When buying either an existing home or custom plans for a new build, it is helpful to potential buyers to understand the various floor plans available, as well as the lingo used by real estate agents and builders in describing the architecture. A stacked bedroom is one that is grouped in a cluster with the other bedrooms in a home, in the same hallway, rather than spread throughout the house or down separate hallways. This design comes with both advantages and disadvantages.
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A stacked bedroom floor plan was typically used in small homes, such as those built after World War II, and in country farmhouses. While many modern floor plans allow for the master bedroom to be separated from other bedrooms in the home, stacked bedroom plans are on the rise again. In 2009, Coastal Living Magazine listed two such floor plans -- the Bluffton House and the Sea Island Cottage -- as among the top 10 favorite floor plans for consumers building a coastal-style home.
Having a stacked bedroom plan allows for children to be situated close to parents in a master bedroom. Nurseries can be next door. This floor plan also allows greater safety in the event of a fire or an intruder; occupants can be alerted quickly and easily for evacuation of the home. During a remodeling of bedrooms, a smaller second bedroom positioned next to a master can be converted into a larger master, or a master can be fashioned from two small bedrooms -- usually at a lower cost than adding on to the home.
A lack of privacy is one disadvantage to a stacked bedroom design, especially in homes with thinner walls or less insulation; noise carries easily between rooms. House guests have a lack of privacy with bedrooms and bathrooms clustered together. Resale value on homes with a stacked bedroom floor plan can be lower than those with a split bedroom floor plan, or the house may be harder to sell.
With newly built homes, designing a stacked bedroom floor plan requires less hallway space in the design, saving on home-building costs. With a preexisting structure, expanding two stacked bedrooms into a larger room rather than adding on to the home can contribute to substantial savings. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms can be positioned outside in the hallway to allow access to all rooms; this saves on the cost of individual or hard-wired alarms in each room. Heating and cooling costs can be greatly affected as vents in other areas of the house can be closed at night when those rooms are not in use.