PREPARING A PROJECT BRIEF:
INCLUDE EVERYONE: To formulate the Project Brief, first get all the decision-makers in the family together. Include everyone – husbands, wives or even children with an interest in the building. Write down your complete wish list.
GET IDEAS: To prepare a wish list, you may want to get some ideas. You can visit some finished houses or you can consult professional magazines, catalogs, architecture books and the net to get ideas.
DECIDE ON THE TYPE OF HOUSE: While preparing the wish list, keep in mind the type of house you want. The basic types of house people build in India are the following:
House for self-use: Luxury, privacy, and comfort are the priorities.
House for self-use + Renting out: Luxury and comfort for the portion used and cost-effective materials and finishes for the rented out portion.
House for renting out: Cost-effective materials and finishes and revenue generation in mind. If you are unsure of the type of house that you want, think ahead and plan your design in such a way that they can expand if the need arises in the future.
DECIDE THE NUMBER OF ROOMS:
Plan the number and sizes of the rooms that you require, the overall size of the structure, features you would like to have and key functional or special inter-relationships of spaces, etc.
THINK OF FUTURE EXPANSION PLANS:
You should think of future expansion plans, how you would like to expand the house in the future – vertically or horizontally so that the house can be designed structurally for the future. You can also plan to rent out a portion in the future when the kids leave home.
THINK OF THE STYLE OF HOUSE THAT YOU PREFER:
The cost of the house will be affected by the style you choose. The amount of natural light and ventilation will also depend on the style. There are a few house design styles that are popular in India.
Contemporary designs – Contemporary style is bright, simple, clean and gives an uncluttered look. Common characteristics include clean lines with large windows devoid of decorative trim, flat or gabled roofs, asymmetrical shapes, and open floor plans. Contemporary exteriors showcase natural materials like stucco, stone, brick or wood.
Traditional designs: Traditional style home plans have characteristics of Colonial style or traditional Kerala, Mangalore styles such as columns, gables, and dormers. Typically, Traditional houses are usually two-story and have symmetrically spaced windows and little ornamentation. Inside, Traditional home plans often feature a central entry with rooms on either side. Roman-style: Pantheon roof, big pillars, arches, and open terraces.
DO NOT FORCE A PARTICULAR STYLE / THEME FOR THE HOUSE:
When you express the kind of style you like for your house, do not insist on sticking to a particular style that is in fashion. These themes are often short-lived trends in property markets and certainly put a date stamp on a property and you might have difficulty or not get the best resale value when it comes to the selling of the house. A good style is one that is unique but has longevity and remains contemporary.
BE REALISTIC ABOUT BUDGET:
After the wish list has been prepared, assess how much of it is realistically possible, keeping in mind the budget and other constraints that might exist. Accordingly, trim the wish list. Remember to allow yourself a little “room” for the unforeseen.
CHOICES: While preparing the Project Brief, you will have to deal with different CHOICES. It is important to make a definite choice, out of the possible alternatives right at the beginning before the commencement of the building. This will enable you to plan your budget in advance and give the right picture to the Architect.