building blocks homes 1


Designing a New Home is a Process

Building a new house involves bringing together many different elements that are required to complete the finished home. Ultimately many of those choices will be yours, the homeowner. If you are working with an architect you will lean on them to help with those decisions. If you are working with a contractor those decisions will be made with both design and cost in mind.

Some of the decisions you will make are; windows, doors, roof design, roof materials, flooring, kitchen cabinets, bathrooms, heat and cooling, septic type, house position, foundation, trim work, paint choice, closets, bedrooms, sitework and more.

Working with Home Design Sandbox I can help you navigate the overall design draft, then adapt it as issues become clear. The whole idea of building your dream home must include the realization that it is a process. Generally, it’s not going to be a done deal after one attempt.

We start with a basic template; rooms, floors, bathrooms, bedrooms, and style ideas. A 3D model will be created presenting the exterior and interior layout and square footage estimate and room dimensions. Then the sandbox comes into the equation. Moving walls, expanding or decreasing room sizes, finding the kitchen, and other considerations that you require. Then it’s another draft, rendering, drawings, and if you have had the building site surveyed, accurate setbacks and boundaries can be mapped.

Roof Styles

Below you see some of the most common roof styles in the industry. There are many different ways to design a roof but I lean toward clean lines and simplicity. Because New England is in a wintery temperate zone roof pitch is something that needs to be factored into the design. Generally 4/12 is considered minimum. Gable roofs are generally steeper. Roof materials are another decision that needs to be made. The most common choice are asphalt shingles, howver if you will also find that metal roofs are a very popular choice because of their durabilty and looks.

roof types

Common Window Types

Windows are at the top of the list of design considerations and importantly properly placing the new home in the most favorable position to access all of the available sunlight. The most common construction types are vinyl, fiberglass and aluminum. Windows come in standard sizes and every manufacturer can also make custom sizes. They can also be tempered  glass, which is required in certain situations, for instance when a window is less that 18 inches from the floor. Also R values can be applied for insulatiing purposes. Windows will be one of the most important decisions made in the design of a new home.


The are countless choices when it comes to siding for a new home. Besides the wood examples below there are also masonry and metal considerations as well. Siding can also be mixed and matched, for example using wood and corrugated metal siding together, or vertical and horizontal pairings. There limitless material choices, colors, wood options to think about. Siding is the final piece of the puzzle in the design process.