10 Floor Plan Mistakes And How To Avoid Them In Your Home

10 Floor Plan Mistakes And How To Avoid Them In Your Home

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floor plan mistakes

10 common mistakes made by homeowners when choosing a floor plan

Every homeowner has gone through it – you choose a home that you think will be ideal for you and your family and once you move into, you wonder, “why doesn’t this floor plan work for us?” Many homeowners make common mistakes when looking for the best floor plan to fit their needs. Whether you are getting ready to design your floor plan with an architect or you are house hunting to look for the perfect home, take a look at these 10 floor plan mistakes and learn how to avoid them! Plus you should also learn about :  10 of The Most Common Interior Design Mistakes to Avoid!

1. Don’t assume every floor plan fits your lifestyle:

One of the biggest mistakes when choosing the right floor plan is that you forget to picture your own family cooking in the kitchen or you don’t take into consideration how your bad back may not like going up 3 flights of stairs throughout the day. Assess your lifestyle before choosing a floor plan. Do you like a single story or multistory home? Do you prefer an open floor plan or are individual rooms with partitions better? Determine what you have become accustomed to in a comfortable home.

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choosing a floor plan view from other rooms

Every floor plan layout may not work with your family’s lifestyle

2. When touring a model home – take away the upgrades in your mind:

If you’re shopping around for homes one of the best ways to experience the floor plan of a home before you buy it is to walk through the developer’s model homes before hand. One of the easiest mistakes is to get sold on the upgrades that a home stager and contractors have upsold the model on! Try and strip away the gorgeous finishes, the upgraded carpet, color coordinated wallpaper and drapery and focus on the layout and flow of the rooms. This will help you make an informed decision when choosing a floor plan.

3. Don’t assume you are crazy for not understanding floor plan drawings:

If you recently started looking or designing your next home, more than likely you will need to review architectural drawings or floor plan drawings. While for many design professionals it is second nature, for many homeowners the symbols and nomenclature can be difficult to understand. Don’t assume you are supposed to know what every door swing, window, stair, and multi-story space looks like on a floor plan. Don’t make the mistake of assuming just ask! Also if you’d like some floors plans inspiration be sure to check out :  10 Floor Plans of the Most Famous TV Apartments in the World

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choosing a floor plan how to read

Not sure how to read a floor plan? Just ask a design professional

4. Ensure architectural features won’t cost you more in the future:

There is nothing like getting excited about architectural features that look beautiful on a 2D floor plan and feel even nicer when standing inside of the finished home. Details like expansive floor to ceiling windows, skylights and other architectural features could have an impact on heating and cooling your home when your energy bill arrives. While it may not be a concern now, think of green cost savings on your architectural features of your floor plan for future living too.

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choosing a floor plan wall of windows

Ensure architectural features won’t cost you more in the future

5. Don’t assume the sizes of rooms on a floor plan are adequate:

How many times have you read the dimensions of a room on a floor plan and then realized your existing furniture doesn’t fit like you thought into the finished room? Measure your existing furniture before deciding on final sizes for a home. If you’re not sure how large of room you need, measure your existing furniture, tables and walking area to determine how much space you REALLY need in your next floor plan. Add on additional area if you’re trying to add space to your next home.

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choosing a floor plan open floor plan ideas

Measure your furniture to know what dimension of rooms you need

6. Imagine your entertaining spaces fully occupied when deciding on a floor plan:

For most homeowners dreaming of their ideal floor plan, they consider how nice it will be to have a few people over for drinks on the patio. The thought of entertaining the in-laws for a month each summer, or having all your co-workers over throughout the holidays may not cross your mind. Depending on your lifestyle if you love to entertain, consider your home fully occupied when planning kitchen, dining room and living room areas. This will ensure you plan room for mingling, eating, dancing, serving and of course walking through your home!

7. Consider safety for little ones when choosing a floor plan:

Have you ever fell in love with a sports car just to be brought back to reality that you have a full family that will not fit in the car? The same mistake can be said when looking for the ideal home for your family. Safety should come first and many floor plan amenities such as balconies, stairs that don’t have railings, expansive glass shower enclosures and other features may look great for adults but may need to be modified for families with small children.

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choosing a floor plan open floor plan ideas

Ensure your floor plan is safe for kids – balconies, stairs, expansive glass are examples

8. Location, Location… Changing your floor plan options

While you can change your floor plan in the future, remember you can’t change the location. With this in mind, don’t make the mistake of falling in love with a floor plan and forgetting about the property and surroundings of your home. If you fall in love with the layout of a master bedroom in floor plan, but don’t like how it looks out over the street in the model home – chances are your home in your location will have a totally different aesthetic, view and therefore feel different. Remember when choosing a floor plan; ensure the interiors will fit with your location.

