Ask a Realtor: Will an open floor plan bring in top dollar?

KeancolumnsQuestion: We are planning a remodel of our home which is about 1,400 sq. ft. We currently have a large living room (357 sq. ft.), a dining room (136 sq. ft.), and a kitchen (125 sq. ft.) we are planning to remodel. We are thinking of possibly opening up the walls between these rooms to have an open floor plan. In general, are open floor plans desirable for home buyers? If we decide to sell our home after the remodel, will it add more or less value to our home to have an open floor plan. Thank you, Carol.

Answer: From Prudential California Realtor David Kean:

Open floor plans are very popular with today’s homeowners, from singles, to couples, to large families. Removing walls, halls, and doorways can improve the flow and light level of the home, as well as create an inviting entertaining space. One thing to take into consideration is the architectural style of the home. If you have a Craftsman cottage, for instance, it should have some separation between rooms to retain the architectural integrity. Adjust the degree of openness to suit the style and layout. You can either completely open the wall, or you create a very large opening and retain a small degree of separation. You can also add architectural elements, such as archways, corbels or columns (the latter of which is pictured here in a condo I remodeled) to give the idea of separation. Once you open up your floor plan, make sure the rooms flow gracefully and naturally into one another and, since the rooms will all be visible to each other, you’ll have to be mindful of clutter.

3 Comments on Ask a Realtor: Will an open floor plan bring in top dollar?

  1. Paul Endes

    We are making our own floor plans, all open design, huge, and I mean huge windows for views, I’ve incl structural integrity due to it’s open design. It’s a simple design, modern architctures (my design) that help w/ the structural soundness, it’s definately cheaper to build, less hassle, where do I go from here with pricing, sq footage, and so on. And yes I talk physics. Thank you so much,

  2. laladreamhome

    We saw many period homes where the common living areas had been opened up and connected, and for me, it was a turn-off. It took away from the distinct look of the homes, especially in the square footage range you’re talking about, it actually made the homes feel smaller (it felt like one big room plus a couple of bedrooms). Functionally, for us as a young family, as the above commenter mentions, it really makes more sense to have the ability to close off rooms and that’s one nice thing about these older homes. We ultimately bought the house that retained its original walls, with an unremodeled (fill in the blank) over the homes where a remodel had opened things up. You might want to look into just making your kitchen more space-efficient and modern? And also doing a really great job with thoughtful lighting to keep the rooms bright if that’s an issue. This advice is really only for the right floorplan though- if the home wasn’t compartmentalized with an efficient layout in the first place, then it doesn’t make as much sense.

  3. Larry Kaplan

    I’d be careful about opening up the kitchen. I have an open floor plan which includes the kitchen and I often find myself wishing there was a wall between it and the rest of the living/dining area—clutter, lighting, sounds and smells. But a wide opening would be OK. And definitely consider breaking down the wall between the dining and living rooms, though.