Where do I begin? Today there are so many different ideas and options to go with. If you can narrow down what you need versus what you want, you can eliminate a lot of problems and changes in this process and save some money at the same time. Pinterest is a great place to find layouts and ideas. We came up with a general size and layout we are hoping for. This was given to our architect and he is in the process of getting us plans.
When building you will need to get architectural plans, structural engineering plans and roofing trusses designed. If you can find someone who does architectural and structural you might be able to save a little cash, but we had a referral from a friend to use a company for our plans. The open concept can help reduce the amount of space you need and the loss of dead space.
Never stop thinking about how to make the home better. Mostly because this is the time to make changes. One of the things we are trying to do is reduce the amount of space we are using, reduce monthly utility bills and make life more simple for us all. The way our property is set up being in the mountains we have to try to utilize the slope to our advantage. Originally we were going to do crawlspaces under the two sides of the home and both garages were going to be on the main level. Well because of some brainstorming from Dad (Rick) we were able to add basement space under the main level at little extra cost and move a garage from above ground to under part of the home that was going to be a large unfinished space. This adds to function and reduces the footprint of our home. This will open up the main level and create more open space to be enjoyed. One other huge thing for us since we are in the Energy Efficiency Business is making sure to reduce our usage, but I will talk more about later.