If you’re thinking about building a home, you may be overwhelmed with all of the floor plan choices.
Read our top tips to help ensure you choose a plan that suits you, your family and your budget.
When you decide to build a home, there are plenty of important decisions to make, including the floor plan of your home. Choosing the right floor plan can improve your lifestyle significantly, so it’s important to take a bit of extra time to decide what you really need and want.
A simple search of your preferred builders will deliver a huge range of options, which can be overwhelming if you’re not really sure what you’re looking for. It’s especially hard trying to make these decisions based on an image on the screen.
To find something that will truly fit your needs and your lifestyle, these top tips can help you narrow down your list:
Stick to your budget
When buying or building your first, second or next home, your budget it key. Figuring out how much you can actually afford is the easiest way to trim your list down to suitable properties.
Work with a qualified accountant, or get pre-qualified at the bank to figure out your budget. Then you can narrow your floor plan list down to those that are within reach. You should also bear in mind that you may want to make slight modifications or upgrades to your home — make sure you factor those additional costs in when making your choice.
Figure out your needs vs wants
Nearly as important as your budget, figuring out what you need vs what you want is key in choosing a layout that you will be happy with. Start off with the basics:
- car spaces
Don’t forget to consider your storage. This is one aspect of the floor plan that can easily be overlooked, but has the power to vastly improve your everyday life.
Once you’ve figured out what you really need, it’s a good idea to think about what would be good to have. Maybe you’d like a formal and casual dining area, or a separate entertainment room. What about a home office? Make a list and aim to strike the perfect balance between needs and wants according to your budget.
Build to suit your lifestyle
Going hand in hand with figuring out your needs vs your wants, you should also think about your lifestyle when choosing the right floor plan. Do you like to welcome guests and entertain in your home? An open floor plan with a large, wide entry looking over the living, dining and kitchen might be a good choice.
Do you prefer more privacy? Perhaps more defined spaces that don’t showcase your entire home every time the doorbell rings will be more suitable for you.
You should also consider your family’s lifestyle and how the layout would best suit everyone in the home. For example, those with young children prefer to have all of the bedrooms grouped together, while those with older children or extended family may want more separation in these private spaces.
Consider your block size and shape
The next biggest consideration when choosing a floor plan is the amount of space you actually have to build. Your block size and shape will have a pretty big influence on your floor plan.
If you’re looking at a sprawling acreage property, you won’t be restricted on space, but thinking about the orientation of your floor plan to maximise the benefits of natural light.
If your lot is a little bit smaller, you may have to be a little more clever with your floor plan choices. Though, smaller doesn’t always mean sacrifice. You can save money and build smart to make the most of your space.
Single or multi-storey
There are benefits to both single and multi-storey homes, depending on what you need. Single storey homes can be quieter and more convenient for older members of the family and young kids. Multi-storey homes can be a great option if you’re looking for some separation and space. They’re also ideal for smaller blocks of land as they allow you build up instead of out.
You should also think about accessibility when considering single or multi-storey. Are there certain areas of the home — bathrooms, hallways, etc — that need a little extra space? You should also think about entry points to make sure older and younger members of the family can easily get in and out.
Think about the future
If you’re looking to build a forever home, it’s worth considering how your floor plan will suit your future. For example, are you planning on having a family, or perhaps a bigger family? You may want to consider a plan with a couple of extra bedrooms and a bit of extra living space. Alternatively, you may be on the verge of an empty nest, and all those extra bedrooms will go to waste.
Don’t forget about the outdoor spaces
With all of the thought that goes into the interiors, don’t forget to consider your exterior space as well.
If your block size allows it, creating an outdoor space is a great way to add lifestyle value for the whole family. It’s also a great way to add resale value to your home as more and more families are looking for homes with outdoor entertaining areas.
When choosing your floor plan, think about how much space you’d like and what kind of amenities you want. Just make sure there is a covered area, which will come in handy though the summer months!
Visit display homes
When you have a good idea of what you’re looking for in your floor plan, the next step is to visit a display home to see how your top choices actually look and feel in person.
Walking through a floor plan that you’re thinking about is the best way to actually see what it will be like to live in the home. You can view the spaces to get more of an idea of how they might function with your family’s needs. You may discover that you prefer certain layouts over others, and what you thought you wanted may not be as compatible as other options.
Consider your modifications
Once you’ve had a chance to view your floor plan choices in person, you may find that a few slight modifications will take your floor plan from great to perfect. Be sure to discuss your options with your builder. Many times, you’ll be able to make some slight tweaks here and there. Make sure you also discuss any additional costs to ensure you stay within budget.