DESIGNING A HOUSE | An Architect Explains

When designing a house, the main consideration is to create a pleasant, comfortable environment to live in. If a house is designed well, with a place and position for each item, it becomes a well lit, airy, clutter free, efficient place to live in, which in turn makes us happy and contented. In order to design a house in the best possible way, one must consider several factors as explained below.

The design of a House requires careful planning considerations in order to have a very efficient and comfortable space. As an Architect, I have explained some of the design considerations that you must take into account before you plan or renovate your House. They have been explained here under the following headings:

Site Location
Site Shape
Site Orientation
Sizes of rooms
Elevational treatment


Generally most clients go to an Architect after buying a Site. But if you have the chance to include the Architect in the selection, then you could benefit from his advice. The best location for a plot is in a peaceful and calm residential layout, with lot of greenery and good water source and good soil.  You can also get some Vastu tips at Vastu guidelines on Site Location.


The best shapes for sites are square or rectangular, facing squarely on the four cardinal directions. It is easier to design a house on rectangular lines, since this allows for a good flow of interior spaces within the house . Also, square or rectangular rooms have been scientifically proven to be most efficient spaces. Whereas other shaped rooms will have funny corners which cannot be used as efficiently.  In cities, where every square inch costs thousands, it makes sense to use the Site as efficiently as possible. In fact it is for this reason that, sites in cities are usually available in rectangle shapes such as 30’x40′, 40’x60′, 50’x80′ etc. You can get some  Vastu tips at Vastu guidelines for Site Shape.



The first thing to be considered when designing a house, is the Orientation. Since the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, the Earth’s magnetic axis is along the North-South axis, the wind directions are different in each region (South-West summer wind in India), one has to consider the eight cardinal directions while designing a house. In order to capture the beneficial and positive effects of the Sun, Wind, Earth’s magnetic field, natural resources, topography of site etc, one must locate the different rooms, windows, wardrobes etc appropriately in specific directions.  The scientific explanation for the positioning of different function rooms in different directions has been given at: Vastu factors |Cardinal directions



The sizes of the rooms depend on the size of the site, the budget and the requirements. However, for each room, whether it is a toilet, kitchen or living room, there are some basic minimum sizes that must be considered for comfortable living. It is not advisable to have sizes less than the basic sizes.These sizes are specified in each of the chapters on design of a living room, kitchen, dining room etc.



To create a pleasant atmosphere filled with positive energy, one must manipulate the topography of the site, the natural resources, the beneficial effects of the Sun, the Wind directions to create a well lit, well-ventilated, airy and clean house. The skillful use of colours, right finishing materials (for floors, walls, bathrooms, windows, doors, woodwork), furniture etc can also create a pleasing environment. You can get some tips and understand the scientific principles of Vastu at: Vastu Shastra Factors.



Easy and unobstructed movement from space to space is very important. For this, an efficient flow of rooms from a central, common area has to be worked out. Also, the proper placement of doors, windows, furniture is an essential consideration.



The exterior of the house can be made attractive by the judicious use of  locally available materials (stone, exposed bricks, tiles etc) textures, colours, solids and voids in the right balance, sloping roofs and so on.



The Natural landscape can be enhanced or created with the help of lawns, water fountains, water bodies, stone arrangements, stone sculptures, seasonal or perennial flowering plants, benches and useful medicinal plants and fruit trees. You can get some tips on useful plants and trees at: Vastu guidelines for Trees and plants.



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4 thoughts on “DESIGNING A HOUSE | An Architect Explains

  • September 24, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    Hi sir…. as a architecture student It’s very useful for me.. thank you so much sir
    Glad that this is useful to you.

  • May 3, 2017 at 6:10 am

    good evening.
    Thank you for the well informative logical reasoning explained to understand preferred guidelines.
    Hi Sreekumar,
    Thank you for the appreciation.

  • November 13, 2014 at 5:33 am

    Hi Sir/Madam,
    I am thankful for making such a useful site “Architecture Ideas “ which I really enjoyed while reading. I would be thankful if I could get some help in designing my dream home.
    I have 32 ft X 40 ft West facing plot, and I want to design my home in such a way to get the optimum use of every bit of space. I have gone thru enormous sites to make the house design but each time I fail in designing a perfect house. So need your kind help in designing my home. Request to help me in this matter.
    Regards, Umesh Kumar Sharma
    Hi Mr Umesh Kumar,
    Thank you for expressing your appreciation for the time and work I put into this site. I can design the house for you, if you hire me, but I cannot help you,design your house because a house cannot be built by just following the plan. It involves a lot of inputs from an architect and co-ordination with different agencies – contractors and consultants.
    Many people think that if they get a plan, then they can manage the contractors and other agencies by themselves. But in reality it is quite difficult and requires a lot of time and effort from your side. Moreover, you will definitely get fooled and cheated since you dont have the expertise or an expert on your side.
    So I suggest that if you want a well designed, well-executed and well constructed house, it is better you consult an architect from your place after getting some good references. They will surely save you money on the project and in the future as well, since the completed house will have less defects, if it is overlooked by a good architect.


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