Designing and building your own dream home is a process that usually begins with, well you guessed it, dreaming. We often forget the obvious. It all starts with a dream. Only then can we solidify that dream, first in our minds and then within the art form of architecture. Only with dreaming does architecture truly become a creative art form. Only through those dreams can we see exactly what we want, and what we need. In our minds eye we can walk through our dream house and see how it works for us in our daily lives.

Designing and Building Your Own Dream Home: Aiding the Visualization Process

Some people imagine more easily than others, but even those of us who can create a very solid image in their minds, can benefit from a few visual aids, and resources to give us more ideas. Here are some tools that may help you discover exactly what you want, and how it will look. Filling in the blank parts of our dream, and adding detail, and measurement can really help us bring our dream into reality.

• Build a home building scrapbook or diary. Keep a diary of ideas, magazine clippings, house plans, photos, paint and wallpaper samples, plus anything you artistically create to represent your new house.
• Home decorator magazines can really be helpful. Save magazine pictures, and research articles on kitchen layout, and home planning.
• Google image search is great for finding pictures of different rooms in the house. Search for ideas you like and save the images to a file. You can arrange them in collages, or select things you like about each picture to write captions.
• Use architectural design programs to create the home you imagine. Architectural design programs are inexpensive, install on your computer, and can create virtually any home you can imagine, if you use a little imagination. Use the program to fill in details, and see what your ideas will look like when put together. Experiment with color, design and style.
• Use Sims games to create a simulation of your home. In order to find out how well your floor plan works, use a Sims game to create your home, and turn the right number of Sims people loose in it. See what the problems are. Do these people block each other in the kitchen, or do they get trapped in bathrooms, or behind the sofa? Sims games are very accurate in showing problems with design, which could result in traffic flow nightmares.
• Research construction techniques, roofing systems, and various types of materials which could be used to construct a home. Discover which materials are energy efficient, which cost more, and what skill level is required to install each.
• Research average costs of building in your area. Find out what makes some homes cost more, and decide what is really important to you in your home.

Once your floor plan, overall style and various details have solidified into various pictures and computer simulations, you are ready to start looking for a home builder or contractor. Knowing what you really want, before you go is vital to getting the home you want.

Designing and Building Your Own Dream Home: Sharing your Dream

Bring your scrapbook and your laptop full of simulations, floor plans and home design program models to your home builder or contractor. Show him what you want, and allow him to help you refine the plan. Some changes may be necessary, but if you’ve done your homework on home design, then building your dream home should be entirely possible. Discuss costs, construction materials and techniques in order to iron out in detail, exactly what you will get for your money. Knowing what you want, and having knowledge of construction costs, materials, techniques, and procedures, will facilitate the process and insure accuracy in designing and building your own dream home, and not just a house your contractor or home builder designed.

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