Everything You Need to Know about Open Plan Homes

As renovation contractors in West Vancouver, we get asked all the time about our open plan home designs. Questions like “What are their benefits?”, “How do they work?”, and “When did the idea first originate?” are some of the top queries. So, to satisfy any curiosity about one of our most popular home updates, read on for all you need to know about open plan designs.


The Pros and Cons

In Vancouver, renovation contractors will always advise clients on the benefits and drawbacks before making a decision. Some of the top points to consider include:


Light is shared, creating a bright, airy home. It’s easy to move between rooms, with no doors and walls in the way. Open plan is ideal for entertaining and spending quality time with family. It also increases resale value of a home, since it’s a desirable, modern design that buyers want.


Renovation contractors in West Vancouver might suggest opting for better insulation, as heating and cooling can be more difficult in a large space. Another downside is with shared light, comes shared sound. And finally, load-bearing beams are usually more expensive than walls.

The History

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, people began to have more control over how their homes worked: central heating meant they were less reliant on fireplaces, and new construction materials were starting to be introduced. The boxy, many-roomed homes of the Victorian era were disliked by architect Frank Lloyd-Wright, who designed open plan, Prairie-style houses that made better use of space, and even expanded to porches on the exterior.

This innovation inspired many up-and-comers to take a fresh look at how a modern home should be laid out.For example, what we would now call decking in BC, is one of the tactics renovation contractors in West Vancouver use for expanding a home’s liveable space.

The Mechanics

Concrete is now a popular material for renovation contractors, both in Vancouver and around the world. In the 1920s however, this was a very new kind of building material. Because of its sturdy disposition, concrete made it easier to construct load-bearing walls that defied the time’s conventions.

The introduction of heavy-duty beams furthered the possibilities for connecting kitchens, living rooms, and dining rooms. Competition for space was high, so to make the most of the space available, open plan designs were an excellent solution. From there, open plan designs have expanded to connecting every corner of a home, sharing light and space generously as we still aim to do today.