Pros and Cons of an Open Floor Plan

There’s no right or wrong way to design a home floor plan. Very persuasive arguments can be made for open or cordoned-off floor plans alike.

With an open floor plan, for example, you’ll enjoy these and other advantages:

  • Interconnected space
  • More natural light
  • More family togetherness
  • Enhanced child safety with more open sightlines
  • With fewer walls, you have more usable space
  • Better suited to entertaining large groups of people
  • More flexibility when it comes time to remodel

Pretty compelling stuff, don’t you think?

But what about those aspects of an open floor plan that aren’t so hot? They are at least worth considering.

Higher Construction Costs

Because they lack interior support walls, open concept homes require heavier wood or steel beams.

Less Privacy

It’s hard to escape for some peace when the entire main living area is within everyone else’s sightline.

A View to a Meal

If you prefer prepping a meal in private to eliminate the distractions and confine the mess, an open kitchen design might not be for you.

Odors Have Nowhere to Stop

No matter how amazing that simmering sauce might smell, you may not want the odor settling into your upholstered furniture and drapery.

Less Efficient Cooking

Open concept kitchens are typically less efficient for cooking. The sprawling design makes the cook take more steps to get from the fridge to the food prep area, and more again from the prep area to the stove, which means that cooking becomes a little more difficult and time-consuming.

Beware of the Kitchen

There’s no escaping clutter. While it is easier for parents to keep an eye on their children while cooking in an open concept kitchen, the design also makes kitchen hazards, like scalding-hot water, hot pots and pans, and sharp objects more accessible.

Hard to Get Cozy

Some open floor plan designs can make a house feel less like a home and more like a gymnasium or public room.

“Can You Turn That Down, please!”

Something must give when one person is trying to unwind with a glass of wine and a good book while another family member is taking a call or helping a child with their homework.

Less Energy Efficient

Large, open spaces generally cost more to heat and cool, especially homes with vaulted or cathedral ceilings. Plus, you can’t split an open area into HVAC zones, so you end up heating and cooling the entire space vs. only those currently occupied.

Since heating and cooling lead the way in home energy costs, talk to the pros at Bob Boldt HVAC before deciding on sweeping changes for your new or remodeled home. We’ll give you workable ideas on how to maximize your space without over-paying for the ultimate indoor comfort.

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