10 Tips for Selecting the Right House Plan

Buying a house is an exhilarating time in many people’s’ lives, but it is also a very daunting task to those who aren’t particularly real estate savvy. Where to settle down, the culture of the surrounding area, the quality of the schools and even the social scene—these factors among many others influence home buyers before they even get to start thinking about building a new home. A house is more than just its square footage and the breakdown of its rooms. You must consider your budget and the lifestyle of your family when deciding on the layout of your new home plan. Check out these tips to get you started on this exciting journey.

A great way to start searching for your dream  house plan is to browse Direct from the Designers’ collection of New House Plans. This brand new craftsman ranch home plan features lots of flexible features.

1. Know your budget

If you have found your perfect dream home plan, do your homework by purchasing a cost estimator (companies like The House Designers offer an accurate cost estimator for only $24.95 for all of their house plans) or obtaining bids from regional builders. Starting with a realistic home building budget before shopping for a house plan will make your search much more enjoyable and successful

2. Decide on specific space requirements and how that space should be divided

Knowing the square footage you and your family need is the first step in finding the perfect house. The cost of your home construction will rely heavily on the size of your home, as well as the complexity of the design. Start the search for the perfect dream home by deciding on a reasonable size and an idea of how you would like to see it used.

Look for a floor plan that has a lot flexible living spaces so you can assure that the needs of your family are covered, not just for today but the future. House Plan 9020 offers plenty of optional spaces as well as a second story bonus floor plans.

3. Determine how you want to use and experience your space

If hosting gatherings is something you enjoy, odds are you have your eyes on a more open house plan that can provide a comfortable area for a group. Conversely, people who prefer defined zones—home office, studio, reading room—in their abodes will probably appreciate a compartmentalized blueprint that imposes structure on the space. Be honest about how you intend to live in your home, and suitable floor plans will be easier to find.

4. Consider energy-saving designs suited to the climate

Improved insulation materials and techniques for walls and windows have made it more affordable to heat and cool homes with the changing seasons, but there are also house plans that can help optimize comfort in the home while lessening the blow to your wallet. Look for ENERGY STAR/Green house plans offered by companies like The House Designers to ensure you build the most energy-efficient home for your location. Choosing a design with a number of well-placed windows that can be used to create cooling cross ventilation will reduce the need for air conditioning in warmer locales, while a compact plan that minimizes the external surface area to volume ratio—think saltbox rather than sprawling ranch—will conserve heat during harsh winters. A little planning at the beginning can go a long way toward reducing bills in the future.

A key ingredient to any great home design is the kitchen layout. Be sure that it has everything you will need to enjoy this space. Shown is a beautiful gourmet kitchen from this luxury craftsman house plan.

5. Choose a style appropriate for the location

Most people with home ownership dreams imagine a single-family dwelling in the suburbs. This situation allows for a number of perks, like a yard and the exterior space in which to build an addition, if necessary. However, things are a little different for people who choose to reside in an urban environment, where a typical single-family house just wouldn’t fit in on a crowded block. When room is at a premium, the only way to expand and maximize living space is upward. A multi-floor, brownstone-type plan can provide the same square footage in a vertical arrangement for those to wish to maintain a city lifestyle, but are ready to put apartments behind them. And while this arrangement does not include a personal little patch of the outdoors, chances are there are parks nearby.

6. Take any irreplaceable household property into account

If your grandmother’s antique corner hutch absolutely has to be included in your new home, be prepared to measure it and find a place where it can be properly displayed. Decorating a house with furniture that you already own can both make the new property already feel like home and save a good amount of money, but it does require careful planning. Some beautiful floor plans will be swallowed up when paired with clashing finishes, which diminishes the charm of the structure and its contents together. You can be more flexible by going into the process with fresh design ideas and the willingness to search for pieces that fit the space and style of the house, but you should always bring a tape measure and notepad to ensure that everything fits together the way you imagined it would.

