You must first decide what type of home to build. House styles today are as varied as those who live in them, offering you a banquet of ideas from which to borrow.
When you see a home that appeals to you, decide exactly what features or characteristics caught your eye. Make a note of these or, better yet, make a quick sketch. Keep all these ideas together in a file. You don t have to decide how to implement them all yet, but eventually you ll decide how best to fit these into your home design plan.
When creating a list of criteria for your home design, start with the basics: the number of bedrooms, the number of bathrooms, the number of family areas, the choice between a formal dining room or a more open, community eating area, porch or deck styles for your home s entrances and the size of your garage.
Once your basic list is complete, tackle planning for individual rooms. You ll want to list features that are most important to you first and then add from there. This list can include kitchen features, master bathroom features, audio wiring for speaker systems, Internet and phone connections and so on.
Once your list is completed, compare it to your budget and adjust to fit. This is particularly difficult for first time home builders, a big problem according to Tom Dickinson, veteran builder and a Building Inspector for Logan City, Utah.
“It happens more than you d think,” said Dickinson. “People s eyes get too big for their budgets and in the end they wind up overshooting the mark sometimes leaving them without drapes, blinds and even furniture.”
One way to get a handle on your budget from the beginning is to invest in home design software that includes an estimator, which gives you a running total of costs as you design your home.
When putting together your floor plan, place furniture in the design to see how it all fits together. You can do this using graph paper, magazine clippings or by using home design software. Also, consider your lighting scheme, paint and flooring choices, and how your design will work for entertaining planning for all your favorite activities will help you create proper seating, dining and socializing space (and will insure that your kitchen sink is not visible from the front door!)
The position of the sun can affect your home design in many ways, depending on the direction your home faces. A south facing home will be warmer in the winter, but hotter in the summer. Place windows to take advantage of natural light, which allows for better energy conservation. And if you particularly enjoy sunrises or sunsets, then design places into the east or west sides of your home to spend time doing so.