What questions to ask before designing a house? We often receive phone calls from homeowners looking for information about what to expect when designing their new dream home or renovating their current one. Before we can start sketching your gourmet kitchen or new master suite, we need to gather some information.
Ready to design your dream home? Start by answering these questions:
What's on your wish list?
Do you visualize high ceilings, a grand entryway, a master bedroom on the first floor, a large pantry, open concept, or playroom for the kids? Whatever elements you dream of including in your ideal home, now is the time to write them down.
Is this your "forever" home?
Do any accessibility requirements need to be accommodated in the new design?
You might want to include wide corridors and ramps and zero-step entryways as elements of 'universal design' for your own comfort or perhaps, if you have elderly relatives that will be visiting regularly.
Approximately, how many square feet do you need?
You might or might not know how many square feet you need. Start by considering the size of your current house and think about what rooms need to be added or taken away.
Is your family complete? Will you be wanting an extra bedroom for later additions? What about family rooms and outdoor space? Or if you are downsizing, which rooms are not used anymore?
We can help you calculate the square footage from there.
Let's get into specifics. How many bedrooms & bathrooms do you need? How many cars would you like to park in the garage? How many people would you like to be able to seat in the dining room, or at bar stools at the kitchen island?
Go room by room and make notes about quantities, lengths, heights, and depths required for your
- shelves in the linen closet
- closets space for shoes, accessories, clothing, seasonal storage
- appliances in the kitchen and laundry
- kitchen pantry
- exercise equipment
- garage items, kids toys, bikes, lawn mower, etc.
- holiday decor storage
What's your favorite style?
Which architectural style do you enjoy? Contemporary, traditional, farmhouse, French, Spanish, Italian Mediterranean, mid-century modern?
Are there certain types of materials you prefer?
Does your HOA require a certain percentage of brick or stone?
Do you have a property survey?
How large is the property and where is it located? Before we ever design the home, we must understand the features and restrictions of the site.
Are there site features that will affect house placement?
Is there a lake view, trees, changes in the topography, an existing driveway, or noise from nearby park or street we need to consider? Each property has its own drainage, sun angles, street exposure, and relationship to neighboring houses to accommodate.
Are there restrictions on what can be built from your homeowners association, historic district design guidelines, city zoning, deed restrictions, etc.?
Items such as maximum lot coverage, front/side/rear setbacks, maximum height, minimum square footages, are all typical parameters that we must work within.
We will research the zoning, deed restrictions, HOA requirements, easements, and utility access specific to your lot.
What is your budget and do you have financing?
These questions are just to get the conversation started. The plan for your dream home is not something you can just pick out of a book and expect a perfect fit. A well-designed home is the result of many careful decisions made.
If you need help answering these questions or just need someone to bounce ideas around with, please call us at 214.751.2304. Alternatively, you might fill in some details on our contact form and then we can chat about your requirements later.