The layout of your home is crucial to consider when building or buying your next abode. We have listed our top tips to avoid floor plan faux pas and get the layout that is perfect for you.
Wish List Wants
Look at where you currently live. What works for you and what doesn’t? Something to consider might be storage. Do you have enough? Perhaps there are times you wish you had a second living room for the kids. Determine what your ‘must haves’ are, and what you want to avoid in your next home.
Block n’ budget
The size of your home depends on the width and length of your block (if you have one).
While this can be the first step to help narrow down your floor plan search, block sizes still allow flexibility. Don’t get caught up on size because often the number of rooms and the home’s design features don’t change – simply the size of these spaces are adjusted.
Your block of land can also help you envision how a home will sit on a site. Be sure you take elements such as driveway placement, air flow in the home and angles of the sun into consideration.
Level it out
How many levels will suit your lifestyle? Do you need a two storey home to accommodate everyone in your household or would you like to avoid stairs and choose a single level home?
How ‘open’ do you want your layout to be?
While light flows much easier in open spaces, how open do you want your home to be? Have you considered the acoustics that come with expansive open spaces? Perhaps you’d prefer more walls than you think. Consider the compromises you want to make between cosy spaces versus open and shared areas.
It’s vital to think about the function of your home when it comes to children. If you have younger children think about their play spaces. If your kids are outside, can you keep an eye on them? Where will the kitchen be positioned with this in mind? You may want to ensure younger children have their bedrooms near yours, or if they are older- maybe they would prefer some space? Do stairs work for your family? There are many fencing options- consider what works for your family and/or pets?
Are your needs going to change soon? If your family is growing, you may want to consider options such as a larger dining room, the number of bedrooms and private spaces like a rumpus room or study. If you love entertaining then you may require plenty of living space or an expansive kitchen. We live in a warmer climate so an outdoor entertaining area may be a major priority for you. Are you downsizing? What do you no longer need in your household? Perhaps you are looking for a low maintenance yard- or considering a transition to townhouse living?
Know What You Are Looking At
When you are looking at a floor plan, there may be many symbols and abbreviations that you might find difficult to interpret. While some are easy to figure out such as WIR (walk-in robe), there could be a couple that stump you. Make sure you know what you are looking at with regards to floor and ceiling heights, sewer drains and all of those strange lines and symbols on a floor plan. Ask your building consultant to help you to understand and interpret these.
Follow the flow
When you’re looking at a floor plan, imagine yourself walking through the home. Go from the laundry to putting clothes away. Is it convenient? Does the flow of the kitchen to a dining area feel right? Are there any privacy issues with bedrooms? When you’re coming in with an armload of groceries, will you have an easy path to the kitchen? The general layout and flow of your home is also very important. Think about things such as traffic flow and furniture. How will your current belongings fit in a new home?
Explore the undiscovered needs
As you browse floor plans, think of alternative uses for rooms that might seem like a bonus right now. A formal dining room or living room could seem extraneous but could you consider repurposing it for a playroom, study, or other function. Ask a lot of questions (of yourself and your builder) when reviewing home designs to be sure you’re choosing the right floor plan.
Get expert advice
It’s imperative to get an expert’s opinion on floor plans, and North Shore's display home village is the perfect starting point. With industry experts on hand at 8 perfectly presented display homes from 5 of Townsville's top builders, the display village boasts an amazing selection of floor plans and designs to explore.