Choosing the Right Home Design
Choosing a house plan
to meet your lifestyle and needs may seem time consuming or overwhelming, but knowing what to look for can help lead you to success when selecting a home design for your new home.
When choosing your home design it's important to choose 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 in the event that you choose to sell the house at some point in the future.
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. Areas like 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
Lifestyles and family needs differ from individuals and families depending on their cycles, stages and future plans for the home they want to design. Features that newly wed 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 lifestyle and living needs questions ...
Are you newly married? If so, do you have plans to start a family? How many children do you plan to have? Is there adequate room in your plan for expansion as your family grows?
Will you need guest rooms for overnight guests? What about additional living space in the future to possibly care for elderly parents or grandchildren?
How do you plan to entertain? Do you want a formal dinning room and traditional living room for large formal entertaining, or do you prefer small relaxed family get-togethers?
Study your home plan and lot space to see if it is possible to expand the home plan living space in the future.
Think about the time you presently spend in certain rooms in your home, and why. Some families like to make the kitchen the focal point for daily family gatherings and would require a large sunny eat-in kitchen with lots of space, others prefer a den or family room with lots of room for large sofas and a fireplace.
How much privacy do you need and where do you need it?
Most new home owners prefer home plans with more privacy in the master bedroom and personal living spaces, others might need privacy in a home office space.
Another important consideration is how much privacy would you want and need from other occupants and neighbors. If privacy is important to you, consider a design with an L or U shape design. These types of house plans
can provide you with more privacy when building on an urban or suburban lot.
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 your house plan features like decks, patios, porches or pools will meet your needs for privacy. Landscaping, lot type and location can play an important factor in how much privacy your outdoor spaces will have.
Home design work space considerations
Where would you prefer the laundry room to be located and how large a space will it need? Do you have any hobbies or special interests that might require additional space or rooms to enjoy them?
Will you have a need for a large workroom for messy or noisy projects? Do you enjoy gardening? You may want to include a mud room or utility room with a half-bath, for quick and easy cleanup. Are you a “pack-rat” who needs lots of attic or storage space to store your treasures?
Furnishings and aesthetics
Will the floor plan of your new home plan accommodate your existing or new furniture arrangements and furniture styles? 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 of at least 36 inches around furniture and clearance for doors to swing. 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 of the home as well as how natural lighting can be shared and utilized within the home.
Home designs and outdoor living
The geographical and natural landscaping features of your lot can have a large impact on the style of home plan you will need to choose. Therefore, while choosing a house plan, consider whether your lot space will provide a lawn area for outdoor games and sports or if you will need 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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