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Windows and Doors


For this portion of the home we are going to undertake a similar group design exercise.  Make two copies of your prints and give one to the designer and the recorder.  Each of you should make one floor plan with your desired window and door openings.  Keep it simple and take a moment to sketch in the following:


  1. Interior door locations
  2. Exterior door locations
  3. Exterior window locations
  4. Eliminate unneeded interior walls


In Tom and Eva’s example they draw in the following:

Tom’s Opening Plan
Eva’s Opening Plan




Now the designer and recorder on your team should take their copies of the sketches and go work in private.  They will draw in the four items above and update the plans as much as possible.

Once these items are complete the team members will come back together and discuss each other’s placement according to needs, positives, negatives, and the reasoning behind the placements.  The recorder will make a note of which items are agreed upon.  The designer will take these items and reflect the team’s wishes onto the extra blank copy.


In Tom and Eva’s example the windows and doors they placed in identical locations are on the next page:

Tom & Eva’s

agreed upon

Opening plan.



After noting the windows and doors they agreed upon, there were still a few openings that needed to be added.  They still needed a connection from the master bedroom to the master bathroom.  They also both wanted another window in the kitchen.  As a final compromise they agreed that a window in the dining room would be a nice additional touch for added natural light.


You can see their plan showing the three windows they added as part of their compromise alongside their initial openings on the next page:

Tom & Eva’s added openings after compromise.





After window and door opening sketches are complete go ahead and date them.  All team members can initial the pages in the bottom right corner indicating their approval thus far.  You will want to make 4 copies of each page. 

The original sketch you will probably want to hold onto and frame.  Then you can look back on your first design, after your home is complete.   For your records you might also want to keep a well-used copy of this blog to remind you of how you created your design.

Your next blank copy of the plans is going to act as your master copy.  The Recorder will store it in the noteblog without any further alterations.  The other two copies will be personal copies for the Recorder and the Designer.  The final copy is the one that you will mesh together as a team if any design alterations take place later.

After this is complete, you can give yourselves a pat on the back.  The hardest part of the process is now complete.  For the exterior of the plan, or the elevations, I am going to ask you to hold off for now.  Any clippings from magazines, pictures, and elevations you find desirable will be helpful for your recorder to compile in a noteblog.  Hold onto them for now, because even after 10 years in the industry drawing an elevation can prove difficult.  For your preliminary design needs, a floor plan, a collection of information, and ideas about how you would like your exterior to look will prove just as valuable.

          You have created a solid start for your green home project and without spending more than $10.00 you designed a plan that includes all the essential steps I detailed.  You have a solid budget, know what you need, you understand the land you will build on, and you have a design that you both have worked hard to create. 

Most importantly you opened the lines of communication with your building partner and proved that you can work together and respect each team member’s designs and ideas.  With this viable preliminary design and a solid team structure in place, we can now move forward to working with quotes for our material and installation services.
















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