7. Consider modifications to suit your needs

It might be in your best interest to modify a property rather than continue looking for one that fits your needs precisely. While an additional bathroom can result in a price tag difference of many thousands of dollars when looking between two houses, the cost of adding one in an existing closet is not as drastic and could help you stay within budget as you make sure you get everything you need. Ask an expert for help when maximizing the potential of a house, and you probably won’t need to shop around as much.

8. Focus on the blueprint

Sometimes we get caught up in the smaller details of a home and forget that we can easily make tweaks. It’s the layout of the structure that should have your attention. The arrangement of walls and rooms defines a house, not what fixtures it contains. Once you’re sure the space is what you want, the matter of interior design allows you to truly customize the home.

9. Accept that there are benefits and drawbacks to every house plan

It is impossible to find a house that has everything you want and nothing you don’t, but that doesn’t mean you won’t still be happy. All you need to do is prioritize by picking the features that are most important to you and accepting that even something you love might have its negative flipside. For instance, those numerous windows that let in enough sunlight to reduce your electricity bill will increase your home heating costs come wintertime, and loudness in any part of an open floor plan can be heard throughout the house because there aren’t enough interior walls to dampen the noise. Decide what is nonnegotiable, keep an open mind for the rest, and weigh the advantages against the drawbacks of each house plan. There will be something that works for you.

10. Trust your gut

At the end of the day, there are just some designs that click and others that seem great in the abstract but fail to measure up to our expectations. When you are comfortable after experiencing a certain layout, that should mean a lot more to you than specifications on paper. The best way for space to be utilized varies greatly based on the circumstances of individuals and families, and even if we can’t put those aspects of the perfect house plan into words, we know it when we see it. Trust those instincts.

Craftsman House Plan with Finished Daylight Basement

This brand new craftsman House Plan 9451 is perfect for a sloping lot. The finished sloping lot house plans includes 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a kitchenette and wine bar, as well as a large open game room and plenty of extra storage space. This 3,602 square foot home has an open 1st floor plan with vaulted ceilings throughout. The kitchen has plenty of cabinetry and counterspace, as well as a large island for seating. It opens to a vaulted dining room and great room with fireplace. There’s a rear deck with grilling station. A mudroom is conveniently located off the 3-car garage next to the private master suite.

Construction drawings for this beautiful craftsman home start at $1000. Like all house plans from house plans, you can work direct with the architect or designer to customize your home. Customizing a pre-drawn house plan is much faster and more affordable than hiring a local architect to design you a new home from scratch. To learn more, contact a home plan specialist at 877-895-5299.

Surprise Mom with a Dream Home Plan!

9167 Dining interior final_04     4912kitchenL

Shown above is a beautiful dining area with a double-sided fireplace that warms both the great room and dining room in La Casa Bella House Plan from Direct from the Designers. Explore 35 photographs of House Plan 4912, a luxury European-influenced home with a magnificent kitchen design, as shown above.

What Makes a House a Home?

When you think about the home that you grew up in, you can easily recall the physical attributes like the color of the home, the interior features, decorations and rooms, but with some reflection it’s the memories that were made there that made it a ‘real’ home.

I have many fond memories of sitting by the fire playing bingo, trivia and card games and laughing at all my parents stories. My mother loved to cook! I would spend hours with my mom watching and learning as she prepared the most delicious authentic Italian dishes. The holidays were my favorite. Special baked goods and dishes that were only made for certain occasions. The smells that came from the kitchen lingered in every room in our small ranch home. You couldn’t help but fall asleep with a smile knowing what wonderful food was going to be served the next day.

As for trinkets, my mom loved to collect souvenirs from all of our family trips. Our home had as many built-ins and shelves that the walls could hold.

If you’re looking to start your own family and build your dream home, a great place to start is with a beautiful house plan from Direct from the Designers’ collection of thousands best-selling residential homes. These designs incorporate all the special touches, functional spaces and eco-friendly features that you and your family would want in your new home.

