An open floor plan in residential architecture is a home where two or more traditional-use spaces are joined to form a larger space or room. Some of the partition walls that normally divide the rooms are removed. Open floor plans are becoming increasingly popular and a common goal for older home remodel projects. The joining of kitchens and dining rooms or dining rooms and living rooms are the most common projects for creating open floor plans in older homes.
Open Floor Plans: The Pros and Cons
Open floor plans allow for greater traffic flow and create a more open space but not all rooms are connected. There are still barriers between rooms with only common areas affected by these plans. Bathrooms, bedrooms, and home offices are not considered for open floor plan arrangements. The extra space these plans give works well for houses with small square footage, making the house appear more spacious than it is. There are many reasons to consider creating an open floor plan.
- Better traffic flow: there are no walls or doors to hinder traffic
- Shared light: interior spaces that once did not have natural light now have windows and better lighting
- Layout flexibility: It is easier to reconfigure furnishings without walls and barriers
- Improved sociability: It is easier to talk to others in different rooms
- Improved value: Open floor plan is highly sought after, so increase the overall value of a home
- Multifunction rooms: The open spaces can serve as recreation rooms, family rooms, or entertainment space depending on what you need at any given moment.
As great and popular as open floor plans are, there are also some disadvantages to consider before remodeling your home.
- Higher costs: Bigger rooms with high ceilings drain energy, especially when the outer walls have large windows. It costs much more to heat larger spaces than it does traditional rooms, and the same goes for cooling costs as well.
- Expensive construction: Without walls, you need additional beams for support and these are expensive to install.
- No privacy: Open floor plans are great for social activity but bad for those times you want a quiet space of your own.
- Poor sound control: open homes are noisier as there are no walls to block sound.
- Clutter: Traditional floor plans confine furnishings to designated spaces, where open plans can appear cluttered and scattered.
Most modern houses come with more spacious designs and open floor plans as standard, especially on the main level of the home. They are great for families as it makes it easier to watch the kids, but also great for couples without kids as you can have space without privacy issues. The good news is that if you do not like your current floor plan, there is an alternative. We would be happy to discuss all open floor plan options with you and help you decide which is the right floor plan for you.