Designing your Own Home- What you Need to Know

Want to learn how to design your own home? In this article, we'll give you some advice so you'll know what you need to think about before you get started.
Designing your Own Home- What you Need to Know

Last update: 05 November, 2018

Although designing your own home might seem difficult, it’s not impossible. You should plan to design a practical and functional layout that makes the most of all the available space.

You might also consider the possibility of designing rooms that can be expanded in the future, according to your needs. A few years down the line your family might have grown. Or you might find you need extra space that you didn’t need before.

Don’t forget to always have paper and pen on hand. This will help you to visualize all the ideas you come up with. You start with a few sketches, but eventually, you’ll have a full floor plan. With this, you’ll ensure that the end result incorporates your original ideas. Another option is to use online 3D imaging software.

Plus, you have to set a budget that’s within your means. You have to be realistic; you don’t want to try and do things you can’t pay for.

Finally, remember that it’s better to build a high-quality home than a large one.

Next, we’ll give you some other aspects to keep in mind when it comes to designing your home.

Locate the doors

This is essential: remember, there’s often only one way to get in and out of our homes. This will undoubtedly influence the layout of your house as a whole.

This is especially important if you live in a residential area or a cottage, as these types of homes often have a garden or a swimming pool. This means there’s usually another door – normally at the back of the house – to allow access to these areas.

And, if it isn’t immediately obvious, you also need to work out which side is the front of the house, as that will determine the layout of every room.

Don’t forget that some homes have interior patios and/or terraces. This means there will be even more doors in your home.

Finally, you should think about potential security systems – again, keeping within your budget. It’s important to have good knowledge of the area where your home is situated so that you know what the potential risks might be.

The location of the doors will affect the design of your home.

Measuring the doors and windows

To choose the right doors and windows for your home, you need to think about the size of your rooms. This way, you can ensure that they are in proportion and you’ll end up with a balanced room. It’s also important to consider the height of the ceiling and the size of the partition walls.

In both cases, there is a series of standard measurements you’ll need to take. Remember that the frames will take up an inch or two of space, so you’ll need to include them in the measurements of your doors and windows.

In the case of the windows, you’ll also need to think about which way each room is facing, to optimize and make the most of the natural light. Rooms with south-facing windows will receive most light.

Finally, think about the space the doors will take up when they are open, and when they are being opened. Doors usually open inwardly, so you’ll have to leave a bit of free space so that they won’t knock into furniture and other objects.

You'll need to come up with a floor plan to scale if you want to design your home properly.

Private areas and communal areas

Next, you should think about your current needs, and the needs you might have in the future. Some spaces will always be more important than others.

So, with this in mind, let’s talk about two areas – communal areas, and private areas. This will vary from person to person, but also according to which rooms you enjoy spending the most time in, and how many people are in your household.

If you enjoy socializing, for example, you might want to consider an open plan kitchen.

You also need to think about the future. If, when you design your kitchen, you have young children in your family, you’ll need to remember that you’ll need play areas first, and study areas later. The good thing about having the chance to design your house yourself is that you can easily come up with solutions for any potential issues.

Finally, remember that knowing you have the option of having a two-story house will give you great peace of mind, whether you have it built with two floors from the beginning, or add one later on. Having a two-story house is the best way to divide communal and private areas. If you decide to have two floors, the location and the type of staircase you choose is very important.

Useful space and structural space

It’s fundamental to understand the difference between these two concepts, as they’ll tell you how much space you have to work with.

  • Useful space: in other words, this is all the space you can move around in inside your house. It also includes the space taken up by built-in wardrobes.
  • Structural space: this is all of the structural space inside your home. In this case, you need to include all the space taken up by structural elements like walls, partition walls, ventilation shafts… The only thing you don’t need to count as structural space are attics and basements that measure less than 5ft. To know how much structural space there is, you’ll need to measure your house.

If you live in a communal building that you share with neighbors, we might also talk about communal structural spaces. Some examples might be staircases or passageways.

You can use 3D computer programmes to help you design your home.

Conclusion for the design of your own home

If you can keep these aspects in mind, it’ll be so much easier to design your own home, and the final result will incorporate many of the ideas you had in mind when you started your project.

However, there will always be some kind of restrictions or unexpected problems. The best way to overcome them is by adapting your original plan. Remember, there are professionals out there who can help.

Finally, remember that your design should meet several essential criteria to allow you to live comfortably in your home, and that it should fit perfectly into the surroundings.