1. Basement - rooms for food storage, pantry, and utility (AC, washer/dryer, deep-freeze, etc.)
2. Two stories, developed attic space
3. Smallest possible floor plan
4. Exterior trim below the soffit and around windows
5. 2"X6" construction, extra insulation
6. 10' wall height, at least the first floor
8. Water, ducts, electric on limited number of central walls to make install/changes/repair easier
I found out the general rules of where rooms in turn-of-the-century homes are supposed to be located by looking at loads of house plans.
--Entry, kitchen, parlors, bath, and dining room downstairs. Bedrooms, baths, and maybe an informal parlor of some sort upstairs (saw it in the Stark house in Orange?, TX. Maybe Beaumont.). Basement uninhabitable. Informal back parlors common on first floor.
--Service areas - kitchen is in back section of house or in a back wing of its own. Entrances from outside and through dining or main hall. IF it has these, it may also have doors into parlors. Door to basement stair can be in main hall or in the kitchen. Butler pantries common at entries.
--Front door MUST open into an entry, the bigger the better. The more of the stair seen from the entry hall, the better.
--Dining and front parlor should be accessible from front hall.
--All rooms are separate - no modern combined use rooms, no exceptions.
I drew house plans on graph paper until I found something I was pretty sure I wanted. I wanted something as close to 24'X32' as I could get, as that is a lot of square footage spread over three and a half stories. Then I put the ones I liked best in Illustrator and put rectangles for furniture and built-in placement.
This is the first floor of the shop and house with the little add-on that connects them: