When we think of estate homes, often visions of huge moss-covered palaces in the English countryside come to mind or Guilded mansions sitting atop bluffs overlooking the ocean. They were filled with opulence and luxuries only limited by the imagination. Historically, these massive homes were only within the reach of the uber-wealthy, but today, these estate homes are not being built for Dukes and oil barons.

Working folks who want more space and property are purchasing estate house floor plans and building their dream homes. One of the reasons is that many people’s personal and professional needs have changed. People are increasingly living with extended family and working from home. Estate homes are no longer symbols of status but for comfort and practicality for the modern age.

Don’t get us wrong; estate home plans still include plenty of amenities and beauty. Most continue to be built on large parcels of land and offer plenty of room for expansion and adding on, but they’ve been simplified to be functional and family-oriented. If you’re considering building an estate home for you and yours, we’ve covered you with these helpful tips.

1. Understanding Your Needs

To begin forming your estate house floor plans, you’ll need to know exactly what your needs are for the home. Begin with pinpointing what the main functions of the house will be. For instance, will you have in-laws or aging parents staying there? Are you planning to run a home business from the estate? Do you plan on entertaining regularly?

Answering these questions will help you decide how many bedrooms and bathrooms, the amount of office space, and the size of the formal dining room you’ll need. You may want the basement to be a suite for mom or the attic to be a separate area for teenagers. Another vital point to think about is the area in which the estate will be built. Ensure that the location fits your lifestyle. Is it close enough to shopping, schools, hospitals, churches, and any other places you need regularly?

Choose a piece of land that will allow you to pursue the interests of you and your family. For instance, if you want horses and livestock, ensure there’s enough room for barns, pens, and places for them to roam. If you like to fish or boat, being near a creek or lake may be something you want.

Decide if you want to hire an architect or go with prefabricated plans. Ready-made plans are more economical, but they will also limit your choices and ability to personalize the home. The most critical area to understanding your needs is to hire an experienced builder and interior designer.

These professionals will help you decide what materials to use and select decorative touches that align with your needs. Choose people who have experience in large home building and make sure you’re comfortable with them. At the same time as you’re planning your estate, it’s a good idea to do some estate planning. This type of property is a considerable investment that will increase in value over time. You may want to consult a will lawyer to help protect the asset for the future.

2. Hiring the Right Builder

Once you know what you want your estate house to look like, it’s time to find a home renovation contractor and other professionals who will help you make your dream a reality. Ask for recommendations from people who have taken on similar projects. Try to stay with local builders who know the permit process codes and are familiar with the weather and terrain. Attend home shows and visit model homes to connect with builders who fit your style and budget.

Check their reviews online and check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints. When meeting with builders, ask plenty of questions; good builders will happily discuss their experience and qualifications. Ask about the process the building takes in several areas, including payment, communication style, and whether they use subcontractors or do all the work themselves. Most builders will offer references, but be sure to ask if they don’t.

3. Choosing the Right Architect

If you hire an architect to draw up your estate home floor plans, be sure to do your research. Working with an architect is a personal experience, so you want someone who is patient, understanding, and experienced. Start your search by talking to family and friends who have used architects in the past. Visit sites like Home Advisor and Houzz. These sites allow you to filter the search for specific qualifications of these professionals.

You can also visit the web pages of local chapters of The American Institute of Architects. They will list members in good standing and provide reviews. Before meeting with your prospective architect, list your requirements, like the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, style of the home, and materials you want to use. Ask the candidates about their experience. Have they worked on projects similar to yours?

Request a portfolio and references. Ask about their fees and method of communication. Bring a few stock photos of your vision and ask if they foresee any issues with your design wishes. Consider hiring an architect who is local to your building site and who is familiar with the permit process and other regulations of the town. A local designer is more likely to know other professionals. They can help you find everything from residential electricians to drain cleaning companies.

4. Optimizing Space

When designing your estate house floor plans, one of the most critical aspects is making the most out of your space. Even larger homes like mansions and estates can benefit from streamlining the house and not having useless space gaps everywhere. Consider building up instead of out. This will allow you extra outdoor space for recreation, gardens, and animals. You can always add in later.

Go with an open concept and do away with hallways and alcoves. Open floor plans offer several pros, including making entertaining easy and allowing family members to be together while involved in their own tasks. Create a multipurpose room, one that can be used as a rec room one night, a movie theater the next, and a place where the kids can have friends over the weekend. If you’ve extended family staying with you, construct an apartment over the garage rather than use up space in the main house.

