Building your own house is one of the most exciting events of your life. Some people don't even have that opportunity, especially in some parts of the world.
For some, housing could mean spending their lifelong savings. Unfortunately, countless homeowners became disappointed with the finished product. This is due to misunderstanding or miscommunication between the owner and the builder from the onset of house planning.
In order to avoid such mistakes, you as the homeowner, planning to build a house, must have some basic knowledge about house planning and design. This will save you money and even free yourself from future emotional distress resulting from being not satisfied with the outcome of your house.
Before meeting with your builder, know these 5 important elements of housing:
1. Utility-each area of the house must be planned according to its purpose.
2. Economy-consider your budget in choosing materials and area of the house.
3. Beauty-your house must not only satisfy its function but it should be nice to look at as well.
4. Character-it should reflect your own personality or the character your want to show.
5. Trends and fashion-adaptability to present trends in design should be also considered.
Your house is basically divided into three distinct areas, the social areas, the private areas, and the service areas.
The social areas are those needed for entertainment, allowing a family to interact with the outside world. The private areas are those used by the individual members of the house for privacy and inner growth. While the service areas are used to maintain and service the social and private areas. Kitchen, laundry, and garage are example of service areas.
The Living room
The living room is usually used for entertaining rather than family use. I should accommodate 10 to 12 persons sitting down with a minimum area of 160 sq. ft.
A rectangular shape living room is desirable with its length 1/3 longer than the width. Dead end location for the living room is acceptable; however, it will be less interesting.
Furniture should be arranged at sections where people don't naturally pass when going to and from other parts of the house. Chairs should fall within 12' circle diameter to allow and encourage conversation among guest and occupants. Furniture arrangement may be L-shape, balance, or free flowing.
The dining room
The dining room should be planned according to the eating habits of the family members, whether they dine formally or informally, whether they eat together all times of the day, or at one time.
The dining room should accommodate at least 8 to 10 persons each time and should have ample space around the dining table for serving purposes.
Should you have limited area or space to plan to, you may consider combining the living room and dining area into one space. In such arrangement, the whole area will look a lot bigger and spacious.
Another way of making the dining room look bigger is by making it adjacent to an outdoor porch. The porch will seem to be part of the dining room when they are divided by french door.
The bedroom is reserved for the inner growth of the members of the family. Bedroom holds the activities such as resting, sleeping, studying, reading, and hobbies. It should be at least 80 sq. ft. for single occupant and 120 sq. ft. for double occupants with its length 2' longer than the width. Separate closet should be provided for each occupant of the bedroom.
Always maximize the storage area for the bedroom and if possible use high and smaller windows, this will allow you to arrange your furniture freely.
The kitchen is divided into three basic areas: the preparation area, the cooking area, and the service of meal area. Time and motion studies indicate that the three areas should be planned around a triangle for maximum efficiency. Such imaginary triangle should have a maximum perimeter of 28'.
The kitchen should be original and pleasant to look at and should not look like a factory. The kitchen should have a minimum area of 100 sq. ft. and range, oven and refrigeration should be built-in and located properly according to the work triangle.
The bathroom is the most private part of your home and it should be given outmost attention. For economy, it should be placed adjacent to the kitchen to save on piping line installation. It should accommodate at least two members of the family using the bathroom at the same time, especially when there are only few bathroom in the house.
Storage for supplies should be considered early in planning to avoid future clutter. Should you want the area to look spacious, consider using more mirrors and the use of wall hung fixtures such as water closet and lavatory.
One of the important trends in house planning these days is the application of Feng Shui. Feng Shui is a traditional Chinese technique to ensure all things are in harmony with their surroundings.
The Chinese use this technique to arrange their house accordingly in order to attract more wealth and good health. You should seek professional advice should you want to apply Fenf Shui to your house.
You can have an idea of how much your house would cost by multiplying the area of your house in sq. ft. to the prevailing cost per sq. ft. in your area. You may seek professional advice on the cost per sq. ft. in your area.
Always have these tips and considerations in mind when meeting with your builder. Remember it's your dream house, so plan and build it right.
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James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of
HousingTown.com and writes expert
articles about houses.
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