|MikeInside's Building for Beginners Tips|
By far, the most common question I get asked is "How can I build interesting houses?"
Unfortunately, it is also probably the hardest question to answer. So I am just going to try and give you some ideas to help inspire your own creativity.
Learn to use the Building Tools.
I have had a suprising amount of people ask me things like "what is a foundation?" "what is a dormer?" and "how do I delete connecting stairs?"
If you dont know the answers to these questions, you definately need to play around with the tools more before you will be able to turn your house ideas into reality. The game comes with its own building tutorials (when you start the game, click on "learn to play") so try them all out to learn the basics. Then, once you are feeling confident with that, try some of my tutorials and see what you can do!
Your First House.
Learning to build good houses takes time and practise. Dont decide that for your first house you want to create a huge mansion. I can almost guarentee you it will come out looking crap.
Start off with a small, one or two bedroom, single-story house.
Ok, so you have practised using the building tools, and are feeling pretty confident, but have absolutely no idea what to build? Don't worry, you are not alone. The rest of this guide is going to try and give you some ideas about how to get ideas ;)
A good way to start off is to try and build your own house that you are living in right now. It will help you learn the building tools, and hopefully show you some good archetecture and decorating examples.
Dont worry if you cant get it perfect, just try and get it as close as possible. For example, my house has a circular stairwell, and at the time I had no idea how to build them so I just added a normal staircase. Experimenting by changing the design of your house should also help to boost your creativity. Make the house as complete as possible. Colour the walls, add lighting etc. You might want to take a look at the house checklist.
Even if you think your own house is just too hard to build in the game, try anyway... you will still gain valuable experience from it. If you live in a small apartment, or some other kind of "boring" building, then try the idea in the next paragraph...
Once you have finished, you could try building some of your friends' houses. A LOT of my houses are based on houses I have been to in real life, as you can see from this house triva page. Every time you build one, try and change more and more of the design, until all you are taking from real life is something like a basic floorplan or colour scheme.
Now you should be ready to start coming up with your own ideas. If you are looking for inspiration, try going on the offical sims2 site and taking a look at some houses. Or you could download some of my houses. Study them... see what things you like, then try and incorporate those ideas into your own house.
Some other ideas:
Try searching google for house floorplan websites.
When you go for a walk or jog, take a look at the houses that you pass.
Draw some houseplans on paper (although personally I dont like to do this because it constricts my creativity)
Before you start building, read this list of what not to do. It can be useful if you are not experienced.
Whilst you are building, always think to yourself: "Would I like to live here?"
If the answer is no, try and work out why, and fix it.
Great decorating can still be ruined by a house with a bad floorplan.
As you can see from this pic, there are lots of things you can do to make a floorplan more interesting. Both of these are just simple four-room houses with a small pool.
The first house is made from a box, and the rooms are simple boxes connected inside it. It is boring and ugly.
But the second layout is much more intriguing. There are diagonal walls, odd shaped rooms, and the rooms are connected to eachother at interesting places.
Here you can see how to turn a simple box into an architecturally interesting room:
1) Build the room
2) Added an extention onto it
3) Added a diagonal wall
4) Added a small "bumpout" which could perhaps be a good place for a desk.
There are of course lots of things you can do to make your floorplans more interesting... just keep working on each room until you are happy with it.
I hope you were able to gain some ideas from this guide... Goodluck with your houses everyone! :)