Tips on Choosing the House Design for You

Overall Plan

  • What size & style house is suitable for your neighborhood? If you have chosen a lot, choose a plan well suited with the other houses in the area.
  • If choosing a stock plan, do you like the outside elevations of the house? It may be best to start with a floor plan you like, because a good designer would be able to adjust the exterior elevations to suit you.
  • Concrete slab foundations are cheaper than crawl spaces, however, slab houses are harder to heat, and may be a security and/or privacy problem.
  • Will there be a garage? How many vehicles will need to be housed?

The Lot

  • Will your house fit on your lot? Have a plot plan with your house laid out on it if there is doubt as to whether or not the house would fit and/or how you would like the house to sit.
  • From which direction will you be entering the lot? Front entrance driveways are the least expensive. Side or rear entry driveways are more expensive.


  • When considering square footage, remember that “living” or “heated” space is measured to the outside of the brick.
  • Room sizes may be figured to the outside of a wall, the center of the wall, or both.
  • Do you want one or more stories in your house? Two or more stories involve a staircase(s). Consider if you would want a staircase in the future, i.e. later in life?

The Roof

  • Consider the pitch of the roof. Roof pitches of 9:12 or greater are more expensive.
  • Which roof is right for the elevations of your house? Hip roofs are usually cheaper than gable roofs.

Important Details

  • Is a basement to your advantage? Is your lot appropriate for the kind of basement that you might want?
  • Are there enough windows? Consider the size and shape of different windows to find one that suits you.
  • What type of kitchen do you want? Are there enough cabinets? Do you want a pantry?
  • Are there enough bedrooms? Will your family grow or reduce? Is there a chance that in-laws may move in, you may have more children, or someone may be leaving?
  • Should the master bedroom be upstairs, downstairs, with the other bedrooms, or on the opposite side of the house?
  • Are there enough bathrooms?
  • Are there enough closets? Consider the storage space you may need for seasonal clothing and decorations.
  • Are the room sizes large enough for your furniture?
  • Do rooms allow for privacy?
  • Are bathrooms, utility room, etc., conveniently located where they will not cause disturbance to other areas of the house?

Pro Tips:

  • Although you want your house to look attractive on the outside, it may be wiser to spend your money on the inside where you will actually use it. More space vs. high pitched roofs, for instance.
  • Consider the rooms you use the most. You may want dining, living, and family/keeping rooms or you may choose a more open space with fewer walled areas.