Build Your Own House

Reading House Plans-Studying House Plans

Summary: Room sizes, room placement, traffic flow, kitchen work flow, closet space, number of bathrooms, and overall size are the major functions of home design.

Figuring out the plans is easy, although it may look difficult at first. You’ll be looking first at room sizes, room placement, traffic flow, kitchen work flow, closet space, number of baths, and overall size. Those are the major functions of home design. Without too much effort you can move doors and windows, add them, or delete them — on paper.

Unless you have an unlimited budget, and very few of us do, a house is a series of compromises. We can’t afford all of those beautiful things we see in home magazines.

A house is going to cost so much per square foot using the average number of windows and doors and average appliances. If you want an expensive whirlpool tub, you may have to compromise on something else, such as the size of the house, adding a garage, or installing a paved driveway.

Don’t make any of your decisions a “matter of life and death.” You may be surprised how unimportant that “big decision” becomes when you are finished. Agonizing over decisions only leads to friction — within yourself and with others. Make all of your decisions conscientiously but quickly, and then move on.

Be sure your home plans include building specifications (specs).

Specifications are lists of materials that are going into your house. Most plans come with a set of specs and include a “for input” section for you. You will see that there are places for indicating decorative items, such as wallpaper, carpet, paint, stain, and door hardware.

Obviously, you will choose these. Since specs come early in the game, most people haven’t selected these decorative items at that point. Therefore, monetary allowances are used with the term “or equal.” This means that the actual item finally selected, such as a kitchen faucet, will be of an approximately equal dollar amount and of similar quality to the one in the specs.

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