Exterior design considerations for a good-looking home

Exterior design considerations for a good-looking home

The outside of your home is the first sight that people are greeted with when they arrive for a visit. Not only that, but a good-looking home can also add to the resale value should you ever decide to move. So, naturally, you want to keep the exterior of your home looking as good as the interior. Here are some exterior design considerations to keep in mind to be sure that your home’s exterior is always looking good.

Bautex insulated concrete blockscredit

Build with insulated concrete blocks

When it comes to the overall construction of your home, insulated concrete blocks are something that can not only increase the design aesthetic, but also the overall structural integrity of your home. These lightweight insulated concrete blocks are made with a mix of composite materials that make for faster and more energy-efficient home construction. Because of how easy they are to use for construction projects, they can be used to create eye-catching design elements like columns or sleek modern fronts.

Barricade house wrapcredit

Protect with house wrap

Before you can use something like insulated concrete bricks to create the exterior walls of your home, you need to put up the protective weather lining that will separate it from the inside of the home. That is where something called house wrap comes into play. This is that paper-like lining you see on houses that are still under construction and are not yet covered by siding. Don’t be fooled though, this super durable house wrap is stronger than paper, and will help protect your insulation from damaging air infiltration and weather. It’s an essential part of the home construction, so you want to be sure to go with the best!

House clad with fibre cement sidings

Check out fibre cement siding

While some people may like the look of insulated concrete bricks once they’ve been painted, others prefer the more clean and traditional look of siding. Fibre cement siding provides that traditional look while offering more durability than other types of siding. Like their wood and vinyl counterparts, this fibre cement siding will not warp, the colour will not fade, the weather will not penetrate it, and they’re even fire resistant. Another great feature of fibre cement siding? It is virtually maintenance-free, which means less housework for you!

House clad with steel log sidings

Consider steel log siding

If the traditional look of siding is not your cup of tea, then why not consider something a little more rustic looking? Steel log siding is another beautiful and durable option available that can turn your home into a modern-day log cabin. But, unlike traditional wood log siding, steel log siding is virtually maintenance-free and the paint is resistant to all sorts of damage including cracking and fading, so it will look new for years to come with little work on your part.

Laminated roofing shingles

Top off with laminated roofing shingles

Your choice of siding is not the only thing to keep in mind when it comes to exterior design considerations for your home. Your roofing option is another big part, as it can really tie your whole home’s look together. Laminated roofing shingles, can provide a durable and classic look to any home. New design methods make laminated roofing shingles an incredibly long-lasting option that has multiple layers built in, to ensure the utmost protection for your home.

While you can update your landscaping and other outdoor areas, your home itself is still the focal point of the exterior. It’s what people will see first, and therefore it’s important that you keep it looking good. Hopefully, these design considerations will help you when building your home, so it becomes the talk of the neighbourhood!


The most popular new home amenities in 2016

New build houses on a cul-de-saccredit

Being an architect in the housing industry can present quite a few challenges, the biggest of which is probably being able to predict what home buyers are going to be looking for in the upcoming year. It’s difficult to design a new home unless you know what consumers want, but once you have a handle on the market, your job is as good as done. It’s then only a matter of working the wants of home buyers into blueprints for homes being developed by the builder. Here are a few of the home amenities house buyers are looking for in new homes this year.

Arial view of a suburban neighbourhoodcredit

Amenities by neighbourhood

One of the things which developers look at when constructing a new development is the area surrounding the new sub development. Over-improvements aren’t limited to home repairs and home remodelling jobs so it’s important that they don’t get carried away with amenities that won’t add value to the home. There are, however, some élite developments such as the Texas neighbourhood of Belterra in Dripping Springs. These are trendy homes in an upper middle class neighbourhood with amenities suitable for this lifestyle.

