Custom Home Design

The planning stage of home design often determines whether or not your custom home design will fulfill the dream you had envisioned. Victor Hugo wrote, “Where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.” Hugo was certainly right as far as custom home design is concerned. To avoid wasted time or chaos follow these six tips to help your designer create the perfect custom house plan for your family.

1. Start simple.

It isn’t necessary to invest in fancy software to begin making decisions about your custom home plan. All you really need is a pencil and a piece of paper. Brainstorm and sketch your ideas. Making lists of features you want each room to have will help you get your idea onto paper and into your custom home design.

2. Think about the future.

Consider the future of your family and how you will accommodate for different scenarios, such as having children, accommodating grandchildren and grandparents, taking care of elderly parents. Even accommodating extended family for holiday occasions should be considered in your house plans. Similarly, if you hope to transition from an office job to operating your own business out of your home, your custom home design should include an office or flexible space. When you think about the amenities in your custom home plan, be sure to not limit yourself or the growth of your family.

3. Prioritize features.

Once your ideas are recorded in rough form, begin prioritizing features for your new house. Custom home design can easily exceed a budget if you let your fancies run amok. With so many luxuries to choose from, it’s important to prioritize the most important aspects of your design. For instance, if you’ve always dreamed about a box window in the kitchen where you can grow herbs, you may want to prioritize that over installing a line to facilitate a gas stove.

4. Consider function and flow.

As you and your designer begin playing around with where various rooms should be located, consider how your final design will flow and how your family might function in each space. For instance, to reduce noise in sleeping areas, it’s wise to place bedrooms away from the communal areas of the house. Likewise, if you’re the kind of family that tends to gather around the kitchen, an open floor plan with easy flow between the living room, kitchen and dining area will suit you well. This kind of design also allows for excellent flow between rooms.

5. Reflect on light.

Light has a powerful influence on humans. Indeed, in areas that see little natural light during the winter months, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is not unusual. This disorder brings feelings of depression, along with weight gain, daytime sleepiness, social withdrawal and lethargy. If you have suffered from SAD in the past, or if you’re moving to a place with long, cloudy winters (such as the Pacific Northwest), it is smart to add skylights to your custom house plan in order to maximize the natural light in your home. Heck, even if you’ve never felt sad on a cloudy day, skylights are smart because they reduce the need for artificial light and provide as much as 30 percent more light than vertical windows.

Natural lighting should also be figured in the floor plan design in a custom home plan. As an example, if you want to enjoy natural morning light in your dining nook, it would be wise to face the nook east, where it will catch the morning sun.

It’s also wise to think carefully about how electrical lights in your home will facilitate comfort. For instance, a custom home designer would suggest installing bright task lighting for kitchen countertops to facilitate food preparation. Lighting can also create a mood – for example, dimming sconces in the bedroom can create a sense of romance or peace.

6. Showcase and maximize the lot.

Usually, those in the market for custom house plans already own the property where the home will be built. If you already know where your custom home will be situated, be sure to consider the topography, size and best features of the lot. For instance, if your lot overlooks a beautiful natural setting, you might choose to face the living room toward the feature so you can showcase the wonderful view. Alternatively, if you have a brook or stream running though your property, you might choose to place bedrooms nearest the stream so you can enjoy the beautiful sound of running water while you sleep.

In addition to thinking about which windows should face the home’s best views, you’ll want to consider whether the land is sloped. A custom home design for a steep slope will look very different than a design for a flat lot.

Designing a Hangar Home

There are few more unique lifestyles than living in an airport community. The designing of a hangar home is a unique skill and one best handled by professional designer well experienced in the subject. In this article we will cover a few specific points that you will value as suggestions to consider.

1. As in most residential developments usually there are the restrictions. These restrictions can govern the size of the home, the size of the hangars, architectural factors such as whether or not the hangar must blend in with home, taxiway clearance issues and the like. As with any design it is important to become familiar with these covenants prior to beginning any design.

2. Because lot sizes vary from large to small, setbacks may be an issue. Another factor is whether or not the site is level or has a slope. Sloped sites are quite workable but present unique challenges that must be considered. Generally on sloped lots the hangars are placed on the lower section and the home on the higher section which allows the home and hangar to blend with one another nicely.

3. A key question is to consider how large to make the hangar. The first thing to consider is the 2000 square foot question. Most codes in the United States differentiate between hangars less than 2000 ft. and those that are larger. In general, commercial codes apply to larger hangars whereby easier residential codes will apply to the smaller hangars. This can affect the pricing.

4. Another common point to consider is whether or not to connect the hangar in the home. Connecting or not connecting each has its advantages and disadvantages. Connecting the hangar to the home is considered by most pilots to be quite advantageous. It allows one to stay out of the weather. It makes for some very interesting architecture. But if you’re looking to build projects then you need to consider the impact made by these projects such as sounds and smells which you may not want to enter into the home. In such instances building the hangar and home separately may be the way to go.

5. How do you intend to use your hangar? Obviously, one intends to put an airplane in the hangars but many folks user hangars for other functions as well. Hangars usually become storage bins. Like everything else this can be controlled. But common uses of hangars include workshops, storing boats, storing cars – especially if you’re looking not to build a separate garage, and storing motorhomes. Regarding motorhomes, modern motorhomes are generally greater than 13 feet in height above the floor when you consider their air-conditioner. That and the height of your airplane may be the determining factors as to how tall to make your hangar ceiling. These also affect the height of the door. When considering your hangar make certain that you predict, as well as possible, its ultimate uses.

