5 Tips for Finding Your Perfect Floorplan

The way you and your family will use a home is the key to choosing features when you’re having a new house built. The best way to identify features you’ll love to use is to do a walk-through of your own home. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Grab a pen…

and notepad and start at the front door.

Note how…

you use each room and what you like or dislike about each space.

Are you tired of clearing your work off your dining table at dinnertime? You might want a den.

Do you time your snack breaks to match the commercials during a football game? You’re ready for an open-plan kitchen.


Be sure to…

go through out-of-the-way spaces like the garage, attic or basement. 

Do you have the storage space you need?

Have you always wanted a workspace in the garage for hobbies?


Consider your…

cleaning routine in each room.

Are there awkward or unused spaces that can easily get missed on cleaning day?

Does each room have the outlets you need for vacuuming?


Make sure…

to note any favorite pieces of furniture you’ll need room for in your next home.

Today’s most popular floorplan can be summed up in one word: open.

Kitchens flow into living rooms, promoting togetherness for busy families in which everyone’s coming and going. Busy parents can cook dinner while busy kids do homework on the couch, and a lack of walls makes it easy to converse — or ask for a hand with a tricky math problem — while doing so. Plus, you won’t miss a moment of the big game while grabbing a snack. It wasn’t always this way. In the 1970s, the must-have feature for the era’s divided-up homes was the in-wall intercom system that allowed family members to communicate from their preferred spots in the house. Today, intercoms are out of style because everyone’s hanging out in one large room.

Today’s families see home as more than a place to take care of basic human needs. If you fancy yourself a foodie, the thinking goes, your home should reflect that. Unlike the 1990s and prior, the kitchen’s no longer a confined workspace with the sink below a window so you can daydream as you scrub the plates. And a private formal dining room isn’t the preferred venue for showing off your culinary skills. In fact, to understand what’s driving popular home layouts today and how Meritage® keeps up with them, the kitchen is a great place to start. That’s because it plays a bigger role in the popularity of open floorplans than many realize, explains Brian Juedes, Vice President of Product Design for Meritage Homes.

“Restaurants started the open kitchen concept probably 20 years ago,” Juedes says. “Today it’s growing and growing, and these open kitchens then kind of translated into our homes. And then these open spaces I think just evolved from the open kitchen.”

The features of these free-flowing floorplans are always evolving, too. That’s why the team at Meritage Homes keeps an eye out for trends in all kinds of places, some as exciting as hip restaurants and year-round, cutting-edge home design expos, and others as strategic as reports about consumers’ tastes, of which there’s no short supply.

“We’re always looking for innovative floorplan ideas,” Juedes says. “We have opportunities, probably on a monthly basis, to design new products across our wide range of 17 divisions and nine states. There’s always a need somewhere with somebody looking at a new land purchase and wanting some new product. If it’s not a brand-new product design, we can tweak existing products.” In fact, Meritage made plan refinements across all of their regions in 2018.

Particular points of pride for Meritage include their innovative kitchens, great rooms and dining areas, all of which are designed with consumers’ desires in mind. But there’s also something that’s hard to see or point to, yet is easily felt: ambient comfort. That’s because Meritage homes are designed to be energy efficient and quiet. It’s also easier to heat or cool the homes because of the open floorplan, not in spite of it. “Having fewer partitions inside the home provides better air movement throughout the space as well,” says Juedes.

This efficiency is also achieved, in part, by energy-efficient windows and doors, even when using large glass doors to bring a sense of the outdoors in — another desire Meritage caters to. “Integrating outdoor spaces into our designs is something consumers want more and more of,” says Juedes. “People appreciate outdoor decks, covered patios and front porches. This is reflected in the multi-slide, large-opening doors people are looking at today, with larger windows and floor-to-ceiling glass, just to try to create more connection between inside and outside environments.”

This flow between worlds isn’t just about connecting with the outdoors from the kitchen counter. It’s a factor in the ways that boundaries between work and play are blurring as well. Technology keeps people connected to work even after they’ve left the office, and for some, home is the office.

As working from home became commonplace, Meritage responded by offering the pocket office — a small office, typically with a sliding pocket door, usually just off of a high-traffic area — as a floorplan feature. “As more and more people work from home, even with a laptop or a phone, they don’t need the desk for the computer, but they need a space to go work,” says Juedes. While some people prefer to work from their couch or kitchen counter, others prefer to have some type of office, so Meritage continues to offer dens and pocket offices on their floorplans.

So is there a home designed to flow with your family’s life? “The best thing is to just go out and look,” says Juedes. While there are all sorts of websites, TV channels, and home magazines that let you explore home features, the only way to see how a home will feel — and to get a true sense of the community you might be moving to — is to go there in person.

As you shop for your next home, be sure to share your wish list with a Meritage sales counselor. It’s their job to help you find the perfect home with the newest Meritage features. After all, it’s the goal of Juedes’s team to make the latest ideas into reality at Meritage. “We are paying attention to what customers want,” says Juedes.

Meet the expert.

Building homes is in Brian Juedes’s blood — both his grandfather and father were carpenters who built houses for families. Juedes started his career as a commercial architect before moving to the residential side, which he sees as more personal, 21 years ago. He’s been with Meritage Homes since February 2018, and his role is to constantly find ways to improve the brand’s homes while ensuring they’re built as efficiently as possible.
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