Popular floor plans

A home plan should suit your daily life.

NOW Magazine - Toronto Living - - Front Page - By Mark Mathis Pub­lished with per­mis­sion from www.valu­able­con­tent.com

What floor plan/home fea­tures do peo­ple most of­ten re­quest? It’s hard to say, since each per­son/fam­ily can be in a dif­fer­ent stage of life (older vs. younger, fam­ily vs. in­di­vid­ual), can have dif­fer­ent liv­abil­ity needs and tastes in style, build­ing ma­te­ri­als, etc. But there are a few trends in to­day’s stock house plans.

LIV­ABIL­ITY

Home­buy­ers and builders want plans that fit the way peo­ple live. For younger fam­i­lies, that may mean re­pur­pos­ing a for­mal dining room into a chil­dren’s play area or home of­fice. Open-plan lay­outs are popular be­cause they fa­cil­i­tate in­ter­ac­tion among fam­ily mem­bers. Peo­ple are look­ing for large amounts of stor­age space and walk-in clos­ets, too.

FLEX­I­BIL­ITY

Many of the more pro­gres­sive stock plan de­sign firms have re­al­ized the need for floor plan flex­i­bil­ity, and have met it by in­clud­ing mul­tiuse ar­eas, in­clud­ing flex spa­ces and bonus rooms. A “flex space” can be used for any pur­pose needed by the in­di­vid­ual or fam­ily, and its func­tion can change over time with chang­ing needs. Typ­i­cal uses in­clude chil­dren’s play­room, home study, ex­tra stor­age and/or ex­tra bath­room. A “bonus room” is usu­ally cre­ated (by the designer’s in­tent) out of a par­tic­u­lar house’s style. For ex­am­ple, a tra­di­tional house might have a high-pitched gable over the garage. The un­used space in­side the gable can be­come a us­able “bonus room.”

SPLIT FLOOR PLAN

The two ba­sic floor plan lay­outs are pri­mar­ily dif­fer­en­ti­ated by their treat­ment of the mas­ter bed­room in re­la­tion to other bed­rooms and public space (i.e., great room, den, kitchen, etc). In a tra­di­tional lay­out, the mas­ter bed­room/suite is lo­cated on the same side of the house as the other bed­rooms. The group­ing of bed­room spa­ces is adapt­able to many de­sign styles and may work well for fam­i­lies with in­fants or small chil­dren and/or re­tired cou­ples with lit­tle need for mul­ti­ple bed­rooms, who can use an them for stor­age or as a con­ve­niently lo­cated home of­fice. The split floor plan lay­out ad­dresses the short­com­ings of the tra­di­tional lay­out by phys­i­cally sep­a­rat­ing the mas­ter suite from the other bed­rooms and of­ten from high-traf­fic public ar­eas. The ad­van­tages are pri­vacy and quiet. The down­side is that it’s some­times hard to in­cor­po­rate in the de­sign, es­pe­cially on a nar­row lot.

EASE OF MAIN­TE­NANCE

Time con­straints are at an all-time high. Many fam­i­lies now de­pend on two full-time work­ing par­ents with ad­di­tional out­side com­mit­ments. When time is so pre­cious, home main­te­nance tasks rank right be­low do­ing one’s taxes and go­ing to the den­tist for a root canal. Peo­ple to­day want a home that is aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing and func­tional, of course. But they also want it to in­cor­po­rate build­ing ma­te­ri­als and de­sign fea­tures that uti­lize up-to-date de­vel­op­ments to min­i­mize the amount of main­te­nance (clean­ing, paint­ing, re­plac­ment, etc) needed over time. Hardy board, for ex­am­ple, is an ex­te­rior cov­er­ing sim­i­lar in look to wood sid­ing but made from an ex­tremely durable con­crete base. There are many brands. The floor plan trends and most-re­quested fea­tures men­tioned here re­flect the in­ter­ests of stock house plan pur­chasers to­day. It should be noted that con­struc­tion prac­tices will vary across the coun­try be­cause of dif­fer­ent de­mo­graphic pro­files or ge­o­graph­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics.

OPEN-PLAN LAY­OUTS FA­CIL­I­TATE IN­TER­AC­TION AMONG FAM­ILY.

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