For many, building a custom home represents a dream come true – the opportunity to design a dwelling that checks all of the boxes, is truly unique and built to their exact specifications. But beginning with a blank canvas can also be overwhelming, leaving the future homeowner puzzled as to where to start.
In this post, we’ll provide some practical tips and key considerations when designing a floor pan for your custom-built home.
The budget for your build is a natural starting point for your custom project. Your budget will dictate a variety of factors from size/square footage to finishes, features and amenities. The process of assessing costs and establishing a budget will also help you determine your priorities for the home. For example, you may decide to opt for a smaller home with higher-quality finishes (granite counter tops, etc.) versus a larger home with less expensive features.
Location is key
It is not uncommon even in custom floor plans for someone to fall in love with a design, only to later realize that it’s not compatible with the property on which the home will be built. Whether it’s windows, views or the orientation of the home itself, be sure to keep the property and its location in the forefront of your mind when developing a floor plan.
Visualize entertaining and common spaces as they’ll be used
While this may sound odd initially, it is important to consider all of the possible uses and various scenarios for the entertaining areas and common spaces in your home. You may view the room on the floor plan or view the measurements and feel it’s adequate, but what will that space look like and how will it function when occupied? For example, will the dining room space be sufficient during a large, family Thanksgiving meal? Be realistic and practical when building your floor plan.
Consider safety and mobility
There are a number of features you might consider for your custom home that while aesthetically pleasing, may represent a hazard or danger. This is especially true if young children or people with limited mobility will be living in the home. Balconies and stairs without railing are just a couple of examples of features that should be carefully evaluated to ensure the home you’re building is safe and functional for its inhabitants.
Similarly, it is important to think ahead when designing your floor plan. Do you expect to live in the home well into retirement and advanced age? If so, you may want to consider a ground-level master bedroom and a floorplan with either no or limited stairs. Large showers and entrances that can be retrofitted for handicap accessibility are other considerations for a home you may be occupying as you age and experience limited mobility.
Don’t forget to customize your custom floor plan
While it should be obvious that a custom floor plan should be designed to your exact specifications, it is not uncommon for people to adopt bits and pieces of others’ homes and floor plans while missing key opportunities to truly make the home their own and design it around their lifestyle and routines.
Be sure to embrace the opportunity to design a home that is truly unique and your own. For example, if you like to cook or cook a certain way, be sure you’re designing a kitchen that is functional and works for you. Remember, you’re building a custom home.
Make sure you’re designing a home that is livable
The most important consideration is how the home will fit into, and ideally improve, your everyday life. Livability is key, so if you’re not designing a home that compliments and enhances your life, it may be time to take a step back and re-examine your floor plan and goals for your custom home.
The bottom line
Designing a floor plan for your own custom-built home is an exciting opportunity. While the possibilities are endless, developing your own floor plan does not have to be a daunting task. Think ahead to the future of your home as you put pen to paper and reference these tips to help create a truly unique home that fits your needs and lifestyle.