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Alt-text: Architectural blueprint of a residential floor plan.
Whether you've just moved to a new home in Westminster or undergoing a renovation of your old one, you probably can't wait to see your daydreaming come to fruition, see things take shape. So fun, right? But on your road to your dream home, it's easy to get caught up in all the excitement and overlook some of the common pitfalls homeowners face when determining the floor plans that work for them and their families. Yup, these dream home killers, on the other hand, aren't fun at all. They can bring the whole thing undone. Here, we reveal the seven most common floor plan mistakes to avoid in your home.
Caption: Carefully planning your home’s floor plan is key to optimal comfort and functionality.
Alt-text: Woman planning a home layout.
1. Not paying heed to room placement
Given that each room in a home serves a specific purpose, approaching room placement without any aim and strategy can, at best, turn into a missed opportunity. At worst, it could be a frustrating flaw sabotaging the functionality of a home as well as the comfortable experience of its residents. For instance, sprinkling your bathrooms throughout regularly traveled areas may look great on paper.
Yet, do you genuinely want that half bath right next to the kitchen? Just imagine trying to enjoy a meal with your family and friends while hearing a flushing sound every few minutes. It doesn't sound very appetizing, does it? It's also kind of awkward when the entire party knows when you are in (and out of) the bathroom. On a similar note, imagine taking a refreshing bath, and as soon as you dry out, you suddenly end up smelling like BBQ.
Different zones in the house should work together in harmony without disrupting each other and causing awkward scenarios along the way. And for that, strategic room placement is essential. Bathrooms and bedrooms should be strategically located in a house for privacy and convenience – not too close to the busy streets but still easily accessible from the main living areas. Similarly, your kitchen should be positioned in proportion to your garage. Who feels like toting 17 hundred grocery bags all the way to the other side of the house after unloading from their garage? Not me! This is just something you'd like to consider before buying a property or land to build your home or before starting the remodel of an existing one.
2. Bad home orientation
Another of the most common floor plan mistakes to avoid is bad home orientation. Bad home orientation goes hand in hand with ineffective room placement. The interior layout should be such that it makes the most of your building site and climate. We're talking about passive solar design! If you've come across it before, then you know passive solar home design is meant to take full advantage of warm sun and cooling breezes while reducing a household's heating and cooling load. In other words, you'll achieve greater comfort in your home throughout the entire year, irrespective of the harsh weather outside and at a lower cost. Plus, if you ever decide to sell, it'll be one of the things that will help you sell your home at the highest possible price.
Take the main living area and master bedroom, for instance. Having these spaces facing north will allow plenty of natural light and natural heat from the sun during the cold and dark winter season. Once the temperature rises, the sun's arc will travel above your home, becoming a shield that protects it from the direct rays of the sun.
3. Not sticking to the budget
In the excitement of constructing their Westminster dream home, homeowners often tend to go overboard. They make a lot of choices without really thinking if they can afford them. And we get it. It is your home, after all. But the price? It's usually pretty costly, especially when you overlook the hidden costs of these kinds of projects. That's why it's always a good idea to first make a list of your must-haves. Allocate your budget to the things you really need now, and try sticking to it. That is not to say you shouldn't plan in advance for those features and little luxuries that you can potentially add to the house at a later stage.
At present, it’s best to forgo the luxuries and fancy upgrades you can add later. For now, just focus on the must-haves.
Alt-text: A person stacking coins.
4. Overlooking storage needs
Forgetting to include both the right amount and the right type of storage is a common slip-up regarding floor plans, especially with first-time homeowners. Let's be honest; no architect knows what you need to store better than you do. Furthermore, the type of storage typically hinges on a homeowner's lifestyle. For instance, you may want to store your kids' toys in the living area or your bicycles in the foyer. You may want to make plans for a garage workspace, a butler's pantry, or a large linen closet.
For this reason, the homeowner's involvement in the storage planning process is indispensable. And the golden rule when it comes to adequate storage? It's much better to overestimate than to underestimate. Having your storage needs met is priceless. It will help you avoid clutter, meaning a better organized, safer, and peaceful home.
5. Mismatching your floor plan and lifestyle
Perhaps the single biggest factor that should influence your new home's layout is your lifestyle. Not every floor plan will fit your lifestyle or that of your family. So, you might need to dive a little deeper into your planning. Try to imagine yourself going about your everyday routines in the new space to ensure the home you design is functional for everyone.
Caption: Call up a family meeting and decide on the floor plan that works for every member of the household.
Alt-text: People discussing a potential home layout.
For instance, say you tend to host guests regularly. In that case, your guest toilet shouldn't be positioned on a different floor or in the family bathroom. Placing the pathway from your living area to the kitchen between the TV and the sofa will create an eye-line obstacle while you are watching your program. If you're a sports enthusiast, you might need storage for all your sports gear with easy access. If you work from home, you'll need to plan for a home office in a quieter part of the house. And if you've moved to Westminster for a new job at the office and expect you'll be working far more than the next guy, you might not have time for all that leisure reading you had hoped to do when you built your new home library.
6. Treating furniture as an afterthought
People often tend to hold from reading the actual dimensions of the rooms in a floor plan. And after moving, fitting the furniture into their desired space quickly becomes a challenge. Taking the measurements of the rooms and major pieces of furniture is especially important if you are moving locally to downsize (although the mistake can just as easily occur in larger spaces). Nobody wants to end up in their new place only to learn they need a new sofa and a smaller bed. So, before you hire moving professionals from the neighborhood to pack up your stuff and transfer everything to your new place in Westminster, make sure you've done that part of the work. There are no undo buttons when planning a layout, so make sure to successfully avoid this common floor plan mishap.
7. Unappealing sight-lines
Few things are worse than a poorly planned space where the eye is left to wander around, with nowhere to settle upon. Even worse is having front doors that open to storage or a toilet. Thus, failing to consider the line of sight in a room is one of the most common floor plan mistakes you definitely want to avoid. Be it a piece of wall art or some furniture – each room deserves an area that creates a focal point. Carefully planning the layout of a room will help you work out where you would like to create one for a visually appealing space in your Westminster home.
Meta description: A perfect home joins form and function, as long as you don’t forget to check off all the boxes. Here are 7 common floor plan mistakes to avoid.
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