That’s a great idea and it sure saves money. It also eliminates the middle man. Those architects and designers can get expensive. I’ve heard that some designers can charge up to ten dollars per square foot for simple drawings containing a floor plan and exterior elevations. Now that is a chunk of change. If you are going to do it for yourself, you’re going to need to know how. Below are just some of the things needed to know to draw a simple ranch style home.
So what do you need to know to draw your own house plan?
1. You need to know how to lay out your Floor Plan. The floor plan is the template for your entire set of drawings. From the floor plan show where we want our electrical, tell how big our rooms are, note our window and door sizes, etc., so this is where we have to begin. Sure you could start with the exterior views but that would limit our interior of the home to what the outside looks like. Not a good idea! The house needs to be functional first and look pretty second out of necessity.
2. You need to understand the mechanics of a well designed kitchen. A kitchen is a place where the homemaker spends a majority of their time. It needs to be comfortable but functional. This area consists of a Sink area, Cooking area, & Food storage area. The best layout for a kitchen is one in which the least steps are taken to reach each appliance. This is called the working area or working triangle. A good working triangle doesn’t exceed 12 to 14 feet all the way around.
3. The builder of the home would sure appreciate knowing where the walls, windows, & doors are located exactly. They would also like knowing door and window sizes, not to mention anything else special that is on the plan. That’s where the dimensions and notes come in handy. You need to be able to create a dimensional string and groups of notes that are not confusing.
4. The Electrical Plan is very important to you as it gives you the opportunity to customize the home to your power and comfort needs! On the other hand, it is not always needed. What I mean by this is that any electrician who has taken a test for his or her license knows what is required electrical service by code. Chances are that they have already wired quite a few residences and barring any special needs or preferences can do the job without this plan. Always be aware though! Certain states require that you be a licensed Architect or Electrical Engineer to do Electrical plans. Be sure to check with your local building inspector to see what your limitations are! This will definitely save you some headaches down the road.
5. In standard construction, at least in the South Eastern United States, houses are built on Masonry Foundations or Basements. A foundation is the part of the home that anchors it to or keeps it from settling into the ground. This knowledge is a must in completing your plans.
6. What about how the exterior is going to look? It is no small matter if you are wanting to convey the idea of how the finished product is going to look when construction is complete. What is it going look like when its built? How to determine the best roof pitch, do we use brick, siding or rock?
7. Folks, I defiantly don’t believe in mind reading! Neither does the typical contractor! If there is anything special you are wanting to build into your house, how is the builder to know unless you show them? You can make all the notes you want to on your plans and elevations but the message of how you want the house constructed may not always come across. That’s why you need to understand how to draw details.
8. Then there is the task of finishing your drawings and not letting goofs and slip-ups get out the door. You need to understand the most common mistakes made by people who draw house plans so you can look out for them!
9. Last but not least in drawing your house plans is to know how to print them out and in what format and size.