Some of the best tips for custom home building involve allowing design to be left to a true architect or licensed home designer. You will need to hire an architect, utilize a builder who has a licensed designer or select an existing home plan to actually build your home. You should know that the elements of architecture are very complex, and best left to real architects and designers. Any deviation from that plan could result in an unattractively obvious mistake.
We can learn from the mistakes of others when considering how to build a truly beautiful home. The word McMansion is used frequently by architects and designers to describe a large and clumsily designed home, which lacks any architectural value.
• One mark of a McMansion is its lack of proportion, especially in exterior design.
• McMansions are designed form the inside out, as if the needed rooms were placed for interior convenience, and then some sort of shell was put on them without a thought as to how these buildings were going to look on the outside.
• Architectural details like windows, columns and towers are out of proportion in McMansions, making them look like cartoonish copies of more sophisticated buildings.
• Sometimes the entire McMansion is out of proportion in its actual dimensions. They may be tall and narrow with a wide front façade. These types are usually punctuated with columns to make the building seem even taller.
• McMansions are frequently either too large, or too small for the style that they are patterned after.
• Another mark of a McMansion is shoddy, modern looking materials used on a building designed to imitate a type of architecture from a historical period.
We know that architects and designers are well educated, not only in structural tensions, but also in artistic proportion. No one with a degree in architecture would create such a design, at least not of his own volition. Perhaps if he was paid a large sum of money, and thoroughly believed the old adage that ‘the customer is always right,’ he could be persuaded to design such a thing. It is possible that a home builder altered his plans, to fit the desires of a client. One thing is certain though. Someone paid a great deal of money for every McMansion ever built.
• Leave the elements of exterior design to a professional architect, either by purchasing a plan and sticking to it or by hiring an architect and allowing him to work unhindered.
• Never change the shape and style of windows shown in the elevation of a home plan.
• Never change the overall exterior proportions on a home, by asking the builder to make it longer or shorter, or wider or narrower.
• If the plan calls for a certain slope of roof then install roof trusses of that dimension.
• If you have created a home plan that you want to have built, be sure that you have also drawn an elevation or architectural rendering of the house as it would look, and that your drawing is correct. Then take it to an architect and allow him to change it if it needs tweaking.
• When you hire an architect, ask for an architectural rendering as well as a floor plan. Or find an artist who does them to draw one for you. All the artist will need is the floor plan and elevations for the home. It won’t cost much and you can see how the home will look before it is built.
• Don’t move windows. While the interior of your home may be altered from the original floor plan, never just move a window without considering the exterior appearance. Instead, either adjust the interior to work with the existing placement of windows or return to your architect with the problem.
The best tip for custom home building is to listen to your architect, designer and your home builder. They are the experts. Make sure that you like other homes that your architect and homebuilder have built or designed, and then trust their talents. This does not mean that you should not have input in the style and design of your home, only that you should encourage them to critique your ideas, and allow them to work within what you want to make it look better. The best tips for custom home building start with good architecture, and the best source for that is a good architect or designer.