The most commonly used drawing in a set of architectural house plans is the floor plan design. The floor plan is the drawing of the outline and partitions of a building as you would see if the building were to be sliced horizontally around four feet above the floor line. It provides more specific information about the design of the building than any other drawing from the home construction set. For this reason the floor plan is used as a base for the projection of the entire set of drawings in a complete set of house designs. In other words, we’re designing homes from the inside out.
There was once a time when the exterior of homes were conceived before the interior. In general, the typical homes were either a box or rectangle. The exterior only had to be defined as an architectural style during the design process. A simple square, rectangle, or combination of the two were established in a workable overall size and then the rooms were carved out within these forms. This basic theory is still true; however, as time and lifestyles changed this approach to floor plan layouts did as well.
The Art of designing homes from the inside out
Today the inside of most homes are designed before the outside, but the outside design is determined by the size and relationship of the inside areas. In essence, this is known as designing homes from the inside out. In this inside out technique, the building designer evolves the plan from basic room requirements. The building designer determines what facilities are required for each room in the home by learning the living habits, style, and taste of the homeowners. In this way, the furniture, fixtures, and the appropriate amount of space for activities are provided for.
Floor plan needs and wants
Designing homes from the inside out involves the forethought of the home designer from the general concept to the final layout. But during the entire process, the wants and needs of the occupant must be kept clearly in mind to develop perfect house plans for the owner. Combining all of the listed needs and as many of the listed wants as possible is the key to a good house design. A generic list of the needs and wants may be as follows.
- Needs may include:
- — two story floor plan
- — 2 car garage
- — large family room
- — kitchen with breakfast area (additional dining areas may or may not be worthy of valuable sq ft)
- — 4 bedrooms including master bedroom
- — master bedroom on main floor
- — powder room
- — laundry on main level
- — study/ office
- Wants may include:
- — fireplace in the master bedroom
- — bonus room above the garage
- — guest bedroom (consider how many bedrooms are actually needed based on family size)
- — game room
One way to get the maximum bang for your design is to consider combining needs and wants into multipurpose rooms. A good example would be to design a room to serve as a study or office (the need) that also function as a guest bedroom (the want) when the homeowner see fit to use it as such. In another example, the bonus room and game room could easily be the same room which makes that space multi-use as well.
Designing homes Size and spacing
When designing homes from the inside out, the house designer first determines what furniture is needed for each space. Next, the amount and size of that furniture has to be determined. The style selected will greatly affect the dimensions of the furniture. After the furniture dimensions are established, furniture templates can be made and arranged in functional patterns. Room sizes can be established by drawing a perimeter around the furniture placements.
When room sizes are determined, rooms can be combined into areas, and areas into the total floor plan. Finally, the outside is designed by projecting the elevations from the floor plan.