1) Living Needs & Family Lifestyle
Living needs change dramatically throughout a person’s life, so it is important to consider the possibilities of the next several years when considering a floor plan.
You may want to think about a few of the following:
- Are you planning on having children? How many?
- Will you be working from home at some point?
- Are you retiring and need more or less space?
- Will you be having frequent guests and need a place for them to sleep?
- How do you like to entertain? Do you want a formal dining room? A bonus room for games and movies?
- For the elderly, will all parts of the home be accessible?
2) Working Space
We all have different needs when it comes to the types and sizes of rooms we want in our home. So you may want to consider some of these items when figuring out the number and size of rooms in a home:
- Do you have hobbies that need a dedicated room or space to do or store them in?
- Will you need a large laundry room for several people, or a simple small one for just you?
- Do you make everything homemade and need a large kitchen with multiple ovens? Or is the microwave your chef and you just need a simple counter?
- Will there be pets? You may want a mudroom for washing them off before they come inside, or extra space in the master bedroom for their beds.
- How many showers will you need in the house? Are half baths an option?
3) Where Do You Need Privacy?
Privacy from Others
Do you want a private master bedroom? Be sure to check the window placement and see how they line up with the neighboring homes.
Will you have a pool? You may want to include large trees nearby, or consider putting it further out in the yard away from neighboring windows and porches.
Privacy Within the Home
What about privacy within the home? If you plan on working from home you may want to ensure there is a door to the office instead of setting up an office in an open room.
Do you want to cook in peace, or let the kitchen lead into an open dining room?
Do you want one space to lead into the next? Or do you want them to be separated and different rooms with walls in between? Will anyone be sleeping or changing in those rooms?
4) To Upgrade Or Not To Upgrade?
How do you choose which items to spend the extra money on for an upgrade? Many say that the best way to choose which items are worth the upgrade cost is to consider the following:
- What would be the most expensive to upgrade later?
- What would be the most inconvenient to upgrade later?
- What would be the most time-consuming to upgrade later?
A few examples….
These are just a few items that may be worth the extra money upfront to avoid the hassle of replacing them later.
5) Furnishing & Aesthetics
The current style trends include neutral base colors like tans and greys with just a splash of accent color, eclectic decor, and simple furnishing for a clean and cozy appearance.
However; it is also a time of expressing your own sense of style and doing what you love to make your home represent you more fully. So here are a few tips to get you started with the furniture and aesthetics of your home:
- Know your style — Do you like patterns? Bold colors? Simplicity?
- Take your time! Look around at other homes and learn new things you may want to implement into your own home.
- What style makes sense for your lifestyle? If you have pets and kids, a super clean look with white couches is probably not the best idea.
- How does it make you feel? Do too many large items make you feel claustrophobic, or are the confined spaces comforting and cozy?
6) The Backyard
The backyard is just as important to consider and plan ahead of time as the home. If you don’t prepare for the style of your backyard before building the home, some things may no longer be possible to accomplish at a later time.
So what is your backyard for?
Do you live alone? — You may not need a large yard.
Will children or grandchildren be playing in it? — Consider safety and space for toys.
Will there be pets? — You’ll want a fence and easy place for them to go potty.
Do you enjoy yard work? Or do you want it to be as simple as possible? — Different types of plants and grasses are more difficult or easy to take care of.
How do the backyard and the home connect?
Will you need special access to the yard from the home? — you may want multiple doors that lead out to the backyard (consider doors from the master suite).
Will you want electrical wiring out to a shed or garage?
7) A Few Mistakes to Avoid
- Consider lighting and window placements to avoid unnecessary, harsh light.
- Don’t “dedicate” your spare room to a specific type of room. Design it to be functional for several different options so that you can change it as your life changes (example: an open room can transition from a playroom to a gym).
- Place your laundry room in a convenient location, close to the bedrooms.
- Keep the bedrooms away from areas of loud noise, such as a garage.
- Don’t forget storage rooms such as closets and pantries…a house gets very cluttered when there is nowhere to store items behind closed doors.
- Don’t build too big! While those mansion-like homes look amazing, they incur all kinds of added costs:
- Don’t forget about furniture when designing the flow of the home; furniture takes up space and blocks walkways.