House plans on the internet can be very affordable. However, when choosing these affordable house plans, do you know what you really want? As simple as this question may be many people don't really spend enough time on this process. Having a clear sense of your ultimate living requirements can greatly speed up the selection process and narrow down the field of choices from the overwhelming amount of stock plans available on the internet.
Take into account your needs and life-style. Your goal is to find efficient layouts compatible with your activities and preferences as well as the budget.
THE WISH LIST
Analyze your likes, dislikes, needs and wishes. Start making a list by asking yourself the following:
- What rooms do you need, which ones are most important, which ones could be combined or eliminated, what are their specific functions?
- What type floor plan layout will you need, is a split bedroom layout important, a one-story level for aging-in-place, an open floor plan, a formal or informal layout, etc?
- Will certain rooms need to be added in the future to accommodate a larger family or different activities? Will you need an expandable floor plan, perhaps one with a full basement?
- What style appeals to you, do you like features such as vaulted ceilings, covered porches, kitchen islands?
- What are the site considerations, does the slope of the property lend itself to a walk-out, lower level basement, and how will the rooms be oriented to the street, sun or view?
When contemplating your room requirements and the overall size it is also beneficial to remain open minded about the square footage since you may be able to achieve the adequate number of rooms with a lower overall square foot size.
DOUBLE DUTY ROOMS
Realize that unless you have an enormous supply of money and no size restraints, you will probably not get everything you want, however, start prioritizing. Eliminate or incorporate some of the features and functions for specialized rooms into other standard spaces. Many rooms can easily do double duty and accommodate multiple functions, especially with simple furniture arrangement.
Do you work at home or plan to in the future? You may want a bedroom to double as an office or perhaps an alcove/niche or loft will suffice. These could be located in the Master bedroom, Living/Family room or, perhaps, in a finished basement/lower level. If you have a sloped lot putting the office in the lower level might even allow a separate entrance for clients.
Could the laundry room double as a hobby room? Does the laundry need to be in a mudroom adjacent to the garage where most of the family will be entering with dirty clothes ready to be washed? If, however, you are an empty nester perhaps a laundry with washer and dryer tucked in a hallway closet, in a more centralized location on the main level, may be more suitable.
Think about what kind of spaces you generally gravitate to during different seasons. Cozy small areas, spacious bright rooms or cooler dark areas can all be found within spaces in the house and utilized effectively throughout the year. For example, cross ventilation and raised ceilings with operable high awning windows are beneficial when planning for passive cooling. On the flip side, low ceilings with south facing windows add warmth and coziness during the cold winter months. If you enjoy the outdoors but are plagued by mosquitoes then consider a covered screened porch to truly enjoy the outdoors during the summer months as an extension of your living areas.
You've most likely spent years dreaming of your new home, understanding the thought process will greatly help you in choosing the right affordable house plan that reflects the way you actually live and provides you with a comfortable nurturing home.