Top Factors to Consider When Designing Your Home Floor Plan
So you’ve made the decision to build a home. Perhaps you already have a lot and you have some ideas of how you want your home to look. This can be an exciting time, filled with dreams of your beautiful new home, and visions of you and your loved ones enjoying it in comfort and style, but what’s next? How do you translate this vision and your ideas to paper? How do you maximize the footprint to achieve the flow, functionality, and aesthetic you have envisioned? Here we discuss the top five most important factors to consider when designing your home floor plan.
Your Budget –
Let's start with the obvious. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of your financial situation and budget before you start. You will undoubtedly be faced with many choices and compromises throughout the process. Working with an experienced, full-service, design/build team is the best way to ensure that the home you are dreaming of stays within your budget. While an architect can design any floor plan you desire, a design/build firm will not only create the floor plan, but will also outline the entire building process, and create all the specifications that determine the actual cost of your home. Step by step and line by line, they will explain every detail, from installing the foundation to picking out the light fixtures. You’ll know exactly how much your home will cost before the construction begins. An experienced builder will help you set realistic expectations and will work with you to create a home plan that you love and fits your budget.
Your Building Site –
In the majority of cases, our customers already own a lot. The conditions of the property can greatly influence the design and final cost of your custom home. For example, the direction of sunlight and views will impact the orientation, layout of the home, and window placement to maximize energy efficiency and enjoyment of the surrounding landscape. Also, sloping or uneven terrain may require unique foundation and grading considerations or influence the type of home that can be built on the lot. A conscientious home designer will walk your property with you to perform a thorough site lot evaluation as a first step in the design process to ensure that the unique characteristics of your building site are all taken into consideration when designing your home. They will be able to identify property conditions that may be subject to zoning restrictions, or potentially expensive development costs….before you begin.
Flow and Function To Fit Your Needs –
Now that you have a set budget and an understanding of how your building site factors into your home design, it’s time to work on the fun stuff, the actual design and layout of your home plan. How many square feet will you need? How many floors do you want? Ranch, story-and-a-half, two-story? Now, make a list of how many, and what kind of rooms you need. How many people will be living in the home? How many bedrooms and bathrooms would be ideal? Do you need to plan for guests? Do you have pets? Consider your lifestyle, daily activities, and how you want to live and function in your new home. Do you have hobbies that require special space and storage? Do you like to entertain? Work from home? Your custom home designer will work with you to ensure the layout and flow accommodate your specific needs. They will also guide you through the tough choices to help you stay within your budget.
Adding the Flair and Your Personal Style –
Once you have a floor plan laid out, you can start adding in the style. The overall design of your home should reflect your personal style and preferences. Think about the look and feel of the interior and exterior of the house, including the architecture, color scheme, and interior design elements you wish to incorporate. What type of style do you gravitate towards….contemporary, traditional, modern, or craftsman? Working with a design/build team will help make this process go much more smoothly. A full-service builder will typically have an in-house design center and product selection specialist to help guide you through the innumerable product decisions you will need to make. This will save time and money by eliminating costly changes or substitutions after construction has begun.
Most importantly, find a builder that you trust and feel comfortable with. Building a new home is a major investment of your money and time, you want to work with someone who will nurture your dream, is honest and upfront with you, and is conscientious of your budget and your needs. Working with an experienced, full-service, design/build team will make what could potentially be an overwhelming process into an enjoyable experience, and will save you time and money. Their expertise will go a long way to ensure that the home you ultimately decide to build is one that you love and will serve the needs of your family for years to come.
Portside Builders has close to 50 years of experience building custom homes on nearly every type of terrain imaginable. Our team will not only help you design a floor plan that you love but will guide you through the entire process, from the vision to the first moment you walk through the door of your dream home. Learn more about the PortSide process here.