What's the Best Floor Plan for my Family?
It’s important not to settle when it comes to your new home. A few years down the road you don’t want to regret your choice or bemoan the fact that you quickly outgrew your living situation. Follow the tips below to find the best house layout for your family:
1. Make Sure You Have Enough Bedrooms
How many family members do you expect to live at the home? Are you a family of three and plan on growing in the years to come? As a rule of thumb, you should have enough bedrooms for everyone in the house plus an extra bedroom for guests.
Extra bedrooms come in handy with young children. It will give visiting grandparents their own private space. Additionally, it will give the other parent a room to sleep in if the baby wakes up during the middle of the night. This is not uncommon with a newborn in the house. The parent who is working may choose to crash in another room to get some rest on weekdays.
Bedroom Location Is Also Key – Pay attention to the location of bedrooms as well. If you have a bun in the oven, an infant, or plan on starting a family, you’ll want a nursery close to the master bedroom. Two-story houses with the master suite on the first floor can be a nightmare for parents of infants and toddlers.
However, if your kids are older you may want the bedrooms more spread out, even giving kids their own wing. This way parents can retreat to their sanctuary without being bothered by loud video games and other activities.
2. Don’t Overlook the Bathroom Situation
Not having enough bathrooms is a common complaint for house hunters. Avoid lines for the bathroom in the morning by choosing a layout with an adequate number of bathrooms. Ideally, to provide the best layout for your family, there should be one bathroom for every two bedrooms in the house.
Homeowners that entertain frequently should choose a layout that has a full or a half-guest bathroom near the living area. The guest bathroom should be downstairs in homes with multiple floors.
Look for master bathrooms that have his and her vanities. This will allow both partners to get ready without being in the other one’s way.
3. Select an Open Floor Plan
Most new construction homes have open floor plans. They are ideal for families with young children, since you need to watch them carefully. With an open floor plan, babies can play in their playpen while you get dinner ready. Older children can sit at the kitchen island and receive help with their homework as you meal prep. Open floor plans are designed to bring the family together.
Look for floor plans that have unobstructed site lines of the backyard too. As the kids grow older, they can play outside while you do housework — without losing sight of them.
Have a Convenient Laundry Room
When you have kids, it seems like the dirty laundry never ends. The best layout for your family should include a well-placed laundry room. In two-story homes, a downstairs laundry room makes it easier for parents to multi-task. You can reload the washer in-between preparing dinner in the kitchen. On the other hand, some families prefer to have the laundry room upstairs by the bedrooms to shuttle clothes back and forth. However, precautions should be put in place in case the washing machine floods upstairs, which could potentially wreak havoc.
Laundry rooms in the garage can be less than ideal too, especially in a two-story house. It can be nearly impossible to hear the dryer signal upstairs. Plus, lugging your laundry downstairs and then out to the garage grows tiresome.
5. Have Adequate Storage Space
Even if you try to live a minimalist life, your family is going to have personal belongings, especially if you have young children. To provide the best house layout for your family, you should minimize clutter by having adequate storage in these rooms:
- Mudrooms – They are the perfect drop zones for backpacks, muddy shoes and coats. To reign in these items, place cubbies in the room.
- Kitchen – Storage space is a must in the kitchen, especially if it’s an open-plan kitchen. Make sure there is enough space for all your small appliances (e.g. blenders), cookware, spices and food.
- HovHubs – These are the perfect desk space to use for sending quick emails, doing homework or looking up recipes.
- Garage – Make sure the garage has enough room to store the family car, golf clubs and kids’ bicycles. You can also create an additional, mini mudroom here to house tools, holiday decorations and other personal items.
6. Designate a Playroom
Having a designated space for all of your kids’ toys will also make your house less cluttered. You’ll save time shuttling toys from the bedroom to the main living area. Choose a playroom that has a door. This way you can close the door when the room is messy or if the kids are playing with loud toys. Offices, basements and sunrooms can all be used as playrooms.
7. Consider Your Outdoor Space
Don’t forget the great outdoors when looking at house layouts. Is there space for a swing set or a playhouse? Families that love to play corn hole, football and other activities may need a fenced in yard. Older kids may get more use out of having a basketball hoop outdoors.
For families, that love to entertain make sure you have enough room to grill during the warmer months. Covered lanais are great for those that like to wind down after a hectic day.
Ultimately, the best house layout for your family is one that aligns with your lifestyle. Do you host Sunday dinners with your extended family? Look for layouts with large dining rooms to fit all your guests in. Are you a multi-generational household? Make sure the layout is suitable for older adults. At the end of the day, choose a house layout that can adapt to your family’s needs.