Sunday, November 2, 2014

Why does my custom home look smaller then I though it would?

The room doesn’t look as big as I thought it would, are you sure you have the measurements right?

This is a statement that I hear on almost every time I construct a new custom home for people. I have heard it from clients building homes that are twice the size of regular homes, homes so large that you get tired from walking around them. It is one of the most common phrases that a contractor hears from their clients as a build progresses.

Everyone’s home looks smaller at certain parts of the building process then they thought it would when envisioned it. As the homeowner you need to understand this and as long as your contractor is following the plans that where designed and approved by you the homeowner then the home will end up the right size.

Here are the times when you will notice the house looks larger and/or smaller then you imagined it would be:

When the footings are being formed and poured the home will look small. The reason for this is that you are used to looking at a two dimensional diagram for months and now you are looking at a 3 dimensional diagram, but what you are looking at has little to no height so it looks fairly small down in the excavated hole.

When the first floor is sheeted before the exterior walls are installed the house will look larger. The building looks like a giant dance floor, usually the house isn’t backfilled yet so there is no depth when you look at the edge of the floors, it’s just empty space beyond.

When the sheeted stud walls are stood up the house starts to look smaller, especially when the window openings are not cut out of the wall sheeting yet.

The house from the outside looks huge when the roof is installed. It gives the house height, making the house look a lot larger than it really is, especially since there is no landscaping around the outside or decks/porches.

The home starts to look larger when the windows and doors are installed. The added light that is brought in by the new glass makes everything appear larger.

Ceiling heights start to look to low once the duct work is hung in the basement. Even though the duct work is at the approved height people have become use to the openness and the added head height of the bare framing.

Rooms start to look really small when the drywall is installed. To the point that people make contractors re-measure room sizes in front of them because they believe that the contractor has made a mistake and they are too small.

The rooms start to look larger and built to the proper proportions when the paint is added. The rooms look especially bright after the rooms have been primed white.

Rooms look larger once the light fixtures are hung and operating properly with most of the shadows and dark spaces removed from the area. This is the time before the furniture is moved in that the rooms look to be at their largest.

So remember these stages when you go to look at your new custom home, if you remember that the house as it goes through construction will look bigger and smaller at these points then you should be
able to save yourself and your poor contractor some panic and aggravation.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

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