10 Floor Plan Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make In Your Home

February 1, 2017

One of the nightmare scenarios of buying a new home or remodeling your current home is choosing a floor plan that looks great on paper but might present some serious issues when the time comes to move in. Here are ten common mistakes made when choosing a floor plan and how to avoid making them when deciding on a floor plan for your home.

1. Not thinking about daily life

When planning out your dream home, it’s easy to get caught up in the grandeur and beauty of new, modern homes or elegant upgrades to classic architecture, and think more about aesthetics than you do about function (this is going to be a theme with many of the mistakes to avoid). When looking at a floor plan, make sure it fits your lifestyle. Think about the way you like to cook, where you like to hang out, how close you’d like your bathroom to be to the bedrooms, etc. For example, would a larger space be harder for you to clean regularly, or a smaller space too cluttered? Consider the practical aspects of your daily life when choosing a floor plan.

2. Getting caught up with design elements

When shopping around for homes or planning a remodel, it is common for realtors or designers to sell you on upgrades or cutting-edge design features that are visually striking and give the impression of class and luxury. However, when considering your floor plan, none of this matters. You need to strip the design down to brass tacks and make sure it is functional and spacious enough for your needs.

3. Being impractical with your budget

You can always upgrade, remodel, and add to a house later on. Don’t put yourself into enormous debt choosing or designing the ultimate floor plan, but rather, stick to the solid basics for the needs of your lifestyle and family.

4. Failure to measure and calculate the size of each room

Don’t make the fatal mistake of assuming your furniture and appliances will fit in the spaces you intend to put them in. Make sure to take accurate, precise measurements of everything that you will fill your home with and calculate accordingly based on where you would like it placed in the floor plan.

5. Not thinking about the safety of little ones

If you have small children or are planning on children in the future, consider safety when choosing a floor plan. When it comes to staircases, balconies, glass enclosures, outdoor access, etc., small children might be at risk. Remember #3; you can always upgrade or remodel when your little ones are older. The proximity of the nursery to the master bedroom is another factor to keep in mind for the ease and function of a family with small children.

6. Choosing expensive or impractical design features

It can be tempting during a remodel, especially when working with a seasoned architect, to add something dramatic and modern such as wall-to-ceiling windows or skylights, but think about the long-term energy costs of architectural elements like this.

7. Not considering the flow of traffic

One of the many important aspects of the function of your living space is the flow of traffic. Don’t make the mistake of choosing a floor plan with an awkward flow of traffic that will make it difficult to move from one room to next with ease. In the kitchen, this is particularly crucial, as the cook will need to move around and be able to serve food easily without having their path crossed with foot traffic in between other living areas.

8. Failing to consider the full capacity of rooms

If you are someone who likes to entertain or expects you will have any large family functions, when you are choosing a floor plan, think about how your kitchen, living room, and dining areas would accommodate large groups of people. Many floor plans might work for a single person or a couple but could be quite impractical for a dinner or cocktail party.

9. Assuming you’re an expert

Floor plan drawings are technical, industry diagrams designed by architects and for the sake of building or remodeling a home. Don’t take it for granted that you’ll be able to read one like a book! It’s OK to ask questions, and you should. Make sure you understand everything you’re looking at when presented with a floor plan and don’t be embarrassed to ask for clarification about confusing marks on the drawing.

10. Failing to consider storage needs

With everything you’ve been thinking about so far, storage might be obvious, but it’s also easy to forget how much stuff you own or might need to keep in your home! Having enough storage space for non-perishable foods, pots, pans, and dishes, clothing and books, and even outdoor essentials and items you’ll keep in storage most of the time is essential.

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