Monthly Archives: October 2016

Tips for Choosing the Right Layout for Your New Custom Home

When designing a custom home for you and your family, there is a huge variety of options to choose from, which can be exciting but also sometimes overwhelming. One of the most important parts of your design is deciding on a floor plan for your property, so here are a few tips on settling on a final design for this.

Of course, it is important to find both a good architect and a good custom home builder, both of which will be able to provide you with advice tailored to your specific needs and tastes. Discovering your own needs and preferences first, however, can help both with the conception of the design and also in the finalization of all the details.

The first thing that you should do is to think about your specific needs when designing the floor plan of the home. This can be a lengthy and difficult process, so the best thing to do is break your brainstorming down into several steps.

You can start by thinking about how many rooms you need, the size of the rooms and where they should be positioned in relation to each other. Without settling on any specifics, you will be able to get a broad idea of what you need, and then be able to play around with the final design.

It is important to consider the future of your home too; many people who design custom homes forget that their family might expand, or that their home will need to be adapted for any aging individuals living in the property.

If you are part of an expanding family, think about having extra bedrooms in place for new family members. You may also need to have spare rooms in place for guests that come on a frequent basis. For those with potential decreased mobility, having space to install mobility equipment can be an important consideration to make.

Space is also a big factor. You may require a large master bedroom or a large living area, or instead prefer living in smaller-sized, cozier place. In regards to room positioning, you many want all the bedrooms to be close together, or have children’s bedrooms placed far from the adults’ ones. Think carefully about all of these different factors.

It is important to remember that, when building custom homes, budget is often the only real limit that you have, but that this will come in to play sooner or later and you will need to compromise. If you enjoy having a lot of space and want a big home, then you may need to compromise on some things elsewhere, such as decoration and finishes.

On the other hand, you may want to spend your money on finishing the interior of your property with luxurious and high quality furnishings. Make sure that you account for these in your design and build budget, and be prepared that layout-wise you may have to compromise on the perfect interior space.

Another important aspect of your home layout is where all your items of furniture will go, as well as appliances such as washing machines, stoves, sinks, bathtubs and much more. If you are struggling to imagine what each room should look like, look through home design magazines to get an idea of what your ideal living room, bathroom or bedroom will look like.

This can help you narrow down a few ideas to work with when you are putting your plan together. You may see a stunning open kitchen/dining room space that you want to replicate and then find it much easier to place all your other rooms around this one centerpiece.

These are just a few tips to help design your new property. Do not forget, however, that there are many professionals specialising in custom homes – from architects to custom home builders – who are knowledgeable and eager to help you in your choices and decisions.

West Facing House Plans: Rules And Regulations To Follow When Designing Them

A west facing house is a house with the main door facing west. Just like when designing any other house, you should follow a set of rules and regulations when designing this house. This is to avoid health, financial and legal matters.

Rule and regulations

Entrance: you should place the entrance in the 3rd, 4th, and 6th padas. If the space is small you should place it in the 1st and 2nd padas. You should never locate the entrance in the 7th, 8th and 9th padas.

Plot: many people buy their plots blindly without caring the directions that they are facing, but this shouldn’t be you. The plot you buy should slope from south to north. A plot sloping in that direction considered more auspicious.

You should never buy a plot with an extension in the south or SW direction. You should also avoid a plot that is higher in North than south.

Kitchen: this is the place where you make your meals and placing it the wrong direction may bring about health problems. You should place the kitchen in the SE or NW direction. As rule of thumb you should never locate the kitchen in the SW direction.

Rooms: unless you are constructing a one room house you should be cautious of the direction that the different rooms face. The living room and Pooja rooms should face the NE direction. The kids’ rooms can face west, south or North-west.

When it comes to the bedrooms, the master bedroom should face SW direction. If your house has several floors, you should locate the master bedroom in the highest floor. The guest bedroom should face North-west.

Walls: the walls should be well constructed and strong. For a great look the walls in the south and west should be thicker and higher than those in east and north.

Borehole: it supplies you with the much needed water thus you should located it in an area that is free of pollution. This calls for you to locate the borehole away from sewer lines and dust bins. You can locate it in any direction of your house, but you should never locate it in the SW direction.

