Choosing the floor plan of your new home is an important preliminary step in the building process. Here are some tips if you’re struggling with this vital decision.
Narrow it Down
You probably already have some idea of what you’d like to see in your new home—the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a home office, etc.—but you’ll need a little more information than that. If you are already working with a builder, take a look at the floor plans they offer. Take notes on what you like and don’t like about plans that are in the right size and budget range for your family.
Talk to your family members about what features are most important to them. Here are some features to look at:
- Number of bedrooms
- Number of bathrooms
- Size of the garage
- Size of the kitchen
- Whether the floor plan includes a home office space
- Whether the floor plan includes a formal dining room
- Whether the floor plan includes a formal living room
- Square footage
- Number of stories
You may need to ignore the kids’ request for a slide instead of stairs, but this list can help you narrow down your options.
Imagine your family living in a home with the floor plan you are considering. Is the master bedroom close enough to the baby’s room? Are there enough bathrooms to accommodate every family member getting ready for the day at the same time? Are there downstairs bedrooms for children who are too young to confidently navigate stairs in the dark? Is the pantry close enough to the garage to make unloading groceries convenient?
If you have trouble imagining your family conducting their everyday activities within the confines of a specific floor plan, cross it off the list.
Consult with Your Builder
If you have questions or concerns, it’s in your best interest to discuss them with your builder. If, for example, you’re concerned about the width of a hallway or undecided on whether or not to go for the optional formal dining room, your builder is an experienced resource.
Your builder will be able to discuss your layout options and offer solutions for any concerns you have about space, size, or functionality.
Walk the Plan
Often, home building companies have some completed homes that are on the market. If they are local home builders, you will probably be close enough to several homes with floor plans like the ones you are looking at.
If possible, tour finished houses with the floor plans you are considering. This will give you a chance to look at the functionality of a plan and picture your family and furnishings in the space. Take note of the features you like and those you are not as sure about. If possible, take pictures. This will allow you to more realistically compare potential floor plans.
Notice the flooring, appliance, and materials choices on your home tours. This can help you make decisions about the countertop and flooring materials in your own home.
You may feel pressure to make your floor plan decision quickly, but don’t try to force the decision. Building your own home is an opportunity to get exactly what you and your family need and want, and it all starts with the perfect floor plan.