Building a Sustainable Home

Those planning to build a property all on their own, have to consider numerous aspects, to build a dream residence. One of the things that become quite important in the planning process for such a person, is planning the layout of your new home, that is, the ghar ka naksha, as they call it in Hindi. A sustainable house design should be in place, to help you construct your dream home.  For this, many are very careful about following the principles of Vastu Shastra and also making the best use of available space. How do you go about preparing an ideal ghar ka naksha? If you are hiring the services of an architect, it would definitely be of some help.

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Ghar Ka Naksha and Direction of the plot

Properties built adhering the principles of Vastu, are often seen to be well-placed, well-ventilated and even healthier for the inhabitants. In view of this, it is important to follow these rules when it comes to selecting the plot and its size.

If your plot of land is north-facing, or east-facing, there are design principles that will help you make the most of it. As per Vastu, east, north and north-east-facing homes are most auspicious. Nevertheless, it is also true that there is no bad direction and minor tweaks in your ghar ka naksha can help you arrive at the best possible decision regarding the direction of your home.

How to prepare a naksha for your kitchen?

While preparing the ghar ka naksha, plan on whether you want to go in for an open or closed kitchen. In cities where space constraints are common, families prefer an open kitchen format, where the doors and walls do not take up extra space. A drawback of this format is the challenge of keeping the kitchen presentable at all times. On the other hand, the benefits are more. For example, it provides optimum use of space, enhances the appeal and because of its design, it becomes a very utilitarian space.

As per Vastu, the following direction is best-suited for your kitchen. Include it in your ghar ka naksha.

How to plan a store room in the makaan ka naksha?

A store room is best placed near the kitchen or close to it. The ghar ka naksha should facilitate this unless you are planning a bigger home and have ample space to do so in which case applying the principles of Vastu will be favourable. As per Vastu Shastra, avoid placing the store room in the east or north. The south-west corner is best if you want to store heavy machines or equipment. Generally speaking, both the north-west and the south-west are ideal locations for the store room.

Master bedroom in your house map

This is the biggest bedroom in the house and is to be occupied by the head of the family and his spouse. When you plan your home, make sure that all bedrooms are in an even size. For example, 12 ft x 12 ft or 12 ft x 14 ft or 14 ft x 14 ft or 14 ft x 16 ft, etc. A simple reason behind planning it in such a way, is that you will not have to cut and resize the tiles when your mason places it. The minimum size of a master bedroom should be 12 ft x 12 ft, which is the standard size. You can make it bigger if there are no space restrictions. An attached toilet and a dresser can be planned in this room. However, toilets should not lie close to a kitchen area.

How to plan a staircase in your home?

The staircase should always be in a clockwise direction, while ascending the stairs. If you are walking in an anti-clockwise direction, this is not ideal.

Also, the stairs should always be odd in number – a flight of 15, 17, 19, 21 or 23 stairs, etc. The standard size of a stair is three ft wide, with a six-inch riser and 11-inch tread. The minimum, in most places, is two ft and eight inches (81.3 cms). In case, a staircase exceeds 44 inches (111.8 cms), then, handrails may be required.

Dining area in your home

The best placement for your dining room is close to the kitchen. If you have a staircase in the house, placing your dining room in front of the stairs is a good idea. It gives a good visual appeal and the space does not look vacant or empty either. As per Vastu principles, some properties may allow the placement of a dining room just under the staircase, which is a great way to make use of the extra space.

Drawing hall or living room in your house map

To entertain your guests, a drawing-cum-living room is necessary. Often people use the terms drawing hall and living room synonymously but there is a difference. A drawing hall is usually at the entrance of your home and for guests who are more of acquaintances. A living room is where you wish to entertain a known guest. Unfamiliar guests need not be brought till the drawing hall and can come to the verandah.

However, looking at the space constraints in cities, not all homes may have these room divisions easily available to them. In case you have the luxury to do so, make sure you plan the map accordingly.

Common toilets in the house plan

Common toilets are essential for every family. It should be close to the dining area and yet, not too close, in a way that a guest can use it freely without having to go through other rooms to reach it. Having a common toilet is also essential from a hygiene point of view. Non-family members who visit you, should feel comfortable and at the same time your privacy or cleanliness should not be compromised. A common washroom is also good, if you do not plan to place a wash basin in the dining area. A common washroom need not be the biggest toilet in the house.

Open areas and parking in your house plan

Plan the parking area in a way that even when you upgrade your vehicle over time, the parking area should be as useful. A 15 ft x 14 ft space is good enough for every kind of vehicle. If you have space for a lawn, do go for it. It should ideally be placed at the entrance of the property. Other open areas should also ensure that it provides the much-needed light and entry of fresh air into the house.

Preparing a ghar ka naksha is often the first step. Before you crystalise your plans with the help of an architect, a contractor, a Vastu expert or an interior designer, the above mentioned tips will act as a starting point.