Many people dream of building a custom home or vacation retreat. Designing a custom home floor plan is exciting. In fact, of all the steps involved in building a custom home, our clients say the design phase is the most rewarding. There are, however; a few practical things to consider before designing custom home floor plans. Considering these potential pitfalls can take much of the stress out of your planning process.
Budget Your Custom Home Floor Plan Square Footage
Most of us must work within a budget. Whether building an 1800 square foot home or one with 5,000 square feet, sticking to your budget is crucial. Nothing is more disappointing than thinking you’ve found your ideal custom home floor plan and then realizing it is far more than your budget will allow. Know what your square footage physically represents.
Visit homes that are the size you are looking at to build. Look at stock house plans online in your size, or view our floor plans. Be aware of precisely what 2000 square feet feels like as opposed to 3000 square feet. Never assume an architect can reduce the square footage of a design to the size that fits your budget. While shaving off a few feet in length and width can help the overall price, too much square footage can make the plan awkward and unworkable. So stick with what is within budget.
Pick & Choose Your Custom Home Floor Plan Features
Knowing what your square footage looks like does not mean you cannot include single aspects of much bigger homes or smaller homes in your plans. While it’s essential to grasp what your square footage looks like overall, include the features you love the most regardless of what size home the idea comes from.
For example, that fireplace in the keeping room just off the kitchen you saw in a bigger house plan truly appeals to your family. It is a place you know the family will gather. Include it! Make a list of features that are a must in your custom home floor plan. As your list grows, discard items in favor of others or possibly include them all in your plans. Include it if a keeping room, safe room, or window seat is a must.
See The Potential In Your Custom Home Floor Plan
Never write off any idea or plan as unusable. Maybe the plan shows only three bedrooms, not four like the family needs. Look at the plan carefully. Is there a dining room that could be converted to a bedroom? Could a fourth bedroom be added without adding too much to the square footage?
Be Open-Minded About Plans
Often moving a wall, flipping a plan to its mirror image, or adding a closet to make a room more functional is easy to do. The planning phase is the best time to make changes, too. It’s what this phase of custom home building is for. We’ve taken on many projects from clients who have scanned in crude drawings (not to scale) or stock plans from elsewhere to start the custom design process.
Spend Your Allowable Footage Where It Counts
What rooms will you the most what rooms will you use the least? What features are essential to your family? Asking these questions will allow for those features to be drawn most prominently into the plans.
If the entire family likes to cook, make sure the kitchen is a good size with several workstations, storage, and easily accessible cabinets. Making the kitchen a bit bigger, sacrificing a few square feet elsewhere that is less important, might help. Spend your money where you get the most use and bang for the buck.
Use Every Bit of Space Wisely
- Is there a better way to access the bedrooms than a long hallway?
- Is the extra-long entryway necessary?
- How often will that office be used?
- Could a built-in desk in a nook off the kitchen serve the same purpose?
Even Consider The Small SpacesCan the underneath side of the stairs be a pantry? Consider built-ins when you can. It will reduce the need for bulky furniture and give your home a clean, modern look. Maximize the features of your home by using every available inch of space.
Make Sure Your Floor Plan Has A Natural Flow
All houses have a “flow.” The flow is how people naturally progress through a home. Entry from the garage into the master bedroom is an example of poor flow. It’s easy to cut space when in the planning phase, but don’t sacrifice the flow. Anyone should be able to walk into a home from any entry point and find the home’s main kitchen and living areas with ease.
Consider Placement of Things That Cannot Be Moved
A fireplace always comes to mind here. Many people are sure fireplaces belong in the corner of the living room, only to find out once you move in, it’s the worst place for a fireplace. When planning, consider how you will arrange the furniture, how these permanent features affect the flow, and if the feature serves a purpose better somewhere else. Better to get these features right during planning than try to move them later during building.
Sketch Out Your Custom Home Floor Plan
Be Prepared for Revisions
Inevitably there will be changes to your design. First drafts are rarely exact. It may be over in square footage, have something left out, or have features that didn’t work. Be patient. Drawing up a custom home plan takes time to perfect. Don’t be upset that multiple drafts are required. It’s actually part of the process.
Following these suggestions and avoiding the pitfalls many do not anticipate can make the process of drawing up custom home plans enjoyable. Don’t take the fun out of the process. Plan and the outcome will be the house of your dreams.
Contact us today for a FREE Consultation. We’d love to hear your ideas.