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Location can make a big difference on your floor plan layout

9. Choose a floor plan that works with your budget now

One mistake homebuyers often make when looking at floor plans is over spending for the future, rather than planning for the present. You can always upgrade your home. From finishes and innovative additions to possibly adding area and amenities. Don’t get oversold from a home selling agent or a developer’s representative – only you know your budget. Plan for your budget now so you will feel comfortable living in your home and not feel “financially strained” each month to make payments on your home.

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Choose a floor plan that fits your budget now

10. Bring your family along with you when choosing a floor plan

Don’t make the mistake of keeping your floor plan decision making to yourself. If you are able to walk through physical models of homes before deciding on a floor plan, consider bringing your family along for the decision. It may help you see the reaction of your roommates, kids, significant other or others who will share the home with you. Being the “sole decision maker” can sometimes backfire on you – instead have your family weigh in on the important decision of choosing the ideal floor plan for you all!

Freshome readers we know you all experience floor plan making decisions all the time. What mistakes would you add to the list?


  • Julie August 22, 2013 at 15:08 PMLogin to Reply →

    You forgot one important hint: hire an architect. We understand and can synthesize your lifestyle needs with site conditions, efficiency and maintenance and deliver the optimized plan for your family.

  • Donny January 3, 2014 at 05:40 AMLogin to Reply →

    hmm thanks dude, I get more information for home design in flooring. I`ll practice to my home :D

  • Christian January 19, 2014 at 09:33 AMLogin to Reply →

    Not a mistake that I’ve made but 4 other people that I know is not using an architect. They all had problems and had to make sacrifices and ended up over budget with the catalogue floor plans. A lot of people don’t realize that the architect will work as best as he/she can with your budget, and the extra you spend with an architect easily covers the extra costs with the catalogue homes. Plus you end up with a much better, more personal home. Our architect did an incredible job, nothing that you could find in a catalogue. I wouldn’t have done it any other way!

  • Kristen Dockery February 11, 2015 at 15:41 PMLogin to Reply →

    My husband and I are wanting to build a home and are looking into getting floor plans soon. We have a pretty good idea of what we want, but have to put it down on paper. I hope that we will be able to get a floor plan that fits our lifestyle and it will be exactly what we have imagined in our minds. I can’t wait to have our home done and see how great it turns out. Thanks for the great tips in this article.

  • tom fowler February 27, 2015 at 17:48 PMLogin to Reply →

    IF you do not have a three dimensional artists mind like I do then hire an architect or if your home is a couple years down the road then study study study and get a cheapo blueprint program for your computer and start experimenting . most important is lot size and your base dimensions. then what style home do you want ?Cape cod – or a square box with a prairie hip roof an a ton of slider windows which is the cheapest home you can build but hideous. the more complex the roof system or all kinds of dormers cost a lot more. I acted as my own general contractor and after 2 years of drawing and planning floor loads I built a 3500 sq ft addition on top of my home that people say is the most incredible home in town. It was a seamless addition that you cannot tell was added onto. just Google 1626 water street Ketchikan Alaska an do street view to see it. It is not impossible to do without an architect, but boy you had better be really good with being patient and dimensions and style. Most people want a turnkey home built and that’s the wisest way to go. the contractor makes less, If you act as your own contractor your going to have one big headache.and spend a lot more cause you don’t know what your doing and the order that things have to go and permitting can be daunting. but go look at a contractors work and how long they’ve been in business. go with all l.e.d. lightingand pex plumbing just my 2 cents.

  • tom fowler February 27, 2015 at 18:20 PMLogin to Reply →

    Oh yes also theirs thousands of home plans online already to go ,I am sure you can find a home plan you like and modify it is very easy to do. when you’ve signed a contract to build a home with a contractor and you want a change to something while the home is being built you will have to sign a change work order with the contractor. Every time you change your mind it will cost you more money so make sure the original plan is exactly what you want. Thanks Tom

  • Johnny Shi March 20, 2015 at 19:07 PMLogin to Reply →

    I love looking at new houses, so when you mentioned being sold on the upgrades I can relate. Its easy to look at how amazing a model home is and forget that it has been upgraded to look like that. The most important thing is the floor plan. That is something I focus better on next time. Thanks for a great post.

  • Rose Henderson May 4, 2015 at 16:29 PMLogin to Reply →

    I can hardly ever understand floor plan drawing or blueprints when I see them so it’s a good thing I’m not the one who really needs to use them. you bring up some really excellent points in the article. Sometimes aesthetic appeal is a lot more hassle than it’s worth. Also., having a good amount of space for entertaining guests is a must!