How To Design Your Own Home

Designing your own home is an exciting process. You can unleash your creative talents and make it just the way you always dreamed it would be. If you're wondering how to design your own home or at least, where to start in the process, follow these easy steps.

Step 1

Make a wish list. You've probably got some grand ideas about what you'd like to include in your own home. You need to gather up all of these ideas and physically have them in front of you, whether you make a list or you cover your table with magazine clippings. This is a process that you should complete over the span of a few months, or even a year. Visit model homes, write down what you like about your friend's homes, and go to your local tradeshows for homeowners. Get an idea of how you would like everything to look, understanding that not all of your wishes may come true. Still, your wish list needs to be complete before you can begin to design your own home.

Step 2

Choose a house design. This is the most important part of the process, because it determines how your house will look. If you have a firm idea of what you would like your home to look like, you can work with an architect to bring your wish list to life. But if you're still unsure of a design for your home, invest in some home design books. These are available at your local home building store, or your local library may have them available to borrow as well. This is not to say that you need to choose an exact design from one of these books. But looking through the home design books and seeing the drawings and floor plans should give you a better idea of what you like and dislike. From this, you must decide on the house design that works best for you.

Step 3

Modify your house design.  No house design is perfect for you the way it is. Even an architect's rendering of your dream home should be closely scrutinized. There are a lot of considerations to be made when you design your own home. Where should you put the windows to get the best light? Do you want open up the main floor, or having separate rooms? And how big does your garage need to be to fit in all of your toys? Remember that this is your home, so personalize it to work with your family's lifestyle. An architect will have to approve the changes, of course, to ensure that your home will still be sturdy with all of the modifications.

Step 4

Make a model of your home. For many, this interim step is often skipped. But a small-scale model of your home will quickly point out any design flaws that you didn't notice on the architectural drawings. It may cost you a bit of money to have this model made, but consider the cost of making these changes after the home is built. It's definitely worth the investment.

Step 5

Make your interior choices. Once the layout of the home is decided, you can then move on to designing the interior of the home. Again, it's good to have an idea of what you like before going to interior showrooms. If not, you'll be overwhelmed with the options and you may likely make a rushed decision. Keep in mind that some of your interior choices may affect your house plans, so make sure that you keep your architect and your builder in the loop. Perhaps your wall needs to be lengthened to accommodate a larger fridge. Or maybe the fireplace is smaller than anticipated, so the framing needs to be modified. Your builder will likely be able to accommodate minor changes in your interior, but any choice that affects the layout of your home needs to be brought to the attention of your builder. Once you've made your interior choices, you have designed your own home. Now all there is left to do is build it!


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