6. Another important decision is to determine what type of the door you want. Hangar doors come, basically, in three types: hydraulic, accordion and bifold. There may be others but those are the most common. Hydraulic doors are usually hinged at the top and are opened as one single slab and in the open positions act as separate roof shielding the area just outside the hangar. These tend to be expensive but are very popular. Another common door is the bifold door. Bifold hangar doors normally have horizontal hinges, usually only one horizontally in the center. They are raised with belts or chains and tend to raise from the bottom up. Accordion doors are less common but are extremely practical. They require a track both at the top and the bottom and can be simply pushed to the side to open up the space. One advantage to accordion doors is that they do not require electricity to operate. Looking at various doors types is a good idea so that you can make an educated choice as to what type of door to select.

7. The structure over the hangar door is an important consideration. Hangar doors are usually quite wide varying from a minimum of 40 feet on up to greater than 55 feet wide. The header or beam spanning across the top of the door needs to be considered structurally. One way to handle this is by placing a steel I-beam across the door which will hold the weight of the roof. There are several disadvantages to this including higher construction costs due to the steel fabrication issues. Another disadvantage is that the beam bottom will usually fall well below the ceiling of the hangar causing the hangar door to be shorter than the ceiling height. Another, perhaps better, way to handle this is to use some sort of a gable roof or a modified gable roof over the hangar door. This allows the truss system of the roof to act as its own beam. Often the truss that spans over the door is a multi-ply truss and its bottom can be even with the ceiling height of the hangar. This allows the door to be higher and nearly the same height as the ceiling of the hangar. When designing the hangar discuss this aspect with the designer engineer who will work with you to determine the best solution.

8. Another thing to consider is fuel. Do you want to keep fuel in a fuel tank that you will keep inside your hangar? Perhaps there is fuel on the property that is maintained by the Association; this can be an excellent way when available. Of course, one can always fly out for fuel and this is workable most of the time but it does require careful organization of one’s flights and fuel stops.

These are only a few points to consider in the design of your hangar home – there are many others. Due to the uniqueness of hangar homes design it is recommended that you choose a designer who has had ample experience in designing hangar homes and who preferably lives and a hangar home personally. If you’re looking for designs on the Internet, you will likely become frustrated. If you’re intending to invest in a hangar homes to be built, it is best to find a designer to custom design a plan uniquely for you. Regardless of what type of design you end up building, your decision to design and build a hangar home will be, without doubt, one of the most thrilling and fulfilling actions you will take a pilot.

Things to Think About When Planning for Your Home Design

Planning for your home requires a more extensive approach and a lot of decision making to do compare to when buying one. Finding the perfect building lot is already a challenge, designing how your future abode will look like is another challenge. Putting together your dream home design on the current lot that you have as well as balancing the act of planning and budgeting can be quite difficult and may require professional help.

Here are some of the ways that can help you on your way.

Research for your dream home design

One must decide on what type of home they are about to build before actually designing how it looks like. It would be advisable to have a list of the things that you want your home to have prior to creating the blueprint. House styles today have different offerings, so it would be wise to browse for ideas before actually putting all these ideas into paper.

A quick sketch would also help in conceptualizing your dream home. Since you do not have to implement this design yet, you can still get ideas and mix and match the things that you want to have inside and outside your home. However, it is important to know the basics that would be included in your home such as the number of rooms, family areas, dining rooms, garage, kitchen features and bathroom features that you would want to have. Planning for internet connections as well as the cable and phone connections is also advisable.

Check local zoning laws and building permits

Upon the completion of your blueprint, the next step necessary would be getting the necessary permits and existing zoning laws and standards in your area. Be sure to implement structural specifications required for buildings that are constructed in your area. This can save you many headaches that you may experience during the actual construction of your home.

Designing within your budget

No matter how stunning you may want your home to look and feel like, you still need to shell out a certain amount of money to be able to execute your plan. Compare your current plan with the budget that you have and willing to spare for your dream home and adjust accordingly to fit. Take note that spending too much may lead you not having enough to buy furnishings for your dream home. Plot where your current budget can get you through with the construction of your home and budget accordingly on what you can really acquire as your budget during the actual construction. It is better to adjust now with your plan rather than having to sacrifice the quality of the construction of your home once your budget starts to hurt.

Design to fit your plot

Consider the actual lot area that you have prior to implementing your house plans. Do you want to have a large lawn and a backyard? Do you want to locate your home just a few meters away from the street to maximize the area of the plot that you have? Slopes should also be taken into consideration to be able to control backfilling and excavation costs that may be required to execute the design that you want for your home.

Locate bedrooms in areas where you get to enjoy the privacy that you require and place windows in areas that will help in making your homes more energy efficient.

Maximize your space efficiency

Make sure that you have a logical flow on your home design. The kitchen and laundry areas should be located near each other to conserve on plumbing installations. Design areas like the kitchen with access to areas like the garage or areas where you require such accessibility. Be sure that your actual furniture would fit in the layout that you have created.