Conclusion

These are the rules and regulations that you should follow when designing a west facing house. You should work with an experienced architect who not only understands the rules, he/she should also understand the building codes in the area. This is to protect your house from getting demolished by the local authorities.

Guide On How To Choose A House Plan

The way your house looks is greatly determined by your initial house plan. To choose the right plan you need to consider these factors:

Children

Are there children in your home? When designing the layout of the rooms you should put a lot of emphasis on the size and age of the children. If you have small children and are planning of having more little ones in the future, you should have private spaces. This calls for you to group the bedrooms and bathrooms in one area of the home.

If you have teenagers in the house you should have bedrooms that are separated from each other.

Your lifestyle

Are you a private or entertaining person? If you love having parties in the house you should leave enough space for entertainment purposes. One of the best ways of going about it is having a wide foyer opening into your dining or living room.

If you are a private person you should go for a plan with a small living room. If you don’t like your entire home being on display when you open the front door, you should go for a formal living room. You should design the living room in such a way that the room is adjacent the front door.

Such a house will give the guests a place to sit and immediately feel at home while at the same time leaving the rest of the house private.

Stories

The number of stories that you should have solely depends on your budget. Many people who like to avoid the noise coming from overhead foot traffic go for single story houses. Single story homes tend to have public rooms in the centre of the house while the bathroom and bedrooms are located at the “wings” of the floor plan.

Multistory houses on the other hand give you a wide view of your area. Since they are large, they provide every member of the family with his/her own room thus every family member has the privacy that he/she deserves.

While the house has these benefits, you have to cope with noise coming from overhead foot traffic. The noise is more pronounced when you have little children.

Conclusion

These are just a few factors that you should consider when getting a house plan. For you to get a good plan you should work with a professional architect. As rule of thumb you should ensure that the architect has previously worked on your desired plan.

10 Classic Flaws in House Plans and What to Do About Them

Many of us will tend to tour different homes and browse through the various room layouts while dreaming about the day when we can build our own home. In can be beneficial to know what some of the most common flaws in house plans are that can be detrimental to living in a building and what you can do about them.

  1. The most frequently seen design flaw is in spaces that have a single use and are a dead end. These spaces can block a natural flow of traffic in the home and essentially create a bottleneck. How to Fix: Open up a wall or even just add a doorway so that you can get through this space without needing to turn around.
  2. Not enough integration from the inside to outside. How to Fix: Add doors that open onto a porch or patio. This connection will connect the building to the landscape and keep it from feeling utilitarian.
  3. Front porches that are too small for sitting on. How to Fix: Make sure that the front porch has at least eight feet of depth so as to allow space for furniture.
  4. An island in the kitchen is great but it can also be too big to work around. How to Fix: Determine the amount of space that is necessary for your normal food prep and eating and plan accordingly.
  5. Room size is not proportional to the height of the ceiling. How to fix: Large, airy rooms should have a ceiling that is a bit higher that will add to the open feel of the room. Lower ceilings can definitely make a room feel smaller and more cramped.
  6. Lack of natural light because of not enough windows or all of the windows being on a single wall. How to Fix: Don’t make a room that has a single window. You might also consider expanding it in order to make a bay window. Another fix is to add a skylight.
  7. Poor progression from the garage to the kitchen. How to Fix: Shorten and straighten the path that goes from the kitchen to the garage.
  8. Sculptural sinks in the bathroom that have many nooks and crannies that will make cleaning tough while they also leave little space for a counter. How to Fix: Use integral or under-mounted sinks in order to get the most counter space possible.
  9. Cheap glass or plastic doors on showers that can induce a claustrophobic feeling. How to Fix: Trade in the bath/tub combination for a walk in shower or replace the doors with shower curtains.
  10. Roof configurations that are complex or too high and have too many bumps, hips and gables. This is not only aesthetically unpleasing it can also lead to leaks. How to Fix: Keep the roofline and the silhouette simple.

Hopefully by reading these common flaws and how to fix them you can avoid making these mistakes in your own house plans and end up with a home that feels and looks right.

