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What Are Three Things Architects Must Consider When Designing A Home?



The three things that are top-of-mind during every first meeting with a prospective customer are budget (money), scale, and efficiency. Most of these initial meetings are about deciding whether we're going to have a successful working partnership and whether you’re a style match for them, but in the end, money is still a factor (and the size and quality that can be achieved).



Designing and designing a house is very difficult in many respects. But it's very clear in at least one way ... a house will not be a dream home until you completely understand the desires of the client. To its inhabitants, every luxury home should be special. 



We've all seen McMansions, they all have one thing in common-with brick or stone or gables or arched windows, they concentrate all the quality on the front of the house. The sides and the back, meanwhile, are totally devoid of character (quality) and thus become bland vinyl-clad sides of a very ugly package. But behind this, here's the motivator: the reduction in quality enables the McMansion to increase in size.


This, too, occurs in the interior. It. seem amazing to have the volume of one wide open room, but where are the comfortable spaces for intimate discussions? Where can you get away with a book to relax and read? Do you want to see all the dirty dishes used to prepare a meal for anyone who comes for a holiday dinner? 


At first glance, a larger home at the same price seems to be an excellent deal, but when sacrificing other aspects of a home for size, there are things to consider. These are manifested in many, many forms, including:


  • Enjoyment of Your Home

  • Resale Value, bigger doesn’t mean more value

  • Maintenance

  • Energy Bills



You don't live at the front entrance ... The front elevation is very important, but the back elevation is very important, too. Where you barbecue, entertain friends, and spend time with your family is the back of the home; it also needs to look and feel amazing.


Be mindful about how your house will help raise your mood and everyday results. The everyday aspects of daily life should be the subject of all home design: emerging from the garage into a welcoming, naturally lit mudroom (which I call a family foyer) is much better than entering your home directly into a laundry room with a pile of dirty clothes. Have a place for keys, mail, sunglasses, caps, athletic shoes, jackets and gloves to be put in. 


Find the right balance and also consider:


  • Circulation and flow,

  • Interior vistas, and

  • The orientation of your home to the sun. A breakfast table that sits in a warm and sunny spot every morning is a welcoming start to the day.



When you raise the size, the bad thing about decreasing the quality is that it ultimately decreases the resale price. In the neighborhood or area of the city you're interested in, take a look online and check for only homes that cost the same amount of money, say a million dollars. Bigger does not equate to greater value for resale. The price of a house with a focus on quality per square foot is higher than a larger house that compromises quality for size. And as the home ages, this just becomes more apparent.



As they want to be as maintenance-free as they can, many individuals would prefer a new home. They don't want the headache of broken systems or the hassle. But if you choose lower-quality finishes to achieve size in appliances, tiles, flooring , roofing and windows, these products will also fail faster than a better quality item.



'And after all,' the logic goes, 'you can't see the insulation in the walls or the attic until it's full and who wants to waste money on stuff you can't see in your new home?' Insulation is an environment where others search to save...' "Don't make a mistake here. Not only would it translate into a lifetime of higher monthly energy costs, but with the home feeling too cold in winter and too hot in summer, it will result in daily discomfort.

Are You Looking for an Architecture Firm to Design Your Home?


Ecobuild Architects provides exceptional design and construction administration services for residential, commercial, and mixed-use projects throughout California with an eye towards sustainable/ high-performance building solutions. We are experts in suggesting Cost-Effective/ Sustainable Solutions for any size project. If you are searching for an architect that specializes in Zero-Net Energy Building Envelope Design, Water Reuse, Healthy Indoor Air Quality, & Fire Resilient/ New Home Construction Practices, look no further than Ecobuild Architects in Oakland, California. Contact us today for your free consultation!

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