The design of your dream home should be a carefully thought out project.
Even though you may go to an architect for your plans to be drawn, he will ask a lot of questions about what your vision is of
your home. This may be one of the first in-depth discussions between you and your spouse - after all, the
home will be occupied by both of you and concessions will need to be made so that each is happy with the
There are literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of pre-printed home plans to choose from. If you do not
already have a mental picture of your home, go to Home Depot or Lowe's and pick up two or three home plan
books. Take them home and sit down with your spouse. After you have each picked a style that suits you,
see if both of you agree. If not, this is your first discussion subject.
Remember, your budget needs to be a major consideration when making this decision. If you only have
enough money for 1500 sq. ft. then picking a plan that has 3,000 sq. ft. with the intention of reducing
the size to fit your budget is a waste of effort.
No matter what size or design home you want, there are a few things that need to be considered at the
Besides the items listed below, you really should consider making your home handicap
accessible at the beginning. It's called being prepared for life. Do you have an extended family member
that is disabled? Are your parents becoming feeble - will they need a wheelchair in the future? Are any
of your friends and co-workers disabled? If you construct your home from the beginning so that it is
accessible for wheelchair bound people, the cost is almost $0. The major item is making sure all of your
interior doors have at least a 30" opening. One of the bathrooms should be arranged so that a wheelchair
can access the toilet. That's about it!
Now lets look at the other areas you need to consider.
- How many bedrooms do you need? (Young families should always plan ahead!)
- How many bathrooms do you need? (Less than 2 - singles or couples only)
- Do you entertain a lot - then you may need a larger kitchen and gathering area?
- Do you need a home office?
- Do you need a library? (Even a small one allows you to have a dedicated place for all of your
- Do you have large family dinners? (A formal dining room may be needed.)
- Don't forget the laundry/utility/washroom! (It should be away from the family gathering area.)
- Storage, Storage, Storage - you will never have enough! (Don't forget, you will have seasonal
items, i.e., christmas tree, christmas decorations, thanksgiving decorations, etc., that you will need to
There may be other special areas that need to be considered based on your lifestyle. If you exercise
daily, you may want a special room for your equipment so it doesn't have to be taken down and moved
every time you have friends over. If you or your spouse have a special hobby such as sewing, painting,
home crafts, etc., you may want a room set aside for that purpose.
If you have already selected your building site, you need to take the rising and setting of the sun into
consideration when you make your decision.
The following applies to construction in North America.
The north side of your home will be shaded most of the time and exposed to cold north
winds, (landscaping will be a challenge - most plants need some sun).
- The west side of your home will be exposed to the setting sun and will be very hot (at least in Texas for
sure) during the afternoon/evening unless you have large shade trees blocking the sun, however, it will
be shaded during the morning hours.
- The south side will receive the warming rays of the winter sun and will be in full sun from dawn to dusk,
(sun rooms are perfect for the south side).
- The east side will receive the morning sun (perfect for growing flowers, shrubs, almost everything) and
will be shaded during the late afternoon and evening (choice location for summer cookouts on the grill).
You will also need to decide on the type of material you will use to construct your home. Do you want a brick home or maybe one that has wood siding. If you select the wood siding because you like the look,
don't neglect looking at the various simulated wood siding options. Why? Because most of them will cut the maintenance cost as well as lasting much longer. If you want a log home, be sure to check out the
company before you sign on a dotted line. Be sure they have been in business long enough to establish a good track record. The same thing applies to any of the kit home companies and there are many of them
When you and your spouse have decided on the design of your home and the type of construction you want,
your next step is to locate a reliable general contractor unless you plan to build it yourself.
Our next article will cover the problem of locating Interim Financing for your project.
Article by: Ellen Mayo
Your Dream Home