Winning Floor Plans
Pouring through pages and pages of home plans can be an awesome task, especially when you’re not exactly sure about what you’re looking for.
Let’s back up a moment.
It would be safe to say that most people have a good idea as to the number of bedrooms and bathrooms that they’d like to see in their dream home. And more often than not, they will have a strong sense of the size and style of the domicile the they will ultimately call home. Most of these space and design elements have a common thread: needs and budget.
Needs can best be expressed as that which will address family comfort. Budget, on the other hand, is what is comfortable for the pocketbook. In many cases, they do not correspond. Choosing a home plan that meets your needs and budget and has mass appeal is even better. We refer to this home plan as a “winner!”
How, you ask, do you know when your home plan is a winner? Anticipating that question, we have prepared the following primer designed to make shopping for a home plan less confusing and more rewarding.
Let’s begin with traffic. It’s a touchy subject for those who spend hours upon hours in bumper to bumper gridlock. Fortunately, that isn’t the kind of traffic to which we are referring. We’re talking about getting from one space to another within your home. Some floor plans are worse than a major urban interchange. Poor traffic patterns make for more steps, diminish privacy and can even be unsafe. For example, traveling through the furnished part of a living room or dining room to access another space in the house is generally less desirable than getting there without affecting these spaces or the people in them. Therefore, special attention should be given to how spaces in the home can be traversed with minimal impact on adjacent spaces. Well thought-out design and ample hallways are a good start.
The ability to furnish the space comfortably is another leading factor that makes for a winning home plan. Often, folks get carried away with other elements of the plan such as the aesthetics or amenities and lose sight of the all-important question: where are you going to put the sofa? This question is extremely relevant whether or not you have a house full of furniture.
And size is not the answer. Making a room larger does not guarantee that is will be any more furnishable. More wall space does. A section of wall just a few inches too short can nix the opportunity to place a piece of furniture, such as an entertainment unit, on that wall and can blow the overall plan for that room. Too many windows, windows too low to the floor and an abundance of doors are factors that complicate furniture placement. We suggest you scale furniture templates out of construction paper and use them to assist you in planning what will go where.
While windows can make furnishing a house more challenging, when it comes to making the most out of the view there simply can’t be enough of them. View and natural light have a profoundly favorable impact on the appeal and value of a home. A dark home can be dismal and uninviting and hence, much less valuable.
Energy codes in many areas will dictate the amount of total allowable glazing. Therefore, choose windows locations wisely. Be cautious not to have too much glazing along a wall which is prone to severe weather. Use more windows at areas where the best view exist and diminish or eliminate windows where the view is poor. Energy upgrades in the construction of your home will often allow for more windows than standard energy codes will permit. This can make you home plan a real winner.
Finally, the most obvious aspect of getting a winner home plan: amenities. Also called features or creature comforts, some amenities really don’t influence the floor plan. Things such as door style, fixtures finish, and appliance color are examples. Conversely, the size and number of closet, the length of a bath vanity, the size of tub or shower and a bay window seat all have significant impact on the home plan.