5 tips for drawing your house plans & designing your dream home.
I can’t begin to count how many hours I spent searching online for house plans.
Seriously, if I added all the hours up they would probably equal 2-3 days.
It’s not that there weren’t countless gorgeous house plans that I scanned through, it’s just that I had a huge must-have list with some odd demands.
And I’m guessing that you may feel the same way if you are reading this post.
Sometimes the only way to get exactly what you want out of a house is to design it yourself! (And even then you can’t always get everything just exactly the way you want it in this life).
So that is exactly what we decided to do.
And since I’ve been getting an increasing number of comments, emails, & DM’s on social media about our house, the process, & specifically our house plans I thought I would share what we did, how we did it, & some tips to help you create your own house plans!
1. Create a Must-Have List
The first thing you will want to do is to create your must-have list.
For us, that meant:
- An open floor plan.
- A kitchen with lots of natural light. (Well, technically I just wanted a whole lot of natural light everywhere which I will have in every room but our pantry & basement.)
- A basement. (AKA a man cave for Roger)
- A wall of windows in our living room.
- A keeping room off of the kitchen.
- A carport. (So that Roger can easily drive his car through without ever having to back out.)
- A living room visible from the kitchen.
- A dining room. (I know a lot of people are getting rid of these, but I love having a formal dining room.)
- 2-3 Fireplaces.
You can also create a dream list if you want.
Our original list had both of our top 3 must-haves (his 3 & my 3) & then we made another list right below it with our dream things in order of most important to over-the-top dreamland wishes (like an infinity pool – still on the backburner, years down the road).
2. Decide on the Square Footage
Next, you’ll want to decide on the square footage for your house.
We had a square footage range for our main floor, basement, upstairs, & bonus rooms.
Our original plan was to just finish the first floor & the bedrooms upstairs with a plan to finish the basement & bonus rooms years down the road.
As our house was being built we decided to go ahead & finish out the 2 bonus rooms upstairs.
And while we had originally planned to finish the basement a couple of years from now, I have heard my husband say more recently that he plans to finish it within the next year.
3. Start Drawing
Next, you’ll want to start sketching out your plans.
We both sat down with our wish list & dream list, a few pieces of paper, pencils, erasers, rulers, & our imagination.
Roger is much better at sketching out designs so after about half an hour I quit & decided to study his house plans.
We ended up using his drawing as a base while measuring the rooms of our current/past house to keep us on track with square footage.
Over the next few months (as we were looking for land & in the process of closing on land) we adjusted the drawings & re-sketched them onto graph paper for more accurate square footage dimensions.
4. Creating the Official Draft
Here is something most people don’t know, but I’m going to let you in on a secret that we discovered.
You don’t have to have an architect draw your house plans!
Once we had our house drawn exactly how we wanted it we started talking to different contractors about our house plans, their costs, & what they recommend. (P.S. If you want to read more about finding a good contractor I have written a post about that here.)
We ended up hiring a small one-man business that many of the local contractors use to design & create their house plans.
We met with him, gave him copies of our hand-drawn house plans, & over the next month we worked with him as he turned our hand-drawn dream house plans into official scaled house plans.
5. Be Prepared to Make Changes
It’s pretty much impossible to get everything you want out of your hand-drawn house plans.
The placement of windows, doors, & walls may need to be adjusted in order to be up to code or logistically fit into your house.
We spent about a month talking in person, on the phone, & through email with the man who transformed our handwritten house drawings into our official house plans & it was well worth it!
In the end, what matters most is that you are living with your family in a house built with hard work & the blessings of God!
If you want to read more tips about building a house you can click here to read all of my tips that range from finding the right contractor to saving money before you even start building your dream home, to tips on where to place electrical outlets, & you can even see a month by month progression of our house being built!
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What tips do you have about drawing your own house plans?
Feel free to comment below, email me, or tweet me on Twitter!
With love, Giusti
So I say, walk by the Spirit, & you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Galatians 5:16 NIV