A great place to start your search is the New House Plan Collection, Best-Selling Designs, Fabulous Kitchens and Affordable Home Plans. All house plans by Direct from the Designers can be customized to include all your desired changes.

In honor of Mother’s Day we would like to offer $100 off all house plans.

We may not all be able to surprise our Mom’s with such a grand gift as Ashton Kutcher, but we can certainly give Mom the blueprints to build her dream home.

Tips for Selecting the Perfect House Plan

If you’re planning on building a new home, the first step in this exciting project is to find the perfect house plan that fits your family’s lifestyle, budget, personal taste and lot. Stock house plans from companies like Direct from the Designers, allow homeowners the opportunity to build and customize their dream home at a fraction of the cost of commissioning a local architect and designer to draw your plans from scratch.

House Plan 9167 was inspired by Direct from the Designers’ best-selling luxury craftsman House Plan 2297 to create a more affordable floor plan. Plan packages start at $995 for this 2,905 square foot home.

Free modification estimates are available on all of the house plans on DFDHouseplans.com. After purchase, consumers and builders are set up with the designer, architect or modification team for a one-on-one phone consultation to review the changes and costs. During the modification process, clients will be emailed PDF drawings of their changes to review before the final blueprints are drawn.

Before you begin shopping online for house plans, start with these helpful tips to ensure that the home you choose requires minimal changes:

Find your land. Finding your land first is key in selecting a home plan that will fit your lot and require minimal changes. Ask about property setbacks and other limitations to ensure you select the right garage placement and foundation. For example, if you have a sloping lot, you will most likely need a walkout or daylight basement. Depending on where you live and extent of the slope you may be able to utilize a crawlspace.

Think about the future. Carefully consider functionality. You want to choose a floor plan that accommodates your families needs and lifestyle, not just for today but years down the road. Choosing an open floor plan with options to expand is a definite plus. Take note of the location of bedrooms. Having all the bedrooms grouped together when the children are small may sound like a good idea until they are teenagers and you wished you selected a home with split bedrooms (meaning the master is separate from the additional bedrooms).

This stylish ranch House Plan 4937 features a spacious interior with volume ceilings. The large kitchen can be made even larger by grabbing some space from the breakfast room. Like all house plans from Direct from the Designers, you can customize these design for an additional fee. The estimate however is free.

Write a “Wish List.” Put together a “wish list” of all the features and amenities you would like so when you’re looking through house plans you can see if they’re already included. Little touches like re-designing the kitchen or master bath or adding more built-ins and windows are easy changes that can be facilitated on-site by your builder.

Have a budget. It’s always a good idea to find out what your home building budget is by utilizing a free mortgage calculator and getting pre-approved for a construction loan. Another helpful tool when searching house plans is using a cost estimator that is based on the house plan and your building zip code. Research some local builders to see what they are currently charging per square footage for new home construction.

Find out local building requirements. Before you purchase your house plans obtain a list of required items from your local building department. Some areas like Florida, California, North and South Carolina and Nevada require an engineer seal where a local licensed engineer will analyze the design and provide additional structural detailing required by your local building department. Stock house plans do not come with a professional engineer stamp. CAD packages are available for most stock house plans which make it quicker and more affordable to have them engineered. They are also great for major modifications.

Start searching house plans. As you start to browse for house plans, look for companies that offer advanced search options, high quality renderings and floor plans so you can quickly find and review house plans that fit your criteria. Make sure you create a free account so you can save your favorite house plans.

Consult with a builder. It’s a good idea to consult with a few builders in your area about the current cost to build. Once you’ve selected a house plan, have a builder review the home prior to purchasing to ensure you order the right plan and options, that it will fit on your lot and meet your local building requirements.

Purchasing house plans. You can expect to pay from $750 to $1,200 for a full set of constructions drawings. The price can vary depending on the size of the home, additional plan options selected and the plan package. If you’re not sure what plan package you need, ask a home plan advisor. You cannot make copies of printed sets so be sure you have enough sets – packages are typically available in 5 or 8 sets. Other options include a PDF Plan Package, reproducibles and CAD files.

