There are some things to consider when creating plans for your home. There are two situations that call for plans or blue prints, either you are building a new home or decorating your present home. The types of plans required for either situation will vary depending on the extent of your project.
When building a new home, there are several things you will want to consider carefully. The most obvious is where you are going to build your house. The climate will affect where you build. You wouldn’t build an icehouse in the middle of the desert. You will want to determine what material you will want to use. Brick, wood, and cement are popular. In the southern states clay adobe houses are the norm. In the north and other areas brick, wood, and stone are options. The climate will influence this choice as well. In areas where there is cold weather brick and cement are used because they absorb and retain heat. In the south wood frame houses are built. The size of your lot will determine the size and type of house you want. You couldn’t build a mansion on say a quarter of an acre. On the other hand a one bedroom, single floor home would look strange on a lot that is two acres or bigger. Whether your home has a basement could be important and that would depend on where you live.
If you are lucky to have a basement, it can house the laundry room and your gym equipment or be a playroom/guest room.
Now that you know where and what type of climate you will be building in it is time to think about the plans. Blueprints are or have been used to draw a linear picture of the house as you see it. Now however there are computer programs that will allow you to build your house in 3-D. There are also web sites online that will also allow you to build your house and see it in 3-D. Not only that but some sites will allow you to place your furniture. There are several kinds of technical drawings that are used to create plans for a new home. There are site plans that address coding issues, landscaping, location specifics, drainage (land contours), trees, set backs, and property lines. A floor plan is a design plan of the house, the layout of the rooms, and where the windows and doors. Another type of plan is building sections, which is a cross section of the house. It helps determine any issues, visualize your finished house and floor plans using section marks. Wall sections show the construction of one exterior wall where sections are indicated with section marks. Exterior Elevations include such features as porches and decks. They also show furniture, window and door locations, eave heights and roofing. Interior elevations show the lighting layout and ceiling conditions. Porches are another very interesting option; they can be enclosed, go all the way around the house. They can also be half-enclosed and half-open. They can be reminders of times past. A huge porch reminds me of my aunt’s farm years ago. Porches are great for extending family time and conversation while still being protected from the weather.
Decisions to be made are the size of each room, the number of rooms and the number of floors to be built. Will there be a basement or a fireplace, and where is the house going to sit on the lot. You could have a front yard or the house could be in the front of the lot with a yard in the back. You could also put it right in the center and have land all around.
The next consideration is whether you will have a contractor draw up the plans which will be an expense, or you can do them yourself. To do them yourself you will need a pencil or pen, scissors, a measuring tape, and graph paper with 1/4-inch boxes.
You will draw rooms to scale; one box per foot is good. Measure your rooms, doors, windows, heat and air cooling appliances. Draw the outlines of the rooms according to scale.
Measure your furniture (you only need to worry about length and width here) next and take another piece of graph paper. Draw out lines of your furniture, label them and cut them out. Use these pieces to set up the rooms. When you find an arrangement you like, you can make a more permanent drawing. On another sheet of graph paper draw a box for each wall. Scale your windows, doors, built-ins and other features.
Picking a floor plan is a process of answering some very important questions. Will this place be big enough or too big in a few years? Does your design fit in with the houses in the neighborhood? Does the design of the house fit in with the lot size and shape? Will the windows provide the best view and what windows will catch the sunlight in the morning and afternoon? Will changes need to be made or can changes even be considered? Are the rooms that will be used most of the time of adequate size? Expanding your house size could mean you need to sacrifice amenities or storage space. Do you have specialty rooms such as a craft room, an office, or a gym? An office can double as a guestroom. The trend now is toward creating a family area where there is room for each to do his/her own hobby or to be together watching movies or playing games. When all the decisions are made and the plans are all drawn you will be ready to build.
Suppose now, that you are purchasing an already built home or renting an apartment. Plans can be done in these situations as well. Most places will offer a floor plan for you to look at with the measurements of the space in the rooms. If this is not available you can draw your own plan.
You would need the same materials and the plan is fixed, you are limited to what is already there. Draw the outlines of each room according to scale. Take another sheet of graph paper and draw the outlines of your furniture. Label them and cut them out. You can move these pieces around till you find an arrangement you like. You might be limited with your television set because the outside antenna is in a certain spot.
Take another piece of graph paper and draw the wall sections of each room noting the windows, doors, and any heating or cooling appliance might be situated. You will have already ‘placed’ your furniture so you will have a good idea of what your new home will look like. You can now decorate according to your tastes. In a rental home however, you might not be able to change wall colors or in rare cases hang pictures.
Planning for your home can be very exciting. You could be buying new furniture but you might want to consider the color of the carpets or the floors when you are choosing your pieces. A blue couch on a brown carpet does not exactly match. When planning for your home whether you buy or rent should be done carefully. Keep in mind your preferences, your limitations and if you are building, local zoning ordinances.
Martin Smith is a successful freelance writer providing advice for home buyers and consumers on purchasing a variety of unique house plans which includes cottage plans, beach house plans, and more! His numerous articles provide a wonderfully researched resource of interesting and relevant information.