Open Mind, Open Concepts: Designing The Right Plan For You

How many square feet? How much per square foot?

Two questions many homebuyers ask first that should actually be asked last.

Let me explain.

Floor plans are constantly evolving. In the past, people wanted as many rooms as they could squish under one roof. These days, we hear “open concept” a lot. Our take on it at Deveraux? You really can have the best of both worlds — it all depends on what fits your lifestyle, because that evolves, too.

Being able to design your own home from scratch is an awesome gift, but it comes with some homework. If you’re willing to spend a little time considering your life now and in the future, you can think about your new home in ways much more meaningful than square feet or price per square foot. Here are some better questions to start with:

How many people need a bedroom in this house? Bathrooms? Where does laundry make sense? How many people eat at once, how often, and where do they like to eat? Who is coming and going and with what in their hands/on their back? Who’s coming to visit and how often? Where do we like to spend most of our time and when? 

If you asked who’s more attached to their “four walls” — couples who built a home from scratch or those who bought something that was already built, close enough to what they wanted, a couple years old, was in budget, but needed a little work — the design-from-scratch couples would tell you they feel much more at home.

Why?

First, they were able to be honest with themselves about their budget. Then they built a relationship with a builder who added value, not just by being “the cheapest”, but by providing experience and insight about what could go into their home to make their lives better — smart planning that wasn’t always as easy as “an electrical plug every six feet to meet code”. Time spent discussing the kids, their activities, storing their equipment, having room to do laundry (does it ever stop?!?). A master suite that makes you want to get up and at ’em during the week and NOT want to get up on a slow Sunday morning — unless it’s for another coffee then back to bed or a soak in your dream tub.

Why not a kitchen that allows you to entertain AND be organized and actually enjoy meal planning? Placing windows properly is something that can’t just happen on paper in a room with people who’ve never stood on your new piece of land. What size of window makes sense? What direction lets the light in at the time of day you’d like? I think you’re catching my drift: a one-size-fits-all floor plan may have the benefits of new technology and energy savings, but will it be a home inspired by you, for your family and your lifestyle? Will it be a home that gives you 100% satisfaction for 100% of the price you paid?

Great news: You don’t need to have all the answers. If you have an open mind, good communication with your family and a builder who knows the right questions to ask and isn’t afraid to make suggestions, you’ll achieve a truly “open home plan” — not just an “open concept”.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, my tub is calling…

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