Updated: Feb 28, 2020

I hope you had fun in creating your different options for lay-outs. Now, the next step is to consider the best lay-out option and to select the style of your future home.

7. Review the different options that you sketched in step 6. Note, for each lay-out, the pros and cons. You may now see some way to combine elements of different lay-outs and can create a new sketch. Otherwise choose the lay-out that suits your needs the best.

8. You probably have a style in mind for your house already. However, keep an open mind and review the many different styles before making a final decision.

There are the popular Canadian styles: Cottage, Country, Modern, Ranch, Craftsman, Farm, Contemporary, and West Coast Style. Maybe a Mediterranean style like Spanish, Italian, or Greek is more for you? Possibly a Classical style: Neoclassical, Greek Revival, Tudor, Elizabethan, or a Colonial style are more to your taste?. Or you can draw inspiration from different styles and create one all your own.

9. The next step is to draft a plan of your home. You probably will need to consult a professional for this purpose. Take your sketches and other lists along to your designer to ensure they have all the information that they will need to draw the perfect plan for you. Alternatively, if you have selected a plan that you would like to have modified, bring this as well.

1st rough draft

Review the plan with your designer and ensure everything is as you would like it. Now is the time to make changes. Consider the following elements:

- Where do you usually plan to enter the house?

- Is there a place to put shopping items down, hang-up coats, and place shoes?

- Is each space the size you had imagined? Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathroom/s.

- Do you have space for storage where you need it?

- What rooms give you the best view? Is this where you spend most of your time while awake?

- Does each room have the privacy that you desire?

- Are the rooms placed in a logical and convenient fashion? For example, the kitchen should be close to entry to avoid having to carry groceries too far, the bathroom/s should be close to bedroom/s and so on...

Repeat these steps after each revision to the plan until you are happy with the result. Remember, now is the easiest time to make changes. Later in the process making changes will become much more difficult and costly.

4 views0 comments

Updated: Feb 28, 2020

Now that you have established what rooms you'd like in your home and how much space each room requires it is time to consider the opportunities and constraints you might be facing. It is also the time where some decisions will have to be made and possibly some compromises made.

4. Have a look at your property where you plan to build your new home or have a close look at your existing home and property. Draw a map of your property or use a map of the property that you have. Note the following elements on your plan:

- Note roads and neighbouring houses on your plan. Go with approximate locations.

- Record the direction of the best views on your plan.

- Describe any elevation on your plan.

- Mark the location of trees, streams, rocks, bushes, or other landscaping elements that you would like to preserve.

- Determine the cardinal direction of the property (North, South, East, West).

It is important to establish where true South is on your property (this is different from magnetic south shown with a compass). Solar orientation is crucial to determine the best orientation for your house to ensure that rooms you use frequently receive maximum daylight. Daylight is critical for our physical and emotional health. Using Solar radiation for heating is free and should be taken advantage of.

- Finally note the location where you would like to build on your plan.

5. It is time now to make some preliminary decision on your future home:

- Are you planning to have a basement?

- How many levels will your home have?

In order to decide have a look at the plan you drew in step 4 and keep in mind the number of rooms you plan to have. Consider, for example, the following questions:

- How large can your home be and how large would you want it to be?

- Is there a significant elevation on your property where you might have a walk-out basement?

- Is there an especially beautiful view you could see from a second story?

- Are you physically able to use stairs now? How about in the future?

6. Now that you have your site map drawn and your rooms drawn up on paper and cut out, it is time to experiment with arranging the rooms.

Consider the following items:

- Access to each space and leave room for circulation

- Rooms with views

- Daylight / Windows (every bedroom needs a window satisfying the building code)

- Access from the road and access to backyard

- If you have more than one level, which rooms are going to be on each level

Be creative and try as many possible solutions you can think of. If you have an arrangement that might work draw a quick sketch of the arrangement for future reference. This step is best done over a few days or longer. It is best to take breaks in between formulating your plan to avoid getting stuck on one lay-out. Below are a few samples of different arrangements:

Have fun experimenting! More steps to follow next week...

3 views0 comments

Updated: Feb 28, 2020

Starting the planning process for you new home, addition, or renovation can be very intimidating. However, breaking the process down into a step-by-step process and with some professional help the process can be manageable and even enjoyable. Below is a description of step one through three.

1. Write a list of all the rooms you would like to have in your new home, including storage and utility rooms. It is best to do this on a piece of paper. Leave some space on your paper below each room to add things later.

Rooms to consider: - Bedroom/s

- Kitchen and Pantry

- Bathroom/s and Powder-rooms

- Dining Room

- Living Room and Family Room

- Office / Home-office / Study

- Entry / Mudroom / Vestibule

- Craft-room / Games room / Play room / Music room / etc.

- Utility room / laundry room

- Storage room/s

- Stairs

- Garage / Workshop

- Other: Home gym, home theater, in-law suite, library, pool, sun-room, hobby room, wine cellar, etc.

2. Once your list is complete, consider each room individually. Take the time to really imagine that room and what you would like to have in it. Under each room listed, write a list of pieces of furniture and or equipment that you would like in each room. Consider how much space is required for the activities you are planning for each room and note those as well.

Items to consider for each room:

- Bedroom/s - Beds, night tables, dressers, closets, seating, and more

- Kitchen and Pantry - Appliances large and small, pantry cabinet or walk-in pantry, island, seating

- Bathroom/s and Powder-rooms - Showers, bath-tubs, vanities, number of sinks, linen tower

- Dining Room - Size of dining table, number of chairs, additional furniture

- Living Room and Family Room - Seating, furniture, fireplace, storage, TV and other equipment

- Office / Home-office / Study - Desk, Seating, Storage, equipment

- Entry / Mudroom / Vestibule - Storage, storage, storage

- Craft-room / Games room / Play room / Music room / etc. - Tables, chairs, equipment, instruments, games, and more

- Utility room - Washer-dryer, water heater, water softener, electric panel, water pump, and more

- Storage room/s - Sports equipment, seasonal decorations, tools

- Stairs - (an average stair for 8' ceilings requires approximately 4' x 13' space) you might need help with this

- Garage / Workshop - Number of cars, space for tools, gardening equipment,

- Other: Home gym, home theater, in-law suite, library, pool, sun-room, hobby room, wine cellar, etc. - Equipment, seating, furniture, storage, and more

3. Draw each room on paper to scale. Graph paper works well for this purpose as each square can be one square foot. Include the furniture you would like in each room in their approximate size. If unsure of sizes, measure your existing furniture and estimate the size of the furniture you would like. You might find that some rooms need to be larger to accommodate the furniture you would like and others can be smaller than you initially planned. This step will help you determine the size each room has to be to hold the furniture and suit the activities you anticipate for each room.

Finally cut-out each room so they can be re-arranged.

Have fun with the first three steps. More to follow next week!

8 views0 comments