Planning and designing a home, one of the first considerations is cost because cost will actually determine the size, shape, and style of the house. The cost of home construction will vary in each state in the US. In comparing the higher cost of building today with the lower cost of building yesterday, you should remember that present day houses are more comfortable and convenient than houses of long ago. Old fashioned houses lacked many things to make life comfortable. Planning was not as well understood as it is today and of necessity, there are many other cost factors that have to be added into the modern home.
Whenever possible you should consider the orientation of a home on it’s lot by making sure that sunlight is utilized to the fullest extent. In doing so you can save your client a great deal of money in heating costs in the cold months by considering passive solar heat.
Saving space is the key word for a successful house plan, large or small. Owners should study the plans over and over again. After the rooms are sketched out, go over them carefully and see if you can eliminate any wasted space. A good room arrangement depends more upon your ingenuity to use space wisely than it does on how much money you put into it.
The shape of a house has much to do with the possibilities of planning. Rectangular or near rectangular houses allow for a better arrangement of rooms than a square house. The most economical arrangement has a central living or great room with one hall to access the two or three bedrooms, baths, kitchen, and dining room all enclosed in a rectangle. (Reference: The Versatile Ranch Style House)
Porches and decks are very important and the designer should consider them carefully. The most useful porch is situated, not on the front of the house where privacy is rarely secured, but on one side or in the rear of the house.
An attached garage or carport is always preferable to one build separately since it incorporates into the rectangular home easily and can share the main roof giving an even greater savings in material costs.
My name is Tim Davis and I draw architectural plans for a living at http://residentialdrafting.net/. I also teach others how to draw house plans, site plans, mechanical and shop drawings and other types of drafting that I have been trained to do in a virtual classroom on the internet at http://draftingschool.net/.