Arthur Rutenberg Homes Blog


The Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Floor Plans When Building Your Dream Home

Posted on March 5th, 2015

Turnberry Model HomeIn designing your own luxury home, you are given the opportunity to curate your own living work of art. Every day, you and your loved ones will get to wake up in a house tailored to your every need and whim. Building this custom home is the opportunity of a lifetime. That’s why it’s absolutely vital to handle the planning process with perfection.

Floor plans are the foundation to any luxury home; both because they’re the first visual step in the planning process and also because they literally map out the foundation to your new home. Understanding them is key to utmost satisfaction.

The Value of Understanding Floor Plans

Having the knowledge to understand your luxury house plans is certain to answer a number of questions you may already have about the building process. Equipping yourself with the right answers may circumvent a number of problems you would have otherwise had later down the building process. Sample questions solved by floor plans include:

Does your layout match your lifestyle?

reading floor plansLook at your current living situation and imagine the tasks you do in any given day, week, or month. Think of the challenges that you face in your current home that could be alleviated with a new one. Are you constantly running out of storage space? Do you need more natural lighting? Do you find it hard to get your own space?

Mapping out workspaces, closet space, and relaxation rooms can and should be considered when creating new home plans. If this new luxury home will change your lifestyle, think about the accommodations needed to account for it. Ask friends who share a similar lifestyle about what they need.

Are your spaces too big or too small?

Visualizing space in the abstract can be unreliable when looking at floor plans. Investigate the legend to deduce if the desired rooms have enough space. Generally speaking, it’s better to skew too large than too small; storage always manages to creep up on homeowners.
Are the spaces flexible for family changes?

The fun aspect of family is that it’s always changing. People get married, have children, see family members move in or away, even the definition of “family” is often in flux.

Don’t just plan a home with the “now” in mind; look towards the likely and unlikely future. Are there guest bedrooms and guest bathrooms to accommodate new tenants? Is there proper storage space for unexpected items? Are the bedrooms too cramped into one area of the house?

Likewise, if family members leave, could bedrooms be easily converted into other useful spaces for hobbies and storage?

Does the layout ‘flow’?

A home is more than just a haphazard collection of rooms; it’s a thriving organism that requires proper layout planning to work as a whole.

Consider the your daily routine and the routines of your family members. Is the path you need to take relatively direct and organic? On the flipside, does your home’s layout allow for ample space between potentially crowded areas? Does the architectural design of each room match (or at least not clash with) adjacent rooms?

The Basics of House Floor Plans

When planning and analyzing your house floor plans, there are a number of items you can expect. Knowing what they are and how to read them is integral to making the best possible planning choices.

Size Legend

home plan readingEvery page of floor plans worth its pages has a legend. Combined with a scale, the legend compares the home’s diagram on the paper to its eventual, real-life dimensions. This legend makes it easier to visualize how the home will turn out. It’s also an ideal resource for grasping how large a room will actually be. Do the math on paper, and measure out a room’s distance in tangible space. A room that may look large on paper may surprise you when articulated in physical space.

Doors, Windows, and Other Entrances

Keep tabs on the various doors, windows, and other myriad entrance/exit features in each room. On the typical floor plan, a door is depicted as a perpendicular line attached to an arc. That arc indicates which direction the door opens. A window is usually depicted as a triple line (compared to a wall’s double line), and other openings are often denoted with dotted lines.

Will an open door take up more room than anticipated? Is every room getting enough natural lighting from the windows? Will the windows alter furniture placement?

Stand-out Fixtures

Every artist brings their own originality to their work; homeowners are no different.

Luxury homes require visual masterpieces and focal points in nearly every room. These relics exude sophistication and elevate decor to a professional level. Many of these pièces de résistance would show up on floor plans, including fountains and fireplaces. Have a room or lot’s aesthetic planned for in advance. Such knowledge will help to better integrate these items into their budding home.

Elements to Keep in Mind

After scrutinizing the small picture with individual rooms and features, it’s now time to look towards the big picture.

House-to-Lot Ratio

luxury home plan renderingWhen compared to the rest of your prospective lot, how does your house fare? Is it situated comfortably on the most ideal part of your property? Make sure that there’s ample space between your home and the waterfront, the forest, or drastic shifts in elevation.

Does your house’s placement leave room for space and expansion? Luxury home owners love expansion projects, so make sure you have enough room for your imagination—both in the foreseeable future and maybe the not-so-foreseeable future. Such projects may include vehicle garages, pools, outdoor entertainment centers, and secondary suites.

Balance of Open and Private

Striking the perfect balance between “open” and “private” is a goal for many homeowners. Make sure your new home plans do just that. Fences, for instance, are a great way to maintain property boundaries without closing off the property too much. Natural landscaping is another way to curate space. This often makes a property look even larger than it really is.

Comparing Scale

When you look at the holistic map of your future home, identify which rooms and features stand out the most. Do they overpower the flow or aesthetic of the building? Do the smaller rooms still serve a functional purpose next to the bigger spaces? Do you have a visual plan to make each room “pop” in its own, unique way?

Rooms without an immediate purpose often get underutilized or overlooked—even by builders. Guest bedrooms notoriously end up smaller or less cohesively designed than intended. Make sure each you have a purpose and plan for every room in your new home.

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