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Selecting Your Plan

How To Select Your Plan

The following checklist can be very helpful when examining, what seems to be like endless home design books.  Also you can use this list to help critique your design during the preliminary stages of the custom home design process.


ð       What type of house do you prefer?  Two storey, bungalow, split level, bi-level, or walkout.

ð       Does the exterior appearance suit your tastes?  Can it be easily modified?

ð       Will it blend in well with the neighborhood, while still being sufficiently different to distinguish it from the others?

ð       Is the exterior design a simple and honest expression of style, without being busy or over detailed?

ð       Is there curve appeal, are features proportional to each other and symmetrical?


ð       What style of door? Single, double door with or without sidelights and overhead transom?

ð       Does the main entry provide effortless flow to all major areas of the home?

ð       Is there closet storage for outerwear in close proximity?

ð       Does the entry, when viewed from outside, make a statement; once inside, will your guest get a positive first impression?


ð       Is the living room shielded from the front entry? Or do you prefer a more open design?

ð       Does the view or street noise influence the position of the living room to the front or rear of the house?

ð       Is the living room to be a formal area used infrequently, or informal space used on a day to day basis?

ð       Is the room designed for optimum furniture arrangement?

ð       Will your furniture fit?

ð       Is the fireplace in the right Location?

Dining Room

ð       Is it large enough for your furniture?

ð       Is it to be a formal space or will it be used every day?

ð       Is there sufficient room for china cabinet or buffet?

ð       Is there a way to expand the seating and table space for large dinner parties?  Often sunken areas or partitions prevent the chairs form spilling into adjoining rooms or halls.

ð       Is it conveniently located for serving from the kitchen?

ð       Should it be separate from the living room or combined, as in many “open space” plans?


ð       Is the kitchen convenient to the garage for unloading groceries?

ð       Does the kitchen have a step saving work triangle?  Is it the proper size?  Working couples man wish space for two people to work in the kitchen.

ð       Conveniently located to serve the dining, breakfast and outdoor entertaining areas?

ð       Adequate counter and storage space?

ð       Mentally going through he steps of meal preparation, is the kitchen functional?

ð       Do you want the kitchen oriented to catch the morning sun?

ð       Is there ample natural light?

ð       Is the breakfast area large enough to suit your family’s informal meal times?

ð       Should the kitchen be open to other areas of the house such as the family room?

Family Room

ð       Is it large enough for your family’s needs, including entertaining?

ð       Convenient access to outdoor areas?

ð       Do you require a fireplace?  Should it be visible from the kitchen and breakfast area?

ð       How are the traffic patterns to and from the family room?

ð       Where will the TV be located?

ð       Can a satisfactory furniture layout be achieved so that both the fireplace and TV are viewable at the same time?

ð       Does your family want privacy in a separate room or open-plan to the kitchen or other rooms?


ð       Will the laundry/utility room form a transition space from the exterior (often the garage) on the main floor?  Would it be more convenient next to the bedrooms, or in the basement?

ð       Is there adequate storage space for coats and footwear?

ð       Will ironing space be necessary?  If so, you may wish to include a cablevision outlet in your pre-wiring requirements.

ð       Are laundry tubs, counters and cabinets required?

ð       Consider natural light and task lighting.


ð       How many bedrooms are required?

ð       Are the bedroom windows and doors located so that furniture arrangement can be simple, yet flexible?

ð       Is there adequate closet space?

ð       Located away from noisy area?

ð       Do you want the morning sun in the master bedroom?


ð       Conveniently located, while still allowing privacy?

ð       Is the sufficient towel storage and counter space?

ð       Do you require a separate and lockable medicine cabinet?

ð       Are double basins required in the main bath for the children or in the master bath for mom and dad?

ð       Would a separate toilet compartment within the master or secondary bathrooms be desirable

ð       Is there a separate shower stall and tub?

ð       Consider erase of access to tub and/or shower for the elderly, as well as the young.

ð       Natural light or task lighting?

Half Bathroom/Powder Room

ð       Is the powder room located near the informal spaces for family use or close to formal area if required exclusively for guest use?

Home Office

ð       Is a den/quest room or home office required?

ð       Should it be located close to the front formal entry, which may suit a home office location best?

ð       Is there closet space or shelves that can easily be used if the room may be converted to a spare bedroom?


ð       Is the interior corridor layout simple and compact?

ð       Is there adequate space for linen storage?


ð       Single, double, or triple garage door?

ð       Should garage be detached; side, front, or rear?

ð       Convenient storage, easily accessible and sufficiently large to accommodate household and gardening needs?

ð       Does the plan incorporate energy conserving design features?

ð       How should the home be oriented to the sun?

ð       Is there a view to be taken into consideration?

ð       Are the decks and patios well planned in relation to the home’s interior?

ð       What type and style or staircase(s) will be required?

ð       Last but certainly not least, consider your budget.  To avoid choosing the wrong plan and overspending, multiply average building costs in your area by the average square footage of the plans you like.  Get the numbers from builders, architects or someone you may know who recently completed building a new home……The key is to get practical economic advice directly related to the community in which you are about to build

This home design checklist can also be downloaded as PDF for your convenience.
How To Select Your Plan