - meaning no horizontal bars,
- windows - some authorities will mandate wooden windows rather than uPVC
- whether quoins allowed
If you wish to try some design for your self then consider purchasing some design software - such as Eleco's ARCON 3D Architect software . This is a powerful 2D/3D CAD suite for architects and building professionals but has also been . specially adapted for use by self-builders and home DIY enthusiasts, to help them visualise and communicate their interior and exterior design ideas in an interactive 3D environment.
Complexity of Design
One important piece of advice at this stage is not to go too complicated in the design - unless you don't mind spending a lot of money. A very simple design may not be very attractive so there should be features to make an attractive house - but if you go for very complicated it is going to ramp up the cost significantly.The following examples outline various levels of complexity in house structure, and indicate how complicated/expensive the build costs could be.