Senior Project

– House Essay, Research Paper

This report is being written as if you were to fully design my senior project. These are all

the steps and procedures you would need to take to properly design it. First thing you would need

to do would be identifying specific landmarks of surrounding land or lot. You would note down

anything and roughly measure marks approximate to house location, this way you would have a

general idea of where the house would be. If there are no big landmarks, such as nearby houses

or roads – you should note small markings such as trees or pathways, anything to help you

identify the location of the house. Also, you should note climate, that can be a factor.

After you?ve surveyed the entire scene you should write down all ideas having to do with

what the house will need to be habitable and reference surrounding buildings for notes. For

example if a building near the house lot has a high angled roof, that could be because of heavy

snow or rainfall. Don?t be afraid to ask questions or extensivly look up ideas.

Next will come your rough draft, this is basically self explanatory. You will create

preliminary sketches of floor plan with rough dimensions, and sketch a view of the house

dimensioned from landmarks. The information on your rough sketch does not have to be exact,

but it must be more informative then the notes you had taken earlier.

After getting specifics from the consumer, you will begin to construct your floor plan.

Day, 2

While it is your (our) job to create convinience and simplicity in the house design, you must

consider the consumers ideas and needs. When you do this plan you must label all doors with

Door tags, these will be used later. When putting dimensions in your floor plan make sure they

are specific and detailed. Try not to over dimension, but do not underdimension, carefully check

every dimension, to see if it was duplicated or noted beforehand. Now will come the basement

plan, dimension everything accordingly and show all needed floor supports. The needs for this

house are different because of it’s large design, lolly columns are neccisary. Label everything.

When your done with the basement and floor plans you should construct a electrical plan

and plumbing plan, the electrical plan is necessary in this project, but the plumbing is not. “Now

day’s you count on a licenced plumer to come in, they are the experts and they’ll know whats

more convenient to the costumer” (Markland) The electrical plan consists of showing where

outlets are to be placed, along with switches and lights. “The designers job is to show the

placement of the electrical utility’s, it is our job (electrician) to figure the wiring and fixtures”

(Agostini) When you create the electrical plan you should make judgements based logically, this

house is fairly easy to do. But as with any design, the costumer should have input on where

convenience would be best.

A rather exiting part of the house design is the plot plan, a plot plan is not always

included in a set of prints, but for my project I decided to create one. First you would recap your

earlier notes on measured landmarks, and nonspecific landmarks.and make them specific. You

need to measure the surrounding area precicly and locate property lines, not all property lines are

nice and simple, with a nice square for a yard and perfectly straight line on each side of the

house. I showed special case in my plot plan, while this house is not referenced to any specific

spot, lot, or peice of land. I got creative and wanted to show one of the many different types of

Day, 3

property lines there can be, and this was fairly irregular. After measuring the entire wall to land

distance on everyside of the house, you should now measure property lines, as shown in my plot

plan. How many degrees a propery line is angled to, and how long that line will extend should be

included and is a eccential part of this plot plan. Dont forget driveway, or garage representations,

in the case of this house there is a normal driveway.

The next thing that you would have to work on will be your concrete and wall section,

this is an important peice of a floor plan because it shows the insides of the wall, and thickness

and height can be shown in detail. You can combine your sections into one view, or you can

choose to put them on seperate papers. In this case I chose to put them both on the same paper. I

feel that the view looks professional this way and still has room for labeling and detail. Here you

label the inside, things such as insulation and floor supports, to smaller things like flashing and

termite sheild; “Flashing is used to control moisture. While termite sheilds are required where

termites are a threat” (Kicklighter) the necessary’s for this view include inside hatch detail, label

inner concrete support, although architects do not always need a detailed view such as this, once

again it is very good to maintain a close standing with the consumer, that way there preference is

noted and they do not feel discluded. Next is the stair section, there is a stair section required for

this house, it is leading from the ground floor to the basement. As of this paper I have not

completed a stair section, once created it will specifically show and label landing boards,

stringers, heads, risers, and nosings.

Another essential part of a house design is the elevation views, these views are going to

depict a picture for the architect, these are not really labeled with anything besides there name of

view, but they are an aid to the architect so he (she) can visualize the final product. Any wall or

Day, 4

peice of the house that cant be shown in a regular view will have one that properly shows that

item’s details. The views that are included in this specific design are the basic front, back, right,

left, and a optional isometric view.

Now comes the part which might involve the most research, (if you were creating this for

a costumer, the cost, or bill of materials) First you would have to record the window and door

cost, your gonna show all this in the window and door schedule which consists of tags to label

and identify doors, and windows. All additional cost will be noted in side notes or in the title

block – if requested create a list with prices and triple check with consumer, if there is a budget

consult to that, and make any design changes if needed.

Almost done, the last thing we do now is fill in the title block info, name, date, name of

project (In this case, Senior House), the scale and any other notes to architect or consumer. Look

at your floor plans now, check all dimension sizes, (The dimensions themselves) and make sure

they are a respectable size, also do the same thing for arrows, the presentation of the design is as

important as the quality.

Agostini, Alan. Personal Interview. 19 Jan. 2001

Kicklighter, Clois. Architecture. Quote, pg. 285

Markland, Paul. Personal Interview. 7 Feb. 2001


Kicklighter, Clois. Arichitecture. Illinois: Goodheart, Wilcox, Company, inc.,1995.

Remodel. Freedom, John. “Design it! Future?” Mar. 2000

Trantor, Seth. “Cute bath” TIME. 20 June, 1999

Zelude, Mike. Today’s House. New York: Briard Books., 1998.


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