Multi-story or single story?
Where you live and how long you plan to live there could dictate the type of house you want. Deciding between a multi-level or ranch style house will greatly change the ultimate layout of the house, so it’s a decision that needs to be made right away.
If you plan to live in the house through old age, it’s important to consider that stairs may become difficult when you’re older, but if it is a house that you’ll sell at some point, stairs might be OK. Single story homes also keep noise from foot traffic down, especially in a large household with several rambunctious children, so if that’s a concern a multi-story home may not be best.
Do you have a disabled relative? Consider their ability to visit different parts of the house. It may be a good idea to factor an elevator into a multi-story home if you want a wheelchair bound relative to see the beauty of all aspects of your multi-story home. Single story homes can be just as luxurious but will take up a lot more of your acreage, so take that into consideration as well.
Consider home size & room location
One of the very first steps in choosing a floor plan for your new home is to consider how much space you and your family will need. Not every family needs a house with many bedrooms and extra offices, whereas other families find multiple bathrooms and play areas to be a necessity for comfort and practicality.
Other space considerations to look into are multi-car garages, indoor swimming pools, indoor basketball courts, deluxe workshops, theatre rooms, and more.
It’s important to determine what size of a home will comfortably fit your family’s lifestyle and then work from there. Take into consideration how many bedrooms you need for each family member, along with if you want to have guest rooms.
Also take into consideration if anyone works from home or, if you have a large family, if a quiet work/study room is something that would be helpful. If quiet is absolutely necessary for a home office, then position that room away from main entrances and children's rooms.
Have a lot of laundry? Put the laundry room near the main bedroom or even attached to the main bedroom so that you can easily put laundry away after it's cleaned. Even consider putting one laundry area upstairs and a separate one downstairs.
Love your pets but can't stand their mess? Put a dog shower in a utility room by the garage so you can give them a quick rinse before letting them run wild through the house.
Maybe assess the floor plan and size of the house you’re in now and make a list of areas in the house the family feels cramped, or rooms you have that are never utilized or sit untouched.
Is outdoor living important?
Depending on where you live, a large outdoor area may be something you want. A Colorado Springs home might be a great option to include an outdoor leisure area because of the wonderful summer weather and if you have a great view of the Front Range.
You can also take advantage of vertical space by creating a nook on the top story with an outdoor seating area. Step up your nook design from just a plain old balcony by giving it covered seating, a built-in heater for the winter, and even gas piping for a grill or stove.
If you’d like a large backyard or a big sitting area in the back, that needs to be incorporated from the get go. If a hot tub or pool interests you, that is something that will be easier to add immediately rather than adding plumbing later on. Also consider if you'd like a prominent water feature like a small pond or stream.
It is also good planning to factor in landscaping that will accommodate your home design. When they bring out the tractors to level a plot of land, you can knock out some basic landscaping by positioning slopes and other landscape designs from the get-go.
Think of your design style
Do you like open spaces for entertaining, or are compartmental areas a better fit for your family? Do you like clean, straight lines or are rooms with character more your style? Think of how you’ll furnish the house and your decorating style and use that as inspiration for the floor plan.
Love Tuscan-style decor? Design your entire home with Tuscan themes, colors and architecture.
Want a touch of rustic? Choose a room or area of the home to add a rustic flare to.
Want spacious AND cozy? Design your living room with lower ceilings but with an extra large sliding glass door that opens entirely to the outside, really opening up the space.
If you like very organized and square rooms, designing uniquely shaped areas likely won’t fit with how you’ll want to decorate.
Keep in mind your lifestyle
Remembering your lifestyle and what a typical day or weekend looks like for you is important in designing a layout. If you have many children and they participate in a lot of activities, having a large entryway with closets and storage is probably important, but if you don’t have a lot of traffic through the front door, a welcoming hallway may be something that isn’t important.
If entertaining is your focus, then an open concept that leads from the kitchen and into the dining and living rooms could be the perfect area for parties and dinners. If you rarely cook but love to watch TV, a small kitchen and an extra theater room could be the perfect match.
Keep in mind what happens the most in your home and ways to make everyday life more convenient and more fun. This will ultimately play a big role in the floor plan you create and how you envision yourself living in your Colorado Springs custom home.
Base decisions on the layout rather than the final touches
When you envision your dream house do you imagine a kitchen with granite countertops, an entryway that greets people with a beautifully tiled floor or a staircase with engraved wooden rails? Whatever those small details are that will make a house your dream home, push them to the side.
When you’re making a final decision on a floor plan and mapping out the space you’ll live in, it’s easy to get distracted and pay attention to the upgrades you want rather than the initial, stripped down area.
Remember that the floor plan may be important if you want a larger than normal appliance or piece of furniture, but isn’t going to be a factor in kitchen finishes or paint colors. Focus on the big picture before getting down to the small details.
Working with an experience custom luxury home builder can help keep you focused on the task at hand and work from the basics up.
Determine if you will use existing furniture or buy new
Although it makes more sense to fit the furniture to the floor plan rather than the floor plan to the furniture, if you plan on keeping the furniture you have or using large, irregular pieces, it’s important to keep that in mind while making the floor plan.
When planning the floor plan, imagine which furniture you already own will go where, and then decide if you’ll need to buy more, what you’ll want to replace and what you don’t have room for.
Remember that you can modify
Maybe when you first plan on moving into your house you’ll have a few teenagers in the house who will need privacy and their own space, but that space won’t be necessary when they go to college or move out.
It’s important to remember you can modify floor plans by remodeling or even going simple and redecorating. You can always turn two bedrooms into one large sitting or work area, or work a shared bathroom to be more of a suite with a nearby bedroom.
If you know you need something now but hope that in the future you can remodel for a new need, talk with your Colorado Springs custom home professional to make a decision on how to design the floor plan so a future remodel is possible.
Making a custom home floor plan for your Colorado Springs home takes time, patience and a bit of thought, but it can also be fun! Try not to get frustrated when making big decisions and use the resources available to you through a real estate agent or Colorado Springs custom home design professional to make a decision you feel confident in.