The pros and cons of open floor plans

Posted on Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

The pros and cons of open floor plans

The number of homes that come with open floor plans has increased over the last couple of decades as homeowners look to create a more inviting and spacious home that is big enough to cope with the challenges of family life and social gatherings.

This type of layout is common in newer homes, but even owners of some older builds have taken it upon themselves to remove a wall or two. Although open plan living does have numerous benefits, it also has its drawbacks, and we’ll be looking at each of both the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ here.

Advantages of open floor plans

One of the main benefits of this type of layout is that it lets the natural light from the sun burst into your home, creating an uplifting and vibrant ambiance. The removal of walls means that the light that comes through your windows has more room to light up your interior. This feature also lets you soak up the views through your windows from anywhere in your home.

Open plan layouts also allow for better communication. For example, if the entire lower floor of your property is open plan, your guests will be able to speak to you from the living room as you work in the kitchen. This really does help to create a more inclusive atmosphere that it would be difficult to achieve with a closed plan design.

Safety is another big benefit of open plan living – especially if you have pets or children. The lack of walls means that you’ll have increased visibility across your home, which will enable you to keep an eye on things as you work in a nearby room.

Disadvantages of open floor plans

Given all of the positive aspects of open floor layouts mentioned above, it might be tempting to jump straight in and start removing some of your home’s walls as soon as possible. However, don’t rush into it – open floor plans do have their pitfalls.

Open floor plans mean less privacy. Sometimes, everyone needs their own space to relax and work, and this is hard to achieve in open plan homes. If you have enclosed rooms, it means that everyone will be able to find a space that works for them.

An open plan layout leads to the easier distribution of sounds, so noises from one room will transmit to another. For example, if you’re watching TV, noises from the kitchen will easily carry through and possibly disturb your viewing. Of course, this is still possible in closed plan homes, but the walls will help to minimize the impact.

Another drawback is the cost. Converting a closed plan room into an open plan one could cost thousands of pounds. Sometimes, the wall that needs to be knocked down could be supporting vital components like the roof, meaning that a structural engineer may have to approve the project before it goes ahead.

If you are looking to increase the space in your closed plan home, there are other ways to achieve this, rather than altering the entire layout of your home –  you may remove clutter, for example, or invest in lighter decorations. Going from closed plan to open plan is not a decision to be taken lightly and it represents a big financial commitment, so you should do your research and weigh up the pros and cons before committing to a plan of action.