Finding The Right Floor Plan (5 Tips To Narrow Your Search)

by | Feb 17, 2023 | Building A New Home, Buying A New Home, New Construction Blog, New Construction Tips, New Home Upgrades | 0 comments

Finding The Right Floor Plan (5 Tips To Narrow Your Search)

Finding The Right Floor Plan Can Take Time, Effort, Energy, and Endless Creativity

So you have narrowed the search down to a community or location you would like to live, and narrowed your search down to a few builders that meet your needs and align with your goals. Now is the time to select the floor plan that works BEST for your wants and needs. Notice I did not say the PERFECT floor plan. This is because no floor plan is exactly perfect for everyone. Some plans require tweaks and changes, some builders are willing to make these with in reason, but most are not. This means that you should find the floor plan that best meets your needs today, and will have the least amount of changes necessary by you after move in (although some may be necessary and should be expected). As you narrow the plans down and visit the models, keep these 5 tips in mind when it comes to selecting the best plan option for you.

TIP #1 – Spend Time In The Home Plans That Fit – Even If You Have To Drive To See Them

Speak with your on site consultant or internet consultant team and find out where the plan is being built. Before you make such a large investment it is important to make sure the home fits your needs. I have, over the years, had many clients who bought homes off the floor plans, but that is because we were able to look at blueprints, virtual tours, photos, and other resources so that they fully understood what the home would feel like. If you speak with your onsite consultant and they can find one close or that you are willing to drive to go see and spend time in, that is always best. Once your search is narrowed to 2-3 plans it should make it easier to find where they are being built. You do not need to see every plan the builder offers, as that can many times lead do confusion about what you really want.


TIP #2 – Do Not Judge A Plan Strictly On Standard Spaces Shown

Many floor plans offer structural upgrades and/or flex options. These options can change the look and feel of the home, often with just the click of a button during the pre-contract or design phase. When you are looking at plans, use the interactive online options planners builders offer and speak with your sales consultant to determine what options can be adjusted to meet your needs. You will also want to consider how changes to structural options effect the location that the plan can be built. An example of this would be adding a 3-4 car garage and making the home wider. Adding the garage may be something your considering but the site you are planning to build on may or may not accommodate this change. This is also the stage to have the conversation with your builder about the ability to customize the plan to your needs and what that would cost.


TIP #3 – Rooms With Multiple Uses 

A 4 Bed 3.5 bath home may be exactly what you were looking for when you walk in the front door of your builders model home. They may have exactly that, in a style and layout that fits your needs, and when you review the plan and discuss pricing you realize that it also has a study. This is great, but the extra square footage takes the home out of your desired price range and payment range. When thinking about your floor plan always stay open minded to rooms with multiple uses. A 5 bedroom home with no study could also end up as a 4 bedroom home with a study (bedroom). This home would meet your needs, and would have the extra bedroom to help with future resale potential. When looking at the plan always start at a high level of total room count, and work down to the usage of the spaces before making a decision. This can help your right size your home, and not over buy just because you thought you needed a certain number of rooms or spaces.


TIP #4 – Rooms and Hallways Or Open Concept Living (Design Of The Plan)

The way a home is designed and lives is normally based on the builder who designed the plan. Some builders focus on rooms, hallways, and giving you lots of total spaces. Others focus on building open concept homes with open concept sight lines and well planned traffic patterns that allow for lots of natural light and smooth flow through the home. The way the home lays out can also determine the total square footage requirement you need for your home. The square footage of the home based on the plan and price is not always the best determining factor of how the home lives, so do not, I SAY AGAIN DO NOT tie yourself to an exact square footage when looking at floor plans.


TIP #5 – Price VS Value (Why Is The Cost Per Square Foot So High?)

As you look at floor plans side by side from different builders there can be a HUGE difference in price per square foot or PPSF between plans, design, and builder. This is something you will want to discuss with your sales consultant and figure out exactly why this is the case in a given community. A few of the reasons PPSF may be higher in one plan than another could be; kitchen size and cabinet count, 1 story vs 2 story (second floor space does not have concrete so is less expensive), masonry/brick/stone requirements, and other reasons. Reasons that plan pricing may be different from community to community could be; standard feature level (the level and locations of cabinets, flooring, and other features), land costs in that area, standards upgrade allowances given, and the desirability of the neighborhood. Always have a discussion with your builder to determine exactly why PPSF is higher in your selected plan or neighborhood to ensure you are paying for the things that you value, not just a high price. When looking at this also look at why a home could be lower that avg on the PPSF scale. Is something missing such as a half bath or extra garage bay, is the pantry oversized but the cabinet count low, is the neighborhood not selling? These can all be addressed with a simple conversation that I encourage you to have.


In Summary

Selecting a floor plan can be overwhelming and confusing, but does not have to be. Use the tips above to help you narrow your search and find the plan that best fits your wants and needs. At the end of the day it is about picking the plan that you can fit in your budget, with the amount of changes you need to make it fit, and will meet the most needs of your home search. As I said above, there is not a PERFECT 100% all the time floor plan, so get as close as you can, and make the plan work for you.


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