5 Eco-Friendly House Design Ideas

Eco friendly house designs are not only safe to live in, they also save you a lot of money. To help you out here are 5 eco-friendly house design ideas:

Location

The location of your house is of great importance. To keep your house cool, you should avoid constructing a west facing house.

At the same time you should avoid constructing your house in a shady landscape that protects your house from accessing direct sunlight.

Doors and windows

The door provides light and also allows warm air to escape thus leaving your house smelling fresh. You should go for a large front door without windows. As rule of thumb the door should be made from eco-friendly wood or any other material.

When it comes to windows, you should go energy star-rated windows that are ideal for your climate zone. You should install the windows in an angle allowing maximum light to enter the house.

To allow more light you should install glass panels at the base. For the windows to admit breezes they should have glass panels at the base. Breezes bring in cool air thus eliminating the need for air-conditioning. This in turn saves you a lot of money.

Insulation

Insulation prevents heat and air from escaping the house thus you don’t need to heat the house. For ideal results you should hire a professional contractor to install the insulation.

Roofing

There are many roofing materials that you can use, but only a few make your house eco-friendly. You should install roofing materials made from recycled resources. One of the best options to go with is aluminium metal.

The cool thing with this material is that it’s heat-resistant and reusable. Another option that you can go with is bamboo roofing. In addition to being renewable, it’s also sustainable.

Solar panels

Solar energy is clean, renewable and cheap thus saving you a lot of money over the long run. You can use solar energy in different areas including water heating and lighting. You should note that different solar panels work best at different geographical locations; therefore, you should research and find the best panels to use in your area.

Conclusion

These are some of the ways of designing an eco-friendly house. In addition to these tips you should also use eco-friendly lighting. Some of the best lighting materials to use are: CFL and LED. To come up with a great design you should work with an experienced architect.

Victorian Style Home Design and Its Remarkable Exterior

As you can probably guess, the term ‘Victorian architecture’ comes from the reign of Queen Victoria in the United Kingdom from mid-1837 until the beginning of 1901. During that time the British used to name the architectural styles after the monarch ruling in this period. So this tendency in architecture originates from Britain but it was spread in other countries, even other continents. In the past royalty was very fond of art and different influences from unfamiliar and therefore interesting cultures. This is why this particular style combines elements from the Middle East and Asia. It is believed that the Victorian style was conveyed in other countries by English architects who emigrated to the four cardinal points of the world taking their knowledge of what’s in trend at home to the new destination they wend their way to. That’s the reason why Victorian homes can be seen in Australia, Canada, the USA, New Zealand, etc. At that time, the communication and transportation industry were already developed to such an extent that information could travel faster so as news for what’s fashionable in other remote locations.

The Victorian period overlaps the Industrial Revolution, meaning technology development. This surely contributed to the more complex elements of home design at the time. There are very typical traits of a house that is built on this style which are strongly distinctive. The first thing that might draw your attention when seeing such a home is the sort of tower-looking part of the roof, which is often present. Another part of the roof is steeply pitched and built as different parts and not as a whole, so it doesn’t have a regular shape. Usually, the gable faces the front of a house, not the sides of it. But as the roof is divided to many parts, some gables might be turned sideways. The walls are intended not to have a smooth effect, so they are built of textured shingles. Asymmetry was probably honored during the period since the whole house is constructed with such an idea in mind. Starting from the front, the porch might spread along one side of the house and have detailed ornaments on the railing. Dormers are also very typical. Bay windows that lay outward of the main level of the construction are also quite common. Such houses are usually built of wood and have two stores. The exterior of a Victorian home as above described is very easy to recognizable.

Believe it or not, Victorian style home design is still found interesting and appealing by many. There are houses that are constructed to look that way with a few modern touches here and there. They actually have a kind of romantic appearance and can turn into the pride of any neighborhood. Nowadays, the very existence of them preserves the spirit of the past, making the property unique and remarkable. From the outside it may look like taken out of a history book, but from the inside they can be decorated according to the contemporary tendency if that’s how you prefer it. If you want to be a proud owner to such a home, you have to know that you can change the interior and take it compliant with your particular needs and preferences. One room can be converted into a walk-in closet, for example. The kitchen may be transformed in such a way so that today’s appliances can fit in. A garage can be also added without differing from the rest of the house.