Many homeowners have embraced the trend of open-plan homes, with a growth of new-build developments opting to ditch multiple separate rooms for more social-friendly family living. However, for open plan living to work effectively, efficient planning and consideration for everyday family activity and homeowner needs should be considered, along with overall functionality while creating a great aesthetic appeal. Here are some key considerations for building an open plan home to serve its occupants effectively.
Existing site opportunities & constraints
For any new home, it is key to consider what the land allows and restricts in terms of planning and building. Constraints such as local council laws causing restrictions, residential issues or existing obstructions that are specific to the site where building is proposed, may need to be overcome. For open-plan homes, wider planes of land are needed as the size and shape of the site presents opportunities for developing open-plan homes, which will save time and money in the construction planning process.
Locations of proposed services
To ensure the efficiency of the home and consideration for the day to day lives of residents, services need to be installed in practical places throughout the home. Services such as taps, cooker hoods, electrics and lights have a larger need to be well placed to suit the user’s everyday needs. For an open-plan home, services could be located around the perimeter on external walls to leave the centre of the space open, providing more adaptability for expansions.
Orientation of the building
It’s important to remember that the sun rises in east and sets in west, so southern elevations will be exposed to the most sunlight throughout the day. Open-plan homes benefit from the whole floor accessing sunlight if allowed, so fixtures such as bifold doors from Quickslide are a great way to achieve this. This helps the achieve maximum sunlight on the southern side of the house as light can spread throughout the whole open-plan floor, meaning less artificial lighting and heating is needed during colder and darker months.
Consider extraction and soundproofing
Open plan spaces mean that cooking smells and noise from everyday life travels easily due to a lack of walls, so it’s important to contain both issues with effective extraction. This can be achieved with a window or door located near the cooker for smells, and soft flooring and soft furnishings, like curtains, to minimise noise concerns.
Efficient space and storage
Particularly for open plan homes, detailed planning of internal and external space is paramount as the whole floor is exposed. To plan storage solutions effectively, consider zoning spaces that also double as savvy storage solutions. For example, a breakfast bar or kitchen island is a great way to introduce a social space such into a kitchen-diner. During construction, opt for partial walls which will maintain the sense of openness throughout the house whilst still creating privacy and a sense of separation.
For more information please contact Tom Swallow, Sales & Marketing Director at Quickslide, on 03332 412 240 or visit www.quickslide.co.uk