Are you considering buying a home in the Iowa City, IA area and are trying to decide which floor plans are best for your family? At Mills Custom Homes, we work with each of our clients to find the perfect combination of function and comfort to create a house that brings pride upon its completion.
Check out these tips to help you decide which floor plans might work best for your busy life.
Consider How Many Stories
Single-level living has become one of the most popular floor plan designs in the area in recent years. For individuals for which stairs are becoming too challenging, the one-story home offers complete accessibility. Young families live with confidence knowing the kids won’t fall down any stairs.
Two-story homes provide extra privacy, bring traditional designs into the current century and can even help you live a healthier lifestyle. Some home designs offer a walk-out basement as a second functional floor with a single-story curb appeal.
Open Concept or Traditional Living Considerations?
One of the most important choices you will make when picking the floor plan for your new construction home is thinking how you want to live. The popular open-concept combines your living, dining room and kitchen in one large area. This is great if you host large parties that you host from the kitchen or for young families who want to be able to see their kids at all times.
A traditional floor plan creates separate spaces for dining and living areas using walls or doors. You might prefer this option for hosting formal dinner parties or if you want to be able to watch TV without listening to the noise in the kitchen.
Consider How Many Bathrooms You Will Need
When considering the many floor plans available, it can be tempting to select one with a bathroom for each bedroom. For most families, it might sound luxurious, but there are real-world considerations to take into account.
Bathrooms are expensive to build. They require square footage, special flooring, mold- and mildew-resistant walls, plumbing and special electrical connections. If you are trying to keep your home on budget, having fewer bathrooms is a great way to lower the price.
If you want your kids to share a bathroom but also have a separate one for guests, look at the convenience of a Jack and Jill bathroom in which the bath sits between two bedrooms for easy access.
Remember that a larger home with three bathrooms or more requires considerable effort to keep it all clean. Do you have the time to clean them yourself, or do you have the money to have them cleaned?
- Master Suites Create Equity: Most potential homebuyers are looking for a bathroom in the master bedroom. It is well worth it to include this luxury in your floor plan and building budget.
Unfinished Basement Considerations
One money-saving tip that Mills Custom Homes provides for our clients is that if you see your home with a gym, media room or play area in the basement someday, but simply don’t have the cash now to build one, think about selecting one of our floor plans that includes a basement, but leave it unfinished.
The extra square footage of the home adds resale value whether you finish it or not. In a few years, you have the space to add a guest room, an extra bedroom for your growing family or even a home office. Some electrical and basic plumbing can be completed during the initial build to make the most out of your investment.
Consider Where to Put Your Master Suite
Even if you are looking at floor plans with multiple stories, you might enjoy the convenience of a main floor master suite. There are pros and cons to this option:
- Easy one-level living is in place for your retirement
- Added privacy from the rest of the family
- Ability to add a deck or patio connecting to the backyard
- Far away from the nursery and young children
- Next to busy living areas
- Smells from the kitchen
- Ground floor windows limit privacy
If you are building with your retirement in mind, but prefer a second-story bedroom for now, think about building both a main floor and an upstairs master suite for the greatest flexibility. The second suite can be used as a home office or in-law apartment for now.
Multi-Function Space Considerations
Most families that come to Mills Custom Homes are not building luxury mansions, but functional houses with floor plans that work with their modest budget. We recommend thinking about how you wish to use your home and consider combining function for each space to reduce total square footage, bathrooms and overall cost. Let’s look at our most popular combination areas:
- Home Office / Guest Room: A fold-out couch or hideaway bed easily blends in with the desk and bookcases. You will have room for weekend guests without sacrificing daily use.
- Home Gym / Playroom: The treadmill is used only 30 minutes a day. The kids make noise 12 hours a day. Your sports equipment takes up little space and can share room with the toys with ease.
- Mudroom / Laundry: More and more families are looking for a main floor laundry instead of hiding it in the basement. Mudrooms are often underutilized and can become a more active part of your home with a smart design.
- Storage Room / Garage: Many two- and three-car garages have enough room to provide for some serious storage. Think about adding a small room with shelving to keep your seasonal stuff neat and tidy.
If you are interested in learning about all the floor plans that we offer at Mills Custom Homes, give us a call for your personalized consultation. We look forward to creating a home in the Iowa City, IA area that reflects your style while maintaining your budget. Find more design ideas when you check out our Home Plans page.