Planning your dream house can be a very exciting as well as tiring process. Assembling everything right from the site to the contractor to the end visualisation of the design on-site; the entire journey is long and requires expert guidance.
Each house owner or even each potential house owner should be armed with expert knowledge at their disposal to help them realise their home plan with ease.
With that said, we’ve tried to put together a piece to help you navigate calmly through your house designing process.
Before moving on to the more intense and technical aspects, take a moment to gather all your dreams, imaginations and practical requirements regarding your dream home.
STEP 01: Making a checklist + Understanding your requirements
Making a checklist to the some of the critical questions will help streamline your requirements and give better shape to them in terms of design requirements:
Do you live in a joint family or plan to move out as a nuclear family? That answers the question of member occupancy for which the design has to provide.
How many rooms do you require? Consider the prospect of guest rooms and scope for expansion in the future.
Moving from one space to another determine the micro-requirements. For instance, do you want a kitchen with a kitchen-island or a small pantry-kitchen? Do you also need a store room?
Conceptualizing your utility area is also necessary- do you want it compact or want it to double up as pantry and extra storage space?
How large do you require the pooja room to be? Do you require a room for pooja or an open pooja space?
Consider the question of having attached washrooms for master bedrooms and others too if required. Separate common washrooms and washbasin area – dining area also need to be planned.
Do you have a walk-in wardrobe in mind or a simple in-room dresser area?
How do you imagine the entrance of your house- with a portico or a sit-out? Single entrance door or a palatial double door entrance?
What do you want your lobby/foyer to look like as soon as you step inside the house? Will it lead straight to the drawing area or do you have an art gallery walkway leading to the congregation space?
Will a living room/ area suffice for gatherings or do you want to separate your personal family lounge from the general congregation area?
Do you require an office space or reading room or separate study? Do you plan a den or home theatre?
Other spaces might also include game room, multi-functional area, reading room etc.
How do you visualize your house – single storeyed or double or more? Do you have any landscaping or lawn/garden space in mind? Do you need parking space?
Planning your house’s exteriors is also equally important. Terrace spaces, roofscape, landscape around the house, porticos and greenery – will all crucially determine your house’s first look for anyone and everyone.
STEP 02: Design Ideas and the design
It is necessary to get an idea of the style and theme of your house. Your house should be a reflection of its inhabitants right from interior design to colours to architectural elements and exterior. It may help to have a consultation with the designer/contractor with references of the tentative design either from online pictures or rough descriptions.
This shall also be helpful in arriving at the overall estimated cost of the project.
You may already have ideas of installing a pergola-green roof or having an open terrace.
Image credits: www.pinterest.com
Having a camouflaged parking or an open prominent designed space; having a lawn with landscaping or having a central courtyard.
You may prefer a modern exterior design or a traditional elevation to your home. Doing some secondary research from either google or pinterest and social media will help build on your idea.
STEP 03: Understanding the site
Not all designs suit all sites. Hence it is critical to always have an image of your site in your mind while planning out things.
Visit your site and try to get an idea of
§ its context & surroundings
§ site conditions- encroachments, vegetation etc.
Adapting your vision to suit your site can be executed by the designer/contractor. If possible also try to have a site visit with your contractor to understand the site better.
There maybe existing structures on site – pump room, demolished remnants or well etc. Manoeuvring the design around the existing trees and landscape as well as elements such as wells [if present] can give an edge to your house whilst retaining the original.
STEP 04: Fixing a budget
With site visit done, a discussion with the contractor and designer can help you arrive at an estimated cost for the project. Always plan your budget with a little window so that in case of an increase, it is not problematic.
STEP 05: Finalize a designer or a contractor
Dealing with some Fundamentals…
1. PLOT SIZE:
Understanding your plot/site and intelligently using the space to fulfil your requirement is must.
20*40 and 30*40 are the most common plot sizes. You can choose to have full ground coverage or have a smaller ground floor with some green area.
Important aspects to consider:
Do you plan on having a row house or an independent bungalow? Basic idea of the local development regulations can come in handy while designing.
Do you have an idea of a lawn or a kitchen garden to go with your house? Or do you plan on full ground coverage to have maximum internal space?
It is also critical to finalise on the number of storeys one would want to build, of course depending on the plot size and internal requirements.
Like discussed earlier, having a nascent idea of the requirement of spaces, number of rooms and design of it will help in better execution.
Individual bungalow vis-à-vis row house
Minimum requirements for spaces:
Min. dimension [Ft]
With the idea of minimum area required for each space, one can manoeuvre around rough sketches to accommodate and rule out house plans.
Budget becomes a critical factor for the execution of the project. Interior designer/ design consultant charges can start anywhere from Rs. 50 per sf. and on upwards depending on the designer and the house plan.
Approximate cost of construction:
These estimates are rough and for a basic structure and completely depends upon the client’s design and requirements. The grandeur of the design might add on some additional expense.
Vastu plays a very important role in the Indian house planning process and rightly so. It helps to scientifically place and structure our living spaces. As revered as it in the Indian home planning context, you have Vastu experts that one can consult for the purpose.
The path of the sun and the direction of the wind geographically influence the liveability factor of the spaces. The sun travels East to West via south, implying that South facing spaces shall face greater heat comparatively.
Wind direction is generally SW to NE, which will influence your internal ventilation.
Vastu for house plan is dependent on the Vastu-Purusha Mandala. The diagram helps orient spaces according to the position of the 5 elements.
Fig.: Vastu purusha mandala & Elements.
Image Credits: www.pinterest.com
Ancient Indian philosophy and science come together to give us our modern house plan. Placement of spaces according to the mandala and elements becomes crucial for an effective vastu compliant house.
Vastu orientation for North facing house:
Vastu for East facing house:
Vastu for South facing house:
Vastu for West facing house:
There are 1001 things to be considered, skimmed through and streamlined while planning a house. There might always be variations while execution of the project. Having a clear vision and preparation before hand will make this house planning journey a joyous ride.
There are several more facets to building a house- dream to visualization to execution of the final project. Hope this brief on a few of the parameters was helpful to self-educate yourself.
Happy building your dream-home!