Different people have different views on what the perfect home is, and what is considered ‘flaws’ in that home. In fact, when it comes to the design of a home, it seems to bring out some of the most opposing views. This is due to the fact that we’re not all the same, so we all like, and dislike different things. This blog is about some of the things which people consider to be flawed when designing or constructing a building.
An interesting example of a design feature which gets very opposing views is the walk-in wardrobe. I find this an interesting debate because I have only recently heard any negative opinions about the space. People arguing for it said that it is clearly a very good design feature due to the additional storage. The people who didn’t like the idea of a walk-in wardrobe so much argued the point, saying that the additional space creates more of a likelihood that you will fill it with clutter and come to feel stressed out by it, all due to the fact that it is built specifically for storage.
I think that you need to find a balance with storage, you need just the right amount for your personal needs. If it is too little, then your home can look cluttered due to the lack of space available for putting things away, but if it is too much then you may be tempted to fill it with clutter, experienced architects can help advise you when you are deciding on how much storage you need to have in your home.
Another potential design flaw of modern homes could be that we hardly get any real fresh air circulating in them. This could be due to the air conditioning and heating systems people have installed in their homes, rather than just opening the window and letting some air in. Of course, many factors add up to the decision as to whether we open our windows or not. These could include the safety of our homes and families, the quality of the air where you live (for example, you probably wouldn’t want to open your windows if you lived near a factory which was blowing smoke or fumes into the atmosphere), our privacy tends to play a large part in whether the curtains are opened, let alone the windows! Any noise around the home could stop you from opening it, or if you are a considerate neighbour and know you are going to make a lot of noise playing your music rather loudly.
Many people may say that they don’t think their homes are lit well enough by natural light, and therefore have a lot of lighting installed inside their homes, which is probably where most of their electricity bills are created. On the other hand, if you had a lot of windows, they may be very helpful with enhancing heat from the sun on a cold day, but in the summer, when you want to cool down, you may have to go around the house covering the windows.
The placement of air conditioning and heating systems is crucial to how cost-effectively your home will run. Poor placement can lead to unforeseen costs you could have avoided. For example, if a room has too much moisture in it, mould can grow, and that moisture could have been avoided if the units had been put in the best place to heat or cool whatever space they are in. If there is a lack of insulation or vents, people living in the home can be hot or cold most of the time, this is seen as a massive flaw which can be prevented easily with sufficient and careful pre-planning.
The design of the kitchen is one of the most important parts of planning a building because the kitchen could be where you will have most of your social gatherings or just the place where you cook your family meals. Either way, it needs to be functional with everything you need to meet your individual needs.
A lot of people build and buy homes with the short-term future in mind, but you should really think about the long term, including using strong materials which will last and save you money in the long run. Another thing to take into account is planning for getting older and a growing family, these tend to be an afterthought as many people think about their personal design preferences as opposed to future functionality. To quote a popular cookery show, they think about ‘style over substance when it should be the other way around.
Written by Jade Turney – Building Tectonics Ltd.