It's easy to read about home features in the magazines and fall in love with them.  The next time you're in the market for a new home, you look for those features and even pay a premium for them.  Sometimes, however, when it comes time to actually living in your new home, you realize that those features are far from practical.  What follows are 6 features in some homes that at first may seem like a good idea, but might become real irritants when you actually begin to live in those homes.


Open floor plans

Homes with open floor plans are a staple of interior decor magazines.  In the pictures, they look chic and modern.  Not many people consider what it feels like to actually live in such a home, however.

A lack of privacy is one of the most difficult parts of living in a large, extended space with no walls.  Echoes and reverberation are another irritant.  Sound reflections tend to be very noticeable in large spaces.  You'll need to work hard to dampen the reflections with plenty of rugs and sound deadening panels.

A laundry room in the house

It is conventional for home designs to put laundry rooms in the basement.  Some home designers think differently, however.  Since most laundry is generated in the bedrooms, they believe it's a good idea to build the laundry room right next to a bedroom.  A laundry room right in the middle of your living space can turn out to be a noisy nightmare, however.

Washing machines and dryers whirr and hum endlessly as they work.  If you're trying to get some sleep, you may find that the sounds coming out of your laundry room make it impossible.

A swimming pool

It may be hard to imagine what could go wrong with a beautiful swimming pool in the backyard.  It can seem like just the thing to have for plenty of fun with your family.  What many people don't realize, however, is that swimming pools are expensive to maintain.  You need to either hire a pool maintenance company to keep your pool clean or do it yourself.  It can be a huge, time-consuming chore to keep your pool in good shape.

Many homeowners find that they simply can't keep up, and allow their pool to get dirty.  It can turn into a terrible eyesore then.  It's important to remember that in most cases, a swimming pool is only a good idea if you have the budget to hire a pool maintenance service.

A half-bath

Bathrooms are usually built next to bedrooms on the upper floors of homes.  Some homeowners begin to believe, however, that a half-bath downstairs, right next to the living room or kitchen, is a great idea.  It's only once they buy the home or do the remodel, that they realize that no one actually wants to use a bathroom that's next to the living room.  They want more privacy.  Most people will go to an upstairs bathroom, rather than use one that's right in front of everyone.

Unusual sinks in the bathroom

Pedestal sinks can look beautiful in bathroom photos.  They give you little room for your toothbrushes and cosmetics, however.  A bowl sink -- a sink that looks like a bowl placed on a countertop -- can be too high to use comfortably and can take up too much space.  If the main bathroom in the home that you're planning to buy has an unusual sink, you need to consider the possibility that you will get tired of it soon.  You may need to remodel.

Wooden flooring in the wrong places

Hardwood flooring always looks impressive, no matter where you install it in your home.  It can look great in the kitchen and the bathroom, for example.  What looks good in a new home, however, is very different from what works for everyday life.  Most wooden flooring cannot take the spills and moisture that are a part of life in bathrooms and kitchens.  If there is wooden flooring in these spaces, you need to make sure that it's finished the right way to stand up to water spills and steam.  If not, you may need to put in new flooring.


Many home features are terrific to look at but are hard to live with day-to-day.  It's always important to consider the practicality of home features that you want before you get them.