Internet house plan may not be the best option for your new home

Two reasons why an internet plan may not be the best option for your new home

  1. How you live
  2. Where you live

“It works! The design works!” I love visiting months or even years after clients have moved into their dream home. It is fun to see clients and catch up on their lives. I also enjoy hearing what they like about their new home. Recently I was standing on the front porch of a home where the owners just celebrated their first year being home. They told me a wonderful story about how they enjoy their porches. They have two. Both were carefully located to enhance their golf course views and sun angles. Front porch is north facing with views primarily to the west. Their south porch is off their dining space with views to the east. They use their south porch until late afternoon when the sun starts to be hot & harsh. At that point they move to their cooler north facing porch with western views. Yes the porches were located to accommodate this! In the late afternoon, the summer sun swings to the north making the northwest porch sunny. At this point the south porch is shady and comfortable for them to return.

patio view
Patio View from new home on golf course. Custom floor plan designed for views and an interior with open “loft” feel. Picture by owner!

Many of my new home clients have searched for a plan online weren’t able to find exactly what they wanted. Additional clients knew from the “get go” they wanted a home tailored to how they live and their land and skipped the internet search. Renovation clients know they can’t find a recipe online and call architects immediately.

170617-12001E89T-149 (3)
Front porch view to golf course and park across road. Home was designed for a shady north porch to take advantage of great views.

Many of the same reasons for not finding an internet plan that works for you and the issues with existing homes are identical. Size is number one. Square footage is sometimes correct but in all the places. A larger kitchen, closet, family room are needed while a formal dining or living room may be idly waiting to be used. There might be a dream kitchen or dream master suite in mind that a plan or house doesn’t allow for.

porch (2)
View from back south facing porch. When the client was looking for vacant land he knew to find a south facing back yard which is the ideal!

View and connection to their land or lot is always at the top of the list for a new home or renovation client. A ready-made plan can’t address that. Many “city” plans don’t even have  windows on the sides of the homes! They are designed to be used on very narrow lots where homes are very tight to their property lines and privacy can’t be guaranteed.  A ready-made plan also often has very few windows to the back yard for same reason.  Time after time, I have met with clients who want  a view and better access to their lovely backyards!

I design both new homes and renovations/additions to existing homes. It is a nice design balance for my firm between a clean slate for a new home and solving challenges for an existing home.  I like working both ends of the home spectrum between anything is possible in new build and sorting through why an existing home isn’t working for a client. New and renovation clients have the same goals: a home tailored for how and where they live.



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