As you may know, Black Canyon Builders is an independent builder dealer for Woodhouse, The Timber Frame Company. The winter issue of the Woodhouse newsletter outlined five, simple tactics for choosing a floorplan that meets your needs, desires and budget.
Here are the five tactics, summarized:
- Use your old home as a guide. I love the simplicity of this one. Sometimes the imaginings of our dream homes are much grander than what we actually want (or need) in livable space. Conversely, there may be some opportunities to take a design or layout element “up a notch.” As your builder, I’m here to help make those distinctions, relative to your site, budget and structural design needs. The primary point, however, is to make a list of what you love about your home and what you’ll tweak when you build from the ground-up.
- Value engineering. This is not a directive, it’s a concept. The easiest way to apply this concept is to remember that squares and boxes ~ i.e. 90-degree angles ~ are the most affordable design geometries. In general: the more simple the geometries, the easier and less expensive the structure will be (not including finishes, obviously). The other critical element to this tactic is site selection. A flat lot with easy access and proximity to utilities tends to keep costs down.
- Lifestyle. If you follow this blog, you’ve heard me advocate for how lifestyle should affect building decisions. To my mind, this is the primary determinant in choosing a floorplan. Woodhouse uses this excellent example: if you entertain often, consider having the kitchen open to an outdoor dining area. I also encourage homeowners to consider their age, health, preferred activities, children and resale decisions.
- Accessibility. Very simply: does the floorplan “work” for daily living. Is there a natural flow? Will your guests have space and freedom to be comfortable? If you prefer a formal dining room, is it located close enough to the kitchen that you’ll actually use it? (You’d be surprised how often this is not the case!) Important to those of us in the mountainous Southwest is the question of outdoor space and orientation. Will the south-facing rooms and decks provide sufficient sun without being oppressively hot through the summer months?
- Privacy. Is your bedroom far enough away from your teenager’s room to keep the noise down? Or close enough to keep an eye on things? Is there a work-able separation of “working” spaces and quiet spaces in the home? In other words, does the space allow for one member of your family to comfortably watch television while one finishes an online project? Does the site selection and lay out allow for privacy from your neighbors?
Remember, building a home is a collaborative process, from the earliest stages of decision-making to handing over the keys. The Woodhouse designers and architects are here to help, as am I.