Post details: Home Plan Checklist - Part 3

02/03/05

Permalink 06:12:54 pm, Categories: Articles, 425 words   English (US)

Home Plan Checklist - Part 3


Is the floor plan intelligently laid out?
Nothing is more embarrassing than finding that the delivery guy has a direct view from the front entry into your teenager's messy bedroom. Here's what to look for in a good floor plan:

- The main entrance is inviting and easy for visitors to find.
- The main entry area includes room to remove coats and adequate closet space.
- The main entry area limits views to areas of the house you wish to keep private.
- The main entry area offers direct access to living and entertaining areas.
- The service entrance has a place to remove and store coats and boots.
- The service entrance offers easy access to the kitchen.
- In general, the plan places noise buffers between quiet zones (bedrooms or office, for example) and active zones (kitchen and family room, for example).
- Each bedroom has reasonably private access to a bathroom.
- Windows are located to provide cross-ventilation.
- Windows will face desirable views or can be moved to do so.
- There is easy access from the kitchen to all dining areas, including those outside.
- Laundry facilities are close to bedrooms, or away from living areas.
- Interior doorways are planned so traffic flow doesn't cross rooms diagonally.

Money Talks
There is no getting around the fact that you have only so much money to spend on a house. Before you fall in love with a plan, ponder these questions:

Is this plan realistic for your budget?
Most real estate agents or banks can give you the range of building costs in your area. But don't assume that you can build that 3,000-square-foot Georgian-style home for the average per-square-foot construction cost in your town. The level of detail and the complexity of the design in a plan influence the cost, as do the finish materials you choose.

A builder may be willing to give you a ballpark estimate, provided you have a good set of study plans. Or, consider investing in the cost-estimating service that many home plans companies can provide.

Can you afford the neighborhood?
It is risky to substantially underbuild in a neighborhood. Yes, you might be able to build a $25,000 cottage on a $100,000 lot, but you may later find it difficult to sell at a profit.

Are you thinking champagne on a beer budget?
If it is going to take a commercial range and marble floors to make your dream house come true, be sure you can afford them. Pay close attention to interior materials, and set your priorities early.

Better Homes and Gardens

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