Designing a home starts with the details. The basis of a high-quality and sustainable house is a well-thought-out project in cooperation with experts, which meets the needs and expectations of the whole family. The most common mistake when planning a new home is too much haste, say Sven Allik and Rasmus Kuusemets, founders of Haustec OÜ, a design company with long-term experience.
Haustec has been engaged in the design of private houses and also larger buildings since 2015. The company’s goal is to help customers in house design and in applying for construction and use permits, and to provide consultations on all topics related to building planning, design and construction. “We help our clients from their ideas to applying for a building permit. Every step is important in this work, and it is important to do everything thoughtfully, so that later you don’t have to regret the decisions made with rutu,” Allik and Kuusemets explain.
The design of all building parts is increasingly important
Rising prices of building materials and increasing labor costs have made house construction more expensive than 2-3 years ago. At the same time, the prices of energy carriers have also risen, which means that the heating and cooling of a large building has a greater impact on the owner’s wallet than before. Thus, more and more houses with an optimal area have started to be valued.
“The size of the new home depends, of course, on the size of the family and the comfort needs. We have designed houses for one person, for families with many children, as well as for families where several generations live together. The most common solution is 3 bedrooms, a kitchen-living room, a laundry room with a sauna, two toilets, a wardrobe and a technical room-storage room,” says Allik. “On average, we design private houses with a closed net area of 120-150 m2.”
Technical systems should always be designed as well, and not limited to an architectural project in order to obtain a building permit. If all parts of the building are at least designed at the stage of the main project, it gives a much clearer view of the construction quality and cost. In this case, the main design service should definitely be used, then all projects come from one institution. Haustec can offer its customers a complete solution, as the company has established solid cooperation partners over the years. At first it may seem like an excessive expense to design all the parts, but it actually saves the time and cost of construction.
What kind of house to build: one-story or multi-story?
In terms of storeys, the most requested buildings today are single-storey buildings. “There can be various reasons for this – it is believed that the construction of a one-story house will be cheaper. But for banks, a square meter has the same price, regardless of how many floors the building has,” explains Kuusemets. “Increasingly, we hear the reason for preferring a one-story house, that they are afraid of old age, when they can no longer walk up the stairs. The third reason is a more optimal use of space – a staircase that meets the prescribed standards must go to the second floor, which, unfortunately, takes up a lot of space from the first floor.”
Once the number of square meters and the number of floors have been determined, the question of the need for additional buildings usually arises. Would the family also like a garage, a shelter for the car or a basement instead? Kuusemets states that people’s wishes here are divided into several: there are those who absolutely want a garage to keep, for example, their hobby car or motorcycle. Others think that a garage would be fine, but life shows that in the future the space intended for the vehicle will instead become a storage place. However, in terms of basements, there are very few families today who want them.
Estonians are sauna people, and there is an interest in steam and steam saunas as well as indoor and outdoor pools. Allik admits that, due to the rise in energy prices, this interest has waned a little, but at the same time, many have discovered that the pool water could be heated by solar panels instead. In general, technology has reached more and more Estonian homes year after year, whether it is smart heating and ventilation solutions or Targa Kodu systems. “If you get very personal with building a house, it can be more difficult to sell it on the secondary market later,” says Allik. And he adds that at the same time the home must still be the face of the family and it would be wrong to give up all dreams.
When is the right time to contact a designer?
Allik and Kuusemets recommend involving the designer in the plans as soon as the idea to start building a house arises. “In this case, we can point customers in the right direction right from the start and give recommendations on what to pay attention to. Depending on the location, there may be restrictions on the pitch and material of the roof, as well as the materials and colors of the facades and the water and sewage systems. For example, if a homeowner has to provide a fire department water intake point for his house, where and what should it be? Our job is to advise the client and find reasonable solutions.”
In order to apply for a building permit, it is generally necessary to submit only a preliminary architectural project, where the construction information is not very detailed. Depending on the region, a water and sewage connection project is also required during the construction permit. Once the permit is in hand, a basic project must be drawn up, on the basis of which quotations can already be requested from construction companies. However, the basic construction document is a very comprehensive working project. “Although the houses may appear to be similar, the design and construction of each building is tailor-made, including the owner’s personal wishes and special conditions resulting from the building’s location and location,” emphasizes Kuusemets.
“Our recommendation is that when planning a home, feel free to contact the designer before buying the property. Discuss all wishes and ideas in detail and avoid excessive haste. A house is generally built once in a lifetime, and if you really want a good result, start with calm and proper planning!”