Pros and Cons of First-Floor Primary Suites

Posted by Bob Wiedenmann

In recent years, it’s becoming more and more common to see primary suites in new homes located on the main level. And there are some pretty compelling reasons this is among the list of popular home trends. So, if you’re planning a new home, we recommend you take a deeper look at this trend and ask whether having a primary bedroom on the first floor is right for you. Though Sunwood Development can’t give you an answer to your question (only you can do that), we can take you through the pros and cons of a first-floor owner's suite. Then, you can decide for yourself!

First floor master suite picture

Why a First-Floor Primary Suite May Work For You 

Even if you don’t initially use your main level primary suite as your main bedroom, it still may make some sense to opt for this kind of design. Having an extra first-floor bedroom can come in handy in many different instances — especially if you’re planning on staying in your home for a long time. This allows you to get the most out of your space as you can easily transition it from one use to another throughout your lifetime.

  • It Makes a Great Guest Room: A primary suite (bedroom and bath) can be a great guest suite if you frequently have friends or family that visit. A fancy bedroom suite provides both comfort and privacy for your guests. It’s more relaxing for them and for the rest of your family. Plus, you won’t have to share the bathroom with your guests! 
  • Caring for Aging Parents: You may be expecting to have an aging family member living with you in the foreseeable future. A main-level suite is an ideal arrangement for this type of situation because it allows your in-laws or relatives to feel like part of the family. However, it still maintains a level of privacy, accessibility, and autonomy that can make a huge difference in comfortability. It also takes stairs out of the equation for someone who may have mobility issues.
  • Easy Access: A first-floor primary bedroom can also be ideal for any family member with a disability or someone recovering from surgery or an injury. Again, it allows you to eliminate the problems stairs can cause.
  • Distance from Older Children: Parents of older children (i.e. teens) often appreciate the idea of putting some distance between themselves and their increasingly louder offspring. Older kids also appreciate the independence that this kind of arrangement enables.
  • It Can Be An Ideal Home Office: Increasing numbers of us are working from home — either full-time or part-time. Having a suite on the lower level can be an ideal location for a good-sized home office with its own bathroom. Close the door and you can work undisturbed by the rest of the family.
  • Your Future Needs: Your needs may change in the future. Having a primary bedroom on the first floor is ideal for aging in place and being able to remain comfortably in your home without having to constantly go up and down the stairs. It allows you easy and safe access to the rooms you’ll use every day (kitchen, family room, laundry, garage). If you’re considering a home that you plan to remain in as you mature, a first-floor primary bedroom or suite is something you should be considering.

Cozy Master Suite

When a Main-Level Primary Suite May Not Be Ideal

While there are plenty of advantages, there may be some situations in which locating the primary suite on the main level might not be ideal.

  • Close Proximity to Common Rooms: A first-floor primary bedroom will be closer to common rooms that are used for entertaining. If someone wants to turn in early to rest or sleep, that can make it hard to ensure peace and quiet in the bedroom. This can be an issue if you or your spouse keeps odd hours (i.e. for couples where one works night shifts or in emergency services with constantly varying hours). You may find that if your spouse or older kids want to entertain guests that activity can interfere with your sleep as well.
  • Distance from Younger Children: Having a main-floor primary bedroom might be awkward if your family has very young children. Even if you have monitors in the kids’ rooms, someone will end up running up and downstairs to check on the needs of younger family members.
  • You May Simply Prefer a One-level Plan: If you’re looking to downsize somewhat, you may simply prefer a home with less square footage. You may not want or need to heat, cool, and maintain two levels.

Master Suite BathroomChoosing the Best of Both Worlds

The pros and cons of a main-floor primary are related to your specific lifestyle. It’s always wise to think about how your family will use the various spaces in your home before deciding on a specific plan. In an ideal world, your home would be designed to accommodate your needs at every age and stage of your life. But the design that fits your needs best now might not be the ideal choice several years down the line. That’s why it’s so important to choose a floor plan that can adapt to your evolving needs

Consult with your builder before making an official decision about the location of your primary bedroom. During the design phase of the remodeling process, your builder should get a good idea of your lifestyle and future plans. Then, they can help you evaluate what placement is best for you. 

Want to learn more about home building? Get answers to questions like, “how long does it take to build a house?” and, “how does the supply chain impact my home construction?” at the Sunwood Development blog. 


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Tags: Aging in Place, Home Additions, Building a Custom Home


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