When you build a new home, there are lots of decisions to make along the way – from finding your land and choosing a builder, right through to selecting your colours and finishes. And while every choice you make is important in the make up of your design, getting your floor plan right is absolutely critical.
When choosing a floor plan, it’s essential that it fits your family, lifestyle and budget – and getting this aspect of your design right can be the difference between a home you love and one that misses the mark.
With the huge number of new home designs available (not to mention the option to customise), it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose focus on what’s important. So to help you to get the design basics on your new home right, read on to discover 3 mistakes to avoid when choosing your floor plan.
1) Failure to Consider Orientation
Making the most of the passive solar elements on your block should be a top priority right from the start. Not only will this make your home more comfortable year-round, it will also provide a significant cost saving on your power bills as your need for active lighting, heating and cooling will be greatly reduced.
Optimal orientation can be achieved through a combination of careful positioning of your home and a floor plan that suits your aspect. In general, north-facing living spaces with generous windows are ideal, to capture the warmth of the winter sun in the places you frequent the most. Your designer can help you position your home optimally and suggest the ideal floor plan (or adjustments to your chosen floor plan) to maximise passive solar gains. Take the time to get this right, as it’s almost impossible to change later.
2) Too Big or Too Small
The size of your home should be just right to suit your needs. To avoid over or underestimating the amount of space you need, it can be helpful to consider the suitability of your existing home. Does it feel cramped? Do you have rooms that get very little use? If you answered yes to either question, look for a floor plan that addresses the issues you have now – or, if you answered no to both questions, the size of your current home may be a good fit and you can match your new design accordingly.
While large homes are becoming the norm, don’t make the mistake of choosing the biggest floor plan you can afford if you don’t really need it. A bigger home means higher energy bills, more furnishings and extra cleaning. Plus if you have a compact block, you’ll be left with a smaller yard, so be sure to factor that in. On the other hand, you don’t want to go too small either. If you are working with a limited budget, look for a floor plan that makes smart use of space and has the features you need.
3) A Layout that Doesn’t Work
When choosing your floor plan, it’s important to not only look at the rooms that are included, but also where they are situated in the layout. While not so obvious when viewed on a floor plan, getting the location of rooms wrong can really impact the flow, balance and aesthetics of your new home.
Key considerations here are where your bedrooms are located – do you want to be close to the kids or create a parent’s retreat?. Also look closely at how you set up your living spaces – is open plan with access to a deck a must? Another important layout consideration is where your bathroom and toilet lies – make sure it’s discreetly located for privacy.
A Beautiful Home Starts with the Right Floor Plan
Creating your dream home doesn’t just happen – it takes some careful planning during the design phase to find the ideal floor plan to suit your needs. But the good news is that the time and effort you put in will be well and truly worth it, as the result will be a comfortable, balanced home that is the right size and ticks all your boxes.
Over to You
Would you like some advice on choosing the right floor plan? Or do you have a tip to share? We’d love to hear from you – simply post a comment below or get in touch with our team on 03 5145 7110.