... what are the pros and cons of buying a design vs. doing your own design?
We’ve listed them for you as if we were making the decision
ourselves for the very first time.
design. You get to create everything you want in your home and have thought
about. You can tailor make what you’ve always wanted.
with starting from scratch is that everything is new. New designs add costs
because no one else has ever done it before. With a project home, you get an
architecturally designed home without having to pay $20,000-$30,000 on architectural
drawings. You also don’t have to pay the engineer’s costs of the foundations or
wall structures which normally costs $1,500-$3,500. So you’re getting an Audi
instead of a Ford for your money.
costs. When you design a home yourself, you don’t know what the cost to
build it will be. This is a major problem which we’ve seen over and over.
Designers and architects design homes which cost 2-3 times what a client’s
budget is. It’s devastating for clients.
With natural materials of earth, straw and
timber, a house has to be built around
these materials or else it will cost more, or you’ll have problems with the
finished look. For instance, where the earth meets other materials can create
condensation which in turn can damage straw bale walls and can be a major problem.
Another basic example is if your walls aren’t built around straw bales or mud
bricks, you’ll waste precious materials, time and money on site as the
tradespeople have to work to make the materials fit into the design.
How many people would design their own car and put it together? A car may cost
$30,000 and yet you wouldn’t do it, so why is it that people automatically
think they can design a house. There are unique skills in house design to make
it look like it’s a finished product. Remember, circumstances change and you
may have to sell it one day!
skills and experience. Although sustainable homes are based on common sense,
there are a lot of things you need to know before a home will work solar
passively. For instance you need thermal mass and insulation in your home which
is why we use straw with cobb/poured earth/mudbricks/rammed earth. We’ve dedicated
10 years learning and building our own homes to find the best mix of materials which