Create Your Own House Plans

DIY Home Design (A is for Approximate)

diy home design

Your first attempt is all about sketching, searching to recreate the feeling and emotion of your “scrapbook” collection.

Try to push yourself to get as many ideas on paper as you can. Don’t try and solve the whole problem at once, just play with it for now.

Putting It All Together

Pattern book architecture dates back to Thomas Jefferson and his design for Monticello. Long ago architects saw themselves as guild craftsman, more so than artists. Common building elements were catalogued to be reused and recombined.

This method of architectural design is about putting those elements together, to use your over-stuffed file of magazine pictures, vacation photographs, manufacturer’s advertisements, and the vague image in your mind you have been trying to focus in on.

Create A Bubble Diagram

The first step in starting “for keeps” is to create what is called a “bubble diagram” by arranging circles with the names of your rooms by position on site and their relationship to each other. These bubbles are not to an exact scale but try to adjust the bubbles to the sizes and proportions of the rooms as best you can imagine. Do not proceed to next phase until all relationships are acceptable for site orientation and room placements.

The next step is to sketch your floor plans. Start with crayons or magic markers, no mechanical pencils yet, sketch with broad strokes, don’t get hung up trying to fix flaws, you are searching for only one good idea to hold onto. Work in fits and starts. let your work rest, come back to it in half an hour or even two hours later with fresh eyes.

Embrace Trial And Error

In design you continue to work by a process of elimination, take as many wrong turns as needed until you “recognize the solution“. Design is much more trial and error than invention.

Your final step for now is to sketch your elevations. Your first sketches should ignore the floor plan completely. Sometimes it is better to start with the elevation before the plan because you want to create a style. You should still be working with magic markers or the like.

Next, start to integrate the floor plan by sketching in the critical elements of your house, the porch or dormers or front entry. Now, challenge the design for the first time by applying scale to your “concept” sketches, wall heights and windows should be to scale, room dimensions, etc.

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