p a r t  3

P A R T   3

P A R T   3


Use a 3-D imaging software to clean up your floor plan.

 Programs like Virtual Architect, Room Sketcher, and Home Designer Suite make it easy for homeowners to bring their pen-and-paper designs to life on the screen. Just use the included tools and features to recreate each aspect of your hand-drawn floor plan. You’ll then have a polished, precise model to present to your builders.

  • Take your time getting your layout just right. Any mistakes you make during the design phase will cost you nothing. If these mistakes carry over into construction, however, they can quickly eat into your budget.
  • A good virtual home design application will typically run you $50-100. Free versions may also be available online, though these tend to be far less sophisticated, which means you may not have a full range of tools at your disposal.

Find a suitable location. 

Not every style of home will work equally well in a given setting. Though your main task is to conceptualize the broad strokes of how your living space will look, it’s also important to gather information about the area where you’ll be situated. For example, do you have access to the necessary utilities? Is there a gas station or supermarket within a reasonable distance? How long would your commute to work be? All of these are critical questions that you should ask whenever you view a property.

  • Keep in mind that it will be more difficult to build on hills or rocky, uneven, or heavily wooded terrain due to the additional excavation required.
  • If you have any concerns about how your location might affect the value or comfort of your dream home, write them down and address them with your architect or contractor later.

Consult with an architect to discuss your plans. 

Listen closely as they share their professional input and be receptive to whatever advice they offer. Your part of the design is knowing what you want. It’s their job to ensure that your goals for your home are met, and to steer you around common design traps and complications.

  • Some of the considerations your architect will go over with you include structural integrity, local building codes, suitability of the surrounding property, and other practical matters that you wouldn’t know to ponder on your own.
  • The average cost of working alongside an architect is roughly $2,000-8,000. If you’re paying them on an hourly basis, this translates to a rate of around $60 to $125 per hour

Go over your design with a building team. 

Once you and your architectural consultant have your floor plans looking the way you want them, your work is done. All that’s left to do is hand off your completed designs to the pros. An experienced home architect will help fix you up with a capable general contractor, and together they’ll break ground on your future.[19]

  • Be ready to accept last-minute changes of plans in the event that part of your design proves unfeasible.