Choosing Your House Plans: 5 Questions to Ask

Choosing Your House Plans: 5 Questions to Ask

Article by Robert Digby

The best way to avoid plans going awry is to make sure plans are well thought out to begin with. As any home designer, builder or developer can tell you, choosing the right home plans is probably the most important part of the home building process. House plans contain all of the information builders will need to make your dream home a reality, so it is vital that the plans are the home your truly want.

Below is a guide with five important questions to address when going through the process of selecting floor plans for a new home.

1. What will your lifestyle be like in this new home?

Families with children have far different needs than those with no kids. This is only one example of how your lifestyle should inform which home plans you choose. A few essential areas to consider include:

-Transportation--Do you need a two car garage, or just enough ample space to store bikes.

-Career--Do you work from home or require an office space? Do you entertain co-worker or clients?

-Family--Are you planning to have children, or do you just need an extra bedroom for family guests?

-Habits.Do you spend a lot of time in the kitchen or prefer a quite space for reading?

The bedrooms, bathrooms and other spaces included in your house plans should be determined by the answers to these questions.

2. How much storage space will you require?

Many aspects of your new home will be fairly easy to change after you move in. For instance, you can easily bring in an electrician to add a light fixture. However, other post-construction modifications are more difficult to make.

Adequate storage is one of the hardest things to find in a home. Likewise, closets and other built-in storage areas are notoriously difficult to expand later, so be sure to accommodate to ample storage. Coat closets, large pantries and walk-in bedroom closets are just a few of the storage amenities to look for when designing floor plans. You may also want to consider whether your family could benefit from a mudroom or a designated area near the main entrance where backpacks, purses, raincoats, umbrellas and muddy boots can be dropped off, reducing clutter and dirt in the rest of your home.

3. How long do you plan live in the home?

It is wise to think decades ahead when selecting your home plans. The age-in-place movement involves designing your floor plans to avoid possible impediments as you grow older. For instance, elderly people often suffer from tired, sore joints, which can turn climbing stairs into a challenging task.

If you do plan to grow old in your new home, consider single-story floor plans so you avoid any elderly obstacles stairs might present as an elder. It's also smart to consider installing showers that are curb-less and offer options for sitting and standing. These age-in-place design choices will allow you to age gracefully in your home for as long as possible, versus being compelled to move at an elderly age because your house isn't outfitted properly.

4. Do you want to enjoy outdoor living?

Outdoor living areas can expand your home's usable space at a much lower cost than building a larger home. If you intend on spending a lot of time outdoors, think about adding a patio, deck or sunroom to your house plans. On the other hand, if you plan to live in a place that warm all year round, you could design some walls to have the ability to roll up out of the way.

5. Where will your home be located?

Lot size, shape and location are crucial elements to consider when choosing home plans. Narrow, long lots, for instance, offer the most space for home with multiple levels. On the other hand, a shallow, large lot could accommodate a spacious one-story home.

Geography is another important characteristic of your property to account for. Will your home be located on a sloping lot? If so, a garage and daylight basement could make up the lowest level, which would be tucked up against the hillside. The surrounding scenery should also help determine how your house plans will be designed. If your home faces a gorgeous view, large picture windows can help you enjoy the landscape.

Finally, making a checklist of all the features you desire can ensure that those details aren't overlooked in the final design. Perhaps the kitchen island in your best friend's home should be echoed in your own home plans. Or, maybe you have fond holiday memories of gathering around the hearth with family and friends, a fireplace would be a good feature to add. A well thought out plan to guide the planning process, which includes your needs and preferences, will ensure that your house plans will not go awry.

About the Author

Before deciding on house plans consider these questions. Depending on your answers you might want to consider open floor plans. Learn more about home plans design tips by visiting the Houseplansco website at

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