How Can I Start Designing At Home?

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    The opportunity to create your own home from the ground up is an amazing one. You get the opportunity to design a home that is tailored according to your interests and the way you live your life.

    However, where do you even begin?

    How do you choose what to include in a house, and how do you draught blueprints that a builder or an architect can work from?

    Don't be concerned; you don't need to be a trained architect to create the home of your dreams. To transform your idea into detailed drawings that can be used by a contractor, all you need to do is follow a few straightforward steps.

    This article will assist you in bringing your ideal home to life by guiding you through the home design process in a concise and organised format of six steps.

    When you design a home, you will almost always collaborate with an architect to produce floor plans that will be used by a builder.

    The architect contributes their years of experience and extensive knowledge to the project. They are able to advise you on potential problems in your design because they are aware of what is practical and can do so.

    For instance, they might have a point of view that you don't, and they might be able to tell you whether a certain architectural element will add to or take away from the resale value of the home.

    You can still have complete control over the design. The architect is there to assist you in turning your ideal house into a reality, but it is ultimately your home.

    Whether or not you work with an architect, the stages that are outlined below will assist you in developing the ideal design and effectively communicating it to others.

    Determine Your Budget For Designing A Home

    The process of creating a home may not be the most enjoyable part, but it is necessary. Your financial situation will have an effect on every other choice you make.

    The costs associated with a custom house design can quickly pile up. During the course of the design process, you will most likely be required to engage in challenging conversations about which wishlist items are necessary and which ones are out of reach.

    You should budget additional funds for the following:

    • Architect fees
    • Building permit fees
    • Inspections
    • Site work
    • Foundation
    • Framing
    • Interior and exterior finishes
    • HVAC, plumbing, and electric
    • Driveway and deck

    Put part of your money away each month in case there are unforeseen expenses. You can never count on everything going according to plan, and you definitely don't want an unexpected problem to compel you to go over your budget.

    Think About House Placement

    You need to select a location for your house before you can begin developing it.

    The placement of the house on the land as well as the direction in which it faces will have an impact on the interior layout that you choose for your house. For instance, certain sides of the house will receive more natural light than others, and this will affect the placement of each room in the house.

    Get yourself familiar with the local building codes before you make any judgments. There could be limitations placed on where you can build your residence as well as the methods you can utilise.

    Consider how you can cut your energy costs. If you live in an area with a cool climate, getting direct sunlight will lower your heating expenditures. Putting the house in a location where there is more shade is beneficial while living in a warmer environment.

    Shade and protection from the wind are two benefits that can be provided by trees and tall hedges. Bear in mind, however, that even the smallest of trees can eventually grow to obstruct a significant amount of sunlight. Therefore, unless you want to cut down the trees, give them room to develop.

    If you live at the bottom of a hill, the hills on the lot may cause problems with the drainage and sewage lines. Who is responsible for directing the water that runs off your roof away from the foundation of your house? It's possible that you'll need to have a sewage pump installed if your home is perched atop a hill. Both can contribute to the amount you spend.

    Think about the means by which you will enter your home. An extended driveway or more grading, for instance, might both add to the cost of the project.

    If you believe you might want other structures on your property in the future, like a shed, for example, think about how they will be situated in relation to the main house.

    Finally, take into consideration the scenery. What do you hope to see when you look out the window while you're drinking your coffee in the morning?

    Match Your Home To Your Lifestyle

    You get the opportunity to make something that is one-of-a-kind and tailor-made to the way you live when you design your own home. Think about the ways in which you live your life and how the house of your dreams should reflect that.

    For instance, should the size of your home be small or large? How many bedrooms do you need?

    Where does everyone in your family usually get together? Make sure you have a place to rest in addition to the kitchen and the bedrooms, as these are the two rooms that everyone recalls to include in their plans.

    How much space do you require for storage? Where exactly do you require it? For instance, would you prefer that the majority of your closet space be located in the bedrooms, or would you rather have a sizable closet in the mudroom where you can store your winter clothes and outdoor gear?

    Is there anyone who works from their home? How much room do you recommend for a contemporary home office like yours?

    At this time, you should sit down and compile a list of the rooms and main features that are absolutely necessary for your house. After that, make some notes regarding each individual room, such as:

    What kind of size should it be?

    Does it have to be connected to another room (like the primary bedroom and a bathroom) in order to be functional?

    Be it critical that there is a lack of noise in the space?

    How much light from the outside do you require the room to have?

    What kind of home furnishings do you see for this space?

    In the fifth phase, which is the compilation of the architect's brief, you will use these remarks.

    Choose The Style Of Your Home

    You don't need to have the floor plan for your house figured out just yet, but you should have some notion of the architectural style that you want.

    For instance, when you think of the design, do you see something more modern or more traditional? Brick, wood, stucco, or stone are some of the materials that are used in the construction of homes that have traditional architectural styles. Traditional homes also typically have steep, pointed roofs with gables. The windows are somewhat narrow, yet the colours are vibrant.

