Key Items to Consider when Desiging a Floorplan for Your Custome Home or Home Addition
By Mark J. Donovan
||When developing a custom home design floor plan there are a number of features you should consider to ensure you maximize the benefits of your new custom home. Several key areas to consider are:
One of the most important aspects today of a good custom home design floor plan is large open space.
Gone are the days of long, narrow, boring hallways interconnecting rooms. They waste space, block interior and exterior views, and reduce an otherwise large custom home into a number of small rooms. A good custom home design floor plan maximizes the custom home’s square footage, while still creating a sense of separate spaces. Key to this is creating small transition walls with large entranceways between rooms. For example, today kitchen and family room floor plan designs are frequently connected to each other via minor edge transitional walls or step-downs from one room to the other.
In large single story custom homes the bedrooms are commonly located off of a large family room or bonus room. The family room also frequently connects to the kitchen. Care in the custom home floor plan has to be made so that people are not crisscrossing the family room to get from a bedroom to the kitchen. Bedroom doors should be lined up so that people exit into the family room in a space that is similar to a hallway but without the walls. This walking space shouldn’t cut across the line of site between sofas and the entertainment center.
Consideration of a wet bar also needs to be made. If the recreation room will not be attached to the kitchen does it make sense to have a wet bar in it? This too is a traffic pattern consideration.
Line of Sight
As already mentioned open concept is becoming an increasing theme in new custom home floor plan designs. Part of the reason for this is that it helps to open up lines of sites between rooms and the outside. It is critical when looking at a set of custom home design plans to check that walls and doors do not block lines of site. If they do, the house will feel smaller due to all of the visual obstructions.
You can check the floor plans for lines of site issues by using a pencil and ruler. Locating yourself in doorways and expected sofa and chair locations, use the ruler and pencil to draw straight lines in the directions you prefer to see in the distance. The distant views could be in or out of the home. If in doing this exercise you run into walls or doors, consider modifying the floor plans.
|Exterior Views and Sunlight
The location of the house footprint and the floor plan of the custom home can make or break your ability to maximize the outdoor views and sunlight from the interior of your home. Care should be given on the positioning of the home’s footprint. If you want certain rooms to be bright in the afternoon, then you may want to position the home so that these rooms receive south and west exposures. If you want the kitchen, on the other hand, to be bright in the morning you may want to position the home, or the location of the kitchen, so that it has an easterly view.
If your custom home’s property has views of mountains or lakes, you will want to ensure that the floor plan takes advantage of these views by including picture style windows in strategic places.
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The windows should be positioned so that as many lines of sites as possible can see out of them. One large window need not be your only alternative. A number of smaller windows configured together can create the same visual affect as one larger one, but in addition, add a level of unique customization to your home.
Rarely does a homeowner get more than one chance in their lifetime to have a custom home built. Take the time necessary to review your custom home floor plans prior to starting construction. Do not hesitate talking with, and suggesting changes, to your architect to get the finished custom home floor plan you want. In the end, it will be you who will be living in the home and not the contractors and architect.
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