Factors to Consider When Choosing a Floor Plan

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by Gilly Brewster
(San Francisco, CA, USA)

Choosing house plans online can be a little overwhelming, with so many plans to pick from and factors to consider. Knowing what to look for before you begin can save time, money and energy and leave you feeling more satisfied with the final product.


Take this heavily into consideration when picking online home floor plans. Do you entertain regularly? If so, try to keep in mind the distance from the kitchen to the living room and whether the living room is open and spacious enough to allow for multiple guests.

Do you have kids? If so, try to remember that they are only going to want and need more space as they get older. Don’t settle for a floor plan that is smaller in order to save money on building costs now. Remember that your family is going to grow up in this home, and possibly even expand further.

Are you an “outdoorsy” or an “indoors” family? Would a special room to store sporting equipment and bicycles help you not have to climb over all of this junk later on down the road? Or do you need to incorporate a little more space inside the home for your family to dwell in?.

The Site

When choosing your floor plan, consider whether a given plan not only meets your family’s needs, but also takes into account the building lot and natural landscape of the surrounding area. The total square footage on the floor plan refers to the “finished” portion of your home, meaning areas covered with sheetrock and wallpaper or paint.

Areas that are heated or air conditioned are also good indicators of total square footage. Parts of the home such as attics, porches, and garages are considered “unfinished” and aren’t calculated into the total square footage.

So take a look at the total square footage, finished and unfinished, and have your architect help you plot the boundaries of the proposed floor plan on the actual lot. Try to visualize what will go there, and how much outdoor space you will have left over. Do you need outdoor space for the kids or the dog, or is there plenty of room left for everybody to roam.

Marketability to Future Buyers

Try not to select a home floor plan that is overly stylized or trendy, in case you decide to sell the home at some unforeseeable point in the future. There is nothing worse in a home than exaggerated architectural features that are ugly, outdated and a bit crumbly. No one wants to buy a home that cannot be modernized.

There was, for instance, an unfortunate architectural period in the 1950’s that combined low ceilings with small windows, and the ultimate result was a cramped, oppressed feeling in the home. No one wants a cramped, oppressive home. Keep in mind that architectural features that may seem ultra-modern today will likely be old hat in 30 years, leaving you (and your pocketbook) in the lurch when you are trying to sell so that you can retire somewhere in the sun.

Choosing a house plan that meets all of your needs may seem quite time-consuming, but it is a very important step in the building of a home, and can also be one of the most fun parts of the experience, as long as you don’t let yourself get overwhelmed.

Updated: October 19, 2013 — 7:01 pm

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