Views:0 Author:Site Editor Publish Time: 2016-04-29 Origin:Site
If you've made the effort to think about how you live in your home (or want to live) you'll be well equipped to focus your design efforts on the ideas aimed at bringing the results you want.
Don't be concerned however if you can't figure this out by yourself and need some help. This page can show you how to get that help and provides information on the various levels of professional involvement you can take advantage of, whether building new or remodeling.
Do as much research and dreaming on your own as you can because the more prepared you are to speak with design professionals, the faster you'll be able to get your project moving forward.
As mentioned previously there are many sources of inspiration for getting ideas on how you want your home to be. Obviously pictures and other homes you see form a solid base in that effort.
But before you run off and start pinning and clipping pictures, take a look through these ideas and find the ones that resonate with you. They're organized into groups based on the concepts discussed above. Then you can start dreaming and looking for examples that are consistent with those ideas.
Make a virtual walk-through of any plans you consider or develop to be sure the layout works. Just imagine yourself walking from one spot to another to "see" if it makes sense. Kitchens, family rooms and other common areas work well when they accommodate unfettered traffic flow through and around them.
If you're designing your forever home or simply plan on staying there for a long time consider making it as accessible and easy to live in as possible. Single story homes are beneficial in that they avoid the need for stairs and keep the bedrooms on the same level as the living areas.
Making the distance from the garage to the kitchen shorter makes it easier to unload the groceries.
Wider doorways work well for moving furniture, giving a more open feel and accommodating a wheelchair should it be necessary in the future.
Good lighting, low-or-no curb shower stalls and one-level living are just a few ideas that embody this philosophy.
This doesn't mean turning your home into a nursing facility. It simply means designing it to work "with" you and make it easy to live in regardless of age and ability.
You might describe universal design as "accessibility that's unnoticeable". It typifies products and designs that don't blatantly evoke a look that's institutional or made specifically for disabled persons. Rather, it simply makes living and navigating easy and unfettered for everyone, without being obvious.
Kitchen cabinet handles that are easier to grab, levered door handles, variable height counters and vanities and more light are just a few examples of universal design elements.
Any rooms like offices and bedrooms that are adjacent to common living areas where conversation and media are prevalent will benefit from some sound isolation. There are soundproofing methods and materials today that make it simpler and cost effective to incorporate during new construction and remodels. Talk to your contractor or design professional about using soundproofing in specific areas that you'd like to keep quiet.
When remodeling, think about how to bring in more light than what you currently have through the addition of one or more new windows. If you're building a new home you should orient the house on your site to take advantage of the sun's position to maximize the available light. An architect can help you make the most of how your home should be positioned relative to your site.
Choose materials and products that make your home a healthier environment to live in. Wood products (like cabinets) with little or no formaldehyde and paint with zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are just two choices that can help you get there. These products can be more expensive but in the long run, isn't a healthier environment worth it?
Don't overlook proper ventilation either. New homes built today are tighter and don't "breath" as well as older drafty homes. Moisture needs to get out so make sure you have bathroom fans or even a whole-house ventilation fan to help that process. Work with your HVAC (heating, ventilation & air conditioning) contractor to gauge your needs.
adds cost due to excavation, added foundations and roof tie-ins, not to mention zoning implications. Instead, focus on how to gain the changes you want by working within the confines of your home.
Walls can be removed and switched around (though load bearing walls need special attention). Surfaces like countertops, flooring and walls can be dramatically changed by changing the materials and/or colors used. More windows and larger sizes can bring in additional light.
The point? Consider what you can do with your existing space first before pushing out the exterior walls.
Going out two feet along a 15 foot wall will gain an additional 30 square feet of space. That might be enough to alleviate the cramped feeling in a small kitchen. Consider what an additional 3 or 4 feet would give to a crowded bathroom. It might afford enough room for a larger shower.
Up front costs might be higher than less-efficient designs and products but you'll most likely see a long term benefit in lower energy bills. Do the math if necessary to justify the benefits. You don't have to be the 'greenest' house on the block; simply make a step-change to a level of efficiency that you and your budget are comfortable with.
sources of heat still have their place in the home. Just make sure that they're efficient and convenient (which usually means they'll get used more).
Gas fireplaces are more efficient and easier to use than an open wood-burning hearth because they can be "turned on" with the flick of a switch. That usually means they're used more often.
On the flip-side, if the fireplace isn't easy to light and keep burning, chances are it won't be used that much. If that's your scenario then put the space to better use.
There are various options for making basements feel more like rooms on a main level by employing walk-out designs or the use of larger daylight windows. Even if you don't finish them as living spaces right away consider putting in the necessary plumbing, electrical and heating/cooling infrastructure for changes later on.
If you want livable attic space, particularly for an upgrade in the future, make sure your home is designed with roof trusses that can accommodate the required headroom. Some pre-made trusses used in home construction aren't designed with the required space that's needed in a livable attic which requires more structural work to be done when the time comes to finish the space.
This type of design is more efficient and if it's accessible, it provides a clean hospitable area for storage. Talk to your contractor or architect about the benefits of this design feature when a full basement is not an option.