Two-storey homes in Perth are in demand – burgeoned by both the urban infill trend and soaring land prices. Let’s face it, if you want to live in an area buzzing with life or at the least, a suburb close to the city and decent amenities, chances are you won’t be able to afford a quarter acre block. Enter: the small block and its new best friend, the two-storey home.
If you, like many others, are thinking about building a two-storey home in Perth, there are several practical issues and decisions worth knowing about. Here are nine tips to help ensure you build a home your love for years to come.
1. Choose a two-storey home builder
Not every building company is well-versed in building two-storey homes. There are specific issues that need to be dealt with, many being local, so it pays to get a Perth home builder for your double-storey home. For example, local regulations and licensing issues must be addressed, the builder should have sound knowledge of the area (including weather, affecting building conditions), and they must be able to source the most appropriate materials for your building project – that adhere to your all-important budget.
Building techniques differ for two-storey homes, as do some of the materials required. Sometimes, cyclone-proof steel framing is chosen, along with particular fire-resistant cladding for safety and better thermal insulation. Talk to us at JFK to find out more about specific materials you may require for your double-storey home.
2. Think about the future
Everything might be tickety-boo with your family’s health now, but if you plan to live here for the long term, what will happen if things change? (Read: illness, arthritis, elderly family members) A popular solution nowadays is adding a small lift to your home – which can be an invaluable inclusion. Not only will this be an excellent way to cater for age-related problems, but also current practical day-to-day issues. Think of how good it would be to bring in the groceries – straight from the garage to the kitchen.
3.What’s important to you?
Think carefully about what you like and what’s important to you. Don’t be afraid to write a list – and get detailed about this. Once you’ve written the list, prioritise it, numbering your wants and needs from #1 to however many you have. Do you love entertaining? Are family get-togethers important to you? How essential is privacy? Do you have or plan to have children? Are you active – with lots of ‘grown-up’ toys to be housed? What about pets? Write it all down. These details will help when choosing the right 2-storey home design for you.
4. Study your block
Study the precise shape and surrounds of your block. Think about orientation, nearby trees, buildings, the elements, anything you can think of. Is it level? And where are the access points? All these issues will help determine the right home design for your block.
5. Ceiling height
Ideally, ceilings should be 2.7 m or higher to give the illusion of space, and also to help keep your home cool in summer.
6. Let there be light
Adequate light can sometimes be challenging when building a home on a small block, particularly if you’re building close to other two-storey abodes. Include enough windows in the north facing side of the building and in the first floors so you can enjoy the brightness and feeling of positivity that adequate light provides.
7. Incorporate open-plan living
Given that your block is small, overcome any feelings of being cramped by incorporating open plan living in your design. Flow-through areas are not only more functional and versatile but allow more light to filter through your home.
8. Keep colour palettes neutral
Likewise, if your two-storey home is on a narrow block, avoid looking cluttered by creating a flowing neutral colour palette that creates space and easily bounces light off walls and surrounds.
9. Be energy-efficient
If not designed carefully, some – but not all two-storey homes can attract larger electricity bills. However, you can get around this with clever planning. Invest in double-glazed windows to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter (also brilliant for noise reduction), and good installation for the roof, as most heat enters the building through the roof and ceiling. Incorporate as many passive design elements as you can, e.g., lots of north-facing windows for natural light, and try to rely on solar panels for heating and hot water.