Where to begin- Three helpful hints for first time home builders

For anyone who has ever built a home before, or is currently going through the process it’s overwhelming. I was a bit naïve when starting as I thought I knew exactly what I wanted.

Totally WRONG.

I can kind of relate it to walking into a Bath and Body Works store and being forced to pick only one lotion. The options are endless and each one has something unique about it. Then you think you can be smart and maybe mix two lotions , but you quickly realize that they smell terrible together.

I can honestly say that I have spent hundreds of hours of my life (how wasteful), looking at and drawing house plans.  I would think I would find something that “could” work and I would present it to my husband. He would pick out something that I didn’t think about  and we would be back to square one yet again.

I decided if this was going to be the only house I would ever build (which is probably the case), that I wanted to design it myself, so I stopped looking up house plans. I pulled out the graph paper . Once again thinking this would be easier as I could design exactly what I wanted.


Here are some things that I found to be helpful when beginning the design of our house.

  1. Have a starting point, a main focus. What in the house are you absolutely certain you want/need and start designing the rest around it. For me, it was a functional front door (I’ll get into this in more detail in a later post), but so many homes that  I go to I never use the front door. Typically, we are using a side door, a back entry, or through the garage. I knew I wanted to design our home so people HAD to come in the front door, so for me this was my starting point.
  2. Think of your current living situation, where do you spend most of your time? Where do you entertain family/guests the most? Typically the answer to this is the kitchen, but it may not be for everyone. Try and put a lot of time and focus on the area you see spending most of your time in, it will pay off later.
  3. Don’t focus so much of your house design on your current life circumstances. When designing our house, I focused so much on the kids as tiny little humans as they are right now. But the truth is, they don’t stay tiny forever, or for long. Is it absolutely necessary to have a playroom right off of the kitchen? I’m not saying don’t put the playroom right off of the kitchen, but try and think of what you will use that space for in the future when they would rather be locked up in their bedrooms. Any space in the house that you are using for a current life circumstances, try and think 5,10,15 years down the road. Will it be used for the same purpose, if not, what could it be used for. The worst thing that you could do when building a new house is spend money on space that won’t ever be utilized (and just more space to clean!). A house is meant to be a home, to be lived in.

I hope these three hints are helpful in starting the thought process of a house layout. I think if I had them to help me start out initially, I would’ve gained a couple hours of my life back. 1-2-3 GO!

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