Getting a house plan is a prerequisite before an actual construction commencement. It helps a proper home plan and maximum utilization of space. It may also be a means to estimate the cost that have to be incurred and setting a proper deadline for all activities and scheduling meetings with contractors, designers and the architect. If you are going to have a house just built without planning, it is sure to be of an inferior quality with a higher cost of construction and maintenance. Because a faulty plan will always demand a frequent makeover since it doesn’t just fit in right.
There are numerous points that should be taken into account during charting out a house plan. The first is the location of the house. Before making a plan for the house buying a land becomes necessary. House plan depends upon a lot on the type of area, the locality and the terrain. It becomes essential to consider the type of lifestyle that is required and the number of rooms for the house and the location and design of bathrooms needed. They design and theme of the living room, kitchen and the space required for each room. Apart from the rooms in the house, a garage plan should also be included so that all your vehicles are accommodated with ease. While planning for a house all family members should participate to see all possible ideas as well as demand for each member so that everybody is satisfied.
You can make use of various sources to get your house plan ideas. The internet is such one rich source which features many websites that displays homes along with their house plans. Getting some good and worked out examples can be a great way to start with when you want to design your own house.
Before building a house, a properly designed idea is essential and indispensable. A proper plan enables you to visualize how your house will look like after completion. Having a design in mind helps in setting priorities and enables the architect to incorporate your demands perfectly in the overall plan. Having visualized the house and how should it look like, the owner can easily follow up on the progress of construction. Therefore it is advisable to take a good amount of time and plan well so that all the requirements are not missed and possible errors are avoided. It may take weeks and days with frequent discussion with architect and family members before we decide upon the final draft. Giving adequate time gives you peace of mind concerning about the safety and quality of the house you are about to build.
Top House Plans
1. English Country House
The English country house plan has roots from cottages of tenants’ and huge manors that were prevalent in Western England during the medieval period. In actuality the elegant and simple structures were constructed of wattle and daub or stone. The roofs were high and thatched to enable proper runoff of rain. As we all have a picture about an old country home in England, which can be seen in story books where a cottage lies lonely in the woods at the end of a country road, with chimneys blowing smoke and beautiful climbing rose reaching the thatched roof, where old and little men and women looks out of a picturesque window decorated with flower boxes. The visual appeal of such scenic beauty makes the country style home a dream for many people living in urban areas. To the contrary of country serene and comfort, it also projects a scenario of a house that is cramped with minimal light and very minimal modern amenities. For a countryside home few words can describe its nature-simplicity, comfort, charm, romance and intimacy. It is in contrast to the big and large luxurious manors of olden times. To summarize, a cottage style living requires a simple state of mind apart from a perfect house design.
For a quick visual of a country side cottage and the beauty associated with it you may refresh your memory with the happiest moments of your childhood. You may imagine a cozy burrow that is covered with beautiful lush lilac bush; the tree watch that is nested on a high maple branch; the wardrobe in the attic that has a hidden route down under the stairs; bunk beds that is stuffed with warm blankets. Do these memories have an impact on you? Does it bring the nostalgic moments of a childhood hide and seek game? The whole idea of a cottage style home is associated with these deep feelings. We have made small homes and made space for small games and set our own space, and as adults we still have the desire to have an enigmatic, dreamlike, cozy environment to give us a sense of completeness and security while we keep ourselves away from the hectic life of the city.
English cottage homes represents an environment filled with warmth, cozy feeling. During the 1890’s and 1940’s the countryside cottage theme was a design that everybody had in mind in the United States. In the modern version of the theme, these cottages generally have hip roofs along with steep gables. The architectural design of the house is mostly asymmetrical and has a floor plan of not more than one-and-a-half stories. The interiors are designed with artistically bent mindset with picturesque settings. The English cottage may not be able to support a large family and is best suited for young people or old and retired folks. The cottage is small and can be easily maintained. The design of the house makes us feel that we are associated closely with nature. The modest and simple lifestyle associated with a cottage allows us to design the house in a more intricate and artistic manner rather than relying heavily on luxurious settings. An English cottage appropriately describes your personality and reflects your interior self.
2. French House
As the name suggests a French country design originated from the beautiful and scenic dwellings in southern France. The French house plans has become one of the most preferred interior design theme of modern world. The plan represents a non-cluttered, welcoming and casual feel. The charming feature of the house design is given by the colors that are used and the kind of countryside furniture designs that are implanted in the interior. The design can be carried out with a limited amount of money and hence it is affordable for common people. Read through the article to gather some important tips which will enable you to design your home and turn it into an attractive countryside vacation home. Color of the interior plays a major role in this type of design. Choose colors that are associated with a French countryside like delicate greens, creamy or gold, reds, mixed with shades of lavenders, blues and purples. The colors give a sense of cheerfulness and playful environment, while it still keeps the countryside appeal of the woods and sunshine. Different fusions of designs can be tried for this type of home settings when textiles and prints are concerned. Fabrics of white or cream background adorned with nature are the most common in a country side French design. Shades of blue, red, green, brown and black are most common in fabric colors and designs. Toile fabric is best associated with a French country home and is available on a low budget.