    A modern home will typically have subdued colours, wide windows, and clean lines throughout. In addition to it, they might make use of materials such as concrete or reinforced steel.

    The floor plan is yet another important point of differentiation. In a conventional layout for a house, the area is subdivided into rooms that are only used for one function. On the other hand, many contemporary houses include open concept floor designs, which have fewer dividing walls and spaces that may be used for a variety of purposes.

    Draft out some instructions for the architect.

    Create a design brief for the architect that you will be working with if you are going to be working with them.

    A design brief is a document that defines your concept as well as any requirements you may have for the area. When you provide the architect with as much information as possible, they will be better able to assist you in designing the house of your dreams.

    Include all of the information shown below. In addition to this, your architect can provide you a questionnaire that they want you to fill out.

    Budget And Time Frame

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    The budget that you decide on in the first phase is something that the architect needs to be aware of.

    Also, make sure they are aware of the amount of time that you are willing to invest in the project. If you do not know how much time you should allocate, you should make an educated approximation and then talk about it with the architect when you hand them the brief.


    Give some details about the people who will be using your new home. The next step is to go about your normal activities and make a list of everything you can think of that you require in a home or other living space.

    Here are some questions to get you started:

    • How many people will live in the house?
    • Do you have any pets?
    • Will anyone be working from home?
    • Does anyone in the family have special accessibility requirements?
    • Are you more focused on relaxation or entertainment?
    • How much storage do you need? Any specific requirements, like bike storage?
    • Do you need a garage? How many cars?
    • Do you ever have guests stay with you?
    • What are your heating and cooling requirements?
    • How important is it to you to be eco-friendly?
    • If there's anything you especially like or dislike about your current home or past places you've lived, you can also put that in the lifestyle description.
    • Don't worry about whether you include too much information. The architect wants to get a clear picture of who will be living in the house and what they need to feel happy at home.

    Room Requirements

    Create a list of the rooms that are need to be in your house to get started. After completing step three, you ought to have a nice list.

    Write down your requirements as you make your way through each of the rooms in the house.

    Have you given any attention to the question of which way you would like the windows in the living room to face? What kind of dimensions should the kitchen have? Do you want the main bedroom to have a bathroom that is attached to it?

    You should not feel restrained in describing all of your hopes and wishes for the house. Make a list of your desires and then rank them in order of importance. In the event that it is not possible to do all of them, the architect will begin with the most critical elements, taking into account your spending limit, available space, and completion date.

    Style Choices

    Put in writing the decisions you made in step four on the aesthetic of your house. Include them in this section if there are any specific building components that you have in mind for your home, such as a brick exterior or a frame made of wood.


    It is not necessary to rely on words in order to communicate your views regarding design. Instead, conduct a search on the internet for any photographs you can discover that are similar to the layout of the rooms you want in your ideal home.

    Some homeowners will construct boards on Pinterest and then share them with the architect.

    Floor Plan

    The information contained in your brief can serve as the basis for the house designs developed by an architect. You can, however, construct your own floor plans if you want to have greater influence over the overall design. In the next stage, we'll go over the process of developing a floor plan in greater detail.

    Working with an architect is still a smart option since they might have some suggestions that could make your design more realistic or make it more comfortable to live in. They will also be knowledgeable about the local housing market and the legislation that govern the area.

    You and the architect can collaborate on making the last adjustments to the plan for your house together.

    Create Your Floor Plans

    When creating floor plans for an architect or builder, you can choose between two different approaches.

    You can use a pencil and some paper to sketch a floor plan for your architect if you like to do things the old-fashioned way.

    The architect will benefit from even the most rudimentary of sketches in order to better understand your requirements. However, if you do not have previous expertise drafting by hand and the time to do the task properly, your drawing is likely to be inaccurate.

    In the living room that you drew, do you think there will be enough room for your antique furniture? Is there room in the main bedroom for an additional closet to be installed?

    It is difficult to say based solely on your sketch. Even though even a simple drawing can help an architect comprehend your idea for the space, it is not at all likely to be sufficient to take directly to a builder.

    Creating house plans with the help of home design software is a more contemporary method.

    You should have little trouble outlining your house using accurate measurements. For instance, the dimensions of each room will be accurate, and doors and windows will be installed in the appropriate locations.

    When designing a floor plan for a house, it can be helpful to have a clear mental image of what the house will look like once it is furnished and decorated. However, house design software has got you covered in this regard as well. You have the ability to incorporate ready-made 3D models of furniture and other components into your design using the drag-and-drop function.

    Move it about, try it with other things, and examine it from a variety of perspectives to see how it performs.

    If you find out after populating your floor plan with furniture that your outline won't work, you may quickly modify the location of walls, doors, and windows. This is an option that is available to you.

