Finding an Online House Plan - Useful Planning Questions to Think About
Article by Ian MacDonald
With numerous new house plans available online for free and to buy through architectural design firms, you can research many layouts and designs to help you conceptualise what kind of home you would like to build. Many factors will help determine the type of home that you need, such as location - where you hope to build and purpose and what objectives you need your home to fulfil.
After determining the type of home you need based on location and purpose, consider the following planning related questions which will help you further refine your online building blueprint.
How many levels do you want?Depending on where you plan to build, you may be limited to how high you can go. Some residential areas pose restrictions and obligations on the use of a section. Your local council / land information department will have all this information. Building a two storey home may help maximise the use of a small section, and / or take advantage of surrounding views.
What size of house are you looking at?A scale plan will provide you with dimensional information about your house layout, giving you an idea of what land / section area you will require. It is a good idea to think about the indoor flow you want to create and which rooms you want adjacent to each other for design and functionality.
How many family / entertaining rooms will you need?Households often place extra emphasis on the number of family rooms required as a lot of time is spent in these areas. A separate entertaining room can be handy for both young children and teenagers or as a formal lounge for adults. The location and style of these rooms in relation to the rest of the house is important for families, couples and individuals alike.
How many bedrooms will you need?Regarding the purpose of your new house planning, additional bedrooms may be useful for family members and / or guests. Depending on the style of home you plan on building, consideration will also need to be given to where the bedrooms will be placed, for instance you may design a two storey home with all the bedrooms upstairs or perhaps just the master bedroom.
Do you need a study / office room?A common feature in many new house plans includes a study or office. This is a great inclusion for those people who work from home, have children studying towards exams or whom prefer a separate room for their computer, desk and filing cabinets etc.
How many en-suites / bathrooms do you need?Have you considered how many bathrooms your new house plans will need to allow for? Do you want to have a separate toilet and basin for guests to access? If you have a big family or guests that stay often, having an en-suite off the master bedroom and / or guestroom can be useful in freeing up another bathroom for the rest of the household to use.
How many garaging compartments will you need?If your household has many vehicles then a two plus garage may be necessary. Do you have other vehicles such as boats and bikes that will benefit from garage storage? Is it important for you to have internal access from the garage?
Having answers to these questions will help you find or create an online house plan yourself or with an architectural design firm who can accommodate all your requirements.
About the Author
Author Ian Macdonald has been involved with the building industry since 1981, with 27 years experience in building, architectural design and draughting.