Sample Building Program
The proposed sizes of rooms, their function, and the needs and activities of the
occupants will determine the layout and dimensions of your house.
Your answers to the questions below will help to determine design
priorities, as well as identify any extras.
- List projected occupants (family members, relatives, etc.)
- List pets, livestock, etc.
- Projected time of occupancy of each occupant (life, to 21 years, seasonal,
- What transportation vehicles, construction equipment, farm equipment,
etc., do you need to store and what kind of shelter is required?
- Have you determined the approximate total square footage of required
living areas? If so, what is the square footage?
- How did you arrive at this size (existing situation, family size, number
of bedrooms/baths, future needs, furniture arrangements, etc.)?
- List any circumstances particular to you or your family that may affect
design (physically challenged people, medical needs, noise considerations,
lighting, air quality, temperature control etc.)
- Should expansion flexibility be a consideration?
- Do you know what rooms will need to be added and how large they might be?
- List activities and amount of time to be spent in rooms/spaces below, and
approximate space required.
- Reference to and measurement of the spaces in which you now live may be
- Keep in mind furniture, equipment, storage requirements, etc.
- Bedroom 1 Bedroom 2 Bedroom 3 Bedroom 4, guest
- Project Room
The following suggests other possible rooms and spaces to consider:
- Powder Room
- Broom Closet
- Linen Closet
- Dressing Room
- Interior Wood Storage
- Breakfast Nook
- Hot tub
- Exterior Wood Storage
- Courtyard Barn
This group of questions is intended to help you pinpoint how you would like
your life and your living space to interact Try to consider how things feel as
well as how they look, and remember the flow of people, things and food through
- Indicate the things that you find disturbing and the things that have a
- Do you like to wake up in a bright and/or sunlit room?
- Do you like to be able to look outside while lying in bed?
- Do you prefer the bed to be a particular height off the floor?
- What are the privacy requirements of the bedroom from the outside and from
the rest of the house?
- What are your storage requirements?
- Give size and general description of items.
- Do you like a separate dressing area?
- Does the bedroom also need to function as a study, TV room, sitting room,
- What sleeping accommodations will be necessary for other family members or
in the future?
- Would you feel comfortable if the bedroom had a cathedral area or would
you prefer a flat ceiling?
- What are the special qualities you like in a bathroom?
- Does it need to be especially bright or roomy?
- Should there be a bathroom attached to one or more bedrooms?
- How private should the bathroom be from the rest of the house and from the
- Do you need a bathroom easily accessible from the outside?
- Do you prefer fans or windows for ventilation?
- Do you like to be able to see out a window while showering, washing or
using the toilet?
- Do you use the bathroom in a hurried or a leisurely manner?
- Do you prefer showers or baths?
- Do you bathe with others?
- When you take a shower or bath, do you use the bathroom to dress or
- Do you have a preference for a particular brand of fixtures?
- What requirements do you have for mirrors?
- What are your storage requirements?
- What sort of bathing accommodations are necessary for other family members
now or in the future?
- What times of day and to what extent do you use the kitchen?
- How many people should be able to use the kitchen at the same time?
- Will the kitchen be used for eating as well as for food preparation?
- What appliances are necessary?
- Is there a particular appliance/fixture arrangement that suits you
- Do you like to be able to look out the window while working in the
- Do you like a bright or sunlit kitchen?
- Is it important to have an exhaust fan in the kitchen?
- How do you prefer to deal with waste and garbage?
- Where and how would you like to store your food?
- How much cupboard or drawer space do you need?
- Do you like pots and pans, dishes, utensils and food to be visible or
- Would you use timbers to hang pots and pans?
- What non-food items do you store in the kitchen?
- What other items (such as desk, TV, fireplace) would you like in the
- Should the kitchen be separate from the rest of the house or linked to
- How do you want the living area to feel?
- Should it be separate or integrated into other living areas?
- What activities go on in the living area?
- How many people should it accommodate?
- Should it have partitions and doors?
- Should it be bright during the day?
- What sort of artificial light is compatible with your image of shelving
- Is a fireplace desirable?
- List any equipment you think should be in the living space (stereo, books,
- How do phones and TV figure into your life?
- What should the predominant feeling of the house be (rustic, informal,
- How would you describe the style that makes you feel most comfortable
(modern, colonial, etc.)?
- What are the attributes of the timber frame that would help to achieve the
- What other rooms or activity areas are necessary (study, playroom,
- What guest accommodations are necessary?
- Is additional storage space necessary?
- How much interaction between the indoors and outdoors is desirable?
- Do you like transitional spaces (porches, decks, etc.)?
- Do you see the exterior landscape as formal, casual or natural?
- What requirements do you have for outdoor activities and accessory
buildings (pool, tennis, gardens, horses, basketball, etc.)?
- What is your attitude toward dirt?
- Where do you mind it and where is it okay?
- How do you clean it up and how often?
- How many vehicles do you have and how do they fit into your life?
- How many and what kind?
- Plants? How many?
- What sort of textures do you like?
- What colors do you like?
- List the things you can’t do in your present environment that you would
like to do in your new environment.
The above text is an excerpt from “ The Timber Frame Home” by Ted Benson