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DESIGNING THE PERFECT FLOOR PLAN FOR YOU: Helpful Tips from Wisconsin Log Homes

Choosing a floor plan that’s right for your family can often be overwhelming once you decide to build a new home. But with careful planning and help from an experienced custom design team, your new home will be functional and comfortable for years to come.

Here are a few tips and guidelines for planning your custom home:

1.) Know your site.
The best homes are a synergy of the site. The topography, seasonal path of the sun, direction of prevailing winds, and scenic views all affect the design and placement of your home. Homes that harmonize with their surroundings appear as though they belong, resulting in year-round comfort and enjoyment while reducing energy costs.

2.) Know your lifestyle.
Just as your home should harmonize with its surroundings, it should also harmonize with its inhabitants. Knowing your family’s day-to-day living preferences will help you design a home to fit your wants and needs. For best results, all family members should participate in this part of the planning process. Just as lifestyles vary from family to family, they also vary from person to person. Ask each family member to make their own list of wants and needs for the future home and then compare results and combine ideas. Obviously, it may not be possible to meet all the needs of every family member, and you may want to point that out first. Everyone may want their own bedroom with a private bath, but is it feasible? Do you really need a formal living room and dining room, or would you prefer a great room open to the kitchen and dining area? Does your family like to do things as a group or do they like to do their own thing in their own space?

Be specific about room sizes. Think about how and when the space will be used and whether it will relate to other rooms.

Decide on the number of levels you want. Consider your site, the size of your family, the age of your children, and your lifestyle. If this is going to be your “forever home,” be sure to plan for today as well as the future. At the same time, think about the architectural style you want.

3.) Dream home file.
If you haven’t done so already, make your “dream home” file of ideas you’d like to incorporate into your home to help you communicate your visions to others. Pictures of details like window configurations, staircases, fireplaces, kitchen layouts, outdoor living space, exterior style and so forth, will help show exactly what you are attempting to achieve. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Browsing through floor plans and saving your favorites is a great idea. Because the exterior look of a plan can be changed in most cases, the floor plan should be your main focus. While exploring plans, you may find a single design that comes close, with some custom modifications, to meeting your needs. More often though, elements of several different designs may interest you. You might like the floor plan of one design, the exterior style of a second, the master suite layout of another, and so forth. “Mixing and matching” is encouraged by companies who specialize in custom home design.

Browse custom log, timber frame and hybrid designs in Wisconsin Log Homes Floor Plan Gallery.

Register to receive a new custom plan with fresh ideas every month in Wisconsin Log Homes Focus on Design E-newsletter.

4.) Floor Plan Development
Now comes the fun part. You can begin to play with “bubble diagrams.” The bubble will establish where you want everything. Start with your site plan and the location of your house. Remember, the view will affect the placement of the main rooms. The road will affect the location of the driveway, which will influence the location of the garage and the main entry. Don’t get bogged down with sizes and shapes; simply think in terms of how spaces relate to each other and the site. This is the same technique architects use. Eventually, these bubbles will grow into floor plans and elevations.

Contact an experienced custom design team like Wisconsin Log Homes to discuss your ideas and visions. Once you choose a company who will meet your personal needs and expectations, the exciting process of creating your floor plan will begin!

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