Common Floor Plan Mistakes To Avoid When Remodeling

Avoid These Floor Plan Mistakes When Remodeling

Remodeling your home is an exciting endeavor that can improve the look, feel, and flow of your living space. The key is to create a floor plan that works. Often common mistakes can make even the most exciting and aesthetically pleasing design impractical, or worse. Working with an experienced professional designer can eliminate common errors when designing your space.

Homeowners who decide to design their home remodel, often do not consider every factor when creating their floor plan. Simple elements like door placement and adequate storage can easily get overlooked when a homeowner is planning their project. Again these common mistakes can best be avoided by working with a professional designer or design-build firm for your next project.

Let's look at some typical floor plan mistakes that can easily be avoided with a proper understanding of design and a little pre-planning.

Common Floor Plan Mistakes To Avoid

From door placement and adequate storage to considering furniture placement when creating a floor plan, each area of your home has specific design concerns. When you're planning a remodeling project, it's important to be aware of common design mistakes that can negatively impact the flow and overall design aesthetic. Here are a few areas to be mindful of:

Walk-In Closets

Dimension is important when designing a walk-in closet. Often, homeowners are so excited about having one, that they do not consider proportion. You'll need a minimum depth of 24” to hang clothes. That means that for a typical walk-in with clothes on both sides will need a minimum of 6 to 7 feet of width to properly function. The best design is one which the closet is at least 7 feet wide with rods hung on the sides and not at the end of the closet. This provides plenty of space for easy access. Use the end for hanging belts and ties, or include a small dresser if space allows. The depth of your closet should be a minimum of 4 or 5 feet up to about 8 feet. Any larger and it becomes a more complicated design.

Doors, Doors, Doors!

You likely have doors in every room in your house. How you plan for them, - location, swing, style -  depends on several circumstances, but no matter what, there are still some basic design rules to follow.

• Doors that open in the “wrong” direction are a typical mistake. Interior doors should almost always open inward toward the room, away from the flow. It's best to have doors that fold directly against a wall when opened. This makes a 90-degree angle path for the door, and a door stop can prevent damage to the wall when opened. Some exceptions are French doors or installing pocket doors.

• Doors that open onto other doors or windows due to poor placement is another common problem. Avoiding this takes a certain amount of skill in designing floor plans. Smaller spaces can be a bit more challenging, but this is an easy mistake to make in any layout if all factors are not considered.


It's not that storage is lacking in many newer homes, it's that it's disproportionate and ill placed. The master might have beautiful his & hers walk-in closets, but there no place in the kitchen to store the mops, brooms and vacuum cleaner. Today, homeowners are looking for good sized storage in the form of utility and supply closets. The best is the size of a small walk-in. Kitchens should have pantries or plenty of cabinets. People also need storage for seasonal decorations.

When adding storage, you'll need to plan in advance. Think about what you're storing and what use the closet will have. For example, a front entrance closet will store coats, boots, backpacks; Linen closets should be centrally located to the rooms they supply with towels, sheets, and blankets. Think about your traffic flow, and what you'll use your new storage space for.


Oddly positioned fireplaces are another common problem. The fireplace is usually the focal point of the space where it's located. Centering it is typically the goal, but it needs to be centered based on the placement of the items around it, not necessarily centered on a wall or even in the room.

Natural Light

Making all areas of your home open to natural lighting can sometimes be challenging and is often overlooked when designing a floor plan. For example, when planning a bathroom remodel, it's better to have an operable window, centrally located, rather than one high up inside the shower. Rooms typically feel more comfortable when there are several sources of natural light placed around the room to avoid shadows. When planning an addition, consider the path of the sun and the placement of the windows to maximize natural light.


Finally, the proportion is a commonly overlooked. Excellent architectural design offers rhythm, order, balance and a balanced proportion of all the elements including the shape and size of rooms in relation to the rest of the home.

These are just some of the most common mistakes homeowners, and even some designers often overlook when creating a floor plan. Your best option as a homeowner is to work with an accredited interior designer or professional design-build firm for your next project. Design-build-remodelers like the team here at Forward Design will have the experience, expertise, and knowledge of current trends, technology interior design to help you avoid making any of these common mistakes.

Forward Design Build is a residential design-build firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan that is known for its commitment to craftsmanship and communication. We are committed to improving our neighbors quality of life with inspired design and creative remodeling. Our homes are highly functional, exquisitely beautiful, and remarkably comfortable. Contact us to speak with an expert about your new home or remodeling project.