While you might not remodel solely to improve traffic flow in your home, it is one of the factors that should be considered if you’re going to make some changes. It’s actually an important one. Traffic flow is impacted by not only walls and hallways, but also by doorways and windows and furniture. Traffic flow – or jams — are predicated on the function of the area.
For example, if you are designing a gym in your basement, you have to take into consideration the footprint of the exercise bike, treadmill or elliptical equipment. You also have to estimate the necessary space around it. You need room to climb on the bike, to walk up to the treadmill or to have the foot pedals and handlebars on the elliptical move unhindered. You have to think about the ergonomics of the room before you can build the room.
Just as important as the gym ergonomics is the remodeling ergonomics. Even though furniture and art work are the last things to go into a room, these décor items should be at the top of the list when designing the room. Sometimes a room is so poorly laid out that there is no place to put a piece of furniture. Think about the egress and ingress of the room and the adjoining hallways. If the windows are floor-to-ceiling or are low to the floor, this takes up a wall. It’s unlikely you can put furniture there. Or, a closet or pantry door might be on the same wall as the ingress doorway, rendering that wall unusable for furniture. Work with your designer or custom builder to design a room that eats up the least amount of hallway and walk way.
If you’re planning to stay in your home as you age, traffic flow is even more important. Make sure hallways and doorways are wide enough to accommodate wheel chairs and wide enough to give the aging resident the necessary space to walk around in his or her own home.