New House Design: Tips and Ideas for Efficiency


There are a number of ways to improve the design of a home without increasing the size and then the cost. By using the logical and multiple use of spatial techniques, you can increase the ease of use of a house plan and keep the cost of construction under budget.

How We Define Space

The space should be defined by the way we use it … not just what the dimensions are. Some rooms are volume rooms, such as dining rooms while others are linear rooms, such as bedrooms. Still others are a combination like large rooms. Definitions are applicable to rooms depending on how rooms are used. Going further, the use of rooms is applied according to the furniture we put in it. Let me explain.

A dining room is a volume space because the dining room table says so. The table is in the middle of the room with little room for wall space. A room is a linear space since the furniture is placed on the walls. Linear spaces require a wall space. A large room is a combination space as there is a bit of both in the furniture placement.

Multiple use of the same space

There are several ways to use the same space for several functions. In a previous article, I used the example of the lower level and how the finish of this space correctly can actually save you on construction costs. Although this solution is not applicable to all designs, it is for many.

One of my other favorite examples is in the master bedroom. I like to use what I call the "master bedroom fireplace" to combine the circulation patterns of this room to one place. Part of the reason why these works are so good is to understand the traffic patterns of all rooms … in this case, the master bedroom. If you can share these traffic patterns, you save space … and costs. In the master bedroom, you have 4 circulation models. You have the entrance to the suite, the entrance to the room, the entrance to the bathroom and the closet door. There are many designs, you will see the entry points of the room and the suite being the same door, but the rest is separated. This means that the space to and from these exit points is dysfunctional in that it is effective in their use. What I am doing is placing the doorway of the suite accessing what I designate as the home of the master suite. This fireplace would have the wic (s) in front, and the bath and the bedroom on each side, so that the floor space for all would be the same. This will save a lot of space and make the main suite design more efficient. Keep in mind that the space is defined by the way you use the space, as described previously.

Single-level closets occupy less space than the linear

Another fallout from this phenomenon is the use of walk-in closets rather than linear closets. I'm always trying (really, really hard) to do it on all my designs. Why? This is a great example of efficient use of space. Take a typical floor plan with a linear closet of about 8 feet in length. This could mean about 6 feet in the doors, and an unusable space in front of them. The doors occupy all the space of the wall, so you need more space to put the furniture. Now, move the wall with the closet doors on in the room (reducing the size of the smaller room ). This gives you a wic..and you take all the wall space wasted by the closet doors … and you have more storage space too. By making the piece smaller you actually make usable space in the larger room . The piece then functions as a larger piece, without the cost.

does not cost you a lot? False. If this room is on the 2nd floor, and in order to accommodate a 3 'dresser in this room with the linear closet, you may need to enlarge the room, … and the room on the floor below,. .. and the foundation below too. This could prove to be a pretty expensive dresser.

Remember that the gold rule (s)

follows the money. This will apply to your design decisions throughout.


Source by Joe Villeneuve

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