I love architecture, so I'm always flummoxing around with environmentally friendly building techniques, space efficiency ideas, & making the most of the build location buzzing through my head.
What would be your points of focus if you built again, or for the first time?
I'll kick it off with underground housing, moveable walls, & downsizing rooms so that they do what they're meant to do, & nothing more, unless clever design can make it more useful, with minimal room bloat.
I came across Thermacell Australia, which is an innovative company that supplies a complete inventory of Insulated Concrete Forms that go together like Lego. They even give free ongoing advice to DIY self builders, how good is that?
I'd known about ICF builds for some time from Grand Designs, but they only used it for exterior walls, then used wood framing for internal walls.
The Thermacell system includes ICF internal walls, which interlock into the external walls. It's virtually a single concrete pour for the whole house, so internal wall cracks are a thing of the past.
The labour cost saver is that plumbing & electrical services can be cut easily into the styrofoam that's on both sides of the concrete pour.
Another plus is that it has superior insulative & acoustic properties to tradition building techniques, so there's no need for expensive retro fits to cover those problems.
I mentioned earlier about my enthusiasm for underground builds, & it so happens that they have larger bloc modules, that're engineered for that exacy purpose. Wow, imagine how energy efficient that'd be. : )
Years ago, in a fleeting moment of madness, I though of a completely underground house, except for the Northern side. Sounds quite gloomy, but a virtual peroscope mounted on the roof, with it's view sent to largish wall mounted monitors throughout the home, could give you a choice of window outlook.
Ah, then there's the bathroom that serves 2 bedrooms, & also the rest of the house if you have guests.
The ultimate for me, would be a quaint land level cottage, with a driveway that ends next to it. All very modest, until the owner comes home & with the click on the remote control, exposes the carlift, which lowers the cars out of view again & leads to the kitchen pantry, or unloading area.
If I was keeping the existing south facing corner block I found an image closr to ideal.
Would start on the left hand boundry 2 roller door garage full length of the house, partition so one side is for a car the other workshop with acces to the back yard.
My office with front sliding door and doors to workshop and passage, it doesn't need to be overly big.
Passage with stairs up.
SWMBO space with front sliding door and a passage door.
Dining room leading onto the kitchen with gas cooktop ( wok burner too to keep the peace )
Laundry and mini bathroom to round out the ground floor
Top passage and stairs, maybe enough space for tv area or place to hide stuff.
Master bedroom with walk in robe and onsuite bathroom with spa, a bath might please her too.
Two guest bedrooms with bathroom/s not too fancy or they may want to stay.
Front balcony just big enough for 2 people to pass.
Back balcony large enough to BBQ on, lounge around and let the hound run around, will need something like a vergola or similar to keep the sun or rain off.
I like the idea of the roof being a solar panel and partly heating your water too, so maximum area facing north and a gas water heater and solar storage batteries.
The things I can't live without:
- Lots of storage space
- Plenty of kitchen bench space
- Open plan