How to critique (or appreciate) a house plan

What’s in a house plan, you may ask? It was the make or break point for me. When we were looking at houses, we would insist on seeing the plan before we planned to visit personally. There are certain small changes you can do in any plan such as combining a servant room with the kitchen, or including a balcony, or having two access points for a room. But, if the plan is inefficient in its usage of space and does not flow naturally, then there is no merit in visiting th place. Saves a lot of time and this is one tip you can keep in mind.

There were many instances when the broker refused to share the plan and insisted on our coming to see how the model villa is done. That’s often your first sign.Three factors you can keep in mind before deciding whether to visit a model flat: location, plan and price. If two don’t work out, it’s not worth the visit.

Must-have:

  • Utility adjoining the kitchen. The utility and kitchen space flow seamlessly in many homes – with no wall separating them. I prefer a demarcation because no matter what you do, there needs to be space to stash away extra bags, the mops, cleaning supplies etc.; I’d rather not have it as part of the kitchen even if it’s in a corner. It’s a personal preference.
  • No toilet adjacent to the kitchen.
  • Five basic vaastu principles.
  • Bedrooms of a certain size.
  • A house that doesn’t feel like a maze.
  • No wasted floor space in the corridor.
  • Are the balconies worth having, or would you rather convert them as part of the room? There have been houses where I have seen 2*3 feet balcony. Has me wondering what is the purpose of such a balcony.

Nice-to-have (or not):

  • Kids room close to the master bedroom. It’s just a comfort factor for me that my son can walk up to us anytime he wants in the night. He has always preferred to sleep in his room.
  • A common bathroom/powder room for guests you have over for dinner.
  • A pooja room or at least space that can be modified in the plan.
  • Separate living room and dining room instead of one big combined space. A divider in the form of a book shelf would also be good to demarcate the space.
  • A large window in the kitchen. Doesn’t it feel good to cook under natural light..moreover you can possibly grow herbs by the window sill.
  • Either rectangular or square balcony and not some oblong/triangular space.
  • Some part of the house (guest bed room if you don’t have house guests that often or part of the balcony which is what I use to paint) that you can use to pursue a hobby – be it gardening, play music, paint, carpentry, or anything that you may be interested in. Some time away from staring at the screens.

If you would like me to look at a plan and share my views, please leave a comment and I’ll be happy to do so.

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