So many people have an image of a house that has been brewing in their mind's eye, thinking “wouldn’t it be nice if I could finally build and live in that house?

Here is a great check list of design questions to get you thinking more about what is most important to you inside and out, just in case you decide to build that house that you have cooking up in your head someday.  And I hope you do!

YOUR LIFESTYLE

  • What is the most important requirement for your project, and what do you want to achieve in the end?

  • Who will live in the house, and what are their names, ages, and something special about each of them?

  • Is there a favorite house in your past, and how does it stand out in your memory?

  • How important is “sustainability” to you?  Are you interested in sustainable materials and features and which ones? 

  • Are you planning to live in this home for as long as possible?

  • How important is “single-level” living?

  • Are there any other special design features that relate to your long-term comfort and well-being?

YOUR LOT

  • Have you selected a piece of land, and what is the size of your lot?

  • Does your lot have special features like green spaces, shoreline, water, sunshine, shade, breezes, views?

  • How important are the views?

  • How important is privacy?

  • Is your lot flat or sloped?

  • Do you have a proper land survey that shows certified property lines, easement, setbacks, land contours, utility service locations, water flow?

  • Does your lot have a southern exposure for a passive solar design strategy?  Do you also receive any morning or evening sun?

  • Which way does the prevailing wind move?  Are there seasonal storm patterns?

  • Do you have good access to the necessary utilities like sewer, power, water, internet, phone?

  • Do you have a soils report?

  • Are you in a flood zone?

  • Are there neighborhood covenants or rules and regulations that you must adhere to?

OUTDOOR LIVING SPACES

  • Do you enjoy outdoor living spaces (like patios courtyards, gardens, decks, a pool, a hot tub) and how do you plan to use them?

  • Do you cook and entertain out doors?

  • Are there other physical or recreational activities that you would do outdoors?

EXTERIOR BUILDING DESIGN

  • If you could put a label on the style of the house, what would it be?

  • Are you open to a "hybrid" style?

  • Do you want the style to fit in with the environmental nature?

  • What is important to you stylistically?  Do you like clean lines or ornate forms?  Do you prefer natural materials and subdued color tones, or dramatic color and exciting patterns?  Do you want your home to calm you or energize you or both?

  • What is the square footage of the house you envision (exclude the garage area)?

  • Do you have special garage requirements?  If so, what are they?

  • Exterior wall materials: wood strips, cement board strips, wood shingles, stone, tile, wood panels, or other?

  • Roofing materials: metal, asphalt, tile, wood shingle or other?

  • Thermal insulation: batt insulation, blown-in, rigid board, or other?

  • Windows and doors: fiberglass, vinyl, wood clad or other?

  • Front door:  can you put it into words?

  • Driveway and walkways: pavers, concrete, gravel, pervious pavers, asphalt or other?

  • Retaining walls: brick, concrete, natural stone, or other?

INTERIOR DESIGN

  • If you could put a label on the interior design style, what would it be?

  • Are you open to a style that is fresh and new?

  • Do you want the style to match the building design style?

  • Do you prefer large open space or discreet room, or a combination?

  • What is most important for your “get-away” spaces like bedrooms, offices?

  • What is most important for your “come-together” spaces like kitchen, living and dining spaces?

  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms would you like?

  • Do you work from home?

  • Do you have special hobbies?

  • How important is your lighting design, and are there special requirement for any of the spaces?

KITCHEN DESIGN

  • Who cooks in your house (you, your mate, or both)?

  • Is there more than one chef at a time, and if so how many?

  • How often do you cook, and what are the meals you prepare most (breakfast, lunch, dinner)?

  • What type of cooking do you do (gourmet, fast food, barbeque, baking, and deserts, vegetarian, other)?

  • Describe your collection of pots, pans and cooking utensils.  Identify the ones you use most frequently.  Leave out the ones you could do without.

  • Do you have special countertop appliances (coffee maker, toaster, mixer, blender, small TV, etc.)?  Do you like to see them or conceal them?

  • Describe your collection of dinner ware.  Do you like you to see some of them, and if so which ones?

DINING ROOM DESGIN

  • Do you want one area or separate casual and formal areas, and/or kitchen nook?

  • What is the shape and size of your dining table and is it expandable?

  • What is the maximum number of people you will serve?

  • How much line of sight do you want from the kitchen area to the dining area (minimum or maximum openness)?

  • Do you want built in cabinetry in the dining area or do you have furniture for storage?

GREAT ROOM DESIGN (Living rooms, family rooms, entertainment spaces)

  • Do you want more than one living area (formal room, causal room, and great room)? 

  • What activities do you expect in the living area (TV watching, audio listening, conversation, access to a view, access to the outdoors)?

  • How many people do you expect to entertain in the living area?

  • Do you want a dedicated Movie or TV room?

  • Do you want a fireplace in the living area?

  • Do you want built-in cabinetry in the living area, and if so, what functions do you want it to house?

MASTER SUITE DESIGN

  • Do you want the master on the main level with the kitchen and living functions?

  • Do you want dedicated master bath off the master bedroom?

  • How often to you take a shower, a bath or both and what is your preference?

  • How important is a private toilet room?

  • How important is closet space?

  • How important is separate sinks?

  • How important is vanity lighting?

  • Do you want a sitting area in the bedroom, and if so describe how it will be used?

  • Do you plan to exercise in the master suite or in another location?

  • Do you want the master adjacent to other bedrooms or in a separate location?

  • Are you an early riser and do you prefer morning light, or do you have other preferences, and if so please describe?

  • Do you want a dedicated laundry facility in the master suite?

  • Do you want a fireplace in the master?

  • Is there anything else you would like in the master suite?

GUEST SUITE DESIGN

  • Do you want a guest suite in addition to other bedrooms?

  • If so, please indicate the feature and functions you will require.

BATHROOM DESIGN

  • Do you want addition full bathrooms, and if so and how many?

  • If so, please indicate the feature and functions you will require.

HALF BATH DESIGN

  • Do you want a half bath, and how many?

  • Does the bath need to be near a special room?  If so, which one?

BEDROOM DESIGN

  • Do you want addition bedrooms, and if so how many?

  • Can the bedroom serve other function, and if so please list them?

  • If so, please indicate the feature and functions you will require

IN HOME OFFICE DESIGN

  • Is the location of the office critical to the plan?

  • Do you require special equipment for your work?

  • Will you share the office, and if so with whom?

  • Does the office need a special entrance?

LAUNDRY ROOM DESIGN

  • Do you want a separate laundry room, or can it be part of another room?

  • If so, please indicate the feature and functions you will require.

MUD ROOM DESIGN

  • Do you want a dedicated mud room, and if so please indicate the feature and functions you will require?

MECHANICAL ROOM DESIGN

  • Do you want a dedicated mechanical room, or can it be part of another room?

  • Do you prefer to house the mechanical systems within the garage, the conditioned thermal envelope, crawl space or other?

WORKSHOP DESIGN

  • Do you want a dedicated workshop or can to be part of another space?

  • If so, please indicate the feature and functions you will require.

© Sustainable Sedona Residential Design

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