Home Design Mistakes to Avoid

Far too often, house plans are built with great anticipation of being the perfect dream home. However, in many cases, what is greeted with excitement later turns into "I wish I'd...{insert design tweak here}", "The next time I build I will...{add design change here}", or "In my next house...{unload your laundry list of new concepts here}". The fact is, we will never be 100% satisfied with every design aspect of our homes. If you take the necessary time in the beginning to get familiar with the design layout, you can avoid regrettable design flaws.

Each home is viewed different to each homeowner. What may be a perfect layout for you may not work so well for others. That being said, most house plans are designed within the broad scope of how most families will use a home. To ensure your home is livable for your family and good enough to attract buyers in resale, you will need to avoid certain design pitfalls. Below are the five most common home design mistakes you should avoid.

1. Too much distance between the kitchen and garage

Keep it simple. Design the garage layout to be near the kitchen. Having to walk from one end of the house (the garage) to the opposite end of the house (the kitchen) doesn't sell well with most homeowners or home buyers. The main argument is that you can quickly transfer groceries from the car to the kitchen. It is an old argument, yet a powerful one still. Given the fact that grocery shopping happens once or twice a month on average, you would think that the other 300 plus days out of the year trump that reasoning. Nonetheless, the best solution is to make these rooms adjacent or as close to each other as possible.

2. Choppy room configuration

Don't create too many designated rooms for specific use. This design theory make for bad use of square footage. Consider using fewer rooms and making them larger. The larger rooms can then be use as a dual or multi-purpose room. For example, you can design a bedroom layout that can easily be used as a home office if the bedroom is not needed for sleeping purposes. By designing in this manner, you make your spaces more flexible for future use. In the event of resale, you attract a larger pool of home buyers who can see their own options for that space.

3. Master bedroom and entry location

The Master bedroom is a place that should retain a degree of privacy from the main living spaces. Too close to the kitchen or family room and your sanctuary become an extension of those spaces in the way of noise. Try to keep a buffer between the living spaces and the master bedroom.

Another flaw in the master bedroom design is having the entry to the bedroom directly or indirectly off the kitchen design, the family room, or breakfast room. These rooms are a gathering place from family and friends. This almost requires that the door to the master bed remain closed at all times to keep it private.

small foyer

4. Foyer is too small

The first space people see when entering your home is the foyer. If this space is small and dark, well it's just uninviting. Make your foyer a welcoming event. It doesn't have to be oversize just comfortable. Keep the start of your staircase a minimum of 5 feet (6 or more if space allows) from the front door. Make the space large enough to fit a small piece of furniture like a chair or console table.

5. Using a room as a corridor (hallway)

We see this method use in the old shot-gun houses where you travel from the front room (usually the family room) through the bedrooms to the back (where the kitchen usually is). In this case, it is virtually unavoidable because the house is so narrow. Gallery style kitchens are used as corridors in tight design configurations also. These examples are the exception and not the rule when using rooms as a hallway.

In the typical home today, such examples as stated above would destroy the house plan traffic patterns of the design. Corridors or hallways are necessary whether we like to have them or not. They connect the rooms of the home and provide passage. The goal is to minimize hallways as much as possible but not affect the overall function of the home.