If you need help finding a house plan, please call 877-895-5299 or email Direct from the Designers and a home plan specialist will be happy to assist you.

Search & Save

Are You Building a Green Home? 5 Things to Consider Before You Build

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

If you’re planning on building a new, green home, here are 5 important tips to consider:

1    Green, Sustainable House Plans

Start with ENERGY STAR® blue, with ENERGY STAR® approved house plans from Direct from the Designers. All the plans in this collection are designed to inspire consumers and builders to build an energy-efficient and eco-friendly home that utilizes all the latest green building techniques and building products.

green house plans

green house plan

The Evergreen Cottage House Plan is an award-winning ENERGY STAR® approved home. Green, energy-efficient features include 6″ SIP exterior walls. Both active and passive energy saving technology is used in this design including a wind generator and grass roof – perfect for practicing golf. Learn more about this craftsman, eco-friendly cottage by viewing the designer notes on the plan page.

2    Size and Site Matters

A smaller home typically costs less to heat and cool and is more affordable to maintain. The trend toward larger houses is decreasing as homeowners continue to assess how many rooms they actually need for their family and lifestyle. If your dream is to build a large home, you can design a very energy-efficient home by incorporating the latest green building techniques and home building products.

traditional green house plan

traditional floor plan

This traditional house plan is perfect for a growing family. This home is packed with extras including a detached apartment studio, open floor plan, home office, large bonus room, mudroom and spacious, private master suite and front and rear outdoor living spaces.  At 3,215 square feet this flexible home is perfect for homeowners starting out on a smaller budget.

3    Eco-Friendly Construction

Use eco-friendly building techniques and sustainable materials like energy efficient windows and roofing. ENERGY STAR® appliances and heating and cooling systems will greatly reduce the energy consumption of your home. Don’t forget about your interior by using eco-friendly flooring, low- or no-VOC paints and finishes and WaterSense® products for your faucets, toilets and showerheads. Be sure your builder uses the right insulation and house wrap to create a tight building envelope for your home.

4    Green Home Builders

When you’re shopping for a home builder, look for a builder that is experienced in sustainable building. Check their portfolio to see what green elements they use to construct new homes.

5    Consider Extra Green Factors

There are many extra green products and techniques you can incorporate into your new home like wind turbines, solar panels, radiant heat, passive cooling and much more. It all depends on how ‘green’ you want to go.

green house plans

House Plans Similar to Homes of American Presidents

In honor of Presidents’ Day Direct from the Designers has assembled a list of homes that our Presidents have called their own. Discover their taste in home design. We’ve matched these famous homes with similar house plans from our Luxury Collection so you can build your own presidential dream home.

Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port

One of America’s most famed summer getaways is the Kennedy Compound on Nantucket Sound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.  It consists of 6 acres of waterfront property and is currently owned by Ted Kennedy. To learn more about the Kennedy’s life on Cape Cod, you can visit the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum.













Home away from home: John F. Kennedy Jr. and Jackie O pictured in 1953 after announcing their engagement vacationed at the Kennedy Compound frequently

Build your own waterfront estate. Two of our most popular luxury beach cottage house plans are The Retreat at Waters Edge and the Chatham.

The Retreat is a 9,820 square foot shingle-style estate that features five structures connected by trellised arbors and covered roofs. There is a cabana that doubles as a guest house and a magnificent combination of outdoor/indoor living spaces perfect for entertaining. This home was “Best of Show” winner at both the 2006 Seattle Street of Dreams and the 2007 AIBD Design Competition. Enjoy 55 photographs of House Plan 3236.

