The joys of low maintenance home designs in BrisbaneRenovations, Tips and Advice, Lifestyle, New Homes
Brisbane offers a wonderful climate for those who love to get out and be active. But of all the activities that you could be doing in your free time, do you really want home maintenance to be one of them? Brisbane is a coastal city. This, combined with our sub-tropical climate and at times extreme weather, can really add to the wear and tear on a home. Which is why low maintenance home designs in Brisbane are so important.
Let’s face it, of all the things you could be doing on any given day, home maintenance isn’t going to rank very highly. If you’ve got young children, then time spent doing maintenance is time you’re not spending with them. And the older you get the harder many tasks are on your body. If you’re looking for a stress-free retirement, low maintenance home designs are the way to go.
How many times are you going to pay for that?
Of all the reasons to get have a low maintenance home design, the top one for me would be the cost. And it’s not just when things need to be replaced. The ongoing maintenance costs to keep things from deteriorating can be enormous. Choose the wrong materials and you could be regularly forking out for sealants, primers, undercoats, topcoats and all the tools that go along with the application of those things.
So, how much does all this cost?
Well, according to a number of people quote a figure of 1% of the overall value of your home. So, if you’re home is worth $750,000, then budget $7,500 per year for maintenance. It’s worth noting that this doesn’t include emergency repairs. It’s just purely a maintenance figure.
The 1% figure seems to have come from an article written on a US website. The article does mention that 1% may be insufficient, stating that 1% – 3% might be more prudent. But it also talks about building materials that are more commonly used in America and less commonly used here in Australia. I wouldn’t be swearing by this percentage, but it does highlight the potential savings that you can make over the lifetime of your home if you have a good quality, low maintenance home design.
Low maintenance home designs are good for the environment
Generally speaking, anything that doesn’t need more products, chemicals, coats etc is going to be better for the environment. Plenty of building products cannot be easily recycled and end up in landfill. By choosing quality, low maintenance products that last longer, you are lowering your consumption and lowering your waste.
Sherwood New Sustainable Home – This project located Sherwood is a modern, sustainable designed home. It was important for the client to have easy accessibility around the entire home and easy access to the garage with undercover entrance to the house. Most importantly, the home needed to be comfortable to live in. All of this was to be kept in mind while also making sure the house was aesthetically pleasing to the client.
Keys to a low maintenance home design
One of the most obvious starting points when designing a low maintenance home is the choice of building materials. But before we go any further, we need to make one thing clear – not everything that is low maintenance looks good. Some materials that need little to no maintenance are not attractive and would devalue your home. So, a balance needs to be struck. You can have an attractive low maintenance home, or you can have an unattractive low maintenance home. At dion seminara architecture we focus on the former.
When it comes to the exterior of your home, the two main surfaces are the walls and the roof. Roof materials such as tiles, steel, or iron are typically long lasting. If you’ve built a new home with a roof made from these materials, you can expect your roof (barring storm damage) to last longer than you will actually live in your home.
When it comes to exterior walls, most surfaces are long lasting, but some require more maintenance than others. Timber walls, whilst long lasting, need more maintenance than other materials. Repainting timber walls can be a long, tedious and at times expensive process. Cladding is longer lasting and virtually maintenance free. But not all cladding looks good. You need to choose a quality product. Bricks are a good long-lasting option, but styles can date overtime. Rendering is popular, but the type of render chosen, and the quality of workmanship is vitally important. A poor-quality job can see you needing to redo it sooner than you would otherwise need to.
Colours can make a massive difference as well. Clients of ours from this Camp Hill Project, have commented that the dark bricks we used in their design are low maintenance. As a result, they have not had to do much work to maintain their outdoor area.
These are just some of the maintenance considerations with any home. Internally floor coverings, particularly in high traffic areas, may require maintenance. Polished timber floors look fantastic. But the timber will need to be sanded and refinished from time to time. How frequently depends on a number of factors. But when they do it can be a big job and very disruptive to the occupants. Vinyl floor coverings can look great and require little maintenance. Tiles are also hard wearing and easy to clean. In comparison carpets will wear over time and need to be replaced sooner.
If you have a deck, then maintenance is an important consideration. If you have a hardwood timber deck, it may need to be sanded and resealed every 12- 24 months. That means taking everything off the deck and then applying at least 2 coats over several days. When we create low maintenance home designs, we look for materials that will perfectly suit the home but will also be easy to maintain.
You can save yourself time, effort and money by investing in quality right from the start. A good example of this is light globes. LED lights cost more initially, but last much longer than other types of globes. But the most important aspect of low maintenance home design, is getting a skilled architect to create your design in the first place.
dion seminara architecture can create your perfect low maintenance Brisbane home design
Low maintenance home designs are about more than just the materials you use or the fixtures and fittings that you choose. Really high-quality low maintenance home designs take all aspects of your property into consideration.
We are more than just Brisbane building designers. We also offer bespoke interior design and landscape design services that can help you achieve a low maintenance home. Gardens can be a huge consumer of time. Think about all the mowing and weeding and pruning that goes into keeping a garden looking at its best. We offer a landscape design service in Brisbane that can create a low maintenance garden that looks amazing without needing hours of ongoing work.
If you’re after an interior design service in Brisbane, then you’ve come to the right place. Our service can provide you with low maintenance, long lasting designs that perfectly compliment the rest of your home.
This is a busy time of year, and we only have limited spaces available for new projects. Don’t miss out, contact us today and let us create the ideal low maintenance home design for your needs.
Oh, and if you haven’t done so already, be sure to download a copy of our free e-book ‘7 Mistakes to Avoid When Renovating Your 7+ Year Home’. It’s a great read, full of practical advice on things to avoid when renovating your home. Click HERE to download it.
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DION SEMINARA, DION SEMINARA ARCHITECTUREWe are experts at home design, renovations and new homes and ensure good value for money outcomes.
Hi, I am Dion Seminara, practicing architect and licensed general builder for 30 years as well as an environmental sustainable design (ESD) expert. I graduated from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with honours, QLD in 1989. Registered as an architect in 1991 and registered as a builder in 1992, I am also a fellow member of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA). Having received 12 ArCHdes Residential Architecture Awards, LJ Hooker Flood Free Home Design Award and the 2016 AIA Regional Commendation for Public Architecture, my expertise with both residential renovation (to all types of houses, especially Queenslanders, 50s/60s/80s), new contemporary homes and luxury residences has earned me a reputation as one of Brisbane's architectural specialists in lifestyle design architecture, interior design and landscape design.