During the hustle and bustle of house hunting or house construction, people tend to neglect to take the time needed to fully evaluate the appropriateness of a “workable” floor plan.

Some design faults to watch out for are a single bathroom in a two-story home, or a floor plan that funnels family traffic through the middle of the home’s living room, interrupting social activities.

A well designed home should offer good “interior zoning” and direct routes between rooms. “Interior zoning” is the break down or segregation of rooms by the activities that take place in them. These fall into three general categories: personal activities (sleeping and bathing), work activities (cooking and laundering), and shared activities (entertaining and dining). In a two-story home, for example, good zoning dictates that bedrooms be upstairs so activities in the rooms below don’t bother sleepers. The one exception to this rule occurs when homeowners prefer a first floor master bedroom. Be sure to include a separate guest bath.

Sketch out a floor plan of potential homes to make sure that traffic flows through in the most direct route possible. If traffic must pass through a room, it should proceed along one end or across a corner, not through the middle of the room. Be sure to include doors, windows, closets and stairwells in the sketch.

Logical location of rooms is important. For example, the kitchen should be centrally located. Ideally, it should be near or adjacent to the dining area, but not far from the front entrance of the home. Make sure that the rooms are large enough to accommodate furnishings. They should be large enough to space furniture in comfortably, but not too large that they don’t allow for convenient conversational space.

This rough draft floor plan of the home may take some time, but the brief investment now may save years of inconvenience and discomfort caused by an inefficient floor plan

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