Designing the layout of your new home part 3
In our last 2 articles we have looked at designing and planning the layout of your new home. In Designing the layout of your new home we looked at things that could influence the layout and design of your new home. In our second article Designing the layout of your new home part 2 we discussed how many rooms and their functions, then imagining living in your new home.
In this article we consider the size of the rooms. What is the right size bedroom, the right size bathroom, the right size kitchen, and the right size living room? Is there an optimum size?
Once the house is complete it's too late to find the rooms are too small, or too big. It's usually far to expensive to change, so you usually have to live with the rooms as they are. So it's essential to carefully decide the size of the rooms and the home layout before construction starts.
It’s hard to assess the best size of rooms. The larger the rooms the more the house will cost. Larger rooms also require more energy to heat and cool. Overly large rooms can appear empty, almost soulless. However, small rooms often appear crowded and pokey. It’s best to visit different houses and look at individual rooms to decide the best size for you.
The size of room is also influenced by the type of furniture you have, or intend to purchase. Big bulky furniture needs more space.
Large families also require larger family areas. The size of family areas could also be dictated by the amount of entertaining and the number of friends that visit. Obviously if you regularly have large family gatherings you require sufficient seating for everyone.
To judge the scale of rooms you can draw and cut out some items of furniture to scale, then draw various size rooms to the same scale and try and fit the furniture into the rooms. But, remember to take account of the position of doors and windows. You usually don’t want furniture in front of windows, and doorways always take up space, both for the doors to open and also for people to walk through.
Where there’s a separate dining room ensure there’s sufficient space to fit a dining table suitable for the family as well as a number of guests. The room must be wide enough and long enough to fit the table, plus have people seated at the table, while still allowing space behind those that are seated for others to comfortably pass without knocking pictures off the wall. Allowing place for a side table is useful as it provides space to put dishes of food before and after serving.
Fortunately many designers now use software which can show the rooms in 3-dimensions, and with virtual reality systems it’s possible to ‘walk through’ the room and see it fully furnished. You can also purchase apps to view rooms in 3-D.
The size of room could also depend on the amount of storage you require for clothes, hobbies, kitchenware, etc.
The size of rooms should also take into account what future buyers might be looking for. So for instance, you may have very little need for a kitchen, or only a very small kitchen, yet the majority of future buyers will almost certainly be looking for a family kitchen if you’re building a three bedroom home.
When considering future buyers it’s pertinent to consider the price range that you may be aiming for. Generally buyers looking at more expensive properties in more affluent areas would expect extra generously sized rooms, particularly for the master bedroom and bathroom. Clever use of space can make small rooms appear bigger.
Plan the layout of your home carefully
Your home does not have to be the biggest house. Rather it must be the house that best suits your family's needs, while fitting your budget, and of course fitting your block of land. A secondary consideration is your resale market, because inevitably you will want to, or have to, sell your home when circumstances change.
It is important to give careful thought to the number and size of rooms, and their layout relative to each other. All these decisions to be made before construction starts. Remember that during construction rooms can look smaller than they are and there's often the temptation to make major changes to the house during construction. This is expensive. Sure check that the rooms are a suitable size, but don't leap to rash decisions based on your observations only.
Other useful articles
So, you want to live in a tiny house? Here's what to consider.
What will your new house cost when you are living in it
Deciding what you want and what you need when planning and designing your new house
This is an extract from the author's book 'An Introduction to Building and Renovating Houses: Volume 2 - Finding Your Ideal Property and Designing Your Dream Home'
© 2021 This article is not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission from the author.
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Paul Netscher has written 2 easy to read books 'An Introduction to Building and Renovating Houses - Volumes 1 and 2'. An Introduction to Building and Renovating Houses Volume 1 deals with Hiring Contractors, Managing Construction and Finishing Your Home. and Designing your ideal home Volume 2 deals with Finding Your Ideal Property and Designing Your Dream Home.
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I’m a construction professional, author of several successful construction management books, and a home owner. I’ve made mistakes in construction management, I’ve seen others make mistakes, but importantly I’ve had multiple successful construction projects and I’ve learned from the mistakes. I want to share these lessons and my knowledge with you.
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