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University Park | New Construction Brick Home William S. Briggs, PLLC, architect

Remember watching those old sitcoms where every house looked like it was stamped from the exact same cookie cutter? From the linoleum floors to the Formica counters, housing developments that sprung up in the 1950s and 1960s prized uniformity. Today the housing market seems to seek individuality at every turn, but new constructions homes can sometimes miss the mark when it comes to functional and beautiful design.

One Size Does Not Fit All

It turns out one floor plan really does not fit all sizes or styles of architecture. Often speculative homes, those you might find in a new development, take one floor plan and lay a veneer of French Country or Mediterranean design on top. This approach changes out colors and patterns, but fails to integrate the scale and proportions that are unique to each individual style. For example, a Mediterranean home values natural space and light. A Mediterranean home works to create a flow between indoor and outdoor living. Simply throwing some terracotta tiles on the hallway floor will not achieve this style.

But Sometimes One Size is What You Want 

Once your new home is built, you get to outfit it in the latest and greatest in appliance technology. Each year manufacturers come out with new stoves, dishwashers, and refrigerators and they often vary in sizes and capacity. While it may be tempting to purchase an extra large dishwasher, I always recommend sticking to the standard sizes. If you deviate from the standard sizes, you may find yourself faced with a full kitchen remodel when that new dishwasher quits unexpectedly. You will not be able to swap in a new dishwasher easily and will instead have to replace cabinets and countertops to accommodate a different one. 

If These Walls Could Talk

A new home also must be constructed with the flow of the family in mind. Where does the bulk of family life and interaction take place? What kinds of entertaining will you do in your new home? Do you have a need for extra storage at the entrance or exit of your home to accommodate sports equipment, book bags, etc.?  The choices can seem daunting and you may go to Pinterest or Houzz for inspiration. While these are good places to start, consulting with an architect is the best way to truly understand the elements of each architectural style and make the best choice of what kind of home you are looking for. Architects also tend to have a longer view of style and design, so they won’t be easily swayed by the trend of the moment. This can help you build a home that will remain timeless as you live in it for decades to come.

A new home is a blank slate for your own design choices and needs. Choose wisely and you will build a home that will serve your family well and retain its marketability in the future. Join me next month for an overview of how the new construction process differs from a home remodel. 

William S. Briggs, Architect, PLLC

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