Every homeowner has gone through it – you choose a home that you think will be ideal for you and your family and once you move into, you wonder, “why doesn’t this floor plan work for us?” Many homeowners make common mistakes when looking for the best floor plan to fit their needs. Whether you are getting ready to design your floor plan with a professional or you are house hunting to look for the perfect home, take a look at these 10 floor plan mistakes and learn how to avoid them!
1. Don’t assume every floor plan fits your lifestyle:
One of the biggest mistakes when choosing the right floor plan is that you forget to picture your own family cooking in the kitchen or you don’t take into consideration how your bad back may not like going up 3 flights of stairs throughout the day. Assess your lifestyle before choosing a floor plan. Do you like a single story or multistory home? Do you prefer an open floor plan or are individual rooms with partitions better? Determine what you have become accustomed to in a comfortable home.
2. When touring a model home – take away the upgrades in your mind:
If you’re shopping around for homes one of the best ways to experience the floor plan of a home before you buy it is to walk through the developer’s model homes before hand. One of the easiest mistakes is to get sold on the upgrades that a home stager and contractors have upsold the model on! Try and strip away the gorgeous finishes, the upgraded carpet, color coordinated wallpaper and drapery and focus on the layout and flow of the rooms. This will help you make an informed decision when choosing a floor plan.
3. Don’t assume you are crazy for not understanding floor plan drawings:
If you recently started looking or designing your next home, more than likely you will need to review architectural drawings or floor plan drawings. While for many design professionals it is second nature, for many homeowners the symbols and nomenclature can be difficult to understand. Don’t assume you are supposed to know what every door swing, window, stair, and multi-story space looks like on a floor plan. Don’t make the mistake of assuming just ask!
4. Ensure architectural features won’t cost you more in the future:
There is nothing like getting excited about architectural features that look beautiful on a 2D floor plan and feel even nicer when standing inside of the finished home. Details like expansive floor to ceiling windows, skylights and other architectural features could have an impact on heating and cooling your home when your energy bill arrives. While it may not be a concern now, think of green cost savings on your architectural features of your floor plan for future living too.
5. Don’t assume the sizes of rooms on a floor plan are adequate:
How many times have you read the dimensions of a room on a floor plan and then realized your existing furniture doesn’t fit like you thought into the finished room? Measure your existing furniture before deciding on final sizes for a home. If you’re not sure how large of room you need, measure your existing furniture, tables and walking area to determine how much space you REALLY need in your next floor plan. Add on additional area if you’re trying to add space to your next home.
6. Imagine your entertaining spaces fully occupied when deciding on a floor plan:
For most homeowners dreaming of their ideal floor plan, they consider how nice it will be to have a few people over for drinks on the patio. The thought of entertaining the in-laws for a month each summer, or having all your co-workers over throughout the holidays may not cross your mind. Depending on your lifestyle if you love to entertain, consider your home fully occupied when planning kitchen, dining room and living room areas. This will ensure you plan room for mingling, eating, dancing, serving and of course walking through your home!
7. Consider safety for little ones when choosing a floor plan:
Have you ever fell in love with a sports car just to be brought back to reality that you have a full family that will not fit in the car? The same mistake can be said when looking for the ideal home for your family. Safety should come first and many floor plan amenities such as balconies, stairs that don’t have railings, expansive glass shower enclosures and other features may look great for adults but may need to be modified for families with small children.
8. Location, Location… Changing your floor plan options
While you can change your floor plan in the future, remember you can’t change the location. With this in mind, don’t make the mistake of falling in love with a floor plan and forgetting about the property and surroundings of your home. If you fall in love with the layout of a master bedroom in floor plan, but don’t like how it looks out over the street in the model home – chances are your home in your location will have a totally different aesthetic, view and therefore feel different. Remember when choosing a floor plan; ensure the interiors will fit with your location.
9. Choose a floor plan that works with your budget now
One mistake homebuyers often make when looking at floor plans is over spending for the future, rather than planning for the present. You can always upgrade your home. From finishes and innovative additions to possibly adding area and amenities. Don’t get oversold from a home selling agent or a developer’s representative – only you know your budget. Plan for your budget now so you will feel comfortable living in your home and not feel “financially strained” each month to make payments on your home.
10. Bring your family along with you when choosing a floor plan
Don’t make the mistake of keeping your floor plan decision making to yourself. If you are able to walk through physical models of homes before deciding on a floor plan, consider bringing your family along for the decision. It may help you see the reaction of your roommates, kids, significant other or others who will share the home with you. Being the “sole decision maker” can sometimes backfire on you – instead have your family weigh in on the important decision of choosing the ideal floor plan for you all!