The Chatham embodies the essence of coastal charm with its shingle-style gables, gambrels, columns, turrets, balconies and verandas combined with the very best in modern amenities for a busy lifestyle. This two-story home features 7,900 square feet of well-appointed living spaces including plenty of rooms for entertaining like a home theater, game room, formal living and dining rooms, a large open gourmet kitchen and covered outdoor living spaces.

This award-winning design took Best of Show honors at the 2005 Seattle Street of Dreams and a 2006 Best of American Living. Enjoy 40 photographs of House Plan 3235.

President Obama’s Chicago Mansion













Former residence of President Barack Obama is located on the south side of East Hyde Park Boulevard in Chicago. It’s a beautiful 6,200 square foot Georgian revival mansion and popular tourist hot spot. It’s where his family lived while he served as Illinois senator and ran for the presidency.

This two-story Colonial home is 4,094 square feet and perfect for an urban neighborhood with its narrow, but deep design. There’s even a third story bonus room perfect for overlooking the city. View the floor plans to House Plan 4149.

 Bill and Hillary Clinton’s Chappaqua Colonial Home

Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton purchased this Dutch Colonial home for $5.95 million in 1999 just after leaving office. The 5,200 sq. ft. colonial boasts five bedrooms on a gorgeously landscaped lot in one of Westchester County’s most sought-after neighborhoods.

This luxurious 5-bedroom Colonial house plan would the perfect addition to any high-end neighborhood. The first floor features 3,927 square feet, which includes a large master suite in one wing and a guest suite on the other. A large kitchen, nook and family room occupy the rear of the home with a formal dining room, living room and office flanking the foyer. The second floor features 1,771 square feet featuring three well-appointed bedrooms and a media room. View House Plan 4342.

Here are some house plans that were inspired by the White House!

This Old World two-story home with regal columns, Palladian windows and stucco exterior make this an elegant design. View additional photographs and the floor plans to House Plan 8079.

This lavish estate features 3-floors of magnificent living spaces including a a sky room and terrace to enjoy the beautiful landscape. Take a tour of House Plan 6018.

Search & Save

Tips for Designing the Perfect Party Home

Being able to entertain is one of the joys of owning a home. However, some house plans are better designed for the task than others.

Whether you're looking to buy your first home or investing in your own vacation escape, you'll want to make sure that you have the perfect space for a party. For some, that means an intimate dinner with friends. To others, it's a wall-to-wall bash. In any case, there are some basic considerations to be addressed before building a house. After all, you can always buy more ice before a gathering, but it's not so easy to add an extra guest room.

Spacious eating area
Many families no longer use their dining room for nightly meals, but the space is still a great asset when it comes to hosting a dinner party. The ideal size of the room is largely dependent on how many guests you plan on having for an average gathering. Remember that you may also be hosting holiday meals such as Thanksgiving or Christmas throughout the year. As such, it's not a bad idea to err on the side of caution and anticipate a slightly larger crowd than you might normally expect. At the same time, a dining room shouldn't be so large that it becomes uncomfortably spacious for smaller groups.

One of your best options is a dining room with an open connection to other spaces, such as the kitchen or the living room. Such a design can make a small dining room big. It can also allow for dining areas to be extended easily for special occasions.  This Floridian-style house plan features breezy connection to one of two living rooms, as well as immediate access to the kitchen.


A room to entertain
Your living room is going to be your next major concern for hosting parties. It doesn't matter whether you're throwing a rager or simply looking for a place to retire after dinner for games and coffee – a large living room makes all the difference. Great rooms are a wonderful option. These expansive interiors start with a sizable living room and generally feature open connections to nooks, kitchens and dining areas. Hosting becomes a cinch, as the room can feel nearly twice as large. Keep an eye out for other amenities, including fireplaces, vaulted ceilings and porch access, all of which this house plan has.


A place outside 
Come summer, you'll want to be able to move the party outdoors. Having a sizable yard is a good start, but it's also nice to have extended patios and covered porches specifically for the purpose of hosting. Not only do they lend some grandeur to your gathering, they also soften the transition between indoor and outdoor spaces. 

