When searching for a new home or when designing a new home this spring, you should definitely consider the floor plan. Viewing an array of houses can cause each different floor plan to be forgotten or jumbled up with the rest, but paying attention now will save you from discomfort later. Before visiting a house, think about what you love most about your current floor plan and what you want to change. Consider your lifestyle and what a floor plan must accommodate for you. Then, when viewing houses, remember what you decided you need from a floor plan and actually imagine yourself living in each one. To help you out, here are some areas of the floor plan that you might want to focus on.

How many bathrooms are in the home and how many people will be using each one? Note whether they are centrally located, if they offer a shower and/or bath option, how much cabinet space is available and how many people would fit at one time.

Space for Entertaining
If you often invite guests over, take note of how much space is available in the foyer, whether a coat closet is conveniently located, how open the floor plan is and if the kitchen’s table area or the dining room is large enough to comfortably fit a group.

Working from Home
If you work from home, choose a room that you would turn into your personal office and decide if there’d be room for your desk, shelving and whatever else is necessary for your business space.

Cooking and Eating
How much space does the kitchen provide? If you are a full-time cook or baker, focus on how much counter space is available in the kitchen, how new the appliances are, and if a breakfast bar or island would be an ideal space to set food or if it’d just be in your way.

Bedroom Layout
If bedroom privacy is a top concern, look for a house with a split floor plan. With small children, you’ll probably opt for bedrooms that reside together. For bedrooms out of the way of the main living space, choose a home with upper-level bedrooms.

Outdoor Space
If you love spending time outdoors, take note of the outdoor opportunities. Front porches allow you a place to relax in an active neighborhood setting whereas backyard patios provide a more private scenario. Choose a yard that offers possibilities for the future, such as pools, fences, landscaping or anything you might dream of later on.

With pets, look for a large, open yard, preferably fenced or able to be fenced. Take note of where the entries to the backyard are located and how many exist.

If the area is prone to poor weather conditions, look for a home with a mudroom. This will allow you to take off wet clothes or shoes, and it offers a place to go during a storm. Also, consider houses with garages or carports to decrease the amount of time it’ll take you to get going in the mornings.

Are you bringing your current furniture with to the new home? Consider the placement of it and whether it will comfortably fit in these layouts. If you’re downsizing, look for homes with storage. If upsizing, judge how much new furniture you’ll need to purchase.

If your needs as a homeowner constantly change, opt for a home that provides multi-use rooms. A loft or basement adds extra areas that you can mold into anything you’d like. Large closets offer storage space and sitting areas allow you room to expand.