Similar to the old house design of the English, French Country furniture is based on old fashioned and used look. Furniture is made of dark woods with a non-glossy and natural look. Sometimes the wood used is those that are just stripped off the bark and colored in cream or soft green shades. For accessories such as table lamps, clocks and fireplaces materials made of wrought iron or used metals are common. The most frequently used structure is that of the rooster which has found its place in almost every nook and corner of the house starting from door handles to salt and pepper shakers. For a low cost yet good selection of accessories you can visit your nearest flea market or an antique shop to find items that are based on a French countryside. Items such as apothecary jars, other accessories and furniture can be bought from these places. A French Country design is meant to have an aura of welcome gesture, a casual look and styles that are rustic. You can add in a lot of flowers to make the scene more complete and authentic. Lavenders works magic on this kind of a house design.
Compared to Parisian furniture, the French Country design expects an assortment of simple furniture which is based on provincial lifestyle. In the olden times this kind of furniture was made out of any kind of wood that is available for the purpose and is made without much refinement. Now In the modern world the traditional spirit is kept alive by designing furniture which are less in architectural design and painted with shades of naturally available colors. A kitchen table made for the purpose of accommodating farm workers together in a farmhouse still finds its place in the modern concept. Normally these kinds of tables are large enough for as much as 12 people to dine together at once. Made of thick planks of wood laid across straight legs this kind of furniture looks formidable and majestic. Chairs can be made of wood with seats knitted with canes or cushioned with fine Provencal prints for added comfort and elegance. Bedroom is furnished with thick and durable four-poster beds and wardrobe. Living room design is simple and if it happens to have fabrics or upholstery then prints of scenic beauty of Southern France is a must.
The French Country house design is meant for elegance and simplicity. It reflects a welcome note and a relaxing environment. Made of materials that are naturally available, the interior of a French Country home is designed for a casual appeal.
3. Beach House
The beach house plan is based on the theme of the sea where the colors and accessories used is a reflection of the vast openness and natural setting. Colors of bright and sunny shades and sand like textures are best incorporated in this kind of house design. Accessories based on the beach and its associated objects can be used in the interior of the house. While deciding upon the furniture and textiles due note should be taken of the kind of environment a beach is in. The high humidity and salt content of sea water should not corrode away your interior decorative. For painting the walls of your beach house bright colors that represents a sunny and open feel, like bright yellow, whites can be used to brighten up your house. Shades of blue like deep navy blue or vibrant sea blue are also a preferred choice. A beach house design should reflect an airy, well ventilated relaxing ambience which is close to nature.
Introduction of textures in a beach house can be of added interest. These types of houses are usually based on a casual outlook as compared to houses in the urban area. Coarse, textured fabrics like tweed and weathered burlap may be used for such designs. For additional appeal pebbles can be used around the house, the bath and in the garden. Like a beach is incomplete without seashells a beach house requires this accessory for a complete look. These empty seashells are natural decorative items that can be placed elegantly on coffee tables or shelves. Items such as driftwood can be intelligently used as a component of the set up by making it into a furniture item or displaying it on a bare wall.
Household furniture of a beach house should be durable and sturdy yet should not be compromised on style. Other fancy furniture will not fit into the design of beach house. Maximum utilization of space is an option and furniture that can be used for two or more purpose is preferable. A large kitchen is an essential part of a beach house. With it a dining room and table big enough to accommodate the guests and family is an integral part of beach house. As for the dining table, it should be sturdy enough for lobsters, crabs etc. can be eaten without feeling uncomfortable or causing damage to it. Tables made of thick wooden planks and bench like sitting area is an ideal choice for this. Like the dining room furnishing other rooms should be furnished with sturdy and formidable furniture and at the same time it should provide comfort so that you can relax for the night after a long and tiring day. You may use upholsters and covers to protect the chairs and furniture from damaging effect of the sea breeze. Using covers and protective upholsters provide yet another option of easy change of look to your home.
A beach house design remains incomplete without the use of fishing nets, ship’s wheels and other seafaring items related to ships and the sea. A beach house design for a small home can be a fun filled work and it is all about having a perfect stylish home.
