Choosing the Perfect Home Plan...by Steph Nelson
The search for a home plan can be an exciting and fulfilling experience if you first prioritize your needs with desires. As you begin your search, consider the features in a house that are most important to you - while keeping in mind your budget. Here are some suggestions on what to consider as you search for the perfect home plan. Today, most families have a more casual lifestyle and prefer a more relaxed, inviting atmosphere, so keep your particular lifestyle in mind. Open floor plans give the illusion of a much larger home while creating an easier transition for individuals who may be downsizing into a more compact dwelling. Always consider your existing furniture when planning your room sizes. Storage, as we all know is a key element in a home, so make sure that there’s adequate closet and cabinet space for every day use as well as seasonal storage. You may or may not require a formal dining room, but review home plans that have a combination dining area and kitchen or breakfast room. A kitchen and breakfast room paired with a nearby hearth room can serve many purposes while creating a cozy atmosphere. Bedrooms can require a lot of square footage, so decide how many you actually need. Perhaps a part time study/guest room is realistic instead of an occasionally used, extra bedroom. One of the most important areas in a home is the Master Suite. The Master Bedroom should be well thought out as far as wall space, closet storage and windows. Will the morning or afternoon sun be a gift or a nuisance? The Master bathroom should be planned considering future needs for handicap accessibility and overall convenience. Many plans incorporate laundry closets with a stacked washer and dryer, saving both space and time. A Master Suite kitchenette equipped with a coffee maker, small refrigerator and microwave can provide convenience while adding extra value to your home. After all, the Master Suite should be the homeowner’s sanctuary, and most of all, a place of refuge. Recent trends have changed the way we view our kitchens. Once a utility space, now more open to family rooms allowing us to spend more time with family while preparing meals and entertaining. Other highly desired features are large islands allowing for extra counter space and bar seating. Open kitchens combined with breakfast and hearth rooms can be a wonderful place for family gatherings. The surge in family oriented areas is flooding the home building industry at an enormous rate. A much-needed focus on family is finally a priority again and newly built homes are reflecting it. Now, more than ever, home designers are incorporating home theaters, media rooms, bonus and game rooms into home plans. These high quality features have always been present in “upscale homes" throughout the country; however, new homeowners are now aware that these “built-in systems" can be included in their monthly mortgage payment. Some of these systems include security, audio and video and need to be incorporated during the home planning stage. Not only will these features increase the overall value of a home, but also give a family the highest quality in home entertainment and enjoyment. Porches can play a significant role in home plan selection depending on the homeowner’s interests. Many different forms of porches are available including Southern styled wraparound and deep front porches to give the house wonderful street appeal as well as adding shade to the house. If cooking and entertaining outdoors is an enjoyment, a house plan with a grilling porch may be a good choice. And a favorite among homeowners is the traditional screened-in porch possibly rekindling pleasant childhood memories at Grandmom’s house. While adding a finishing touch to a house design, porches can not only add protection from the elements, but also extend a place for family conversation and mostly, a place of solitude. If you have a special hobby or activity, don’t limit yourself by cluttering your kitchen counter or dining table. Instead, choose a house plan with special areas such as hobby rooms or laundry rooms with built-in sewing and craft centers. Consider these important areas for unwinding - for you and your family. Treat yourself. Home plans with a basement foundation are in much higher demand all over the country and allow additional living and/or storage space while keeping the width and depth of your home the same. Do some research on building a healthy home and you’ll find many choices in moisture barriers to prevent future problems as well as overall information to help prepare you as you venture into the world of new home construction. Whether you’re a first time homeowner or not, your choice of a home plan is of the utmost importance. Your home plan should meet your family’s present and future needs while making allowances for features that your family will enjoy everyday. After all, your true focus should be making a new house…your home.