Floor Plan Layout – The Importance of Design Consistency

With so many house plans available to view on the web and in print magazine, it’s easy to see why so many take a shot at designing a floor plan layout. There is nothing wrong with the idea. In fact, that’s how many of my clients come up with some of their ideas and home designs which are presented to me. However, in order to make the house design work, you have to design in a consistent manner when it comes to the architectural style, floor plans, and room sizes. In other words, there has to be a level of home design consistency to tie the parts together in a cohesive floor plan layout.

Architectural Style and Floor Plans
The most overlooked part of putting together a floor plan layout is the elevation. You may spend hours, days, weeks, perhaps months coming up with what you believe are the perfect set of home plans for yourself. That might be true, but does the architectural style work with the footprint of your plan? In my experiences with clients, it’s a fifty-fifty split. First of all, many of the potential homeowners haven’t even consider what style of architecture they’d like the elevation to be. In essence, that is putting the cart before the horse if you think about it. The two should work in tandem. You have to consider whether your design is going to be a European style home or if you are more inline with building an Early American style house. After all, you don’t want to have the perfect house floor plans and hate your elevation design, right?

Knowing the type of home style you desire is important because it has a significant impact on how your floor plan layout will come together. For instance, a colonial house style will typically have a boxy shape and perhaps wing additions on either side of the boxed plan. On the other hand, Victorian architecture may be littered with protruding offsets, in addition to turrets, or wrapped porches. In both cases, you may start with a simple box concept, but the Victorian style by its very design makeup will alter the elevation concept. Keeping the style of a home in mind while developing a floor plan layout is necessary to remain constant in the home design process.

Room Sizes
Every room in a floor plan layout should be proportional to its own space as well as adjoining spaces. In other words, the scale of each room should be relevant to one another. So for example, let’s say you have a formal dining room and living room. Your dining room is designed to accompany a dining table that seats 6 to 8 people. This would be a medium (average) size space in the range of 12 to 13 feet by 15 to 17 feet in room dimensions. Your living room should also fall within this range of measurement to remain consistent with size and proportion in relation to the dining room.

Designing room spaces to relate to one another should serve as a barometer in the overall design program. The above room example is not absolute because not all design scenarios will work out perfect. There are cases where the rooms may be a bit larger or a bit smaller and that’s fine. As long as the discrepancy isn’t distorted so much in either direction that it makes for an obvious difference in appearance, the overall floor plan layout will be fine.

Doodling in your spare time to come up with home designs and a floor plan layout can be a fun and stress relieving. However, when you are getting near the time you are ready to build that dream home of yours, make those doodles meaningful. Think home design consistency with a full range of consideration to the plan concept and architectural style. Room sizes will be of more importance once you hire a building designer to bring these thoughts and ideas together.