The Pros and Cons of an Open Floor Plan

Market Trends

An Inside Look at Open Floor Plan Homes

The popularity of having an open floor plan integrated into single-family home has become a must-have for many buyers in today’s market. In fact, 84 percent of new single-family homes have either full or partially open layouts. But what does an open floor plan really entail? For starters, a home is considered to have an open floor plan if there are no walls separating the kitchen, dining and/or living area. Before you decide if an open floor layout is right for you, either in a new home or by creating one in your current one, let’s take a deeper look at the layout from both the pros and cons sides.

Pros of an Open Floor Plan 

Maximizes Square Footage – With less walls creating a set space for a kitchen, dining or living room, the area instantly feels bigger. You’re essentially able to use one large room to create as many different sections of whatever size you feel works best for you. This layout also allows for the area to be used to its maximum potential as there are no hidden areas that are boxed in by an extra wall or two.

Increases Natural Light – Less walls, means more light flow throughout the windows of your home. This will help to eliminate a dark dining room or living room that faces the north or south side of a home. Ultimately, with the right positioning, you can minimize the use of artificial light during the day and maximize your home’s exposure to natural light which will help reduce your electricity bill all year long.

Creates Social Cohesiveness – Having an open floor plan makes socializing easier even when everyone is doing different things. One person can be in the kitchen, another in the dining room and some in the living room without ever feeling like you’re isolated in a separate part of the house. It’s also great for entertaining guests and makes having people over easier as there is more open space to socialize and enjoy.

Offers Flexibility – Having an open floor plan means you can organize, design and use the space based on your specific needs. Say for instance you want a larger living room or a dining room that accommodates large parties, without any walls limiting your space you can make sure there’s plenty of room for everyone and everything you want to do in your home. The best part, you can change the layout whenever you want too without having to make any major architectural changes to the home itself.

Cons of an Open Floor Plan

Kitchen Smells Spread Easier – Without any walls containing the heat and smells that naturally occur during cooking, your home is prone to having food aromas in every part of the area. It also means that your living room and dining room may become warmer when using the oven or stovetop for larger meals. But if you’re worried about the smell of food soaking into your furniture, simply invest in a heavy-duty vent hood to remove the heat odors before they set in.

Less Privacy – Less walls means less privacy. If you prefer to have an area where you can escape from the rest of the household, you may want to keep a wall or two for a partially open floor plan rather than a completely open one. Having an extra wall means having a sound barrier and still allows for privacy without limiting the openness of the floor plan as a whole.

More Noise – There is no hiding from the noise of every room with an open floor plan. A lack of walls means there is more space for sound to bounce around and your existing walls aren’t going to provide enough sound absorbency to reduce the noise that arises from activity in every room at all once.

More Room for Mess – With an open floor plan, everything is visible, including your clutter. If you’re having guests over, this means you’ll have to clean the entire area encompassing your open floor plan, rather than simply cleaning the one area where guests will gather and closing off the rest of the house. You may want to consider your family and entertaining needs before you decide to leave it all out in the open.

While open floor plans are popular for good reason, they are definitely not for everyone. Before you consider adding this home-feature to your must-have list, consider how you’d utilize the space with or without walls. Whichever method works best for you and your lifestyle will determine if an open floor plan truly is a good fit for your household. 

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