4. Chalet House Plans
The Chalet House plan is a house plan that is considered the most popular. The whole design is made for a complete view of the surrounding. The type of shelters employed at the Alpine ski slopes are incorporated into the design. It has a large open interior with well-raised ceiling for a perfect family get-together. The outside of the house is decorated with fancy railings and enclosed porches expose beams and distinctive wriggle boards. The house shelters have area for storage and winter sports.
You can have an overall view from the master suite. Beautifully designed gardens dotted with flowers are designed where you can have a pleasant evening walk. There are well-ventilated and spacious bathrooms on the main floor which is flooded with natural sunlight. Kitchens are thrown open to a deck where a dining space is located right opposite to it. Large bedrooms are accompanied with enough storage space and complete with an attached bathroom with a garden tub for a warm bath.
The chalet house plan is designed to have a full view of the exterior from the comfort of your room. It has numerous windows that allow the rooms to be washed in natural daylight. The living room consists of an elegant fireplace and well-raised ceiling. A separate passage leads the master bedroom to the decks. The spacious kitchen is well stocked and equipped and is situated along with the dining room from where the decks can be reached through a French door. The lower part of the house can accommodate your vehicles as ample parking space is provided.
The upper floors consist of the laundry and the first floor holds the bedroom and attached baths. The design of the kitchen, dining and the living room reflects an open dwelling area. The chalet house’s verandah and balconies are just perfect for a summer home. It is a house plan that is economical and yet functional.
5. Spanish Home
House designs based on Spanish revival theme were a popular one between pre-World War II and post-World War I. The house plan has its origin to colonial Spanish period and a combination of structures of earlier periods. Not like the Mission style, the Spanish style is more inclined to decoration in its architecture in small and large structures. It incorporates tiles with detail patterns and accessories of wrought iron. Some common features of a Spanish home design are: unbalanced layout; roof that are made of gable tiles and set in a low-pitch and devoid of overhangs; semi-circular frame windows and doors; a simple exterior constructed of adobe brick with a clean plastered inside; well-decorated tile along with works on wood and wrought iron. The Spanish house design plan is widely popularized by the Panama California Exposition of 1915 and subsequent development of the California’s movie industry. Although the house plan is popular in areas like Southwestern United States and south of Florida, it is not so popular and preferred in the North.
The Spanish house plan is a combination of many Mediterranean architectural designs and merged to produce a well-balanced and elegant look. The sources of inspiration of the design come from Spanish Baroque, Gothic, and Moorish designs. The rough exterior and smooth interiors combined with tile roofs are hallmarks of the design. Tiles which are intricately decorated, grills made of wrought iron are commonly used as door and window frames. These frames not only decorate a house but provide a sense of security. Tall towers and columns are a common feature along with cantilevered balconies. Some other features like balustrades, arcaded walkways and porches which are covered form an integral part of Spanish home design. The front entrance of the house is heavily decorated and other entrances to the house have impressive triple-arch central windows.
The Monterrey style features a double-story form which is modified from designs that are popular in between the mid-1920’s to mid-1950’s. It is a fusion of features of Spanish revival and Colonial type of home plans. The most important feature that can be seen in this type of architecture is the cantilevered balcony joint with the second story and is spread all along the front portion of the house. Due to the energy efficiency presented by Spanish revival homes it has gained a lot of popularity. The energy efficiency is produced by the stucco walls and small windows which keeps the room in a moderate temperature to live in. The thick walls of the house enable proper guarding of the southern heat during daytime and provide gentle warmth to the dwellers in the cold evenings. The small windows provide passage for cool breeze and yet protects from direct heat of the sun. The windows may have wooden shutters which are fitted inside of the house.
Spanish style homes are made of naturally available materials and provide an organic foundation. The stucco, adobe and roofing materials are all made of earthen materials which are available in the local region. And the winning part of Spanish homes is that it is designed for a family. They are provided with a courtyard that is enclosed and can be used as a spot for family gatherings.
Apart from its energy efficient nature, Spanish homes are a preferred option for many of the house builders because of its simplicity and organic nature. The old architectural design of colonial era homes is intelligently modified for perfection in a southern climate where the temperature remains warm most of the time.
6. Gregorian House
The Gregorian house plan represents an architectural model of being symmetrical and well-ordered arrangement. It has rectangular design with symmetrical designs of the outside as well as the inside of the house. Due to its symmetrical and geometric arrangement the house design became very popular in New England and Southern regions around the 18th century. The Gregorian house design is based on ancient Greece, Rome and some part of Italian architectural structures. The early dwellers of America wanted the Gregorian house plan to keep them close to their home country and at the same time reflect grandeur in the house, and it became so popular that by 18th century it was the most demanded style. Till today Gregorian house styles can be widely seen in areas around the U.S. East Coast. Colonial Williamsburg is the most prominent example of old colonial settlement. A very notable example is the President’s house of the College of William and Mary, which was first occupied in 1733 and accommodates all the presidents of the college till date.
