Planning your build
How To Choose A Floor Plan That’s Right For You
If you are planning on building a new home, you will have likely come across a range of different options for floor plans. A home floor plan is a drawing that shows an overhead view of a house and highlights the relationships between the rooms and spaces.
When designing a new home, floor plans are an invaluable tool to help you visualize what your home will look like. So, what makes a good floor plan? And what do you need to consider when choosing a floor plan that is right for you?
Key Characteristics Of A Good Floor Plan
A good floor plan is the foundation for a well-designed home that is a joy to live in. Choosing wisely means there will be great solar gain (or shade in warmer climates), good flow between spaces, noise management, and it is likely to increase your home’s resale value.
A good floor plan should:
Be versatile and flexible
Versatility might not be something you consider when planning your dream home. However, choosing a floor plan with flexible spaces means that an office space could easily be converted into a bedroom or vice versa. This is particularly important if you are planning on selling in the future or if you change your mind on the layout of your home.
Have a highly-considered room configuration
For optimal flow and enjoyment, rooms should work together. Bedrooms should be far away from entertainment spaces, bathrooms should not face common areas such as a dining room and kitchens should open out to a dining or living room.
Every area in your house should be considered carefully so that there is enough room to move around and complete desired activities. It sounds simple, however this is one of the main areas that people forget to take into account. This is one of the benefits of choosing a home from a proven catalogue of home designs — your rooms will be just the right size for your needs, and therefore highly functional.
Choosing The Right Floor Plan For Your Home
When choosing or designing a floor plan for you, it is important that you also consider the following:
Start by considering the size and layout of your land. The size of the lot may determine the size of the house you can build.
Restrictions & regulations
Before proceeding with your floor plans, you may have to check with your local council and other relevant authorities about regulations and restrictions. Restrictions such as house heights, home sizes and environmental considerations may limit your options.
Determine house size
In some situations, the size of the house will be dependent on the restrictions of the lot. For example, a sloping lot restricts the size of a house that can be built on it. A common house design for a sloping lot is a single-storey split level home. If you have more space to work with, you should consider the needs of your family and your lifestyle. This will help determine your floor plan size, and number of storeys.
This means considering the layout of rooms, size of rooms and other specific requirements for your family. Don’t forget to think about your daily activities such as doing laundry and cleaning the house—do you really want to walk up two flights of stairs to hang your washing?
Think about what your plans are for the future. Will you be staying in this home for a while? Are you planning to expand your family? Will your kids be moving out? Will you be selling in the future? These are all important questions to ask when thinking about designing your floor plan. As mentioned earlier, keeping rooms versatile is an important component for future planning.
For retirees, future accessibility should also be considered. Certain design features are much more cost effective to incorporate upfront when you first build, rather than through renovations later on. For example, you might consider:
- A level front door transition
- Larger kitchen and bathrooms
- Wider halls
Make sure you know what you are looking at
Finally, with multiple abbreviations and symbols, floor plans may appear overwhelming at first. Ask your building consultant or designer to help you understand and interpret these.
It is imperative you understand measurements in terms of flooring, wall heights and ceiling heights. You can always mock-up a room using measuring tapes to pace around and get a feel for it and visit display homes with similar dimensions to your floor plan to better visualize your spaces. If you are not clear on something or do not fully understand the plans, make sure you speak to your consultant or designer so your future home is exactly what you expect.