Your architect has just presented you with the first draft of the blueprints for your new home. Now what? An initial reaction may be to count the bedrooms and bathrooms. Make sure nothing was left out. After all, the architect probably asked you upfront how large of a house you were looking for and how many bedrooms and bathrooms you wanted. So, you count the rooms, stare at the blueprints and nod your head accordingly. Here are some items you may want to consider when reviewing your blueprints.
- Shape. If you have spent your entire life inside a suburban track home, you may believe that all rooms must be rectangular. No, I’m not advocating an octagonal room for cage matches. Instead, rooms can have bay windows, recessed walls and other architectural details to make the room more interesting.
- Light. Focus on your sources of natural light. Make sure you have enough windows to illuminate your living space. If your design permits, consider large, expansive windows to open your room. Also, consider which direction the sun rises and sets relative to your house. This can affect both the lighting and temperature within your rooms.
- Noise. When we think of noise, we sometimes only focus on external noise, such as an overhead plane, street noise, or a nearby school. However, you should also consider the noises created within the house, such as kitchens and bathrooms. If someone in the family is an early bird or a night owl, noises from a shower, faucet, toilet or microwave and easily awaken others with rooms near a kitchen or bathroom. In a two-story house, most designs place the bedrooms upstairs to shield them from such noises. In a one-story house, focus on your layout. Try to shield the bedrooms away from the kitchen, living room and bathrooms, if possible.