Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Can you over design a custom home?


Is it possible to over design a custom home?



I can’t tell you the amount of times I have clients bring me plans that were so elaborate that it was almost shocking.

You’re probably wondering what I mean by this and how it affects the home.

 When a home is over designed it basically means that they have designed the home in a very elaborate way.

Here is a list of things that can make the design of the home elaborate;

Multiple pitches in a roof, large complicated roofs, roofs with excessive dormers/valleys, roofs with eye brows.

Roofs with flat spots in them.

Homes with round walls.

Homes with an overabundance in corners.

Homes with different ceiling heights from one room to the next.

Finishing’s of the home are multiple materials with complicated patterns.

An overabundance of windows and doors.

Overly large windows and doors.

Multiple mason built fireplaces throughout the home.

Overly complicated framing specifications.

Over engineered steel beams and posts throughout the home.

Overly large hallways and odd shaped rooms.

Oddly shaped windows.

Over engineered foundations and walls.

Overly complicated framing speciations.

Elaborate insulation specs with multiple different techniques to achieve needed R-value and air barrier ratings.

Homes that have in-door hot tub rooms or in-door pools.

All of these things are prevalent in custom homes, but homes that have all of them and have them in excess find that their homes end up being extremely costly per sqft. So expensive that they have to either compromise on the finishing’s or go back to the drawing board and have the house redrawn costing more money.

When having your custom home designed you should be trying for a balance of everything, remember that the fancier the outside and more elaborate the design the less money you will have for the finishes that you will want on the inside.

When talking to the designer or architect about your new home show them picture of homes you like, this will help focus the design so that it ends up being more of what you want and help curve the overdesign of the building envelope.

There are new materials that cost a little bit more but save on labour that do what overly designed techniques used to do in the past. When designing your custom home you should have your architect and your builder agreeing on the best practices. This communication between the two parties will save you money in the long run.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

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