SWFL Custom Homes Blog
What to Consider When Choosing a Floorplan
Designing your own custom home is a thrilling experience. But it can also be a bit daunting if you’re not sure what features will suit your household the best. This is why choosing a floorplan can be a big friction point in the process. The layout of your home has a significant impact on your comfort, project budget, and even cost of living, so the need to choose wisely introduces a lot of pressure.
Fortunately, a lot of the uncertainty surrounding floorplan selection can be cleared up with careful consideration of a few key factors. We’ll review these points below; keep reading for advice you’ll need to make confident decisions about the layout of your new house.
Presence and Lifestyle
A small, compact home may feel cozy and welcoming when you spend most of your days out and about. But if you’re a homebody, the lack of space may soon feel constricting. This is why it’s critical to think of how much time your family will realistically spend at home when determining your need for space.
Further, you’ll need to consider the details of your preferred lifestyle. If you have an active household that is regularly exercising, playing games, cooking, or crafting, you will probably need a lot more space than a family that spends most of their time reading books or watching TV.
Need for Quiet/Privacy
Every member of your household has varying needs for peace and solitude. Perhaps you’re more than happy to have your children and visitors close by throughout the day, but your working-from-home spouse needs a quiet office space where they can focus on the other side of the house. Or maybe your mother-in-law would feel more welcome if she had a private suite of her own.
There are a lot of variables at play when it comes to this category of needs. It’s best to discuss this with each household member, and be wary of compromises that won’t be sustainable in the long run. When you’re investing in a custom home, you want to make sure that it is truly suitable for everyone in the family.
Your nuclear family’s day-to-day needs may be modest, but what about when it comes to entertaining? Do you often have lots of family and friends coming by for get-togethers? Or is an appointment with the cable guy the closest thing to a social event in your home?
The answer should have a big influence on your choice of floorplan. If you anticipate entertaining a fair number of guests, you’ll want to choose a layout that can not only accommodate the mass of occupants, but your entertaining methods as well. For instance, hosting formal dinner parties may call for a large, separate dining room, while a more casual cook-while-chatting approach may be more suited to an open kitchen/dining/living space.
A floorplan’s level of safety can sometimes be forgotten when listing assessment criteria. But it’s probably one of the most important factors to consider.
Do you have children, or are planning to in the future? Features like open staircases, balconies, widely-spaced railings, and sunken or raised flooring levels add a level of luxury and aesthetic value but can be very hazardous for the youngest members of the household. You may also want to consider ditching an open layout for one that allows you to close off access to rooms where there’s a chance children could hurt themselves or damage important items (i.e. kitchens, home offices).
If you have older relatives living with you, or are planning on retiring in your home, you will need to consider how well your layout accommodates declining mobility and vulnerability to falling. Even if you anticipate being healthy in your old age, medical complications can quickly change things, and you may simply want to spare yourself the effort of climbing stairs.
Views and Orientation
It’s critical to consider your layout in the wider context of your home’s place within its surroundings. This can go a long way toward ensuring your abode suits your preferences and offers complete serenity.
Perhaps you’d feel unsettled if your bedroom faced a busy street, or your bathroom gave a clear view to your neighbor’s back porch. Maybe you’re happiest when you can look out at the backyard while you’re washing dishes. These are the little things that can easily be forgotten when you’re looking at a floorplan in the abstract, without imagining how it will take shape in the real world. The views and orientation of each room should be considered carefully before you make your final decision.
These factors can also affect your home’s energy efficiency. For example, if your living room has south-facing windows, it will get more direct exposure to the sun than any other place in the house.
Given that this space is likely to be where your family spends most of their time during the day, you’ll probably find that you use the air conditioning a lot just to maintain a comfortable temperature. However, if you had picked rooms that would be closed off and unoccupied to be placed on the south side of your home, then you would likely find your cooling demands to be lower.
Get Expert Help Designing Your Perfect Floorplan
Once you’ve thought through the factors above, you’ll have a much clearer picture of what you need to get out of your custom home. But if you’ve already looked through our floorplans and still need some help figuring out what would work best for your family, we’re happy to give you some guidance.
Our team has spent decades helping people design homes that offer the perfect fit for their lifestyles. Get in touch with us today to set up an appointment at our design center, or a tour of one of our model homes.