Many house plans offer creative spaces for hosting large groups. Such designs may offer designated areas for dining as well as cooking, complete with a fireplace to get a barbecue started. This luxury house plan boasts both a lanai and a barbecue porch. It also has multiple access points from the master suite, the nook and the family room. 

Rooms for sleeping 
At the end of a long night, it's nice for guests to have a room waiting for them. House plans with extra bedrooms are good for regularly entertaining people on the weekends. If you don't like having rooms that are by and large unused except for the occasional party, consider houses with flexible spaces that can easily be converted into a sleeping area. That may include dining rooms, studies, game rooms and exercise areas.


This house plan features plenty of flex spaces as well as bedrooms

Overall, you'll want to consider striking a balance between finding enough space and maximizing the use of your rooms by seeking out open, flexible rooms. 

How To Re-Think the Kitchen Work Triangle

For many modern  families, the kitchen is the heart and hearth of a home, where food is prepared and quality time is shared. Its social value makes its layout one of the most important factors when considering house plans. While the kitchen work triangle has long been the standard principle for kitchen design, it is by no means the only way to make a fun and functional space.

Geometry 101
The kitchen work triangle involves arranging the three most important kitchen appliances – stove, sink and refrigerator – strategically set apart from one another in order maximize efficiency and comfort while cooking. These three appliances form the points of a triangle, hence the name.

This has long been the prevailing approach to kitchen layout, and facilitates the cook’s ability to move easily and comfortably between each spot without feeling too crowded. Usually countertops, cutting space and cabinets help space out the three appliances so that there is some movement. Galley or U-shaped kitchens are most practical for this kind of layout, with one appliance at the bottom of the U, flanked by refrigerator and stove.

A perfect example of the work triangle is the kitchen in the Southborough Cottage house plan, however, L-shaped kitchens can also work, with two appliances on one wall, and the third on the other arm. Island counters can also be used to make a triangle, with dishwashers built into the island across from the refrigerator and sink.


Besides the point
This traditional layout is a great way to maximize cooking efficiency, but, as expert designer Susan Serra of Cultivate notes, the kitchen is no longer just the place where the cook works. Rather, it is becoming an increasingly social space in American households. That means homebuyers should consider what kind of kitchen experience they expect to have and design accordingly.

If a kitchen is crowded with children, for example, it may be worthwhile to move the refrigerator further away from the other appliances so that family may grab snacks without interrupting cooking, according to Serra. You may also prefer to break up the triangle with seated island counters, meaning a more social meal prep that relies on help from the whole family. Your family may not even like to cook, and so can get by on a single-wall kitchen, which bears no resemblance to the triangle.

The perfect kitchen for your family is really only dependent on your imagination and your floor plans – those looking to build a new home should take advantage of the opportunity to design the kitchen of their dreams.

How to Choose the Right Bathroom Sink

Whether getting ready for work or brushing teeth before school, families inevitably spend a lot of time in front of the bathroom sink. Yet, for something that doesn’t get much consideration, the type that you install throughout the house can depend largely on which bathroom it’s going in, the allotted floor plans and the overall aesthetic of the home. Homeowners may want to review the following basic sink styles and the advantages of each.

Simple fixtures
Basic wall-mounted sinks can be one of the simplest fixtures for homeowners. Without a vanity underneath or a countertop on either side, these sinks provide the most open space. They are usually great for smaller bathrooms where storage space is minimal or unnecessary.


For families with modern house plans bordering on the European, a purely functional wall-mounted sink is the perfect choice for wet rooms – tanked bathrooms with a waterproof shower. Vanities and other more elaborate sink designs would only lend themselves to mold in this kind of environment. An equally economical sink design is a basic frame stand-alone sink, which rests on four legs but still lacks a counter or closed cabinet space underneath.

The disadvantages of these sinks are that the water pipes are often exposed and that they lack storage underneath for cleaning products and bathroom supplies. A medicine cabinet can take care of some items, but a closet elsewhere will be necessary. Otherwise, you will need to get creative with shelving.

