It’s happened to many Northern Virginia homeowners we work with. Prior to building a custom home – or remodeling their existing one – they carefully study and choose floorplans they think will be perfect for their family. But once they move in they wonder why the layout just doesn’t work. The truth is, it’s not always possible to really know if your home’s floorplan is going to work until you live with it. If you’re new to the design process – or just hoping to avoid mistakes you’ve made in the past – there are some practical tips and tricks you can use as you prepare to dive into the process. To get you started, here are four common Northern VA floorplan mistakes to watch out for.
- Forgetting to Consider Your Family’s Lifestyle. Picture your family actually living in the space. For example, if you’re choosing a floorplan that includes stairs, how will that affect you, your extended family, and your guests? Don’t sacrifice practicality for aesthetically pleasing or desirable elements that just won’t work. Try writing down an inventory of your family’s daily routine. What’s it like in the kitchen during meal prep time? How many bathrooms are in use at the same time in the morning or at night? Does the way you live work with an open floorplan? Let questions like these inform your layout decisions.
- Falling in Love with a Floorplan that Increases Future Costs. It’s exciting to see stunning features on two-dimensional drawings, but some of those details, such as skylights or beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows, are not only expensive to install, they may have a significant impact on your future heating and cooling costs. There will also be expenses connected with insulation, floor and ceiling repair, structural renovation, and maintenance. Do your budget and yourself a favor by thinking of future costs when choosing or designing your floorplan.
- Over or Underestimating Room Size. Make sure the room dimensions meet your family’s needs. If you’re bringing furniture with you to a new home, or using existing furniture in a remodeled space, make sure that not only will it fit, but there will plenty of space available to easily walk around it. And don’t go with more square footage “just in case.” There are some good reasons to go big:
- More bedrooms for a growing family, or an in-law suite.
- One or both adults work from home.
- You need space to entertain.
Otherwise, think about designing multifunctional areas: a home theater space that can double as a guestroom, for example. Does your family really need a kitchen that’s larger than one found in a big restaurant, or bedrooms that look like they belong in a fancy hotel?
- Overspending on the Future. It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking it’s ok to spend more money now because it will pay off down the road. Our experience-based advice? Stay focused on the present. You can always upgrade your home. Forego expensive finishes and furnishings if they take you over budget. The whole point of choosing or redesigning your home’s floorplan is so that your family can enjoy it. Don’t let money worries take that away from you.
Great floor plans aren’t ones that are splashy or trendy – they’re the ones that fit your family’s lifestyle and make your home an enjoyable and comfortable place to be. A good floor plan can enhance your family’s life, maximize space, and create a natural flow between rooms. To learn more about choosing the right floor plan for your Northern VA home, contact us today. And don’t forget to download our free guide that lists the top 10 reasons to choose Foley for your next home construction project.