Developing A Great Plan To Build Your First House

by : Gerald Mason

Perhaps the ideal way to buy a car is to go down to the dealer, select the one you want, write a check for it, and drive away in a new Cadillac, Continental, or Imperial; but many of us have to be content with a second hand Chevrolet or Ford, and that on the installment plan of dollars per month for eighteen months.

Something similar may occur in getting possession of a house.

The ideal way is to employ a good architect to help select the lot and to prepare complete plans and specifications.

Then get a reputable contractor to build it while you take a tour of Europe.

When you return, he will hand you the key, and the van will move you in and set the furniture in place under the direction of an interior decorator.

Of course, in the meantime, the landscape architect and the nursery men have completed planting the shrubbery and have the lawn under control. Just write a few good healthy checks and all is yours. Alas, most of us have to be content with considerably less luxury.

Look at it another way. It is really fun to build a house, and the above method deprives one of much of the joy of accomplishment and pleasure that comes from successfully completing a good piece of hard work.
We shall now assume that having already selected the lot you are ready to begin the actual planning of your dream house.

First, take a blank sheet of paper on which you write the items that must absolutely be in the new house.

Then make a second list of the things you would like to have if the budget, or other relevant considerations, makes them possible.

When rooms are mentioned, write down the approximate size desired, either in square feet or give the desired dimensions in feet.

These will be only approximate, as they must all eventually be fitted into the completed plan.

You might begin with something like this:

Living Room
350 to 400 square feet
carpet floor
large picture window
space for grand piano
wall space for furniture
quiet corner for reading

Continue the list until you have included the things you consider essential to a satisfactory house for you and your family. Other people would have different lists.

A statement of this kind would be of much more help than a partially drawn plan in case you decide to get a professional planner to assist you in making your final plans.

If you draw your own plans, you will find the list indispensable. You can check your drawings against the list to find out what you are omitting in time to correct the plan.

Adapting the Plan to the Lot
Every successful house plan is made to fit a specific lot.

First consider the approach to the property; how will the driveway and the car affect the arrangement? Consider the view; don't let the gar¬age obstruct it.

Think of the drainage, the utilities, the use of the land, the public lawn, the private outdoor living, the swimming pool, and all the features desired in a modern up-to-date establishment.

Where is the best view from the kitchen window? Which is more important, to be able to supervise the play yard from the kitchen window, or to get a view of the lake, or can both features be included in one kitchen?

Is there a view, or must you create your own view by wise and careful planting, to shut out the undesirable by a row of tall evergreens, and to create a scene of beauty by a considered choice of shrubs and flowers?

These are all things that you must consider when you are developing plans to build your first house.

Always use a mortgage calculator when you need to take out a mortgage on land or a house, to save yourself money over the months.