Planning Is Important
It is a dismal fact that a great many houses, even some new, expensive houses, are not particularly well planned. We’ve seen very expensive houses that were supposed to be well designed but contained basic flaws. Our favorite example is a house that was designed and built as a showcase for a leading manufacturer of building products. It was supposed to be the ideal house, but a woman who visited it when we did pointed out that if you wanted to take the garbage outdoors from the kitchen, you had to march across the living room. Then you had to walk outdoors clear around the house because there was no back door. And we’ve seen countless front-to- back split-level houses in the high-priced bracket in which one bathroom was set smack in the center of the second level and opened onto a balcony so that anyone going in or out of the bathroom, clothed or unclothed, was in full view of people in the living room on the lower level.
It’s Going To Be Messy
There is no doubt that making changes that involve partitions can create a good deal of mess and confusion. We lived in our house while we were reworking half the upstairs floor and can speak from experience. There is no non-messy way to remove an existing partition of plaster and wood lath and build a new one of gypsum wallboard. But the end results generally justify what the job costs in money and confusion. Many of us never get around to undertaking the major improvements that should be made to the interior layout of our houses. Sometimes it’s not just that this sort of improvement, which usually involves changes in the inside partition walls, can be costly and create a good deal of mess and confusion while the work is in progress. Probably a big reason that we don’t make changes to improve the floor plan and traffic pattern is that we get used to putting up with all the inconveniences.
We Sometimes Settle For Less
The floor plan may be irritating, but out of sheer inertia we accept things as they are. We accept the fact that the work area of the kitchen is also the main traffic lane from one part of the house to the other. We accept the fact that it is necessary to go through one bedroom to reach the bathroom or that the front door opens smack in the middle of the living room. We know that the floor plan is not good and doesn’t really work. However, we usually are not conscious of all the shortcomings until we get around to selling the house. Then it is usually a potential buyer who, not too gently, begins to point out all the flaws and may even wonder in a loud voice how we have ever been able to put up with such a poor arrangement. And, of course, if there are enough serious flaws, the buyer won’t buy the house.
Correcting Flaws Is a Value Add
If you have serious flaws in the layout of your house, correcting them will add to its value. Improvements of this type may add 15 percent or more to the value of your house. And improving the floor plan will make it easier to sell your house and at the same time make it more comfortable and convenient for you and your family.