Blue detached house with double integral garagecredit

Popular amenities currently trending

Developers looking to draw up plans for homes in a new development would be wise to see what amenities are currently trending first. According to realtors around the country, some amenities are popular no matter in which region of the country the home buyers were polled. The top amenities in 2016 include:

  • Great rooms – These are like a family room, living room and kitchen all rolled into one
  • Central island in the kitchen – This is where much prep work is done and to take this up one level, a central island with butcher’s block tops is in even higher demand
  • High ceilings on ground floors
  • Windows rated as Low-E (Energy Star)
  • Integral 2-car garage
  • Granite or marble counter tops in the kitchen
  • Smart gadgets – programmable climate control, lighting etc
  • Large front porch
  • Walk in wardrobes
  • Linen cupboards in all bathrooms – especially in the master bathroom

Knowing that these are high on the list of amenities, builders can now request their architects to design as many of these into their blueprints as possible. Oddly, bonus rooms, pools and spas are no longer trending as strongly as they had been in the previous decade.

Whether you’re an estate agent looking to match a buyer with a seller or a developer looking to keep up with trends, being able to match these amenities with a prospective buyer’s needs can make your job a whole lot easier. With the economy on a steady incline and jobs more readily available, the property market is beginning to boom. Since this is the beginning of a seller’s market, it’s vital to give buyers something in order to close the deal – that would be the above-mentioned trending amenities. You can sweeten the deal by offering exactly what they want, making it easier and quicker to close. Now that is sweet!



Everything you need to know about building your dream home

'Everything you need to know about building your dream home' blog post banner

The Glen self build by Reid Architectsimage credit: Reid Architects

Did you know that almost 20,000 people a year in the UK fulfil their dreams and construct their own homes? The website Self Build suggests that as long as you follow some basic guidelines this vision can become a reality for all.

Regent Road self build by architecture:mimage credit: architecture:m

Start with a legal search

The budget is always important, but so is the availability of your chosen building site. You may have seen the most desirable plot of land in the world, but it’s no use starting to dream of house building until you have verified that the land can be used for building purposes. If you’re planning to build overseas, then you should use the services of Vanner Perez Notary Services who can offer translation as well as legal services for land and property purchase overseas.

Wedge House by Soup Architectsimage credit: Soup Architects

Set a realistic budget

Don’t just take the cost of the build into account. It’s a good idea to remember that very few building projects run to plan, so, if possible, include contingency funding within your budget. You’ll also have to include the cost of a good architect, planning permission fees with the local authority, as well as your own living expenses while the project is ongoing.

If you’re a good organiser, then by all means take responsibility for project management yourself. If you feel at all uneasy about this role, then appoint a manager for your self build. This appointment could save you money, and you’ll be confident that all aspects of the project are being completed to your satisfaction.

passivhaus self build by Forrester Architectsimage credit: Forrester Architects

Getting a mortgage for your self build

You can’t build your own home unless you have the financial means in place. Special mortgages for self builds are available but you’ll also need to have funds or savings of your own in order to get the project started. The Build Store website is an excellent resource for accessing building societies and other information concerning finance and self building.

The most popular type of mortgage is the ‘advanced stage payment’ that will release the funds before the build starts so that you can get going with the job. Funds will continue to be released at regular intervals throughout the project. The ‘arrears stage payment’ mortgage only allows money to be released after each stage of the build is completed. This might not be such a good option if your workforce needs money in advance in order to proceed with the build. You’ll have to prove that you’re able to maintain the mortgage payments whilst the project is in progress.

New House, Stow self build by Jefcoate Anderson Architects Ltdimage credit: Jefcoate Anderson Architects Ltd

Enjoy your project

Despite worries about finance, builders and a thousand and one other niggles, building your own dream home is rewarding. You’ll end up with a house that you have planned to suit your tastes, and your family’s needs. Many self builders have slashed their utility bills by designing an eco-friendly property; others have created innovative gardens around their new home. The possibilities for creating the house of your dreams are endless. Once the project is completed you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the benefits that come from building your dream home.