Stepping up
Pedestal sinks – basins that rest on a column – are an immensely popular design that feels a little more traditional and elegant than basic frames and wall mounts. The selling point of these sinks is that they hide piping in a styled column of the homeowners choosing, from neocolonial to minimalist. Like their exposed counterparts, these sinks also cut down on storage space. The overall effect is a more pleasing aesthetic that can be customized to match house designs.


Above or below
A vanity is the cabinetry built to house the sink and provide storage and a countertop. A vanity-mounted sink is the most versatile option, as it gives families an all-in-one workspace where they can get ready in the morning. While perhaps not the best in the smallest of spaces or wetrooms, they are more efficient in their use of space beneath the sink that would otherwise be wasted. The cabinetry also allows for a higher level of customization of doors, drawers, counters and knobs.

There are two basic options for a vanity sink: sunken or above-counter. The former is the more common option, with the basin submerged below the plane of the counter. Sunken sinks are a more seamless design, but they also eat up storage space within the vanity, and often come with fake top drawers. Above-counter sinks are trendy and a touch more old-fashioned and elegant. The basin usually resembles a bowl that sits on the counter, freeing up space in the vanity. It is, however, the bolder choice.

Making the decision
These are just some of the most basic sink options – each kind of sink is vastly customizable to personal taste. Homeowners selecting a sink should consider not only their style preference, but also the location and kind of bathroom where the sink will be placed. Faucets for laundry or craft rooms may only need a basic work basin. Bathrooms for guests and general use are perfect places for pedestal sinks, where an expansive vanity is not necessary. Family and master bathrooms are usually the largest bathrooms, requiring vanities to accommodate frequent use.

The Ambrose Boulevard house plan is a clear demonstration of prioritizing your bathrooms. The guest room bath features only one sink and minimal floor space. However, the master bath has his and her sinks, a glass shower and a separate tub. A third bathroom on the second floor features two sinks, for the people residing in bedrooms 3 and 4.

The Pros and Cons of Pocket Doors

Pocket doors – sliding doors that recess into the walls – are a great way to maximize space in floor plans. However, there are some drawbacks to these sliding space savers. Here’s everything you need to know about pocket doors.

Opening issues
Regular doors have a swinging radius of about 2.7 feet, which eats up considerable space in a room for the sake of opening and closing a door. This can make for a considerable logistical problem for bathrooms, especially efficiency bathrooms, where tubs, closets and toilets must be artfully placed to avoid the swing of the door. Once inside, it can also be difficult to close the door depending on the layout of the room.

In other rooms of the house, regular doors mean that furniture, some mirrors and any other thick or delicate objects cannot be placed against the wall toward which the door swings. Furthermore, an open door will block posters, trim or any other kind of decoration behind it.

Pros in your pocket
Pocket doors eliminate these problems. While most commonly used for bathrooms, they are now increasingly incorporated into the design of bedrooms, living rooms and closets. For living rooms and bedrooms that incorporate chairs or couches, the use of a pocket door frees up space for a more spacious, evenly distributed furniture layout. If furniture feels too claustrophobic by the door, the open area is also the perfect spot for deep or even floating bookshelves, thereby freeing up space elsewhere in the room.


The recessed door also creates a more holistic design space – the full effect of the room can be on display even with the door open. After switching to pocket doors, regular doors may even feel like nuisance.

Constructing cons
While there are many benefits to a pocket door, it does pose its own problems. The biggest issue is installation, which is much more difficult than a regular door. The door will not slide smoothly if there are any slight deviations in calibration during the construction of the interior frame or the setting of the track. Even experienced carpenters can have a problem with these fickle frames.

They can also be a hassle to maintain. A regular door that’s damaged or broken need only be removed from its hinges and replaced. However, it can be frustrating trying to repair any damages or remove any objects that have made their way into the recessed frame.