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Portland Design Build Remodeling Blog

8 Elements to Consider When Designing Your Floor Plan

When thinking about the floor plan for the remodel of your Portland, Oregon, home, you should take into account a number of important factors, from your lifestyle to your budget. Here are eight factors to consider to help you evaluate your remodeling floor plan.

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Your Lifestyle

You’re considering a remodel of your Portland home because your house isn’t a good fit with the way you live. So how do you live? Are you an open-floor-plan kind of family, loving the connection between members as one works in the kitchen, another watches TV or reads in the family room, and two more do homework at the kitchen counter and in a nook around the corner? Are you more comfortable with separate spaces—the privacy of a sitting room, the formality of a dedicated dining room? Do you love to entertain big groups? Do you seldom cook so consider a gourmet kitchen an extravagance? Do you love to spend time outdoors, cooking, visiting, and relaxing? Think through how you live, and how you expect that to change, or stay the same, in the years to come.


Uplands Cape Cod Bathroom

What’s Wrong?

Everyone has pet peeves about the way their home is designed, from the light switch on the wrong side of the door to the lack of electrical outlets to the awkward location of the laundry room to the kitchen that’s just way too small for modern living. Make a list of the things that bug you, so you and your designer or architect can be sure to remedy them when you work on your new floor plan.


Your Wish List

An extension of the “what’s wrong” list, this one focuses on what you want in your “new” home, based on your lifestyle and the problems in your existing home that you want to remedy. Do you need a better place for overnight visitors, such as a guest suite? Is your family growing, making additional bedrooms and bathrooms important? Would a home office be a big benefit?


Weatherize HomeHow Big?

Not everyone needs a McMansion. Think hard about whether your master bath or your entryway or your family room really needs to be as big as you’re imagining. Remember that each square foot of finished space costs money to build, heat, and cool, and it also represents more work to keep clean. If your remodel involves an addition, keep this question in mind. Or if you’re remodeling existing space, could the wide-open space in the kitchen be used for something else, such as storage?


Creative Repurposing

On the flip side, are there rooms in your house that could be turned into something else? Maybe knocking down walls could turn a rarely used bedroom or bonus room into part of a master suite or open-plan living area.


CDB_Slinger0002-1024x775 (1)Sticking Around?

Aging in place is a big deal, so even if you’re not planning to stay in this house forever, it might make your home easier to sell if you implement some aspects of universal design, a concept that makes living easier both for people who have physical limitations and those who don’t. Those features include extra lighting, lever-style door latches, single-handle faucets, no-threshold showers with seating inside, wider doorways and halls, and many more that could be incorporated as part of a remodel.


Will the Furniture Fit?

If you’re planning to keep your furniture after the remodel, make sure the dimensions of your new space will accommodate the pieces as you hope to use them. Measure the furniture and cut out pieces of paper to scale and move them around a scale drawing of your floor plan to get a real sense of what will work and what won’t.


Can You Afford It?

As you get into the nitty-gritty of planning your remodel, you’ll have to reconcile your dreams with your budget. But beyond just the question of whether you can handle the cost of your hoped-for remodel, you should carefully consider whether the house you’re planning to remodel is worth the work. In some cases, moving to a different home with a floor plan that fits your lifestyle makes more sense than going through the upheaval and the expense of a major remodel. A good design professional can help you make that tough decision.

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