Common Floor Plan Mistakes to Avoid When Designing a Home

by Ben SanfordAugust 12, 2016

How Home Designers Can Spot and Avoid Floor Plan Errors

Contemporary lighting, prairie style, Victorian features, open layout… the possibilities are endless for those designing their own homes. Well, seemingly endless. While designing your home affords you the liberty to make stylistic choices that fit your taste and lifestyle, it is important to factor cost, practicality, and longevity into your design.

If you’re new to the design process, there are a few practical tips and tricks you’ll want to know as you dive into this process. So before you start designing your dream home, read on to learn about common floor plan mistakes you’ll be thankful to avoid.
common floorplan mistakes how to design a home

Choose a Plan That Fits Your Lifestyle

One of the easiest mistakes to make when designing your home floor plan is to sacrifice practicality. When touring homes or flipping through architecture magazines, spiral staircases or lofts may strike you as aesthetically pleasing and desirable, but do these elements fit your lifestyle?

Take an inventory of your day-to-day routine. How many people spend time cooking in the kitchen at once? How many bathrooms are in use simultaneously? Will stairs take a toll or pose a safety hazard to those who live with you? Let the answers to these questions inform your floor plan.

Create a Plan That Meets Your Budget

As you plan your space, remember to think long-term, regarding your budget. Each extra square foot you include in your floor plan not only exacts materials costs, but also impacts utilities expenses. So be sure to consider your floor plan’s impact on both the current construction budget and future living expenses that each space calls for.

Be Sure the Room Sizes Are Sufficient

Another common mistake is failing to ensure that the dimensions of a room on a blueprint are amenable to your needs. It’s likely you’ll be bringing furniture that you already own into your new home. Will the couches fit through the door frames? Will your bed exceed the width of a room?

Measure all of your furniture that you plan to bring with you, and let that inform your floor plan. Be sure to plan for comfort as well! While your couch may fit in the space, allow for breathing room and ensure that the floor plan accommodates extra space and items you may want to have in your home.
common floorplan mistakes how to design a home

Consider Green Features

Sustainable design is smart design. If you fail to consider incorporating green features such as daylighting into your floor plan, your design can end up costing you more money in the long run.

While you may love the visual impact of skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows, be sure to consider the features’ affect on your energy bill. You may surprised how much of an impact green features can have on your heating and cooling costs, so do your research, because this is a great opportunity to maximize the cost benefit of your new home.

Jumping Ahead

Your floor plan may fit all of your design requirements down to the last detail, but it’s important to remember that meticulous planning is the best way to avoid making crucial mistakes in constructing your dream home.

Have you researched online, in person, and with materials libraries? Have you planned every aspect of the process, including decisions you’ll need to make about where to spend and when to cut back and save money?

Even if you love your floor plan, be sure you aren’t jumping in too early out of (understandable) excitement. Be sure you’ve taken ample time to plan and research to help you avoid making this common mistake in your home design process.

Off You Go!

Don’t let simple oversight derail your plans in designing your dream home. By being aware of these common floor plan mistakes and how to avoid them, you’ll be well on your way to crafting an ideal space for you and your loved ones.


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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.

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