What Makes a Great Floor Plan

1 December 2017

The floor plan is such an important aspect of building a new home that the plan you choose can literally make or break your new home. Whether you’re building a single or double storey home, spatial relationships are extremely important when deciding on a workable floor plan. You should look for consistency, uniformity and proportion, with a comfortable flow from one space to another. You also need to think about the way you live — not only now, but also in the future — and make sure the floor plan you choose is right for you and your family.

To help you maximise flow and functionality across your new home, here are some important points to consider when selecting a floor plan for your new home.

Go with the flow

Creating a seamless flow between spaces is vital. Although open plan living is now extremely popular, it’s still easy to get it wrong. Allowing enough space for living, dining and entertaining areas is important, but it’s also crucial to allow enough space between these areas. The flow can easily be interrupted by too little or too much space between these areas. As a rule of thumb, you should allow about one metre separating different living zones in open plan living areas, so you can comfortably move around and don’t feel closed in.

Make sure you ‘walk through’ the plan from the entry to the kitchen and through to the bedrooms. Imagine opening all the doors on the plan. Is there a natural, efficient flow? Does the kitchen connect well to the living areas, where you will probably spend most of your time? Visiting a display home is a great way to walk through a home design that’s caught your eye and get a feel for the flow and functionality that it delivers. If you don’t have time to visit a display home just yet, virtual display home tours are the next best thing!

Be practical

Although aesthetics are important, how practical is your floor plan? Follow the route from the garage to the kitchen. Bringing in bags of groceries from the car should be as convenient and easy as possible. Is there enough storage? Are the wardrobes, cupboards and pantry large enough and in the right position? Storage areas should also suit the type of items being stored. For example, a linen cupboard is designed differently to a pantry.

Size does matter

Is each space designed well for its function, and are the rooms big enough? Measure the width, length and height of rooms you’re living in now (or of rooms you like the size of), and compare them to the room dimensions on the floor plan. Make sure patios and outdoor ‘alfresco’ areas are spacious enough for sitting, dining and/or entertaining. The actual size of a space can be deceiving on a plan, and you don’t want to be disappointed once you see the actual size of your rooms — so be sure to take measurements of your current home and compare with the new floor plans you consider.

Separate different zones

Separating different living zones is a really important consideration for both single and double storey homes. A well laid-out floor plan will have clear separations between bedrooms, living areas and the kitchen, while bathrooms should be easily accessible from both the living rooms and bedrooms. An important point that you don’t want to overlook when choosing a floor plan is avoiding bedrooms that open onto the lounge room – this creates drama when someone wants to sleep, while others want to party!

High ceilings make a space feel larger

Ceiling height is one of those important considerations that can influence the sense of space and size in a home enormously. You’ll find that most home builders now offer different ceiling heights. The standard ceiling height in Australia is generally 2400mm, but most builders also offer 2550mm and 2700mm ceiling heights in new build homes at an additional cost. High ceilings help to give the illusion of greater space and you’d be amazed just how much larger your home will feel with higher ceilings.

Along with making interior areas feel bigger and more open, high ceiling homes allow more natural light to shine into your home, delivering greater aesthetic appeal and potentially helping you to lower your electricity bills. This is especially the case when you get the right house orientation for your block. Additionally, the added ceiling height is a desirable feature among homebuyers that can increase the value of your home. Check out some display homes to experience different ceiling heights for yourself, as this isn’t something you can get a feel for by simply looking at a floor plan.

Are you considering a double-storey home?

If you’re thinking of building a two-storey home, you definitely need to consider the practicality of the floor plan. A bathroom on both levels is a must – even if it’s a simple powder room on the living level. You should also consider your stage of life too when looking for the perfect floor plan. A two level house may be perfect if you’re a semi-retired downsizer, but you may not want to be climbing stairs in five to ten years’ time – so you might like to think about including a bedroom on the ground level.

Make an entrance

The entrance sets the tone for the rest of your home. Ideally, you don’t want to walk straight into the living room from outside. There should be some separation between the entrance and the rest of the home. A good floor plan has a designated entryway, hallway or foyer to welcome guests into your home.

Hallmark Homes have a floor plan to suit you

With over 35 years experience building family homes across South East Queensland, from Brisbane and the Lockyer Valley to the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, we know a thing or two about just how important the floor plan is when building a home that you’ll love now and for many years to come. Hallmark Homes offer a fantastic selection of floor plans for you to choose from. We know how to create a home design that flows well, maximises space and meets your practical requirements, whether you’re building on an acreage block in a rural location or a narrow lot home in the inner suburbs.

If you’re thinking of building a new home in South East Queensland, the team at Hallmark Homes is ready to help. Come and check them out for yourself at one of our display centres located across Brisbane and surrounds, including our new acreage display home at Mahoney’s Pocket in Woodhill. If you have any questions about our floor plans or our house and land packages, please contact the Hallmark Homes team today.

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