Designing a New Home
When I return to the United States, I would like to design my own home
and then have someone build it. Can you recommend a program to help me
— Ruth, Vilseck, Germany
Steve Thomas says: If I were building a new home — and I someday hope to — here's how I'd proceed: I'd start by assembling a design notebook. I'd go through every magazine and architectural design book I could find, pull out pictures of houses I like, circle features that appeal to me and even make a few sketches. But I wouldn't do much more than that until I had a piece of land because the landscape will help determine the house's design. Once you have land, sit down with an architect, your design notebook in hand, and start putting pen to paper,
sketching out a plan. Computer-based design programs are useful but there is no substitute for hard work and head scratching on the part of a homeowner and the insightful design expertise of a design professional.