Designing your dream home may have changed a bit since you became a parent. Now, you want to make sure that the home you are building will serve the needs of all members of your family. Your children need a functional, safe place to grow up and the kid-friendly house plan that you choose should reflect that.
So while your home needs a mudroom to keep dirty tracks off the carpet, and perhaps a couch with detachable cushions to avoid pillow fights, there are other things to consider as well when designing your home.
10 Best Features for Kid-Friendly House Plans
Whether you are creating a new build or considering remodeling, building a home with kids in mind is a unique process. Here are 10 of the most important things to consider through construction.
Include a media room for hours of entertainment
Having an in-home movie theater is the stuff dreams are made of for most children, and to be honest, most adults as well. In-home entertainment rooms are becoming more and more popular in home design with some even featuring a scaled version of stadium seating and including a popcorn machine.
Whether you enjoy having movie marathons as a family or one of your children (or yourself) enjoys playing video games on the big screen, having a dedicated room for these activities is definitely something to consider when designing your home. Parents mention that a big perk of a dedicated media room is that it is easier to monitor their children’s media intake. It’s also easier to limit their screen time because when it’s time to move on, parents can simply lock the media room door.
This fantastic media room can fit the whole family and with stadium seating, no one will be complaining that they can’t see. In addition to the media room, this luxury home has 5 bedrooms, 6.5 baths, and over 7,000 square feet of living space. Plan #193-1125
Consider installing a swimming pool
Having a swimming pool in your backyard could be a great idea as your children grow up because you’ll never have to go far for fun. Your children and all of their friends won’t want to stray far from home to have a great time. It’s also a great place for parents to exercise without having to fight for a lap lane at the local public pool.
While pools do come with a set of potential risks, including expensive maintenance, higher home insurance premiums, and safety hazards, many families find that the social enjoyment pools provide outweighs these prospects.
The relaxing pool of this beautiful Rustic style home will definitely keep the kids happy! When not enjoying the pool you can hang out in the screened-in porch or in any of the rooms of this 3-5 bedroom home with 2,806 - 4,971 square feet of living space. Plan #198-1094
Having a fully-tiled bathroom minimizes messes
The bathroom is likely to be one of the messiest rooms in your home if you have young children, and even as they age into teenagers and young adults, the restroom will see plenty of mud and mayhem.
Traditionally, bathrooms have been walled much like the rest of the home, with plaster or drywall. However, if designing your home with children in mind, consider fully tiling your bathroom for easier clean-up. In addition, a fully-tiled bathroom is less prone to water damage, which can be a relief if you have young children. These tiles are durable and if installed properly, can last up to 20 years.
The only drawback is that tiles don’t retain heat, which can be quite cold on little feet. The best way around is with a cozy bathmat, or by installing underfloor heating.
The tile wall in this bathroom is perfect for easy clean-up when the kids make a mess by the sink. This wonderful 2,413 heated square foot Contemporary plan comes with 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and a 3-car garage. Plan #161-1189
Adding a basketball hoop (and other sporting areas) adds value
Keeping children active and getting them outdoors is a high priority for most parents. When designing your kid-friendly home, don’t forget to pay special attention to the outdoor spaces and how you might optimize them for your children.
Installing a basketball hoop above the garage (or a freestanding one in the driveway), or leaving enough space at the rear of the backyard for flag football or a family soccer match adds value to your home, as outdoor recreation spaces are not only a hit with kids but with future homebuyers as well.
This lovely 2,318 square foot Country house plan has a basement foundation that you can choose to finish. If finished, you will have a family room, 2 additional bedrooms and your own 26 x 34 sports court – perfect for basketball, volleyball or gymnastics – whatever you prefer! Plan #129-1032
Dedicate the loft as a “kid’s only” zone for drama-free living
Depending on the ideal size of your home, a great kid-friendly house plan idea is to designate the loft as a “kid zone.” To this end, you can set it aside as a place to watch movies, play games, and even host sleepovers. As children age, the loft could be converted into a home office, a home gym, or closed off to create another bedroom, if needed.
If you can’t include dedicated spaces for each activity in your home, having a sort of “all-in-one” space that is out of sight is a great catch-all community space within the home.