    You can produce photorealistic 3D renders of your design using home design software, which is one of the very cool things you can do with it. This means that you will need to construct a picture of your house that has the appearance of a photograph. You could even do a virtual tour using these renders if you wanted to. When presenting your design ideas to an architect, a 3D rendering might be a helpful tool to use. In addition to that, playing with it is a lot of fun!

    It's possible that you're curious about the expense of the house design software. The price of home design software can range anywhere from zero dollars to several hundred dollars per month.

    You do not need all of the bells and whistles that come with an enterprise-level plan if you are a homeowner designing your own house. However, it is possible to use the same software that the professionals use for less than fifty dollars.

    Look for home design software that offers a variety of price plans to accommodate a wide range of users, from individuals interested in do-it-yourself projects to professional design businesses.

    Floor plan tips

    If you haven't ever drawn up floor plans before, it can be challenging to determine the appropriate dimensions for the rooms in the house. As a point of reference, you should measure the walls of the rooms in your current home.

    The flow of traffic through the house is an essential aspect to take into consideration. Imagine for a moment that you are a resident of the house. Where do you plan on going once you have finished preparing dinner in the kitchen? If you eat in the dining room, the kitchen and the dining room should usually be located close to one another. Consider the path that you would normally follow through the house on a daily basis. Check to see that it is practical and simple.

    Take into consideration your current way of life. For instance, you should probably keep the volume of noise in the bedroom to a minimum. Therefore, you should try to avoid placing that room close to the living room because that is where the entirety of your family will congregate.

    interior home design living room with open kitchen loft house (1)

    It is possible that it will take more than one attempt to develop the ideal arrangement. If you build your floor plans using software designed for interior design, however, altering your design won't be difficult at all.

    Develop A House Design Brief

    The brief addresses essential facets of the project, such as the number of beds, the utilisation of natural light to its fullest potential, high insulation levels, and any other environmentally responsible criteria that are significant to you. It will involve aspects of how you wish to live, such as an open-plan layout or rooms that are separated from one another.

    Consider Planning Restrictions And Budget

    When you have finished developing your preliminary design, you will have a decent first impression of the house that you will eventually construct. The following thing you need to do is think about any pertinent municipal planning laws, as well as any restrictions that may be in place if your site is located within a greenbelt area.

    After you have handled these issues and validated the plan by comparing it to the initial brief, you should pause to evaluate the financial implications of the plan. You should consult a design specialist before submitting a planning application because you do not want to go through the planning procedure just to gain permission for a house that you cannot afford to build. You do not want to waste your time and money.

    Ideas For Future-Proofing Your House

    When designing your home, it is important to keep your future living demands in mind; for example, should it accommodate your growing children as well as your ageing family members?

    You should give some thought to including a space in your home that is capable of transforming into a self-contained unit, complete with a sleeping area, a living area, a bathroom, and kitchen facilities. This unit should ideally be located on the ground floor, as you may not remain as non-disabled as you age.

    Self-builders place a significant emphasis on minimising their impact on the environment. Investing in a building with high levels of insulation and airtightness can assist cut future operating expenses.

    You may wish to consider installing alternative methods of energy generation, like as heat pumps or solar panels, so that you are less reliant on traditional energy sources and, as a result, less vulnerable to potential power outages and increases in the cost of gasoline. To reiterate, the technology should be incorporated into the design phase rather than being treated as an afterthought after the fact.


    So, you're thinking about beginning your design career from the comfort of your own home? That's fantastic! Finding a style that speaks to you is the greatest way to begin started, and after you've done that, you can start looking for inspiration everywhere you look. As soon as you have an image in your head of how you want your area to look, it is time to start planning out the design by drawing sketches and selecting furniture and accessories.

    We hope that this post has provided you with some useful information that will help you get started on the process of creating your own home. We wish you the best of luck and can't wait to check out the incredible places you design.

    FAQs About Designing A Home

    An architect is a skilled professional who plans and designs buildings and generally plays a key role in their construction. Architects are highly trained in the art and science of building design. Since they bear responsibility for the safety of their buildings' occupants, architects must be professionally licensed.

    Some individuals must carry the task of designing the house. However, in many cases, the architect cannot be that individual and will face many oppositions when taking the design into their own hands. Therefore, the architect's family needs a neutral mediator to resolve the problem in such cases.

    You can design your own house without an architect. However, if you intend to design your own house, you need to know several things. First, your house needs to flow.

    Tips for Designing Your Dream House

    • Put your family's needs at the forefront. 
    • Create a livable and stylish home. 
    • Balance your style goals with your budget. 
    • Provide direction and scope for your builder. 
    • Streamline the project by trusting the process.

    You can design your home online with our Interactive Planner. At Wayne Homes, we specialise in building custom homes on your land and making it fun. How about designing your dream home from the comfort of your living room, even in your pyjamas? With our interactive floor plan designer, you can do just that!

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