How large should my 4 bedroom home be?
4 bedroom floor plans come in many sizes. The smallest are under 2,000 square feet, but those are in the minority. Most are at least 2,300 and common sizes range into the low 3,000’s.
There are luxury 4 bedroom plans in the 4,000’s and a few 5,000 square feet and up.
The average new home in America is in the mid-2,000’s, so 4 bedroom plans hover pretty close to what is today a typical size.
Which is better: one story or two?
The traditional 1 story ranch, once a mainstay of the American housing stock, is increasingly rare, but you’ll still find those plans if that’s what you like.
Standard shaped 2 story houses, such as the colonial style, are still around, with the second floor laid out in the plan as a finished living space.
Much more common are the “tweeners” that are hard to classify as strictly having one level or two. These include 1 story plans with an unfinished upper level, or homes with a partial upper level. For example, there might be a “bonus room,” usable as a bedroom, at the top of a stairway.
Even if you build on a 1 story plan, your resale value will be higher if there’s an upper level that can eventually be finished.
There are a few 3 story 4 bedroom floor plans out there. Some have two floors over a garage, and others have large specialty rooms, such as game rooms, that take up a big percentage of the space.
In a 2 story floor plan, can all the bedrooms be on the upper level?
That’s a design that’s less common than it used to be. Many traditional houses had a primary bedroom downstairs and the smaller room up, or all four bedrooms on the upper level. You can still find floor plans that match that description, but there are more and more with bedrooms spread around the house. The old design, with a straight hallway and rooms opening off of it, is giving way to other layouts.
Should the bedrooms be different sizes?
The primary bedroom has been and continues to be larger than the other three rooms, but should those additional rooms be all the same size? While there’s nothing wrong with uniformity, and it might limit one kid complaining, “But their room is bigger than mine!” there are some advantages to having variation. Children of different ages have different space requirements. If one of your bedrooms is a guest room, it’s nice to offer something closer to the size of a primary bedroom than a small child’s room.
Additionally, if you convert the bedrooms to other uses, different sized rooms can be repurposed differently. A large bedroom can be transformed into a media room or a rec room, while a small one is more suitable for a home office or a craft room used by just one member of the family.
How many bathrooms will there be?
You need enough to limit traffic jams in the morning. Some experts say you ought to have a bathroom for every bedroom, while others insist one for every two bedrooms is adequate.
While you’ll find 4 bedroom floor plans with as few as one bath, it’s no fun trying to route four or five people through it. Most folks will find it hard to get along with fewer than three bathrooms in a house that size. One of those can be a half bath, but there ought to be at least two with a tub or a shower. There should be one tub/shower on each floor if both floors have bedrooms.
I don’t want a house that looks like everyone else’s. How can I have a unique design?
If that’s you, you’ve picked the right era to shop for floor plans. And I’m not just referring to the room layout. Look at the proposed exteriors for some of these plans. There are gables, there are multiple roof surfaces, there are extensions and recesses all around the exterior of the homes. You won’t find too many “little boxes,” or for that matter medium sized or large boxes, in today’s floor plans.
Modern interiors offer a lot of variations too. There are living rooms, or more and more frequently, great rooms, of interesting shapes and sizes. Many of them are centrally located and give direct access to the bedrooms and other rooms, eliminating the traditional hallway. There are primary suites offset at a corner of the building.
With so many choices, you can pick a floor plan that will be interesting and fun to live in for as long as you own the home.
What if I want to add more bedrooms later?
You can repurpose a bedroom into a study or game room, but it’s much harder to transform a game room into sleeping quarters. If you expect to outgrow your 4 bedroom floor plan, you have some options. You might choose a 4 or 5 bedroom plan where one or more rooms are designated bedroom/other. However, when you need more bedrooms you may not want to give up whatever the “other” is used for.
A better choice is to go with a floor plan with an unfinished or partially finished upper level. An unfinished lower level is another possibility, although not everyone likes a bedroom below ground with small, high windows.
Another idea: plan to eventually expand outward. Think not only about the floor plan but also about how the house will be positioned on your lot.