Now there are many places that you can get a pre-made floor plan and I am sure that could work just fine for some people but we think it is pretty fun (well at least most of the time - there were some frustrating times too) to make our own plan. Ken especially loves working on it so he has poured hour after hour into figuring out and creating the floor plan for the house we plan on building. Ken has gotten up early many mornings to work on it before he exercises and then he has work on it many an evening and weekend too.
- Look over carefully the land where you plan on building the house so that you will know whether certain ideas will work for instance: Is there a hill so that you can have a walk-out basement? We would have liked that but it doesn't work for us. Or maybe you can't even have a basement at all for some reason. Which directions have the best view? Where should the front door go? So many details depend on your land.
- Brainstorm concerning the home you currently have and think of what you have the works and you like now and what you would like to change. We for instance wanted a much bigger kitchen but really liked our current spacious closet space.
- Dream. Look at books and magazines and on Pinterest and find all sorts of cool ideas. Then realize that we are not millionaires and won't be doing most of the ideas but find one or so that you really like and go with it. Dreaming can be a lot of fun.
- Talk to others about your ideas. Ken has drawn up many floor plans throughout this process. First we had one that we showed to some family and friends- after that we made the change of where the fireplace would go when we were told that it shouldn't be on an outside wall if we really wanted to use it (a wood fireplace) as having the temperature differences on the opposite sides of the chimney can cause creosote to build up which can then of course cause chimney fires. That was a little disappointing as we love the look on the outside of a fireplace but we don't want a chimney fire and we were talking to people that were pretty knowledgeable on the subject.
- Read up on house planning and organizing.
- Think about traffic flows in your home and plan accordingly.
- Think long term. We have made our plans to that though right now we will have our master bedroom suite upstairs and nobody will sleep on the main level but we do have my office there and so if needed at some point in our lives we could turn the office into our bedroom and not have to deal with stairs. I just really like the idea of being fairly handicap accessible as you never know who you might have come to your home or what might happen to you.
- Talk to Contractors. They can give you ideas as to what sort of things might really cost a lot, what things might need more support and other things like that. After talking to contractors we have revised our plans a lot.
- Consider ways to make things more economical - less corners (boxes and rectangles are cheaper to make), Plumbing needs close together, Measurement divisible by 4 to prevent so much cutting and potentially wasting building supplies, Make it less complicated and much more.
- Talk to an architect. We did this a early on before we had really revised very much and I actually think we should have waited as he wasn't overly helpful then. He made up a plan but he made changes we didn't care for and then we ended up wanted to change a lot of other things anyway. We might need to use him again depending on which contractor we get and then I think he will be more useful just to be sure that the house structure will work and fine tuning the plan that we already have.
Do you have any tips for creating floor plans? Anything you really love or really hate about the floor plan in your house? I would love to hear your thoughts!