How to Find the Perfect Home Floor Plan Design
Floor plan design is as personal as your taste in art, music, and cinema. Nothing is more critical when you’re designing a home than to create the home of your dreams. Although this might sound like a massive project, the good news is you don’t have to start from scratch when creating a floor plan design. Rather than a long list of how to design a floor plan, we’ve narrowed it down to three simple steps. Read on to find out what they are.
Popular Home Floor Plans
Unless you’re building a custom one-of-a-kind home, gone are the days of having to go to an architect for a set of floor plans. With advanced technology and the speed of the flow of information, there is most likely a ready-made home layout design that will fit your needs perfectly. Creating your own floor plan design has become a much easier process.
Unlike the latest colors for the season, the change in floor plans is much slower and based on how people live. Current designs are primarily based on family size, age, and budget. Things like the importance of energy efficiency, smaller plots of land, baby boomers living longer, and multi-generational families mold our homes, needs, and floor plans into a space that makes us happier and more efficient.
Steps to Designing a Home Floor Plan
When you design your own floor plan keep in mind the current trends that are long-lasting. It’s essential to create a home that is not only good for you but also possible resale value.
Most modern homes:
- Have an open space design combining the living room, dining room, and kitchen
- The rooms are informal and relaxed with a good flow for entertaining
- Take advantage of garage space for more storage, a workshop, or even an additional second story
Another thing to take into consideration is changing lifestyles, for example:
- Aging baby boomers who want two master bedrooms
- Multi-generational families that still need their private space
And, since most homes are built on smaller plots of land, they need to be space efficient.
Step 1: Visit Open Houses
When you begin to think about building a new home, the first place to start is to visit open houses for newly built homes. Go to any communities within driving distance and make a list of your must-haves. These homes have been designed by top professionals and are loaded with ideas. Don’t be shy, take notes, look in closets, gather brochures, and ask questions. This is a great way to build a library of floor plan designs.
Pay close attention to the kitchens as this is the most important room when it’s time to resell your home and is critical to home layout design. You’ll want to make sure there’s plenty of room for cooking and entertaining and, if you have kids, a place for them to do their homework.
Step 2: List Your Must-Have Items
After you’ve visited dozens and dozens of homes and communities go through your list and decide on your “non-negotiables.” These are features and rooms you can’t live without.
Here are some of the more common ones:
- Open floor plans with lots of light
- Great rooms for families and entertaining
- Walk-in pantry for those who love to cook
- Large laundry rooms with storage
- Mud room off of the garage
- High ceilings that make even smaller homes look spacious
- Lots of light with energy efficient windows
- Energy efficiency from top to bottom
- His and her bathrooms in the master suite
- Flex rooms that can be a study, office, or guest room
- Combo living room, dining room, kitchen
Step 3: Use a Free Design Tool
Once you have the basic idea of what you want, you should find a free home layout design tool to play around with. Start with a basic home layout design and make the changes you need. Be warned though - when working on a 2-dimensional floor plan, rooms look bigger than they really are. Especially before any furniture is put in them.
That’s why the first step of visiting open houses is so important. By doing that little bit of research, you’ll know what the minimum and maximum amount of square footage you need.
When starting with the design tool, take a good look at the size of the kitchens in the plans. The kitchen is one of the most important rooms as far as resale value goes.
Besides designing the interior, be sure to have an idea of what you want the home style to be. A fun tool to use is an elevation tool that shows exterior options. One fact you might be surprised to know is that two-story homes are actually less expensive per square foot because the roof is smaller as compared to a sprawling ranch.
Ready to start designing a home? Visit Pulte’s Design Center for free tools and great tips!
Contributed to Your Home blog by Carol Youmans
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