5 Things to Ask Your Builder Before Picking a Floor Plan

Be sure to consider these questions before you choose the floor plan for your new home.
people looking at blueprint

Picking your floor plan is a critical decision when building your new home. But it’s easier when you know what to ask. Whether it’s your forever home or your first home, think through these key questions and then prioritize what’s on top of your list. Ask your builder:

1. Do you have a floor plan that matches my lifestyle?

Where are your functional spaces and how do you spend your free time? Let your builder know the rooms where you spend the most time so they can help you decide which floor plan is best for you. The size of each room and the layout of each floor may depend on:

  • Do you have kids and want to spend your holidays around a warm fire?
  • Are you a “takeout queen” or a gourmet chef? I.e., How much cooking space do you need?
  • How often do you entertain and for how many guests?
  • Will your current furniture fit the floor plan?
  • Where and how big will your media center be?
  • Is a fireplace the focal point – with a TV above?

2. What are the standard features and available upgrades?

Every builder has their own standard features, which you’ll want to know upfront. What you assume is standard may cost extra! Ask right away before you start racking up unwanted costs. Request their spec sheet with details on what’s standard. Do your key features make the list? Ask your builder for their upgrade sheet to help you decide what you’ll want to choose vs. keep standard.

Does a fireplace come standard? Year after year, study after study, homebuyers rank fireplaces as the most desirable factor.1 Our 2018 market research2 reveals the top reasons to have one:

  • Adds warmth and comfort to my home
  • Serves as a focal point and visual highlight
  • Represents togetherness, a backdrop where memories are made
  • Increases a home’s resale value

We know you have choices where to invest your money in your home. Some upgrades will pay you back, and some won’t. But realtor.com confirms having a fireplace is at the top of the list – more than wood floors, carpeting and granite countertops! See why others choose to add a fireplace and are loving every minute of it. Also narrow down what you’re looking for with our Fireplace Buying Checklist. As hearth experts, we can help you explore your options with this post:

3. Which amenities meet my wish list?

Some amenities in your current home are ones you’ll want in your new digs. Are they available? Do you simply need more space? Now’s the time to consider adding those features – such as a fireplace – in your new floor plan. To have one installed, you must let your builder right away so they can add it to your floor plan before construction starts.

Could your outdoor living space include a wood or gas outdoor fireplace? They’re soaring in popularity as people seek a private oasis to entertain, spend time with loved ones or relax after a busy day. Other amenities include flooring, countertops, appliances and window coverings.

4. Will your floor plans fit my future?

Now is when you should think of the space and amenities you’d like down the road. For example:

  • Is your family growing or are you downsizing? Will your home fit your needs as your family changes?
  • Will this be your forever home in which you retire? How could you transform it for aging in place?
  • Do you work from home and need an office? A separate entrance for clients?
  • Does your layout fit your hobbies and special interests?
  • Do you have pets and does your floor plan accommodate them? Are your floor coverings pet-friendly?

5. What can I customize – or do I need a custom plan?

Being upfront with your builder on your priorities will help you decide if their floor plan is a good fit or if you’ll need a custom plan (the extra cost may be worth it). By separating the “need to haves” from the “nice to haves” – and their costs – you’ll have a running start at which choice is best for you.

Is a Heatilator® fireplace – builders’ #1 preferred choice – right for you? Visit your nearest showroom to feel their warmth, experience their great looks and learn how easy they are to operate.

Good luck in choosing the best floor plan for your new home! And, in asking the right questions of your builder along the way to help you arrive at that.

1. 2017 Homebuyers Housing Preference Across Generations, NAHB and 2016 Realtor.com Homebuyer & Realtor Research
2. Hearth & Home Technologies® partnering with independent market research organization Smith-Dahmer

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