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About Our Plans  

Choosing the Right Home Design

Choosing the Right House PlanSearching for a house plan that meets your lifestyle and needs may seem overwhelming, but knowing what to look for from the start can help you be successful. When choosing your home design, it's important to pick one that not only meets your individual needs, but also considers your building lot, natural landscape, and whether it will be marketable to future buyers if you plan to sell the house at some point.

It is also important to understand that the total square footage of your new home refers to the finished portion of your house plan. Finished living areas are generally described as covered with sheetrock and wallpaper or paint. A "heated area" is also a good indicator of finished space. Garages, porches, and attics are considered unfinished and are not calculated in the total square footage of your home plan.

Home plan considerations

Living needs and family lifestyles

Lifestyle and family needs differ depending on individual cycles, stages, and future plans for the home they want to design. For example, features that newlywed couples look for in a home plan are vastly different from the characteristics that a retired couple might find important.

Before choosing a house design, we suggest that you ask yourself a number of questions, including:

Do you have or want to start a family? How many children? Is there adequate room in your plan for expansion as your family grows?

Will you need guest rooms for overnight visitors? What about additional living space to possibly care for grandchildren or elderly parents in the future?

How do you plan to entertain? Do you want a formal dining room and traditional living room for formal entertaining, an open-concept layout for large casual gatherings, or do you prefer smaller, relaxed family get-togethers?

Study your home plan and lot space to see if it is possible to expand living space in the future.

Think about the time you currently spend in certain rooms in your home, and why. For example, some families like to make the kitchen the center of daily family gatherings and would require an eat-in kitchen with lots of space, while others prefer a den or family room with room for large sofas and a fireplace.

How much privacy do you need and where do you need it?

Another important consideration is how much privacy you want and need from other occupants and neighbors. If privacy is important to you, consider a design with an L- or U-shaped design. These types of house plans can provide you with more privacy when building on an urban or suburban lot.

Most new homeowners prefer home plans with more privacy in the master bedroom and personal living spaces, but others might need privacy in a home office space. Check your home plan for placement of windows to see if they will provide adequate privacy from your neighbor's windows and yards.

Consider how you plan to use and enjoy your outdoor yard space to see whether features like decks, patios, porches, or pools will meet your needs for privacy. Landscaping, lot type, and location are important when it comes to how much privacy your outdoor spaces will have.

Home work space considerations

Where would you prefer the laundry room to be and how large do you need it? Do you have any hobbies or special interests that might require additional space or rooms?

Will you need a large workroom for messy or noisy projects? Do you enjoy gardening? You may want to include a mudroom or utility room with a half-bath for quick and easy cleanup. Whatever your hobbies, consider building your home with them in mind so you have more time to enjoy them.

Furnishings and aesthetics

Will the floor plan of your new home plan accommodate your existing furniture, or anything you plan to buy new? When planning room sizes, carefully consider the seating areas and how furniture placement will affect the overall feel of the room. Do you want two separate seating areas or one larger conversation area? How will the room flow into other rooms?

Measure your current furniture to determine if there will be adequate walking space and clearance for doors to swing (at least 36 inches around each piece). Will the height of your furniture block windows? Does it provide enough wall space, nooks, and areas for art and personal effects? Review the natural “traffic flow” of the home plan, the interior views from each room, and how natural lighting can be shared and utilized within the home to find the right balance.

Home designs and outdoor living

The geographical and natural landscaping features of your lot can affect the home plan you need. Therefore, while choosing a house plan, consider whether your lot space will provide a lawn area for outdoor games and sports, or if you need to take care to reserve enough lot space to include pools, interesting landscaping, or gardens.

If you've already purchased your building lot, you will need to consider these factors and tailor the house design that you choose to meet those needs and requirements.

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