The loft/bonus room of this 2,686-square-foot Modern Farmhouse is a great place to watch movies or host sleepovers. This beautiful home also offers 4 bedrooms, an open floor plan, a walk-in pantry, and a 2-car garage. Plan #142-1169
Storage with built-in locks is a great kid-friendly design
Kids are curious by nature and most parents would agree that their little ones have a tendency to explore areas of the house that mom and dad would prefer to keep off limits. When designing a home with children in mind, you can save yourself the hassle of installing unsightly child locks and gates and instead incorporate these elements into the design of your home.
Drawer knobs that must be squeezed and twisted simultaneously to open, as well as door locks that are just out of reach for most children, are a few options, while temporary gates that can retract into the doorframe will come in handy for pets as well as the kids grow up.
The lock around this door handle is a great way to keep curious kids from exploring where they shouldn't be. Just push and slide to the left to access your valuables.
Using carpet squares makes accident clean-up a breeze
Carpet is a great choice of flooring for family homes because it is a great insulator, helping to muffle the pitter-patter of little feet from the floors above, as well as absorbing some of the noise from our electronics. It also can soften slips and falls and reduce breakage when delicate items slip out of small hands.
However, when it comes to spills, cleaning stains out of regular carpets can be a real headache. To avoid having to live with a spoiled carpet or completely re-floor a room if a spot won’t come out with steam cleaning, a great thing to do if you have children is to use carpet squares instead. Easy to remove and replace, these carpet tiles typically come in 48x48, 50x50, 60x60, and 96x96 cm, although other shapes and sizes are also available at an added cost.
If there’s a stubborn stain, you don’t have to worry. You can just replace the square instead of the entire room.
This loft area of this stunning Traditional plan would be a wonderful place for older kids to hang out. Replace the carpet with carpet squares for easy clean-up in case those kids get a little messy! This 4-bedroom, 4-bath home also offers a large master suite, a laundry/mudroom, and a 3-car garage. Plan #161-1155
Taller built-in shelves keep valuables away from sticky fingers
The best thing about kid-friendly house plans is that the things you might do to childproof your home on a custom build don’t necessarily need to be done away with as your children age. For example, ensuring that the lowest level of built-in shelving is just tall enough that the average toddler can’t reach what’s on top won’t need to be renovated as your children age. As for adults, these additions will always be just the perfect height.
Shelving of a certain height can also keep special items safe from potential flooding, pets, or grandchildren one day.
The tall built-in shelves of this 4-bedroom Ranch are a great way to display your favorite pictures or knick-knacks without worrying about little hands. This wonderful house plan offers 3,106 square feet of living space, a 3-car garage, 3.5 baths, and a huge master suite. Plan #142-1446
Build a multi-purpose room that can grow with your family
When custom building a home, it’s always better to have more bedrooms than members of the family, just in case. If you aren’t sure how many children you will have, or if your younger children are currently sharing a bedroom, creating a multi-purpose room that can grow with your family is a great way to plan ahead for anything that could come your way.
These rooms are typically built close to other bedrooms in the home but might start off as a playroom, game room, or even a home office, but transition into a nursery for a new addition, a separate bedroom as the kids grow up, or a guest bedroom if needed throughout the years.
A spacious flex room in this Craftsman-style home is currently being used as a family room/play room but as the kids get older, it could be used as an office or a guest room. The gorgeous 3-bedroom, 4.5-bath home offers over 2,500 square feet of living space and a 3-car garage. Plan #202-1003
Invest in a big backyard
Purchasing a larger lot if you plan to build a home with children in mind will save you a lot of headaches as they grow up. This way, whether or not you decide to put a pool in the backyard, you’ll have plenty of space for impromptu soccer matches and roughhousing when you ask them to play outside, as well as space for any play equipment that younger children tend to enjoy.
A larger outdoor entertainment space will also give you the flexibility to host backyard birthday parties and other school and family events and, if you decide to resell, larger backyards tend to add substantial value to a home as they can be difficult to find in some markets.
The lovely backyard of this Farmhouse plan is a great place for the kids to run around with a soccer ball, have a volleyball game or just play tag! This spacious 5-bedroom, 2,826 square foot home also offers 2.5 baths, a mudroom, a living room and a family room. Plan #126-2022
Building your home with your children’s needs in mind can keep your kids safer, your house cleaner, and your stress level a bit lower. And, even as your kids grow up, these investments in your property will continue to offer great returns.