House Design Tips
Shawn and Rocky
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Stair design is vey important due to the fact that most desire to make the transition from level to level as pleasant as possible.

Generally, it is best to incorporate at least one intermediate landing to break up the flight. It feels much easier to go up/down 7 or 8 steps onto a landing, than negotiating a straight flight of stairs with 15 or 16 steps in it. One exception where a full flight of stairs without a landing is more appropriate, is when a curved staircase is desired. It has more of an impact in one flight and is generally designed for more formal homes.

As well as the purpose it serves, a staircase can contribute as a design feature of the home. This can be achieved by the type and material used for the handrail, balusters, treads, and risers. Of course, the shape of the staircase itself can add to this.


This is a question we must seriously consider before starting the design process. The reasons are two fold; first, to ensure nothing superfluous is incorporated into the home, secondly, to ensure your dollars are spent wisely.

One has to review their lifestyle to determine what they really need. Examples could be; if I have a large open dining area, do I need a formal dining room?, or, do I need an extra guest bedroom if the den can serve both purposes?

After asking ourselves the proper questions, you may still decide you need these areas/rooms... which is OK. At least you have reasonably determined that you will get the benefit/enjoyment out of these areas equal to the cost they will incur.

This questioning process will give you the satisfaction that you will have room functions that specifically meets your needs.


Consideration of natural lighting is extremely important when designing a home. A flood of interior natural light uplifts and creates a very positive feel. Natural lighting can be brought in through windows or skylights. One important factor with natural lighting is the control of heat loss/heat gain.

This can be easily dealt with by choosing one of the window manufacturer,s varied options, i.e., argon filled glass, varying degrees of low-e glass, triple glazing, etc.

Windows can have a dramatic effect on how the home operates and feels inside, and it is wise not compromise on such an important component of the home.


At the very onset of the design, careful thought should be given to any future requirements the home may have. As our life situations and needs change throughout the years, the home should be able to reflect this to some reasonable degree.

Examples of possible future changes to consider are: additions as a young family grows, being able to have the master bedroom on the main floor as health declines, reallocating bedrooms as kids leave, home office, moving in of inlaws, etc., etc., etc.

Your own requirements are unique, and you want the flexibility of your home to be specifically tailored to your own future needs. With good planning, when the time comes to make those changes, it will be as least intrusive and cost effective as possible, ensuring the functionality of your home remaining high for years to come.

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Sungreen Design
2109 - 20th Ave. S.
Lethbridge, AB.
Canada, T1K 1G4

(403) 320-6825