How to Choose the Perfect Floor Plan

Posted by Justin Nolette on May 18, 2018

As you get ready to buy a new home, it’s important to realize looks aren’t everything. You want a home that has a layout perfectly suited for your new home needs. Once you have that, you can add almost any design details you want to make the space yours.

How to Choose the Perfect Floor Plan Main ImageIf there was a single floor plan that worked for all families, that would be the only one builders offered. Instead, you’ll find a wide range of options. Whether your family is big or small, outgoing or more reserved, there’s a floor plan for you.

How many bedrooms do you need?

Start by thinking about the number of bedrooms you need. This might seem like a straightforward answer, but you should always think about the future. For instance, if you have two young children, you might think about a three-bedroom home so they can each have their own room. What if you decide to have another child, though? Will you still be happy with that three-bedroom home? 

Additionally, you may want to think about how often you have guests and how long they stay. If your parents come for the weekend a few times a year, you may like to have a guest room for them upstairs. If they are coming from overseas and staying for three months at a time, though, you may prefer a full guest suite in the basement.

No matter how many bedrooms you think you need, remember some floor plans are flexible. A three-bedroom plan might have a four-bedroom layout. Most floor plans can include one or two extra bedrooms in the finished basement. It’s helpful to look at all of your options. 

Do you need extra rooms?

Some families need extra space beyond bedrooms. For instance, if you’d like a home office, a playroom, a homework room, or an exercise space, you should look for floor plans that include a flex room.

What stage is your family in?

Families have different needs at different times of their lives, and this might play a role in the floor plan you choose. Families with young children tend to prefer homes with the bedrooms close together. Those with older children often like to separate the master bedroom from the kids’ bedrooms. In the early years, a dedicated toy room helps keep the rest of the home tidy. Once kids hit the teenage years, they prefer a large rec room for hanging out with friends.

Your family’s stage may also influence how much square footage you need. When you have young kids, you may like the idea of a large home, and your family will get many years of use out of it. If your kids are only a few years away from college, though, it might make more sense to buy a smaller home because you won’t need the extra space once they move out.

How often do you entertain?

If you frequently entertain, you’ll want a bigger main living area. A large open-concept space is perfect for children’s birthday parties or other casual get-togethers. If you’ve been thinking about hosting Thanksgiving dinner, though, you might prefer a floor plan that has a separate dining room for these more formal occasions. 

On the other hand, if you don’t think you’ll be inviting guests over often, you can probably save money by choosing a slightly smaller home.

How to Choose the Perfect Floor Plan Extra ImageHow much stuff do you have?

Whenever you look at a floor plan, you’ll want to think about where you’ll put your things. Storage is important. If your family does a lot of outdoor activities like biking and kayaking, you’ll need a garage that’s big enough to hold your equipment. If you have a lot of books and antique knick-knacks to display, you’ll want a home that has built-in shelving. Minimalists might not care much about storage because they simply don’t have as much stuff. 

What does your daily life look like?

The right floor plan has a good flow for your life, so think about how you do things. If you’re constantly running around for sports practices and other after-school activities, look for a home that has a large mudroom and a spot that can act as the family command centre to organize schedules. If you prefer to fold laundry in front of the TV, then a second-floor laundry room may not be the best choice. However, that’s the perfect choice for families with kids who do their own laundry.

Will you use all of the space in this floor plan?

Bigger isn’t always better. You don’t want to spend time dusting and cleaning a room you never use. As you look at different floor plans, think of how you’ll use each room. A plan that includes two living spaces might look nice when you tour a show home, but if your family is going to spend all of the time in one room, then you didn’t choose wisely. The best floor plan for your family is one that doesn’t include any wasted space.

It’s hard to select a floor plan based on drawings alone. Once you tour show homes, you’ll get a better sense of how the energy flows in each type of home. Come look at what Sterling Homes has to offer, and talk to an Area Manager about how we can meet your needs.

Click here to download your free New Home Needs Versus Wants Checklist today!

Photo credits: blueprints 

Tags: first-time home-buyer, building a home, buying new home, floor plans, getting started, finding a home

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