Typically, we think it’s best to keep the measurements of a new custom home to the builders. The specifics of the floorplan, hallway width, height of light switches are all things best left to the design professionals. There are, however, a few dimensions we think are important for custom homeowners to know going into the design process. Any good builder worth their salt will guide you through the design process, but we wanted to give you a few quick tips and common measurements to be aware of when talking to a builder or making pre-plans of your own before talking with a design professional!
If there is one room in the house where every inch matters, it’s the kitchen. We all know the phrase ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’. While it does mean too many directions to get anything done the right way, it does also conjure up images of carrying hot pans of food while ducking around someone standing at the sink. The kitchen is a great place to enjoy time with the family or prepare a meal with your partner, so keep in mind ample space for your appliances and building in extra counter space for countertop appliances. In addition to keeping these tips in mind when drawing up your kitchen floor plan, consider the following measurements common in many homes in the United States.
- 30 inches: Ideal space between lighting feature and island
- 10 inches: Ideal space between the top of a bar stool and the countertop to sit comfortably.
- 36 inches: The standard height of a countertop
What is plenty of space for you and your spouse, is a tight squeeze for getting the children washed and dressed for bed every night. Especially when the kids are young, you might be spending a fair amount of time next to the bathtub making sure everyone is safe and clean during and after bathtime. Measure the width of your tub and factor in another 12 to 15 inches to ensure everyone has enough space to move around comfortably. In addition to the space around the tup, factor in additional storage or furnishings like a linen closet or laundry basket. To help you plan your space while dreaming up the possibilities of your brand new custom home, consider these common measurements for the bathroom! No one likes a soggy towel in the morning after stepping out of the shower!
- 48 inches: The ideal height of a towel rack to dry without hitting the floor
- 17 - 19 inches: The typical height of the toilet seat
- 32 - 36 inches: Ideal height for the bathroom sink, depending on your height
The Living Room
One of our favorite features of a new living room is a functional and beautiful shelving unit. While they do conserve space in terms of organization, they take up floor space you might not have considered at the time of the build. If your living room is exactly the size you want it but you decided to add a built-in feature, give your living room more breathing space to guard against the room feeling crowded. The same is true of a fireplace in your home. These take space and specific building requirements, not to mention plenty of space around the edge to avoid scraping shins or bumping heads on the mantle while trying to navigate around the living room furniture. Speaking of bumping into things, keep the following in mind to allow yourself and your family plenty of room to move comfortably and shelve those big books that somehow always seem to make it into your book collection.
- 30 -36 inches: Ideal space for walking around seating areas
- 12 inches: The distance recommended from a coffee table to the couch
- 12 - 15 inches: Ideal depth of shelving to accommodate books
Thinking about bunk beds for the kids? Don’t forget about the height of the beds while planning! One poorly positioned ceiling fan can lock in your options for furniture arrangements if you’re not careful. Think about how the function of the room might change over time. The kids won’t be little forever, and that bunk bed might need to go at some point to be replaced with a larger bed fit for a growing young adult! Making the bed becomes a lot harder when you have to shimmy around the sides of the bed to get the sheets to fit in place.
- 30-36 inches: Space needed around the door and around the bed for easy access around the room
- 72 inches: Minimum ceiling height around the bed to make sure you can easily climb in and out
For most families, there’s a never ending mountain of laundry to get through. The space in your laundry room will determine how comfortable you’ll be getting through those pesky daily chores. Plan enough space for sorting and folding as well as storing away pillows and blankets for when guests visit overnight. This is one room where storage space is key. Plan for deep cabinets, wide doors, and plenty of floor space!
- 40 inches: Counter depth dimension for typical washing machine
- 48 inches: Minimum clearance for front-loading washers and dryers
- 6 inches: Space needed behind a washer and dryer for appliance hookups
These are just a few of the rooms you’re already dreaming about for your new home. We hope these basic measurements will help you let your imagination run wild without overlooking the space you need to enjoy the comforts of home as much as the beauty! When you’re ready to bring on a team of builders and designers to take over managing the specifics to make sure your dream house is everything you want and more, contact the Carrington team to get started on taking your home from dreams and Pinterest Pins to a reality!