Install vertical cabinets and tall bookshelves. This will save you from bulky furniture while using often ignored wall space. In the kitchen, consider ceiling racks to hang pots and pans. Combine your mudroom with the laundry room. This not only saves space but allows for an easy clean up of clothes that have gotten messy.

Pantries and linen closets can also help save space and help keep you organized. Use plenty of shelving in the bathrooms and consider the best bathroom shower door that will make the best of the room. Don’t forget to add the basement and attic to your plans. As stated earlier, both these areas can be used for various activities. But they’re often overlooked when making plans.

Heating and air conditioning companies can help you decide the best placement for your HVAC systems so they’re out of the way. Finally, don’t forget about your outdoor space. Your yard can expand the living area of your home by installing patios, decks, and even guest houses. Be sure to leave room for later additions like pools, sports courts, and other fun stuff.

5. Considering Future Needs

If you’re planning on making the estate your forever home, it’s essential to think about the future. Will your family be growing? Do you need to have space for a nursery, playroom, etc? Will older people be living with you, and do they have special needs? Will you be adding pets to the family? What happens as you age?

These things should be noted when creating the estate house floor plans. If you’re planning on children, consider adding babyproofing to your plans. A water filter system can also help save you a ton of bottled water.

You may want a downstairs bedroom so anyone with physical limitations doesn’t need to climb stairs. Speaking of stairs, make the staircase wider and the steps more shallow, making them easier to maneuver. Add handrails where they may be necessary. Make the doorways wider to anticipate the use of wheelchairs and walkers.

Choose levered handles for doors rather than knobs. Consider placing the mailbox and garage close to the house in case there are limits to how much you can walk. This will also be helpful if you’re living in an area that gets snow and ice.

While considering your future needs, think about the estate’s upkeep, both inside and out. It can be difficult as we get older to keep up with things like extensive landscaping and pool maintenance. Decide if you’ll be hiring a professional to help or trying to tackle everything yourself. If you’re not a DIY person, you may want to keep things simple.

6. Legal Aspects of Estate Planning

Another vital concern when drawing up estate house floor plans is the many legalities in building a new home. It may be wise to hire a local real estate attorney. They can help guide you through all the rules and regulations at state and local levels.

One of the first things you’ll need to do is get approval. Making sure the land is zoned for what you are building (and getting the permit) is the first thing that needs to be done. Next, a title search will need to be done to ensure there are no issues with ownership or liens on the property that could cause you problems.

Before planning, you must determine how much land can be used for physical structures. There are often limits to how large a home can be based on the lot size. Be sure to have a survey done so you know where your property begins and ends. Be aware of building codes to ensure the contractor is following them. The last thing you want is to complete the project and then fail the inspection.

This mistake can be frustrating and costly for everyone. This is where having an experienced contractor is helpful. They’ll be familiar with building codes and know where to place things like smoke detectors and indoor sprinklers for fire prevention.

You must obtain homeowners insurance to protect yourself from natural disasters and other unforeseen circumstances. But it’s crucial to have in case someone is injured on your property. Some amenities like inground pools and sports courts may increase insurance. It’s also vital to check the insurance of your workers. Everyone from the roof contractor to the pool installer should have general insurance.

7. Maintenance Considerations

Having a beautiful estate is a monumental achievement. But it’s also a huge undertaking to maintain your home. Like any other house, an estate needs contact upkeep to run well. So, make it as easy as possible from the very start. Listen to your builder’s suggestions on maintenance.

For example, if they want to grade and slope the soil for proper drainage, let them. This could prevent costly flood damage later on. They may also suggest where to install smoke detectors and sprinklers to avoid fire damage. Building contractors can help ease the work you’ll need to do later.

Consider amenities like central vacuums and a centralized HVAC system with easy access. Review your home warranties carefully if work was not done correctly or faulty materials were used. Schedule regular inspections for all the home systems to ensure they’ll last for years.

Hire professionals to care for landscaping, gutters, pest control, and duct cleaning. Consider having a small room where all the Wi-Fi, security, and phone equipment is kept. This will make it easy if you need to call for phone repair services or internet upgrades. Thinking of maintenance issues while drawing up the estate house floor plans can help you avoid them in the future.

Creating estate house floor plans is the first step to creating a beautiful and comfortable place for you and your family. The plans are the crucial foundation to getting the house built correctly and to your specifications. Take your time, think about what you want, and research your professionals thoroughly. This will guarantee a home you can enjoy for years to come.