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Designing a Custom House Plan
By Misty Weaver

Designing your first custom home plan can be daunting. You want to include everything you want in just the right way, combining the things you've loved about your previous homes while correcting the problems you've encountered. It can be hard to envision a space you've never been in before, so you may need to consider things you've never had to think of before in order to create the floor plan of your dreams.

Make A List - We encourage all clients to write down everything you love about your house, houses of friends and families, and even pictures you've seen in magazines. Then write down what you don't like about your house. You'll soon see some trends. The key with this step is taking your time, this isn't just one session, you should write your initial list and then set it aside. As you go through your daily routines you'll find other things you don't like, or things you want to include. Minor things like having outlets where you need them, or wanting doors that open the opposite direction can make a huge difference in a home, even though we usually concentrate on things like granite counter tops. When you are designing your own home, the possibilities are endless, so take your time.

Land - Whether you already own your lot or you are just beginning the search, it's important to spend time there considering how your home will affect the land, neighbors, and how you can take advantage of your lot. Visit during different times of the day to see how the light travels. Plot out different floor plans with string to see the views that will appear through windows and how you can take advantage of passive heating. Make sure you know what may be built near you in the future. If there are empty lots next to you, make sure you think about what may be in your view in the future, you may want to choose window placement so that there is no possibility of someone being able to peer into your private spaces if something is built next door in the future.

Room Usage - Not only do you have the opportunity to build your new home around specific furniture or appliances you want, you can really think about how you use space to determine the best placement of doors and passageways. Would built-ins work better than furniture, where do you need storage, how will the room function with more than one person in it? Bathroom usage is a huge factor with children and guests, especially if you are trying to downsize into a smaller home. How many bathrooms do you really need, would a jack-and-jill bathroom work? Try closing off rooms if you want to see if you can live in a smaller space.

Future Changes - Planning for the future is often hard, but it is something you need to think about when designing a home for long term living. If you are a couple just starting out, how will your needs change with the addition of children? If you are going into retirement, think about how your home usage would need to change with health issues. Planning in advance can save money and headache.

Green Features - Building a home from scratch gives you the ability to choose options that can save you money over the life of your home. Incorporating green options that save on energy bills can save you thousands over the life of your mortgage, impact the environment, and even help the health of your family, so learning about the options available can be invaluable.***

Misty Weaver and Sarah Ascolese design small house plans from 500-1500 sq ft that are eco friendly and built for families. They are also available for custom home design, including modular and eco friendly homes.


Selecting Proper House Plans
By Albert Lee
If you do not design and construct the cabinet properly, it is no big deal. Within a few hours or maximum a few days (if you are busy), you can fix it up and remake it as per your requirements. If you want to fix an improperly planted lawn, it might take a few more days and a bit more labor, but you shall be able to restore it without incurring too much expenditure. There are many things that you can fix if they have been not done properly the first time over.

Some of them might hardly cost you anything apart from a few hours of labor whereas others might cost you both money and labor. There are also certain things which are nearly impossible to fix up if they have not been done correctly in the first place. Your house is one of them. Just calculate the amount of time and labor taken to construct a house and you'll understand what is being pointed at. It goes without telling about the huge expenditure incurred if you are planning to rebuild a house from scratch. It is not a toy that one can take apart and rebuild again.

Have you even tried stripping apart just a small room and rebuilding it again? If you have done so, you will know that the color, plaster, putty, cement, quite a lot of woodwork etc., that you take out cannot be used again and you will have to spend money to get new ones. Like as with other things, you can always browse the Internet to find out different types of house designs. But what you will generally find over there is the front view or elevation. Once you have found one that you like, it is best to get in touch with a draftsman who will make a structural layout of that design using programs like `Autocad'.

There are still some draftsman who prefers to do it the hard way using paper and pencil. The blueprint designed by the draftsman can then be given to an architect whose job is to convert the structural plan into a real building. If you want any changes made to the plan, this is the right time. There are other powerful programs like `3D Studio Max' which is used to show how the final structure will look like and these details are as close as one can get to the real stuff.

You should not bother your head with all this stuff if you so want. Just hand over the entire task to a reputed architect and he or she will co-ordinate between the draftsman and others to ensure you get a home of your dreams. They will not charge anything extra for making changes to the plan of the house as long as it is in the designing stage. As you can see, things are not as tough as you thought them to be. Once you select the right person, it is just a matter of time before your house plans materialize into reality.

To learn more about selecting house design plans, visit
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