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How to Find the Perfect Floor Plan

Whether you’re working with an architect to create a customized floorplan or choosing from the variety of options offered by your builder, finding the right layout for your new home can be intimidating.

After all, it’s relatively easy to adapt to the design plan of an existing home- every homeowner remembers walking through a home and imagining themselves living in the space. It’s much more difficult to envision living in a home based on 2D architectural drawings, even if there’s a model home available to tour.

So how do you find the floorplan that’s right for you? The key is to make decisions based on the reality of your lifestyle now while remembering to plan for the future. Sounds simple, right? Here’s how to breakdown the “today” and “tomorrow” decision-making process.

Things to think about today:

• What size home do you need? If your lifestyle involves lots of travel and months away from home, you probably don’t need a spacious floorplan. But a growing family with multiple children probably won’t be happy in a minimalist small-space oasis. Avoid the temptation to use your new home as a catalyst for a major lifestyle change that doesn’t fit the needs of you or your family today.

• Is this layout comfortable and safe? Balconies, loft spaces, and open floorplans leading from kitchen to pool offer serious safety risks to small children. Considering moving grandparents into your new home? A design with three flights of stairs might make that impossible. Your design plan needs to do more than just look good, it needs to feel good too.

• What will this home feel like without the upgrades? Walking through a model home is a great way to assess the functionality of floorplans outside a black and white architectural drawing. But it is important to avoid getting distracted by beautiful countertops or fancy technology. Imagine the home without the upgrades, and see if you still feel confident in living with a similar space.

Things to think about for tomorrow:

• Is living here sustainable? The floor-to-ceiling windows and vaulted ceilings you love in theory may be difficult to maintain long-term. Can you afford to maintain the space in terms of heating and cooling? Does the layout make smart design choices that save money long-term? Talk to your builder or architect to make sure you can afford your home now and in the future.

• Does this stay within my budget? Square footage is not the only thing to consider when trying to determine the cost of building a new home. Remember that choices you make regarding building materials, interior design costs, and price of land all factor into your budget. Finding a floorplan that fits your needs and remains affordable throughout the construction process ensures both a happy homeowner and a beautiful new home.

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