There will be difference in construction material of Gregorian homes. In the south, it will be made of bricks and as you travel towards New England the construction is with wooden frames. There is a look of formality in this style of home due to the symmetrical nature of construction of both the exterior and interior. The front entrance of the house is placed centrally from where the stairway and hallway can be accessed. The roof of the house is side-gabled and prominent raised structures along with tooth like structures that are present all along the roof line. There are two chimneys that are found on the roof. The large central door is paired with two double0hung windows on each side. The Gregorian homes are constructed with two stories and a Gregorian style home with one story is known as Cape Cod style. In old architecture of this kind of homes there are five windows, rectangular in form fitted along the portico in an evenly spaced manner. The windows may be fitted with multiple panes, sometimes nine to twelve panes in one girdle. In the south the windows are fitted with louvered shutters to allow the gentle breeze and yet block sunlight. Paneled shutters are more dominant in area along the north which offers protection from turbulent winds, cold snow and hail.
Before building a Gregorian style house a home owner should consider the fact that regular maintenance is required for a wooden or a brick house. Wooden planks that are not protected by vinyl should be painted regularly to keep away from rotting. The outside of the house which is masonry may not require much maintenance. The rectangular windows with multiple panes are not energy efficient design. It must always be made sure that they are reglazed frequently and the window panes are in proper position. Even though the roofing material like the shake and slate of old Gregorian style house are much durable than the modern day shingles, both require regular attention for a better home.
Out of the many home plans that were associated with the early settlers of America, the Gregorian house plan is the one that has a statement of class and leisure due to its strict symmetrical design.
7. Prairie House
The prairie house which has an American origin was the first of its kind that became popular in Europe. It still is a popular design preferred by many home owners till today in the U.S. The most amazing thing is that the architect, Wright, never went to an architectural school. He started his childhood by attending to the farms that his uncle had.
Other architects now have brought out designs that were modified from the original prairie house. The American design known as the foursquare style has also got another name as Prairie Box. Another design called the Usonian, was designed by Wright in 1936, is a simplified form of the prairie house. In modern days a prairie house is a representation of comfort and luxury placed in a beautiful landscape.
8. Craftsman House
As the name suggest this house plan is a reflection of the popular arts and crafts of late 19th century and beginning of 20th century. After the heavy industrialization architects realized that returning to nature and its beauty is essential by keeping away from a mechanized life. The house style used naturally available materials like the wood and stone to construct the house so that it is in harmony with nature. The name “Craftsman” came from the title of a magazine which was published in between 1901 to 1916 by Gustav Stickley. Original Craftsman houses were designed according to ideas and plans published in the magazine, however there are variations of the work which are published in various other catalogues and pattern books. Thus the craftsman homes are the ones that are closely associated with the arts and crafts movement and most importantly those which are economical in nature.
Craftsman home plans are mostly associated with a sense of simplicity without much decoration and made from materials chiefly available in the region. Materials that are of natural origin are a major ingredient in building a craftsman style home. The house plan is made in such a way that it is centrally placed so that the natural sunlight bathes the house which is surrounded by beautiful gardens. Enough outdoor living space is provided on the front porch which is made of stone supported by large frame pillars. The outside of the house is constructed with materials like wood, stone or stucco and often has roofs that are low set with wide eaves. A stone chimney is a common feature. The interior of the house has a large open space with minimal alleys so that it can be used as a site for display of arts and crafts or hold a large gathering of people. The walls of the house are fitted with many windows so that sunlight reaches every corner. The ceilings are beamed along with dark wood edgings and wainscoting. Provision of shelves, wardrobes etc. are usually built in. A craftsman home is associated with light fixtures that reflect the beauty of Arts and Crafts with stained glass for added hue.
The craftsman house style may have an impression of a bungalow in most of the peoples’ minds, but there are craftsman style houses like the prairie, mission or foursquare which reflects a sense of art and nature. Since the recent economic downfall the craftsman style is undergoing a lot of change in concept and style. The construction materials such as PVC and other low maintenance construction products enable the house owner to save money on house maintenance unlike other traditional materials. One example is that PVC windows are more durable as they do not rot and are in demand. Since modern day home buyers are more attracted to simple, inexpensive and practical homes a craftsman style home is a good option.
A craftsman style home is a designed for comfort and homely feel. It provides ample space for many occasions. Its front porch and large spacious interiors allows efficient usage of space and makes it a perfect home to live in.