6 house plans that rethink single-family living

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Professional Builder’s House Review collaborative presents six plans geared for today's home buyers.

June 03, 2012

4. Lean and mean


Todd Hallett, AIA, CAPS

TK Design and Architecture





Living area: 2,920 sf

Porches: 80 sf

Width: 56 feet, 4 inches

Depth: 48 feet

Garage area: 504 sf

Garage width: 21 feet

Garage depth: 24 feet

The key for single-family detached housing is to provide buyers with “bang for the buck.” This type of home should be designed to optimize material usage and build lean. The way to accomplish this is to analyze the structure and mechanical systems, and minimize building jogs. Money saved in areas that eliminate waste can be used to provide dramatic elements such as a curved, two-way stair system. Single-family detached homes should display current market trends such as large kitchen islands, a “Costco pantry,” drop zones, and family entrance cubbies. Most of all, they need to have killer curb appeal. If you design lean with drama and beauty, your profits will soar and your competition’s jaws will drop.

A. Dramatic stairway is the heart of the plan. It can be accessed from the family entrance and foyer.

B. This Lean design optimizes material usage while minimizing wasteful foundation jogs. The low construction enables the use of dramatic elements that will make an impact with the customer.

C. The spacious family entrance allows for a bench, lockers, and cubbies to help keep the space organized.

D. A full bath adjacent to the study allows the space to transform into an in-law suite. This feature enables multi-generational living.

E. The simple, functional kitchen layout is perfect for entertaining. The large flush top island is a hot trend across the country.

F. The great room is entirely open to the kitchen and dining area. The formal dining room is rapidly disappearing in most U.S. markets.

G. The positioning of the garage allows flexibility to change from a two- to a three-car garage.

H. The owner’s bath provides an opportunity to option a two-way fireplace.

I. The positioning of the owner’s closets allows for expansion of a bonus area over the garage. This bonus area could become a study, exercise room, or additional closet space.


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