Villas: design ideas, inspiration and pictures

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What is a villa?

Villas originated in Italy. They used to be the country houses of the city dwellers who wanted to unwind amid peaceful surroundings. Many of the Italian villas still fulfil similar needs. The shape of the original villas were mostly squarish and they were often built with a central courtyard. They are now one of the most common architectural types of family home seen worldwide.

Villas as homes: permanent home or holiday home?

Many luxury villas still continue to be seasonal getaways. They act like a secondary home where families meet during the holidays, invite friends and have a merry time together. Luxury villas like these are not limited to any specific region. However, they are generally seen in largest numbers just outside the vicinity of a major city. Due to their simplicity of design and expansiveness villas are often favoured as detached family dwellings.

Are villas common in Canada?

Villas are very common in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and near Quebec, especially close to Mont-Tremblant. Unlike their Italian counterparts, they showcase a wide range of styles. Due to harsh winters, Bali-style villas are not very common in the country. Some of these dwellings are made entirely of wood, some a combination of stone and wood and some others use concrete. Not all of them have the same boxy structure or an interior courtyard either. They can have sloping roofs or flat. Like their erstwhile version though, they are often built with a charming garden.

Building a villa in Canada

Building a house of this sort needs thought and precision. From site selection to designing, be prepared to spend time on every step of the way. Some of the largest dwellings may cost you CAD 5 million or more. This is particularly true if you are looking forward to building or buying one in Oakville, Calgary, Langley or Toronto. In other areas of the country though, you will find the price considerably more affordable. In fact, by paying about CAD 700,000 or so you can easily become a proud owner of a beautiful villa.

How to protect your villa against possible natural disasters

Safeguarding your property from natural disasters of any kind remains uppermost in everyone’s mind. Unless you are already a resident of the area for long, do make enquiries for the possible natural sources of threat to your house and family. Flooding, heavy snowfall, and the like are the common concerns that cause significant difficulties. To avoid flood related damages construct house on dry fill. Use sand and gravel as fills. Build a proper drainage system. You can also raise the house on piers or columns. Install smoke alarms in the house. Keep fire extinguishers handy. Keep air terminals clean. Protect your family from the possible fire hazards.

Legal issues that may arise when building a villa

The building rules are similar for detached family dwellings of almost every kind. You will need a clearance for the site on which you are about to build your new home. You will also need your plan to be approved. Expect inspections from the authorities when the work is in progress. Do not make any alteration to the original plan without taking prior permission.

Pros and cons of owning a villa

The advantages of opting for a villa 

- A modern villa can have a range of architectural styles. 

- They are comfortable enough for a family dwelling and can be built according to your budget and requirements. 

-They can be built as big as you want them to. 

The disadvantages of opting for a villa 

- Over a period of time, maintaining a large house may become irksome. So assess the requirements of your family. 

- If you are building a weekend home, employ staffs to look after your house in your absence. 

- You may look into some of the monetizing opportunities for this secondary home. Holiday rentals are currently a rage in the country.

Maintenance & costs

Calculate the maintenance cost of your house well in advance. Understand that it needs yearly tending including fixing cracks and fissures, repainting, change of roofing and so on. Not thinking of this aspect well in advance make many dream dwellings turn into a nightmare. The cost of yearly maintenance may go up to CAD 3000. There are some recurrent costs that you need to take into account. These include costs of electricity, cleaning and service charges, maintaining the security of the premises etc.

Which professionals are able to help you

You will need a team of professionals including architects, surveyors, engineers and builders to assist you in building your dream house or buying an existing one. Be careful in choosing the right people for the entire project or let someone trustable handle it for you. You can seek assistance from professional developers to handle the project for you.

When building it from scratch

While building a house from ground up you will need help from property agents who would assist you to choose the right plot. Do not omit the help of a property counsellor. You will also need interior stylists to decorate your home to your liking. Check out our online platform and discuss your requirements with as many of these professionals as you wish to.

Reforming a villa

While reforming a villa, you will have to determine the extent of work to be done on site. An experienced builder will be able to assist you in this. If you only need to renovate or expand a part of the house like the basement or garage, then an interior architect would be the right person for you. They will also suggest you solutions should you want to merge two rooms, expand the master bedroom or pull down the orangery to make way for an entertainment room. You may also need to redesign the kitchen. More than any other part of the house, this space needs to be customised according to the needs of the current owner. For specific tasks like these, seek help from experts like kitchen planners.