First ask yourself some basic questions
After looking at dozens of floor plans and pouring through home design magazines you may conclude that the perfect design for your dream home is a bit more elusive than you first thought. It’s helpful to take a deep breath and ask
yourself a few basic questions about your lifestyle and needs before going much further:
Who will be living in your new home?
How do you (or your family) live?
- What are the daily routines for your family members?
- Do you entertain frequently?
- Does anyone have special living needs?
What type and style of house do you want?
- Bungalow, raised bungalow, split-level, 2 storey, 1½ story, or walkout?
- Traditional, contemporary (for interior and/or exterior)?
- Attached garage, with 2, 3 or more stalls?
- Developed attic space?
- Desired floor area?
- Finished basement—now or in the future?
Generally, what type of home layout do you want?
- Numbers of rooms?
- Type and sizes of rooms?
- Formal or open?
- Are major rooms at the front or at the rear of the house?
- Do you want rooms open to outdoor living areas (decks, verandas, sun wings, patios)?
- Closet or storage preferences?
Are there any special features that need to be included?
- Hobbies, special activities?
- Art, furniture requirements?
If you have picked out a site, what are the lot specifications?
- Dimensions, setbacks?
- Adjacent property considerations?
- Design guidelines to meet?*
- House size requirements and limitations?
- Grading plan specifications?
- Site orientation?
- Garage location?
*All new homes built in The Greens on Gardiner must adhere to established design guidelines and plans must be approved by the Developer prior to obtaining a building permit. See Design Guidelines for more information.
What type of construction do you want?
- Basement with either ICF (insulated concrete form), SIP (structural insulated panel), or conventional concrete?
- Walk-out, crawlspace or conventional?
- Wood frame construction, timber frame, ICF?
- Wall heights on each floor?
What kinds of “green” technologies or construction practices do want in your home?
- High-efficiency furnace and R2000 construction?
- Water conservation technologies?
- Passive solar heating?
- Preference for use of small carbon footprint construction materials?
- Use of local or natural source/renewable materials (real stone, wood trims)?
What types of landscaping do you prefer?
- Low maintenance?
- Do you want professional landscaping services?
Is there anything that you dislike or want to avoid in your new home?
- Overbuilding beyond your needs?
- High off-gassing finishes on interior/exterior surfaces?
- Style fads that will quickly date your home?
Once you get through this list you are well on your way to arriving at the right home plan. Many people will benefit in making decisions about home features and layout by consulting with a residential design firm. A residential architect will fine-tune your requirements, discuss options for various needs that you have, and provide you with concept plans (or modify stock plans that you like). Once a design is approved, a complete set of working plans will be created that you can take to the builder of your choice. Your designer can also provide you with information on the latest energy efficient building practices and green technologies that can be incorporated into your new home. Increasingly, more innovative “green” products are available from local distributors.
Content and renderings courtesy of Robinson Residential Design