HOUSING TRENDS: 6 features every house plan buyer wants

House plan buyers have more options today than ever before.

house plan The Vandenberg #746-D

Great room of The Vandenberg #746-D

By Chuck Tripp

With the advances in building materials over the past decade, it’s possible to customize a living experience that fits your lifestyle and preferences. And though the actual design, style, and theme may vary from homeowner to homeowner, there are a few key features that virtually every house plan buyer wants.

house plan The Rangemoss #1211

Open living of The Rangemoss #1211

Open floor plans

Selecting the right floor plan for your home is critical. After all, the flow and arrangement of rooms will determine the feel of your home plan and must take into account every member of your family. Open floor plans have become increasingly popular as they connect “separate” rooms by minimizing the use of walls and small, enclosed areas. Not only do open floor plans encourage social interaction, they are great for families with small children. Mom or Dad can cook dinner in the kitchen and still keep one eye on the little ones in the den.

house plan The MacAllaster #838

Screened porch of The MacAllaster #838

Outdoor living spaces

This has become a priority with many homeowners in recent years. After all, one’s living experience shouldn’t be confined to the inside of their dream house. Depending on climate–especially areas that have warm to mild year-round temperatures—outdoor spaces present a way to extend the living experience. “The outside has truly become a gathering place for friends and families who like to entertain,” says Chuck Tripp of Donald A. Gardner Architects. “Outdoor spaces are also ideal for individuals who simply want to enjoy a good book, a sunset, or a little quiet time.”

house plan The Merrill #1209

Great room of The Merrill #1209

Maximizing square footage

Families today are getting creative doing more with the space they have. It’s no longer necessary to buy a bigger house plan if you follow a few fundamental rules that allow you to free up space. For instance, losing long hallways and walls between rooms creates a more open floor plan that breathes and feels larger. Also, building vertically—not just horizontally—is a creative ways to “add space” between the furniture and the ceiling, especially by adding book cases or hanging objects.

house plan The Jasper Hill

Natural light floods the living room – The Jasper Hill #5020

Energy efficiency

Consumers and builders alike are becoming more energy efficient. Not only is it more beneficial to the environment, it saves homeowners money each month on the energy bill. Some options to consider are: tankless water heaters, low-flow toilets, using reclaimed wood and building materials, solar heating panels, and CFL smart lighting.

House plan The Blue Ridge

Fireplace of The Blue Ridge #1130-D


A few decades ago, traditional wood fireplaces were a purely functional feature that provided heat and comfort for dream homes. Today, though they still provide heat and comfort, they have become a distinctive design feature that elevates the ambiance of a room, both inside and out. Homeowners are now creating great rooms, dens, dining rooms, and even bedrooms, in which the fireplace is the centerpiece. Outside fireplaces are also quite popular, as homeowners are extending their living experience beyond their home’s interior.

house plan The Spotswood

Kitchen of The Spotswood #1310

Large kitchens

Again, like the traditional fireplace, kitchens once served a purely functional purpose. That’s a far cry from what the modern kitchen has evolved into. Kitchens nowadays are often the social hub of the home plan, where friends, family, and guests gather to share stories, drink wine, and socialize. Homeowners have seemingly limitless options to choose from today, including a wide spectrum of materials for customizing countertops, floors, cabinets/shelves, windows, doors, and cooking stations.

To learn more about these trends and the possibilities they can add to your design, please contact one of our DAG Representatives at 800.388.7580. And visit our website at www.dongardner.com


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