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How to evaluate your floor plan? (PART 1)

by | Oct 17, 2022 | Building process, Pre-build preparations | 0 comments

The easiest and simplest way to evaluate the floor plan of your house (or future house) is to check whether the potential solution responds positively to all those issues that present problems and shortcomings that may arise after construction.

A complete list of these issues will be provided below.

What to ask from an architect when hiring him

How do you know if the floor plan is good at all?

The only real way to determine if your floor plan is good is to apply an objective evaluation process to determine if the general (those that represent building standards) and specific (those that represent your personal needs) requirements are met in full or to the extent that represents an acceptable compromise.

Whether you find a floor plan online or have it designed by an architect, or you are buying an already built house, you are often not sure if it will really meet your needs.
To have doubts at this stage is not only completely normal but also highly desirable!
The changes that are made to the drawing are both quick and easy and free, and the problems that a bad floor plan can cause can be irreparable. That is why it is crucial that you dedicate both time and effort to evaluating your floor plan.

The way many apply is to ask friends, seek opinions on online forums, or compare their own floor plan with someone already built that is familiar to them. The problem is that in this way someone’s subjective opinions are obtained and the evaluation process should be objective.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Below we will present a list of questions that will be your best guide through the evaluation process and that will allow you to do this process yourself as a real expert.

It should be said that there are general issues concerning each floor plan but there are also those that concern only a specific investor. Therefore we will group the questions in this way.


A list of general issues for floor plan evaluation

Appropriate squerfooting

Statistics show that the average square footage of living space per household in Europe is 250 to 500 square feet (in direct proportion to the overall standard from country to country), and 800 square feet in the United States

If you know what is the maximum amount of funds available to you and how much it costs to build a house per square foot in your area, then it is easy to calculate how big is the largest house you can afford. However, two things need to be considered. First, do you really need such a big house, because a smaller house means less cleaning, cheaper maintenance, more open space, etc.? And secondly, is there a possibility to save on construction and thus increase the square footage for the same amount, if that is what you really need?

An appropriate number of rooms

The basic calculation is:

  • a single, and also a couple, need one bedroom
  • one more for each child
  • one bathroom for every two bedrooms
  • open living space (or defined dining, living, and kitchen spaces)
  • everything else is extras that are not necessary (study room, guest room, family room, office, gym…)

But let’s stop here for a moment! Do you really think that one bathroom is not enough, if, for example, you have three bedrooms upstairs for you and two children? Do you really think that one children’s room is not enough for two girls or two boys? Do you really have so much work to do at home that you need an office?

The point is this. You pay 100% of the value of the space that you use 5% of the time!!!

For decades, the average square footage in homes in America, but also in the rest of the world, has been increasing, and is the feeling of life satisfaction increasing?

Our advice is to be rational and not allow yourself to become a slave to unfounded ambitions.

Lifestyle corresponding

It has been a general trend in the world for the last few decades that people demand an open living space, in which the living room, dining room and kitchen are practically connected. In contrast to that, in the past, but there are also cases today, homes had defined spaces.

If something is a general tendency, it does not necessarily mean that it suits your needs. Keep in mind your own way of life, habits, perceptions and compare them with the positive and negative sides of both these concepts of housing, and only then make a decision.

open space
define spaces
Layout flexibility, Better traffic flow. Better communication. Easier to watch kids. Real estate value. Easier to get natural light in rooms.
Privacy. Sound control. Energy efficiency. Tidiness. Lower construction cost.
Higher construction cost. Heating and cooling cost more. Lack of privacy. Smells from the kitchen. Noisyness.
More difficult to entertain. Less desirable for resale. Reduced accessibility. More challenging for interior design.

Lot corresponding

You can even find an ideal floor plan, but do you have an ideal plot? Ask yourself – what it will look like when that floor plan is placed on your plot?

The general rule is not to start designing a house until you have bought a plot! It is necessary to landscape first and then to compile all the rules of positioning the house on the plot and finally come up with a floor plan that fits into all the restrictions. For example, look at how to plan the construction of a house on sloping land.

The possibility of expanding the space

We believe that it is always better to have a floor plan that allows easy and logical connection with additional space (whether it is a basement, attic or annex) which need to be arranged or built subsequently, than to build a house for future use.

The possibility of expanding the space

If the arrangement of the upper or lower level is planned, then think primarily about where the staircase will be located. If you are planning an annex, consider the hallway and the availability of daylight in the rooms on which the annex relies. In any case, the layout of the installations must be such as to allow expansion without intervention on the existing part of the house.

Enough daylight

Care should be taken that each room has direct access to daylight, i.e. to have a window. Compromises should be made only when it comes to half-bathrooms, pantries and possibly hallways.

A quality floor plan takes into account the orientation of the house (towards the sun and towards the street) and the amount of available daylight on each side and in this regard determines how many windows will be needed to always ensure proper interior lighting.

STEP 10 When to start designing interior

Proper orientation of the room

The north-facing rooms are suitable for art studios, reading rooms, home offices and bedrooms because the northern lights are diffused and the light intensity is constant during the day and throughout the year. The south side of the house is better for the living room, kitchen and dining room because, if proper cooling is designed during the summer, in the winter period of the year the effect of passive heating can be used in the best way.

Energy balance

In addition to the material used and the type of construction of the house, the size and orientation of the rooms (as we have already seen above) affects the energy performance of the house. A good floor plan takes these things into account and optimizes the need for comfort and aesthetics on the one hand and the need to reduce heating and cooling bills on the other.

Budget friendly features

When designing the floor plan, architectural features (bay windows, raised ceilings, galleries, masonry fireplaces, niches in the wall and so on) are of special value. They enrich the space in a way that no decoration or expensive furniture can. However, they increase the cost of building a house per square foot and it cannot be said that they are necessary, so a balance needs to be found.

Construction standards

Finally, it should be checked whether the proposed floor plan meets the defined and generally accepted construction standards. This refers to those values ​​that can be verified on the basis of the attached technical drawing or sketch:

  • ceiling height,
  • door width,
  • stair width and slope,
  • chimney flue diameter,
  • kitchen worktop height,
  • positioning and window size,
  • capacity and layout of heating and cooling systems…

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