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How to Avoid Custom Floor Plan Mistakes

Published on:


written by:

Carrie Barker


Many people jump right into designing a floor plan without taking the time to thoroughly think about the best layout for their family’s home. Please don’t do this! The best way to avoid custom floor plan mistakes is to *really* think about how your family lives BEFORE you create your floor plan.

Side note … there really are no ‘mistakes’ when it comes to designing a custom floor plan, but there *are* ways to make your layout more functional.



Believe me, I know that creating a custom floor plan from scratch is a daunting task … been there and done that (see my custom home here).

However, if you take the time to *really* think about your plan before you get started, then you are far less likely to make mistakes and, consequently, far less likely to regret your decisions.

I want YOU to get your floor plan right and feel proud of your future home, so I’ve added a list of 10 questions below for you to thoughtfully consider and answer to get you started in creating the perfect floor plan for YOUR family.

If you wanna dive deeper, download a copy of my *FREE* ‘Floor Plan Creation Workbook’ that includes even more questions to help you design the perfect floor plan for your family :). 

How to Avoid Floor Plan Mistakes

All right, let’s get into the questions that will help you avoid making mistakes when creating your custom floor plan.

Questions to Help You Avoid Custom Floor Plan Mistakes

When answering these questions, I encourage you to put some time and effort into considering each question and answer it as thoroughly as possible. 

Want a printable version of these questions PLUS many more questions to help you create the perfect floor plan for your family? Download a copy of my *FREE* ‘Floor Plan Creation Workbook’. 

  1. If our budget was unlimited, what would our dream home layout look like? Describe in detail.
  2. What is our (rough) home build budget? What can we comfortably afford? 
  3. Do we plan to resell this home in the future or is this our ‘forever home’? (i.e. do we need to consider what will be helpful for reselling in the future?) 
  4. What does our land look like (dimensions, setbacks, trees, etc.)? If we haven’t selected land, what type of land do we need to accommodate our desired floor plan?
  5. What direction do we want our house to face? Where do we want the sun to pour in at sunrise and sunset? 
  6. What is the maximum size of square footage that will fit our lot?
  7. How large do we want our house? What square footage is reasonable?
  8. What goals do we want to accomplish with this house? Describe in detail.
  9. Do we want a two-story or a ranch home? Tip: ranch homes are typically more expensive to build because they have a larger footprint (foundation) than a two-story.
  10. How many bedrooms do we want? How many bathrooms do we want?

These 10 questions are just the start. You’ll probably think of more considerations for your floor plan as you start really thinking about your answers to these questions.

Keep in mind that you have what it takes to create the perfect floor plan for your family. You just need to *really* think about your home layout needs before you meet with your builder, architect, or draftsperson (i.e. whoever is drawing up your plans).

The more effort you put into answering the questions above, the greater your chance of avoiding custom floor plan mistakes. 


If you want to dive deeper into creating the perfect floor plan for YOUR family’s needs, download a copy of my *FREE* Guided Floor Plan Creation Workbook

This awesome resource includes the 10 questions in this blog post, PLUS even more guided questions that will help you to *really* consider what is most (and least) important to you in your future home layout.

Psst … if you want step-by-step guidance in creating the perfect floor plan for your family (plus personalized feedback from me!), check out my ‘Create Your Perfect Floor Plan’ course.

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  5. Josie O says:

    Thank you for this write-up. I love Qs 13 & 15. Spot on! I have the worst predicament. I’ve traveled for over 20yrs and collected so many signature furniture pieces I can’t see myself living without. I really “want” a formal room to stage these but do I want to spend money on it? Such a dilemma. And on Q15, an astounding YES! The hubby and I at our age live separately with our time and hobbies. Ever heard that it’s cheaper to keep her? 🙂 Well, in my case it’s him but I consider when building a house, to simply give him his space. A forever retirement home should make you happy and have no stress for the rest of your life.
    Oh and no one really ever talks about retirement home living and planning. I really want this to be my last home and it would be helpful to have guidance on what are accessibility considerations in planning. Thanks again and I do love my husband. hehehe…

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I designed my own custom home from the ground up, inside and out. A home that is cozy, comfy, laid out perfectly for the way my family lives, and makes us happy every single day. Oh, and did I mention I did this all without blowing the budget?! 

Yep, it’s true. I’ve been there, done that, and actually lived through it … and you will too. Pinkie promise!

a.k.a. Caroline on Design

I’m Carrie Barker.

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