So you’re tired of living in a home that’s less than perfect, and you’re ready to design one that is just the way you and your family like it? If so, then you have come to the right place! Designing a home is a fairly complex process, but if you’ve made it this far, you have probably already got some ideas in mind. PSE Consulting Engineers has decades of experience, and we’re going to share with you our knowledge on how to design a custom home that fits your needs perfectly.
Assuming you already have the property where your future home will be, the next step is to get a plan together. Your plan is where your custom home design first comes to life and is going to be used throughout the entire building process to ensure you end up with the home of your dreams.
Developing A Plan
You need to approach the planning process strategically, which is to say, have an organized room-by-room plan rather than a random list of bullet points of things you want. We recommend taking a broad approach and then narrowing down the specifics of each room, so you don’t overlook any aspect of your new home. The first and most obvious starting point is determining what size you want your new home to be and what material you want it to be made from.
Size and Material
Before you can start thinking about the inside of your home, you first need to decide what size your house will be and what materials you want your builders to use for construction. Many local building and zoning codes have restrictions on the minimum and maximum size as well as an approved list of materials, so you want to check this out before getting too far ahead of yourself.
With local building restrictions in mind, you’re finally ready to start designing your home! We find it best to approach this step with two questions in mind. How many rooms do you want? And how many stories do you want?
When deciding on your total number of rooms, you need to think of more than just how many bedrooms you need. This is the time to make a decision on the number of bathrooms as well as any extra rooms you may desire, including, but not limited to the following:
- Dining Room
- Game Room
- Guest Room
- Laundry Room
Now that you know how many rooms your new home will have, the next thing is deciding how many stories you want to accommodate. If you are limited on land space, adding additional stories is a great way to increase your square footage. Aside from standard levels, this is also when you will decide whether or not you want an attic or basement in your home, as this will significantly influence the entire building process.
Multi-level homes are a great way to spread your rooms out in a way that is beneficial to everybody, but they can create some problems by way of stairs. If anyone in your family has issues climbing stairs or will in the future, then you might want to stick to a single-level home or at the very least keep all the necessary rooms accessible on the first floor.
With lumber prices being at an all-time high, you might want to consider using alternative building materials. Certain building materials will be restricted in some areas, but if your build site has no restrictions, we highly recommend checking out some alternatives to traditional stick lumber.
Now that you know what your new home will include, the next thing to consider is where it’s all going to go. The layout of your home will be what gives it its overall feel, so don’t rush any decisions. If you aren’t sure, just take some time to think about it and revisit it later.
Much like the home design process as a whole, we recommend starting with a broad idea then narrowing it down. Do you want an open floorplan, or do you want each room to be separate from the common areas? Once you have this figured out, you can start deciding on the placement of the rooms you came up with earlier. Think about your and your family’s needs when deciding on room placement because once the home is built, it’s going to take a lot of work to move things around.
One of the most important things we recommend you consider is the placement of the bathrooms in respect to your bedrooms. Do you want a private bathroom in your room or just outside so everybody can use it? Noise is another big concern because you don’t want a bedroom right next to the laundry room or a noisy game room right next to an office. Sit your family down and go over this together to ensure everyone’s needs are met so there won’t be any issues after your home is built.
With your layout design in place, you can now move onto the final step in designing a custom home which is adding any additional structural features you may want. Structural features are anything that isn’t necessarily a room but will still need to be accounted for before construction begins.
- Attached / Separate Garage
- Laundry Chute
Structural features are generally limited on where they can be placed, so we recommend having a few ideas in mind just in case the engineers shoot down your original.
PSE Consulting Engineers Custom Home Design
At PSE Consulting Engineers inc., we are in the business of designing structures for the future, today. So if you need help with your custom home design or need a second pair of eyes to review your plan, contact us now! Our construction management team, as well as our civil and structural engineers, would love the opportunity to help you make your dream home a reality!