The design

We finally settled on a design after a number of false starts. We always thought being owner builders would be fun, but decided it really wasn’t practical for us. We looked at a large volume builder (cheap, but not enough flexibility, quality concerns), architect (too expensive), designer and large builder who does custom homes. We had a house designed for us, but the initial quote for it was more than we wanted to spend and we thought it would only get more expensive as we detailed it. See Building Costs for a breakdown of what the various methods generally cost in $/m2

We eventually selected Kingbuilt, a large builder who had a base design that was very similar to our design and who were happy to custom build eg change the house design as we wanted with us supplying all the fixtures and fittings. We thought going this way might save us some money. But as it turns out, by the time everything was detailed, I suspect that there won’t be much difference in cost between this design and the one we created. But we’ve put so much effort into it now, its too late to turn back.

We’ve revised our budget for the overall build from $800k to $1,1M all up. Sigh. And that doesn’t have much contingency.

A few features of the design were important to us:

  • Master bedroom with a view of the dam
  • Ensuite with two person bath overlooking the dam
  • Study 1 is actually the gym, with a pilates reformer (Product review), exercise bike and probably a rowing machine if it fits
  • Light filled large open plan living with dam view – celestory windows and sky lights for light in the living room. Skylights open to vent any hot air, and have block blinds to keep the heat out in summer
  • Large sheltered outdoor living – South Gippsland is windy! – with louvred roof to ensure we can get the morning sun into the living room
  • Study 2 is Mark’s study
  • Study 3 is mine. Half the room will be used as a painting studio come study, hence the sink, while the other half will be a sitting room with an open fire. Mark will build a display partition between the two areas
  • Separate wing and sitting room for our daughter and guest bedroom.
  • At some point we may add a kitchen and extra living space to turn it into a holiday rental
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