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Define your Design

By: Vicki Connell

You closed on the perfect piece of property, now what? Start compiling what you want your house to look like. Make a list of must haves for you and your family. What spaces do you find yourself spending the most amount of time in? What spaces do you seldom use? Do you entertain? What things do you love about your current home? What do you wish you could change?

Once you’ve answered these questions you can start putting ideas to paper.

Most of us have a hard time conceptualizing space until we see it. It can be helpful to look at open houses, model homes, even friend’s and family’s homes with features you like. If a room size seems just right, measure it and write it down. You can piece together a home but compiling individual room sizes, at least for key rooms, and an architect can put it all together for you.

There are several websites that offer designs and floor plans for purchase. I would advise against buying a plan online unless you’ve confirmed with an architect, they can use those files. Most of the online plans do not have all the details needed for county and city jurisdictions in the Phoenix metro area. But these sites can give you great ideas for layout. Two that come to mind are and

Think of things in term of functionality. The interior design will come later. Walk through the house in your head. As you enter the front door, what needs to be there? Do you want an area to drop keys, purse, laptop, etc.? When you are in your kitchen, what view do you want from your sink, island and stove? How many people to do you want to seat at your island? Where do want your laundry room? The internet has several resources on functionality and a working kitchen. has a newsletter you can subscribe to keep you current on latest trends.

It is unlikely you’ll find one plan that has everything on your list. You can compile a collage of plans. Perhaps you like the master en-suite of one plan, the kitchen/great room concept of another and the guest suite of yet another. Your architect can work with those ideas and compile a floor-plan for you to see it all together. Take pictures. You will find when you are in the design phase, you will start seeing architecture in everything. Your local restaurant, your neighborhood, etc. When something inspires you, snap a quick picture. Keep an electronic file of your ideas for reference when you meet with your architect.

This is your custom home to design and make it functional for your family. However, you may want to make some decisions based on resale. If it is too unique, you may have a very narrow market in which to attract when you are ready to sell your home. So keep your design in mind when you make layout decisions if you ever intend to resale or if it's your forever home.

If you are considering building a custom home, give our office call

Castle Rock Homes (623) 935-5004

See more videos from our "New Build in the Desert" series Click Here


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