5 design concepts to spark new-home sales

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Professional Builder’s House Review collaborative presents five design solutions that can help production home builders sell more homes in the recovering market.

5 design concepts to spark new-home sales

5 design concepts to spark new-home sales

July 02, 2012

2. Starter/Empty Nester Plan


Richard C. Handlen, AIA, LEED AP

EDI International, Inc.





Living area: 1,580 sf

Width: 44 feet

Depth: 48 feet

The best way to kick-start sales in this market is to watch the bottom line closely. This modest starter/empty nester plan uses some time-tested tricks.

The footprint is a box that simplifies both the foundation and the roof. Any elevation options are handled with cosmetic pop-outs or, with a little more investment, flipping the roof framing direction. There are two major walls that cross through the home, simplifying structural calculations. The first item to be constructed is a 2x8-meter wall in the corner of the garage. This allows early permanent installation of utilities.

When the costs are addressed, the home itself still has to grab the attention of the buyers. The first impression is the grand, light-filled entry gallery, which flows into the great room and kitchen. This combination lets a small house appear as large as possible. Everyday traffic flows from the garage into a flex space at the end of the kitchen. This space could be an informal sitting area or a drop-off/pick-up station.

The single-story plan will always appeal to the younger and older ends of the market. Hot buttons in any market are storage and room sizes.



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