Comparing numerous home layouts and floor plans as you search for one that suits your lifestyle can feel next to impossible sometimes. With so many options available at your fingertips, it can be difficult to analyze a floor plan and know what you like and dislike about them without actually viewing the home. In this article we will discuss a few of the key factors that you should consider as you look over a floor plan.
Day To Day: Considering Functionality
Your lifestyle should be the number one factor as you decide on a floor plan. How you will use your home in your day to day life should be at the front of your mind as you analyze every floor plan that you come across. For example, if you host guests often – having the guest bathroom on a different floor than the guest bedroom would be a nuisance – if you do not, that factor won’t matter as much.
When considering the layout and floor plan of a house, it is important to reflect on which rooms you would use most in your everyday life. As you view a floor plan, picture yourself walking through the home doing your daily routines as you would actually use it. We suggest even printing out the plan and drawing lines of where you would walk! As you do this, you may notice potential conflict areas, for example a kitchen being at the far end of the house, so you will have to carry groceries a long way.
Lifestyle Is Key: What Is Important To You?
Before you begin looking at floor plans, consider the rooms you use most in your home and features that are important to you. From there, create a list of must-haves, should-haves, and shouldn’t-haves.
For example, an open-concept living area in your home may be important to you because your family time often revolves around the kitchen and living room. Maybe it is important for your home to have a bonus room because you need an office. Or maybe you’re someone who loves to cook, and an upgraded kitchen is a must-have. For a shouldn’t-have, maybe it is important to you that your home doesn’t have stairs, and a single-storey bungalow may be best for you.
The Big Question: How Much Square Footage?
Estimating the ideal square footage for your lifestyle can be difficult. While layout trumps size, it is important to have a rough idea of a maximum and minimum square footage you require. To give you a sense of size, the average home in Canada is 2,000 SqFt.
A few important factors that should go into estimating your ideal home size are:
- How many people will be living in your home (don’t forget about future kids, kids that may be leaving the nest soon, and aging parents)
- How much time you spend at home
- Personal preference and style (do smaller bungalows call your name?)
- How long do you plan on living there
Using the criteria above, try to decide on a minimum and maximum square footage for your potential home – it will be super helpful for narrowing down your search in the future.
Sorting It Out: Where Do You Need Your Storage?
Now it’s time to think about your “stuff” situation; how much space do you need for all of your things?
While you imagine life in your new home, try to find a happy medium between the messy self you tend to be and the minimalist you’d like to be. Do you need a home with a spacious master bedroom with lots of closet space? Maybe you’re a car buff and could make use of a triple car garage. How much storage space you require in your floor plan may also influence the square footage you select.
While you search it is helpful to be honest with yourself about what you need – after thinking about it, you may realize that you need less space than you originally assumed!
Tall Tales: How Many Floors Do You Need?
In today’s market, a lack of options certainly isn’t an issue for home-hunters – there seems to be countless combinations of floor plan selections with a variety of names. The trick is to find a floor plan that works best for you. Let’s start it off by dissecting the definitions of some common house types.
A bungalow is a one-storey house, with a broad front porch, having either no upper floor or upper rooms set in the roof. Bungalows are generally smaller in terms of square footage which makes for a very cozy atmosphere.
A bi-level home is one with an entry that opens to a stairway to each floor, sometimes called a mid-level entry foyer. These homes are well often-times well designed to ensure maximum usage of the space available.
Bi-Level + Suite
A bi-level home with a suite is a home designed for multiple inhabitants, great for those interested in renting out space in their home or having a roommate. Designed the same as a traditional bi-level home, Loreck Homes’ bi-levels that include suites have a separate entrance, as well as a separate furnace and laundry system.
Similar to the traditional bi-level home, a modified bi-level house has a split floor plan. However, it is modified in that part of the top floor is built above the attached garage.
Classical and timeless, 2 storey homes are simple double level floor plans, and are most-often the largest home layout.
We hope that this article is a helpful starting point for you as you navigate the world of floor plans. Taking the time to reflect on your lifestyle may be tedious, but it is helpful to narrow down your home-hunting search beyond location and price. Good luck and happy home-hunting!