If you’re thinking about remodeling your home to incorporate an open concept design, you’re not alone! Many homeowners want to create a spacious feel of an open floor plan in their house. Whether you need to move one wall or three, here are a few things to know about taking on this type of remodeling project.
Evaluate Your Household Needs
There is a lot to love about open floor plans—expansive areas to entertain, flexible multi-purpose spaces, and the ability to keep an eye on all of the kids from one spot, to name just a few. But they are not the perfect fit for everyone.
Consider how your household currently uses space. Does everyone usually join together for activities, or do they like to have more privacy? Do you enjoy attending and hosting large gatherings, or do you prefer small group activities? If you and others in your home prefer to have more privacy, an open floor plan may end up underutilized in your home.
However, if your family is growing or if you are considering expanding to a multi-generational home, an open concept great room might be just the thing to make your home more comfortable. The key is that you should design your space to fit your behavior, rather than the other way around.
Bring in the Experts
Though it might seem like moving a wall to open up your floor plan is a straightforward project, there is more to it than meets the eye. This is especially true if you live in an older or multilevel home, because your home supports may not be structured for an open plan.
Consulting with a structural engineer ensures that proper care is taken to evaluate factors like:
- The integrity of the exterior and interior walls
- Duct locations
- The layout of plumbing and wiring
- Length of floor to ceiling joists
You will also want to find Austin remodeling contractors who are experienced with creating open layouts. Home remodels often come with unexpected issues, so the more expertise your contractor has, the less likely you will end up with added costs or timeline extensions.
Prepare for Change
Homeowners are often surprised by how much their space changes after they move a wall. Be ready for shifts in the following areas:
- Lighting. Your room may now get more natural light at different times of the day. This may require you to get new shades or to reorient the living space. The area may need new light fixtures to fulfill the needs of your expanded floor plan.
- Flooring. With more open floor space, new flooring may be necessary to create a cohesive flow. Depending on the rooms that are now combined, this area may have additional traffic and require a versatile option.
- Acoustics. Sound will travel differently in this part of the house, and the shift may impact your whole home. For example, dishwashers and other kitchen appliances may now compete with the television in the living room. If the removed wall added an extra buffer from outdoor noise, you may find that air traffic, sirens, and other street sounds are more prominent now.
- Plug-ins and wiring. Moving a wall may have eliminated electrical sockets and an area that housed wires for speakers and other home entertainment systems. Open concepts require creative solutions for outlets and wiring, since having cords and cables running across a room are a safety issue. Discuss your plans for space with your remodeling contractor to ensure that your wires are tucked out of the way.
Overall, open floor plans are definitely worth the work, as they bring homeowners added enjoyment of the space and often increase the marketability of a home.
With more than seventy years of collected experience building custom homes in Austin, Texas, our team at Mangum Builders are experts in home remodeling projects that include open floor plans. Contact us today to start planning the open-concept space of your dreams!