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Your Custom Home Layout

Orient your home around your site and your needs

The Surrounding Environment

Refer to the sun and shade, sounds, views and weather indicated on your plot plan. How do these impact your activities? Where do you want the morning sun: in your bedroom, in the kitchen, on the garden?

Think about the bad weather that affects your location. If there will be heavy snowfall, you don't want it to pile up in front of your garage door. With oceanview sites, consider when you will want to watch the winter storms and when you will want to get away from them.

Consider also how the weather might impact particular furnishings or storage, such as things that need to be kept cool or out of direct sunlight.


Unless you are planning a single-story home, consider carefully what should be on each floor. Do you want all bedrooms on the same level or separated? How many steps are you willing to climb between garage and driveway and kitchen when carrying groceries? Consider any younger, older, or disabled people who will live in or visit your home now and into the future.

A house need not be divided evenly into upstairs and downstairs. Split-level homes use shorter runs of stairs between multiple levels. They can be ideal for people who do not want long flights of stairs, and can also be a good solution for certain types of sloped lots.


Think about when and why you would enter the house from the street, driveway,  and garage, and from the decks, patios and yard?


A view home is best designed from scratch for a particular site and its views. Arranging the rooms to take advantage of the views may also create a unique design.

Even if your building site is not “view property” it still has views to be seen out the window, if only of your own garden, that a good home design will make the most of.

When do you want to see the views: when dining, washing the dishes, sitting on the couch, waking in the morning, soaking in the tub? Do you want to lie in bed and see the stars through a skylight?

A frequent challenge with view houses is how to arrange your living room furniture so as to see both the view and the fireplace. Another is how to enjoy a western view during summer afternoons when the sun blasts through the windows. A custom home designer can help you solve these problems.

Practical concerns

Where will your houseplants and pets live? How can you keep the glare off your computer or television screen? Will you want outdoor space that is protected from wind or sun? From where do you want to see children playing outside? Will you want to see visitors approaching your door?

How to start your custom home design

Your Custom Home Designer

Your Building Site

The Building Envelope

Orienting to Your Building Site

Setting Priorities

Planning for How You Live

Planning Your Storage

Your Custom Home Layout