Before sketching some initial designs, consider the following:

  • Keeping rooms with water adjacent to each other will keep down cost. Imagine if water traveling from a hot water tank has to go all the way to the other side of the house
  • Understand kitchen dimensions. Kitchen base cabinets are typically 24” deep, with a counter that is 25″ deep.  Ideally, at least 3 feet of work space should be allowed in front of the cabinets, with 4 feet being more comfortable.
  • Bedrooms
    • All bedrooms MUST have at least one window
    • Smallest bedroom shouldn’t be less than 10′ x 10′
    • All bedrooms must have a closet
  • Your design MUST be a passive solar design.  On the South side there should be HUGE bank of windows.
  • Your design does NOT have to be rectangular in shape!!!
  • If possible, don’t have a direct ‘line of sight’ from a common area like a living room into a bathroom or bedroom
  • Unheated porches do NOT count towards sq ft
  • Do not include a garage.
  • Be SIMPLE!
  • Minimize walls and hallways. Maximize common areas
  • Include a porch or deck?
  • Entrance to a home does NOT have to be heated?  Could it be a covered/screened in porch to save sq ft? (and energy)

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