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How to Design a Residence?

Updated on April 7, 2019
alan raj profile image

Alan Raj is a Civil engineer passionate about interior designing, interior designing software etc.


Plan: What is it?

Plan is an important term for an architect and now for us too. Plan simply means what a structure looks from top i.e. top view of any structure. We may get the design of a structure from the plan like the space utilization, how the rooms are arranged. Most of the details of a room can be obtained from a plan. Rather than mere arrangement of rooms, plans may also serve as a design which includes the interior designing which includes the arrangement of wardrobes, other furniture, other electrical equipment...

Think before you draw!

It is important to know what type of residence you need to construct. Your dream residence can be single-storey or multi-storey, and you must finalize the number of bedroom for the residence. It is also better if you could decide the total area of your residence (considering your budget). If you are familiar with the design styles like European, Colonel, Victorian... you can chose one convenient to you or else just let it go and design your own masterpiece!

Designing the plan

Where to draw?

The plan can be drawn using paper and pencil or using software like Auto-cad. For beginners, paper and pencil is sufficient but if you know a software like Auto-cad, it will be better.

Draw it !

As you are done with the measurements of the room, you can proceed to draw it in paper. Draw a line which represents the boundary of a room, then continue drawing according to your arrangement of rooms. To start with you shall represent the boundaries of a room as lines. A sample line diagram of a two-story residence is shown below.

Line diagram showing a plan of two-story residence
Line diagram showing a plan of two-story residence | Source

How to draw above house?

First draw the line AB as in the above plan rooms in left side have boundaries in a line.

Then mark U,V on the line AB. Now boundaries of each room has been marked.

Now offset sufficient distance from the line AB. Here all room's boundaries lie in a single line LMNOP.

Join AL,UM,VN,BP and continue the steps to complete ground floor and then draw first floor.

Provide space for door and mark windows and neglect wall thickness.

In the video posted below wall thickness is considered which is not required for beginners.

Drawing in Auto CAD software (showing a house plan)
Drawing in Auto CAD software (showing a house plan) | Source

Preliminary Steps Before Designing

A preliminary survey has to be done before designing a residence. A designer should be aware of the location of the property, size,orientation etc. Following steps shall be adopted.

1. Visit the site for constructing the residence

2. Calculate the approximate area required for each room as per the client requirement.

3.Study the inhabitants.

  • If its a Doctor's residence, A consulting room and patients waiting room must be provided.
  • If there are adults, provision for storing medicine must be made near the bed. There room should be in the ground floor, preferably.
  • If relatives/friends visit their residence frequently (as in India), then residence can be designed as open, semi-open and private areas.
  • If the residents want everyone to stay closer and united, design it as a single storey

4. Preferably,let the residence face towards the road

5. Deduct sufficient outgoings from the property before designing. (In India, 3m spacing from main road, 2m and 1m sideways each from adjacent property and 1m spacing from rear end property.

6. Draw line diagram first. After corrections, add wall thickness to it.

A printed plan of a 3BHK house
A printed plan of a 3BHK house

Mistakes To Be Avoided While Designing

A lot of mistakes may come across while designing a residence. It has to be avoided for a perfect design.Some of them are:

  1. Well and septic tank must be as far as possible, in the case of rural area. (For urban areas,sewage collection will be common for obvious reasons). In India the desirable distance is 15 meters.
  2. Toilets should be placed near to save plumbing cost. Longer the piles,more the plumbing cost.
  3. Kitchen and toilet shouldn't be too close, preferably.
  4. Toilet shouldn't be seen in the front elevation.
  5. Using excess space for unnecessary pathways

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2017 Alan Cherian Rajan


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    • alan raj profile imageAUTHOR

      Alan Cherian Rajan 

      2 years ago from Kerala, India

      christy, i shall consider your suggestion and write a hub related to it.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Done well, i could manage a plan for myself. Can you do it using software?


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