Residential Floor Plan Design Considerations
Draw up a set of house plan is an exciting step when you begin to see your dream on paper; the more time you spend detailing your plan, the better. Before you consult with an architect or other qualified professional to draw up your blueprint and list of materials for your house plan, consider some of these strategies:
- Bedroom: You probably have a pretty good idea for how many bedrooms you will need, both for now and for the future; think 5 to 10 years from now. A master bedroom should be as luxurious and as private as you want. List everything you would like to have in your bedroom suite. Think about amenities you want and activities you want to do so you can plan your space and electrical outlets adequately. Arrange the sleeping area, sitting area, exercise area, bathroom, and other areas, so they are convenient but don’t get in the way of one another.
- Bathroom: A bathroom should be close to the rooms it will serve the most. If you enjoy five-star hotel room amenities at home, you and your architect should come up with a bathroom resembled the spas of your dream (with ample storage). Allow for flexibility in the future such as resale value and physical limitations.
- Kitchen: Consider what you use the most: the stove, the refrigerator, and the sink. Positioning the refrigerator, stove, and sink in a close triangle without crowding yourself will save you a lot of steps when you are preparing meals. Plan so your kitchen is accessible from the outside or the garage; it will be easier to take out recycling or bring in the grocery. If you normally pay your bills in the kitchen, design a built-in desk with storage capacity and keep it out of the main traffic flow.
- Dining room: There is something elegant about a formal dining room. May be it’s the thought of having a room completely devoted to dining and entertaining or the idea of enjoying a sit-down meal with family and friend. For a fine dining experience, incorporate adequate lighting, windows for the views, and wall space for china cabinets. Plan for conceal storage spaces for linens and silverwares.
- Living room: When planning a living room, identify the activities that your family enjoy and design the room accordingly: Adequate electrical outlets and seating area for watching television; plenty of storage cabinets for the electronic gadgets; natural light source for reading. The ideal window arrangement includes at least two exposures for even lighting throughout the day. If the view is not pleasant or you need more wall space, consider a skylight or transom window. As a rule, the higher the window, the more light gets into the room. Knowing how you will use the room helps determine whether the room is sized appropriately.
- The entry: The main entrance should be inviting, easy for visitors to find, includes storage space, and have adequate room to remove coats. A small space is all that’s needed to get people in and out of the house and to collect coats and belongings. The main entry area should offer direct access to living and entertaining areas. Arrange the main entryway so that it does not have direct views to areas of the house that you wish to keep private.
- Special spaces: If you enjoy relaxing and entertaining outdoor, plan for covered and screened porches, outdoor kitchen, and fireplace; these designs take advantage of all the outdoor living has to offer. Include a third garage bay to house a workshop or potting bench. If you enjoy reading, include built-in bookcases and window seats with bin for extra storage space in the room you are most likely to read. A sunroom might be a place to grow plants year round, to soak up the sunshine on a bright but chilly day, or to simply take advantage of the view. Laundry facilities should be close to bedrooms and away from entertaining areas. Remember to group plumbing needs together to save on rough-in expenses.
An original house plan costs 15% or more of the construction budget. Look and organize your search at thousands of floor plans from home improvement magazines, the Internet, and home tours to narrow down your criteria; then you can hire an architect to help you create a custom home plan that’s designed to please for generations to come.