New build floor plans and what to look for

So you are looking at a new build floor plans. Do you know what to look for when looking at new build floor plans?

I’m sure you have your wish list of needs and wants for your new home. So obviously, you’ve narrowed down your search to the homes that fit you best. Of course, there are always compromises when buying a new home. Sometimes, tweaking a new build floor plan here and there can get you an even more perfect fit.

For example, we selected the Bellingham Model as shown below.

New build home - bungalow

Here’s the original floor plan (our home will be the reverse of this). Keep in mind that this is a brand new model and neither is there a model nor a new home that we can walk through.

 

bungalow floor plan

This home came with three optional layouts, we went with this one as it makes the master bedroom and bath a touch bigger and I could make the changes below. It does this by eliminating a small hall between the master and second bedroom. Definitely wasted space for us.

So what did I decide to change?

Firstly, take a look at the flow of the rooms. In this plan, there was one spot where we felt it would be tight. Can you guess where? Look at the hallway from the entrance to the staircase. See how the bedroom 2 corner wall and the garage corner wall meet very closely in the hall? Well that seems tight. Angling the wall in bedroom 2 allows the hallway to be a touch wider and I think it’ll make the sights lines from the entrance/hallway to the kitchen/living room much better.

Change to the wall are shown in red below.

Revised new build bungalow floor plan

Now to the master bath. This option includes a roman tub in the master bath, a tucked in shower and shelves in the second bedroom’s closet.

However, we didn’t want the roman tub. I know….I know…. some people would kill for it. But for us, we have a roman tub in our current house and we rarely use it. Plus, there will be two other tubs in the house and we’ll likely have a hot tub in the backyard.

The master bedroom closet was also a major source of trauma for me, as we will be going from two walk in closets to one….sob.

My solution to all these issues, was to move the shower to the roman tub area, and enlarge it as well. Then I added the removed shower’s square footage and the extra shelves in the second bedroom’s closet (which will be Den #2) to the walk in closet. Ta da! A good sized closet. Easy peasey.

Changes shown in red below.

Revised new build bungalow floor plan

The other changes that we made were:

Larger doors (something to definitely keep in mind if you have high ceilings). 8′ doors on our 10′ ceilings will be much more proportional than the original 7′ doors.

Hardwood stairs – this is the time to decide whether your stairs will be carpeted or done in hardwood. What surprised me here is that I needed to decide on oak or maple at this time. Off to the design centre I went to see the options. We went with oak, since we both like seeing the wood grain.

Finished basement and any bedrooms/bathrooms added to the lower floor. More on the basement and it’s layout in another post.

We added a fireplace in the basement and raised the main floor fireplace and removed the mantel.

Other examples of structural items can be:

Adding, removing or enlarging windows, open staircases, additional gas lines, changing doors, enlarging or removing tubs or showers, adding bathroom sinks, relocating your laundry room, etc…..Keep in mind that that somethings that you don’t think are structural may actual be.

Your builder will likely have a list of items to look at before you sign off on all the structural changes. Then your blueprints will need to be redrawn so you’ll likely pay an administrative cost for that.

Of course, maybe there is a model home that you can walk through. That would definitely make this process so much easier. But sometimes that just isn’t possible. A great help to us  was we found a model home from another builder that was very similar to the Bellingham’s layout so we made a visit to that model home. It was a great help with visualizing room sizes and the finished house.

Next post, I’ll talk about finishing a basement in a new build home.