So you have decided you want to design your own house.
That’s not something very uncommon and, if you’re like the most up-in-coming house owners, you already have a picture in mind illustrating what the perfect home would look like for you but, finding an actual house that matches your vision is a pretty rare case. When designing your own house there are a lot of things to consider so you’ll need to know how to make the most of this process in order for your home to be just like the one you envision.

When you’re trying to design your own house, first you need to get inspired. Buy the newest software application or consult an architect before you draw a single line. The first step of this process is about how to define your desires and not about floor plans, setbacks or board feet. The good news is that you should already know what those desires are, because, of course, after all, it’s your house you’re trying to design.

Go ahead and start visiting your favorite neighborhoods. The main reason for doing that is because you love the houses there, but don’t think about practicality or prices, yet. Right now you’re just looking for something to inspire you.

Another thing that could help you design your own house is to attend open houses. Search for homes that are for sale in your neighborhood or in the ones we talked about in the paragraph above. During this phase, try and make the presence at weekend open houses a regular thing. Each and every one of those homes will have some characteristics that will inspire you and some characteristics that will leave you unmoved. It’s very important to know what you enjoyed and what you didn’t so don’t forget to take notes.

Take photographs of every angle of the buildings you like, both inside and out. After visiting tens of houses, it will be a great way to remember the things you loved at the beginning, plus you will find more detail in the images you saw yourself.

At this point, you must get organized. Having a vision is a good thing, actually is vital for what you want to accomplish, but it is much more difficult if you don’t shape things in an organized form, especially if you’re an absent-minded person.

Get a computation book (graph-ruled, cloth-bound notebook) and always have it on you until the house is finished. Due to its numbered, graph-ruled pages, you will be able to keep your drawings neat and, more important, your thoughts organized. You can also use it to paste or tape photos, numbers, contractors, pretty much anything associated with the project.

There are a couple of questions you need to answer (that will guide you as you start to transform your vision into actionable steps), such as rural or urban living, are you happy with the standard construction techniques or do you prefer something more complicated and, maybe the most important one, what is your budget?

Now that you have established what you love and what you want is time to present that information to your architect or builder. Not only will you stay within the budget limits, but you will get the design you’ve been looking for.