This week I have a quick episode telling you about 7 house layout mistakes you should avoid when designing your home. Most of them are mistakes that I almost made, until I mentally walked through the house. Some of them are mistakes that my architect didn’t even see until I brought them to his attention. So do your due diligence, even if you are working with a professional, and literally study your house plan before you finalize it.
Before we get to this week’s list of mistakes, I want thank Kotton for listening to the last week’s episode called Lighting 101. He brought to my attention that I didn’t mention the efficacy of LED light bulbs. NoT efficiency, but efficacy. Technically, the word efficacy, not efficiency, should be used when talking about the amount of light an LED produces per watt. Sometimes efficacy is called luminous efficacy. You’ll see efficacy listed on almost all LED light bulbs. We’ll pay more upfront for bulbs with greater efficacy, but we’ll save money in lower utility bills over the life of the bulb. A good efficacy standard is at least 100.
Thanks Kotton for that additional information. Much respect to you too.
Now, let’s go over the 7 layout mistakes to avoid when designing your house.
1. Locating a bathroom directly off one of the home's public rooms — like the kitchen, living room or dining room. Give your family and friends some needed privacy when they go to the bathroom. Locate bathrooms in hallways or around the corner from main living spaces.
In my house plan, we have a central upstairs lounge/hang out area and 2 bedrooms on each side of that lounge. We don’t have a hallway upstairs. My options were to put a powder room directly off of the lounge or to forgo that would-be not-so-private powder room and just have guests go to the en suite bathrooms that are attached to each of the bedrooms. It’s not ideal for guest to have to go through a bedroom to get to the bathroom, but I thought it was the lesser of two evils.
Those bedrooms are guest rooms, so most of the time they won’t be occupied. We could have had an additional door to the ensuite bathrooms located directly off of that lounge area, but we’d have the same problem. No bathroom privacy. So, my guests will have to. walk a few extra feet through the guest bedroom to get the bathroom. Not my first choice, but like I said, the lesser of 2 evils and I think my guests will appreciate the privacy.
2. Making the toilet the first thing you see as you walk into the bathroom. The toilet should not be a front-and-center focal point as you enter the bathroom. And avoid any sight lines to the toilet from adjacent rooms. For example, you don’t want to be lying in your bed and look into the bathroom and easily see the toilet. I had to shift a sink and a toilet in one of my bathroom to avoid this front-and-center toilet mistake.
3. Forgetting about the broom closet. We need a broom and cleaning supply closet in our kitchen and/or pantry, plus an extra supply closet on any additional floors you might have. You may be able to add this broom and mop area to upstairs laundry rooms or linen closets. But you won’t want to tote a broom, mop and vacuum or carpet sweeper upstairs every time you want to clean. I almost forgot my broom closets. But ultimately, we put one downstairs and one upstairs.
4. Centering fireplaces on walls as opposed to centering fireplaces based on the arrangement of your furniture. For many of you, the center of your wall will be the center of your furniture arrangement, but if not, the fireplace should be positioned so you can enjoy it while you lounging on your furniture.
5. Not considering your furniture placement when designing your rooms. You want to think about where your sofas, beds, chairs, chests and dressers will go while you’re designing the house. Do you have enough wall space for your bed and night stands? Do you have enough space in your living room for that large sectional you’ve been dreaming about?
6. Too much space between the kitchen and garage. Placing the kitchen far away from the garage makes bringing groceries in from the car to the kitchen or pantry challenging. Putting the kitchen and garage near each other also makes it easier to grab your coffee, breakfast and lunch as you walk out to the door in the morning.
7. Partially obstructing doorways. My original floor plan had my washer and dryer very close to the door of the laundry room. I envisioned us trying to maneuver that tight space by barely scooting past the washer with a laundry basket in hand. Not good. So we moved the washer and dryer down a few feet and now the laundry room door is totally unobstructed. Think about where your appliances and furniture will be placed and make sure there is plenty of room for you to go through doorways without having to turn sideways to get through.
Please remember that the purpose of this podcast is simply to educate and inform. It is not a substitute for professional advice. The information that you hear is based the only on the opinions, research and experiences of my guests and myself. That information might be incomplete, it’s subject to change and it may not apply to your project. In addition, building codes and requirements vary from region to region, so always consult a professional about specific recommendations for your home.
Well, That’s all I have for you this week. Thanks for joining me for another episode of Build Your House Yourself UnIversity— BYHYU
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