When you’re building a home from scratch, the floor plan will determine how you best use the space. It’s an element of the home that is very personal to each familial situation. Just as budget and space are key considerations when purchasing or building a home, so too is the floor plan. So here’s how you decide what you need.

What kind of lifestyle do you lead?

The kind of lifestyle you lead and the kind of family you have will largely dictate the type of floorplan you require. The best example of this is how you live your lives – are you outdoorsy people? Or do you prefer the creature comforts of your living room? Do you have kids, and if so, what are their ages? Will you need communal areas and a playroom or more private spaces for your teenagers?

If you have young children, it’s also wise to consider the safety aspects of a home. Stairs and the way they are designed, balconies and their access points and particular flooring may be a living nightmare when children are around. But remember, stairs can be gated and other elements can be temporarily blocked off so rather than putting you off completely, look at these features from the perspective of ‘can they be adapted for the time being?’.

Will the layout meet your needs over time?

It’s crucial that you look at the overall layout of the property. The number of bedrooms and bathrooms, plus the size of the living areas. If it doesn’t suit your needs, you can always customise the design. Choosing this over aesthetics is imperative. Don’t get swayed by beautiful hardwood floors or modern appliances.

However, it may be worth looking for a home that may allow you to alter the floorplan as your family grows and matures. You may move into the place with one child and be there for 15 to 20 years. Your requirements two decades later will definitely be different to those when you moved in. For example, spare bedrooms or extra spaces may be able to be converted into home offices, playrooms or a teenage retreat.

Will you be adding extra features?

When you’re deciding on a floor plan, the extra features can be tempting. After all, what’s a home if it doesn’t reflect the personality of the people living in it? Those features are a great way to explore what will make a house your distinctive home. Consider what kind of inclusions you want to include so you can account for them in the floor plan. Whether it be a larger tub to soak yourself in or the kind of splashback that will bear witness to your culinary feats, think ahead of time to cover everything you need. It’s also handy to think of your furniture and how the space can be decorated using your existing pieces.

Don’t forget the location

It’s easy to fall in love with a property. But don’t let your love affair get in the way of your surroundings. Floor plans have the potential to be modified, the location of your property does not. If you’re looking at a model home, remember the view will be different from your plot of land from each window. Remember to envisage that view before deciding where it is you want your master bedroom to go.

Don’t ignore the family

You may be the boss of your family but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have a say in what their future home should look like. They may have some different ideas and who knows, their ideas may even work! Be open to your family’s opinion and take their opinions into consideration. Of course, if you’re designing a home from scratch, you’ll be able to dictate exactly what it is you want, as long as it fits within the property lines.

Remember, there isn’t a perfect floorplan. What works for you now may not work for you in the future. There will always be positives and negatives. It’s up to you to prioritise what you absolutely need and what you can possibly live without.

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