I have a 90' wide by 125' deep lot on which I would like to build a single story home. I have already completed a floor-plan myself that very closely matches our lifestyle. The part of the floor-plan that is under air fits inside a 52' X 52' square. The plan also includes at 20' wide by 40' foot deep over-sized garage set back on the right side of the house, and a 9' X 52' front porch. The part of the plan under air is firm. The size of the garage can vary a little bit for design reasons if necessary. The length of the front porch can also vary a bit for design reasons, although I wouldn't want to go a lot smaller.
The lot is located in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I want the home to reflect a tropical atmosphere. I'm not set on any specific "style". Some may translate "tropical" style to mean a "Key West" style or an "Old Florida" style, and there are elements of both that are appealing. But, I'm not trying to match any particular text book version of these styles. Instead, I'd like to take the best of any existing style and create a pleasant tropical feel that stands on its own.
Of great importance to me is a home that is hurricane resistant up to 160 MPH winds, so I want to have hip roofs on all sides. In this regard, I don't know if it makes a difference to have the front porch and/or the garage under the main roof or, if it's just as hurricane resistant and just as attractive, to have a pyramid roof over the 52' square with the front porch and/or the garage under separate roofs.
Another high priority is energy efficiency. The house will have a south/front and north/back orientation. In the floor plan I drew I did not include a back porch because I want maximum natural light coming into the great room and kitchen. However, if design considerations allow, an overhang that offers some protection from direct sunlight coming in may be a good idea.
The cement block exterior walls can be smooth stucco, rough stucco or Hardy Plank - whichever will look best in the design.
I'm open to either cement roof tiles or a metal roof - which ever has better wind resistance.
I prefer posts over columns for the porch.
I prefer less ornate over more ornate.
The garage end of the front porch should have a hidden (from front view) wheelchair ramp.
Setback requirements on the lot are:
Front - 25'
Side - 5' up to 22', then 1 additional foot for every foot over 22'.
Maximum height - 35'
Setbacks must be measured from the fascia board, not the walls.
The house will have impact glass so storm shutters will not be necessary.
In order of importance - assuming that an attractive design is a given:
1. Storm resistance.
2. Energy efficient.
3. Abundant natural light in interior without compromising item 2.
4. Cost (with my floor-plan I've tried to keep costs down by keeping exterior walls simple.)
5. Green building concepts.