The floor plan—a technical drawing of your house from above—is arguably the most important part of your home. It guides the construction drawings, informs the overall design, and inspires the aesthetic. So from entryways to bedrooms, every structural element comes back to this detailed arrangement of rooms. But what are the results of a successful one? Having a good floor plan can help you maximize square footage and create a great layout.

Maximize square footage.

Maximizing your home’s available square footage will give you more usable space. Here are several examples you can use when designing your own semi-custom home:

  • Consider tall storage for more vertical space. The space in a room isn’t just made of floor space; it also includes vertical storage opportunities. Example: counter-to-ceiling kitchen cabinets.
  • Use unfinished areas for storage. This is the perfect place to store boxes, furniture, and anything else that you aren’t currently using. Example: an unfinished basement.
  • Borrow space from other rooms. By using an open floor plan, you can divide up your space later using furniture—depending on what you’re looking for. Example: an open kitchen and living room.
  • Create multi-purpose rooms. Having a flex room allows you to have more space for other things. Example: a sunroom that can also be used as a child’s play area.
  • Opt for a deck to create a dedicated outdoor space. Rather than just having a large yard, add a deck for a usable gathering space. Example: Large back deck with living room access.
  • Include extra windows for more natural light. (This doesn’t make your home larger—but it does make it feel that way!)

These are all conversations you can have with your sales team and architect—and remember, you can also ask them for their thoughts. They may have ideas from experience or from working with other buyers on the same model.

Create a great layout.

Creating a great layout isn’t just about picking the right furniture—it can set you up for success from the start. Here are some markers of a well-designed home:

  • Defined entrance. When you enter a home, the entryway is your first experience. As a result, it should give visitors good impression by being clearly defined and easy to find.
  • Efficient flow. A home design isn’t just about individual rooms; it’s also about how the rooms fit together. An example of inefficient flow (and something you don’t typically see) is putting the dining room upstairs and the kitchen downstairs.
  • Proper room sizes. When it comes to room size, larger isn’t always better. Sometimes a small space may be better for its function. For instance, a home office and a great room will likely be different sizes based on how they are used.
  • Good views. If you have access to good views, then take advantage of them. Think about a beach-side home or a home with panoramic views of the mountains. If you’re choosing locations for windows, keep in mind what you’ll be looking at.
  • Minimal corridors. Having hallways is important—and can even serve aesthetic purposes if used intentionally. But having too many corridors can make a home feel small, narrow, and difficult to navigate. When possible, prioritize living spaces over transitional spaces (unless more are needed).
  • Clear orientation. Basically, make sure your design is simple enough for someone to understand when they first enter your home. They should be able to easily identify different rooms without getting lost—and find their way back from the restroom the first time.

Remember how important your floor plan is when you start designing your home. If you’re looking to work with skilled architects and quality builders, come learn more about State College’s Orchard View community and Long Ridge Construction. Long Ridge Construction offers several models of semi-custom homes, with an array of options to meet your every need. So contact us to learn more about Orchard View and build your new dream home.