Let’s say you’re designing a house. This is the most exciting time; every detail, feature, and space is as yet unformed and yours to mold as you see fit. Nothing is set in stone, everything is subject to change. Except for one thing – the floor plan. At this stage, it’s more or less a given that your house will have a rectangular shape with four walls of equal size enclosing a square or rectangle of space.
If an architect were asked to design a house with no regard for allocating interior spaces for function or complying with local building codes they would probably come up with something of their own unique design which may be visually stunning but functionally impractical – unless they happened to be highly qualified in intergalactic starship maintenance, of course.
Your floor plan is the foundation on which your entire house will be built, so it’s important to give some thought to what you want from it before you start drawing. Here are some things to think about:
Consider your lifestyle and needs. If you have a large family, you’ll need more bedrooms and bathrooms than if you’re a single person. If you like to cook, you’ll need a kitchen with plenty of space for appliances and countertops; if not, maybe a smaller kitchen would be more appropriate. If you’re into physical fitness, you might want a home gym or at least enough room for a treadmill and some weights.
Don forget about your storage needs. You’ll want the ability to put things away, so don’t forget hallways, chat rooms, or walk-in closets. Also consider cubbyholes for mail and other deliveries, as well as pockets of space that could be used for utility closets.
Think about the natural light that will be available in different parts of your house. A sunny southern exposure is great for a kitchen or home office, but might not be ideal for a bedroom. If you’re using your house as an office, you’ll probably want to have space for a desk and chair; if you’re using it as a studio, you’ll need room for your paints and canvases.
Don’t forget the basics – like doors and windows. Make sure there’s enough space around them so they can open and close comfortably, and that there’s enough headroom above doorways so people don’t bang their heads.
Check local building codes to make sure your design complies with regulations on things like minimum room sizes and the placement of electrical outlets and water pipes.
Think about your home’s orientation before deciding whether you want it to face south or west; this will affect how much sunlight it gets in the winter vs. the summer months. Avoid building too close to large trees; they can cause major problems with heating and cooling bills by obstructing airflow and blocking sunlight throughout the year. Try to make sure any trees on or near your site are at least 30 feet from any walls made of wood, vinyl siding, or brick; anything less could cause moisture problems.
Take into account the location of your local fire department; it might be wise to build near a hydrant so that the trucks don’t have to go far for water. Also, think about where you can park emergency vehicles if they come in response to an emergency call at your house.
Make sure your floor plan is kid-friendly. If you have youngsters, provide them with plenty of wide-open space where they can play and run around without getting hurt or damaging anything.
If you’re designing a home for an older person, consider their walking speed versus stairs…you don’t want them tripping down the stairs every other day because the walkway between rooms is too narrow! And whoever lives in your house – whether it’s kids or grandparents – should be able to get around easily without having to climb over furniture all the time.
If you’re financing your home, make sure your floor plan complies with local zoning regulations and building codes. In some cases, you might not be allowed to have a two-story house in a certain area, or you might need to provide a minimum amount of off-street parking.
Don’t forget the exterior! Once you’ve finalized your floor plan, don’t forget to think about what the outside of your house will look like. You’ll need to provide enough space for a front porch, back porch, or deck; and make sure you have room for a driveway (or at least enough space to park on the street).
Take into account your taste and budget when creating your floor plan. You don’t want to end up with a beautiful design that’s totally out of your price range, or a layout that doesn’t fit your lifestyle. Work with an architect or designer who can help you create a floor plan that’s practical and in line with your preferences.
Once you’ve considered all these things, you can start drawing up your floor plan. But remember – it’s always subject to change, so don’t be afraid to experiment until you come up with something that’s just right for you.
Floor plans are important because they lay out the basic structure of a house. They determine how much square footage is allotted to each function, where windows and doors go, and how the layout will work for the people who will use it.
Floor plans can be drawn freehand or on a computer, but they need to reflect certain factors before anyone even starts building. You could also use floor plan apps which could greatly help you design them
The floor plan is one of the most important aspects of any house, so take some time to think about what you want before you start drawing. consider your lifestyle and needs, as well as the location of your local fire department and other necessary features. And don’t forget to make it kid-friendly!