When choosing your next home, you’ll be faced with a number of decisions about the look and layout of the property. These include decisions about everything from flooring material to paint color to the square footage of each room.
Some of these things, of course, are cosmetic issues—easily changeable if you wind up having second thoughts. But some are pretty permanent. A good example of the latter is the floor plan. Changing a paint color is easy enough, but changing the physical flow and layout of the rooms? That’s not likely to happen.
All of that’s just to say that selecting the right floor plan is really important—for your day to day life, and for when it comes time for selling your home. The question is, what kind of floor plan is best for you?
These days, a lot of homeowners have gravitated toward the open floor plan. Open floor plans may be quite popular, but it’s still worth pausing to review their pros and cons.
Again, keep in mind that an open floor plan may have big implications for your family life, and for the ease with which you one day get the place sold—so think carefully about whether this is the layout for you.
What is an Open Floor Plan?
To begin with, let’s define the term.
In earlier eras of home design, houses always came with discrete and clearly defined spaces—a dining room, a kitchen, a family room, and so forth.
In an open floor plan, those distinctions aren’t as clear, and spaces aren’t always walled-off and separated the way they once were. Instead, you may have a more open and fluid space, one where the dining area bleeds naturally into the living room, which in turn transitions into a family room or a parlor. In an open floor plan, these spaces aren’t presented as individual rooms so much as one big all-encompassing space, and you can really do with it what you want.
The Advantages of an Open Floor Plan
There are a number of things that make open floor plans popular, including:
- An open floor plan can make your home feel a lot more spacious—and in fact, it may actually be more spacious, as you won’t have as many little areas of unused space, which are more common in older and more traditionally-defined homes.
- Open floor plans lend themselves to socialization. You may have Dad in the kitchen making dinner, Mom at the dining room table helping a kid with homework, another kid playing or watching TV—all within easy earshot and clear visibility of one another. You and your loved ones can feel together even when you’re in different parts of the space.
- Because open floor plans do away with a lot of the usual interior walls, they allow natural lighting to more easily permeate the home.
- Open floor plans can also improve safety, especially among kids; little ones are bound to be a little safer when you can more easily have an eye on them.
- The bottom line is that open floor plans are very flexible; they just offer a lot more functional space, and a lot more freedom to use that space however you like.
Are There Any Disadvantages to Open Floor Plans?
With that said, there are some disadvantages to open floor plans that may be worth mentioning.
- Cooking can be a little more perilous, as smells will more freely waft through the home. That may sometimes be a good thing, but it may also be a little annoying at times, especially if something accidentally burns and the whole house starts smelling foul.
- There’s a loss of formality; entertaining is easier, perhaps, but you do lose the chance to have a more clearly defined living area.
- There is an obvious loss of privacy (though of course, open floor plans still have private bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.).
Learn More About Open Floor Plans—and About How We Can Help You Sell Your Home!
There’s no right or wrong answer here; open floor plans are perfect for some, less desirable for others. Make sure you take some time to learn more before you make your decision.
Also learn about how SOLD.com can help you sell your home. With your FREE homeseller’s report, you can learn all about the best ways for selling your home. Take the first step toward getting your property sold today!