by Gilian Haley, Vice President & Co-Owner, Haley Construction Company
When you’re having the home of your dreams built, sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin. It often hinges on where your vision is focused — the architecture, the landscaping, the views or how you want the kitchen or living room to look.
But when it’s time to start drawing the plans, it’s important to find a floor plan that works for you and your family, taking into account your needs for privacy versus openness, indoor versus outdoor living and so on.
You want to get this part of it right, and you don’t have to be constrained by what everyone else tends to do. Here are some steps you can take to draw up a plan perfect for you.
WRITE DOWN EVERYBODY’S NEEDS
Give everyone you expect to be living in the new home a chance to talk about what they want and expect from it now and in the future, no matter how young or old they are.
You can craft this vision during family meetings, in a shared document or whatever process works best for your situation.
CONSIDER THE LOCATION AND LAYOUT OF THE PROPERTY
It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg question; should we have a floor plan before we choose the land or vice versa? If you already know where you’ll build, you can take advantage of that to maximize its vistas, natural lighting and energy efficiency — aspects you’re already starting to plan around.
If not, you can decide how your floor space can best flow for you and then find a lot where viewsheds and other natural amenities can be accessible to everyone.
GET IDEAS FROM OTHER HOMES
Start with homes you’ve visited and enjoyed, then consider how they would work for your lifestyle. Then look at such websites as www.houseplans.com, www.floorplans.com and www.monsterhouseplans.com; look at experimental home designs; go on home tours; talk to architects; and dream!