The popularity of open concept living spaces is on the rise, which isn’t going to change anytime soon.

Because our lifestyles have shifted to a more casual way of dining and entertaining, traditions such as having a separate dining room and living room don’t fit how we use our homes today. One way to change your space is with an open concept floor plan. With an open concept floor plan, you can brighten up your home, create the perfect entertainment area, and bring in a more modern and up-to-date vibe.

An open concept home renovation can be challenging, especially if you don’t know where to start. This article will walk you through what an open concept living space is all about, its pros and cons, and a few ideas for creating one in your own home.

Let’s dive right in.

What We'll Go Over

What Is An Open Concept Home?

In contrast to pre-World War II home design, an open concept living space is about establishing open areas rather than distinct, separated rooms. By removing the walls that typically partition rooms and decreasing the unneeded, vacant space, conventional-use spaces can be combined to form larger ones. To be clear, this doesn’t imply demolishing every wall in your home. Typically, open concept floor plans combine shared areas such as the living room, kitchen, and dining room. Bathrooms, toilets, home offices, and bedrooms are all exceptions.

The following are a few examples of open-concept floor plan layouts:

  • Dining room and kitchen: In many homes, the dining room and the kitchen are merged into one area. In certain cases, a kitchen peninsula or island serves as a visual barrier between the two spaces.
  • Living room and dining room: Both the dining room and the living room are in the same common space. Short stairs, two distinct paint colors, a lower level, or a railing are all examples of visual dividers that can be used to separate an area.
  • Kitchen, living, and dining room: All three spaces can be joined together to form a single, spacious “great room.”

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Open Concept Living Spaces

If you’re planning to remodel your home into an open floor plan, you first need to weigh its pros and cons:

Advantages Of An Open Concept Floor Plan

    • More natural light: Previously dark areas are now illuminated by windows on outside walls, bringing natural light.
    • More family-friendly: Parents can easily keep their eye on their kids while cooking or arranging the dining table.
    • Multifunctional space: There are no restrictions on how an open floor plan can be used — it may be transformed into anything you need it to be at any given time: a family room, an entertainment space, a recreation area, and more.
    • Increased real estate value: An open concept living space is highly sought after by homebuyers and raises the resale value of your property.
    • Facilitates better communication: In a space without walls, it is easy to communicate with someone across the room.
    • Improved flow of foot traffic: People can walk freely through the room because there are no doors to open or walls to block their path.
    • Flexible floor plans: In a space with no dividing walls, furniture and appliances can be easily rearranged.

Disadvantages To An Open Floor Plan

    • Increase in cooling costs:  Compared to typical floor layouts, an open concept area demands cooling throughout the entire space. That’s why it’s common for spacious rooms with vaulted ceilings to consume a lot of energy, especially if the exterior walls feature large windows.
    • Costlier to build: Expensive steel or laminated beams are required to support open plan layouts that do not have wall partitions.
    • Lack of noise control: Open concept living spaces can be noisy due to the lack of soundproofing from partition walls.
    • More cluttered appearance: Traditional floor layouts have the advantage of limiting furniture to their allocated areas.
    • Lack of privacy: Open concept homes are fantastic for socializing, but they make it difficult to find private areas for reading or studying quietly.

How To Carry Out An Open Concept Home Renovation

Planning Your Project

Before deciding to open up your floor plan, carefully consider what you want in an open concept. Think about how much space you’ll need: how many people will be in the room? How big is your furniture? For instance, to make it easier for people to walk between the kitchen counter and the dining table and pull out chairs, a minimum of four feet should separate the two. These are only some of the details you need to consider for an open concept living space that meets your needs and preferences.  

Organize Your Spaces

After you’ve figured out the proportions of each space, think about which areas need to be adjacent to one another. For instance, arranging the dining room table next to the kitchen makes it convenient to serve food. Another thing you need to consider is whether you want a workstation or a place to relax nearby. Ensure that your living space is tailored to your lifestyle.

Consider The Existing Structure

Renovation, redecorating, and reorganizing efforts typically don’t begin from scratch. An existing space provides the framework for your open-plan design. So, when planning your new space, keep in mind where the doors and windows are, as well as the power sockets and columns. To keep installation costs low, you will want your kitchen, bar, and other spaces requiring water and drainage close to existing pipes.

Arrangement Options

After determining structural factors, you also need to think about how the floor plan will be arranged. The following are two popular options:

    • Linear organization: The spaces in a linear layout are arranged in a single direction. This allows for a wide range of options. There are no restrictions on the shapes and proportions of individual areas, provided they are connected to one another in a linear fashion.
    • Axial arrangement: In an axial arrangement, there are two or more key points that characterize the space, such as a kitchen along one linear axis and a dining room on another. Your home’s design will be defined by the path separating the two.

An open floor layout would be incomplete without well-defined pathways for people to follow. Think of how people will get from one area to the next. Remember that the minimum amount of space for foot traffic is three feet.

Fine Tuning Your Open Concept Layout With A Remodeling Contractor

Even if you’ve done your research, consulting with a remodeling contractor can help. They can evaluate your initial plan and provide you with an expert appraisal of what is feasible and any potential concerns like reconfiguring electricity and water connections, recognizing load-bearing walls that need structural modifications, and more.

The contractor will start demolishing walls as soon as you’ve agreed on the final design of the space. They’ll make any necessary repairs to the flooring and repaint the ceiling before continuing the work. It’s a good idea to let in additional natural daylight by extending or increasing the number of windows already in your home, including sliding or French doors and skylights, into your open concept.

If you’ve never considered choices like coffered, vaulted, or trayed ceilings, a contractor can explain them to you. Adding more light and space to an open floor plan can be accomplished by removing walls and risers or installing steel or cable railings in place of the old banisters.

A lack of storage can arise while opening your floor layout. With the demolition of walls and expansion of windows, old cabinets and drawers might also be removed. To make the most of your new open floor plan, ask for advice from your contractor on how to incorporate storage.

Other Factors To Consider

When planning an open concept living space, here are some things to keep in mind:

    • The view: Position new doors and windows to take advantage of any views from your home.
    • Ducts and vents: Your current system will need to be evaluated to see if it can cope with the higher volume resulting from a vaulted ceiling or a huge open area.
    • Color scheme: Walls and flooring painted in light colors can make an open concept living space feel more spacious and coherent.

The Bottom Line

Open concept home renovations are phenomenal for revamping outdated interiors. Although open floor plans aren’t for everyone, their ability to let in more natural light, create dynamic gathering areas, and even raise your property’s value makes them a popular choice.

Planning and implementing an open concept home renovation can be challenging, but you don’t have to go at it alone. Open concept floor plans can be made easier to design and build by collaborating with a renovation contractor like Pacific Construction Builders.

At Pacific Construction Builders, our team has been in the remodeling industry for over a decade. As a homeowner, you can relax knowing that your ideal home will be renovated to the highest possible safety and quality standards. Set up a consultation with one of our expert contractors by contacting us at (808) 554-4977 today. We can help you make your renovation dreams come true!

Learn more about home renovation services and how Pacific Construction Builders can serve you here.

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