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6 Tips for Choosing the Right Home Design

Modern House Design

Choosing the right home design is a big decision. When looking through blueprints and plans, it’s nearly impossible to change your mind once you get started. That’s why choosing the right design is paramount.

If you’re planning to build your next home, keep these six helpful tips in mind for choosing the right home design.

Consider the Lot Size and Shape

Designing structure of a wooden house
Builder looking on teh drawings of wooden house structures on the construction site. Concept of building and designing wooden frame house

Before you start looking at home layouts, consider the size and shape of your lot. This information will impact your decision, as some home styles will fit the space better than others. You don’t want to find out that the ranch-style home you’ve chosen ends up extending to your property lines after you start building.

One way to circumvent this issue is to purchase house and land packages that narrow down your options based on the lot size. Otherwise, be sure to do a thorough walk-through and measurement of your lot before choosing your plan.

Identify Styles you Like

Take a look at the styles you like and note what features attract you. There are endless home design styles, from Cape Cod to Colonial to Craftsman.

When looking at designs you enjoy, remember to look beyond the exterior and how the home is set up inside. Certain styles have limited wiggle room with the interior floorplan based on the size and shape. Make a shortlist of styles you like to narrow down your options.

Prioritize Your Needs

Closeup of house plan blueprint
Closeup of house plan blueprint

Set your priorities when considering what features your house needs. Break your list into things you must have, things you want to have, and things that would be nice if possible. A high priority need, for example, might be your bedroom count. Wants might include a guest room or an extra half bath in the laundry. Possibilities should be things you can live without but want to have if the design and budget allow.

It’s essential to be realistic when setting priorities and choose which features can be sacrificed for must-haves.

Consider Your Life Stage

The stage of your life will influence your home plan. For example, a young couple starting a family might want bedrooms to be together. An older couple looking at their retirement home might want a laundry room on the main floor.

Consider your current life stage and how you expect it to change over the next five to ten years.

Remember Your Budget

Architects write home designs on the desk.
Architects write home designs on the desk.

Designing and building a home tends to be more expensive than purchasing an existing home. Take time to outline your budget and stick to it. Remember to incorporate padding in your budget for the many inevitable surprises that arise when building a home.

The costs will vary depending on your location, connections, and building from scratch or using a service. Research your local area and ask for quotes from various contractors and home design services before you get started.

Choose the Right Flow

Examining house plan
Close-up image of businessman examining house plan on laptop screen

Finally, square footage isn’t everything. There are plenty of large homes that are set up poorly, resulting in lots of wasted space, a lack of storage, and temperature control nightmares.

Consider the flow of the home plans you want. For example, if you’re someone who likes entertaining, you might enjoy an open floorplan with no walls between the kitchen, dining room, and living room. If you’re someone who works from home, you might want an office tucked away in a quiet part of the house rather than near the rec room. In many cases, choosing the right flow and design scheme is more important than the size of the house.

Use these tips to pick the right design for your home to live happily and comfortably.


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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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