Modifying Home’s Exterior – Here are the answers to some issues

iirfsHome plans expert, Eric Englund from HomeStyles, says “The good news is that often the exterior styling can be changed by the builder to suit your taste.” Though there are cases in which the styling of the interior is so tied to the exterior that it might be unattractive or disorienting to go to an extreme opposite in changing the outside, it is a fact that most people like you who purchase home plans and build from them make some modifications to suit their family’s lifestyle–and also, to add distinctive touches that make the house on paper a real-life special home.

“The top priority is to buy a home with an interior layout that works for you,” says Englund. “The blueprints may show a Tudor facade, but in many cases you can switch it to something else if you really want the inside layout but not the exterior. You can eliminate the Tudor half timbers and add stucco or wrought-iron details, for example.”

Shown here through the rendering and the photo is an example of exactly what Englund is talking about. The drawing of the “Dramatic Heights” home plan shows a Country style exterior, with a covered porch, wood siding, and light-colored shutters. The character projected by this exterior is casual and inviting.

What the homeowners opted to do, however, was to keep the informal interior layout of this Country house, but to change the facade. The built home has no porch and a beige stucco exterior that contrasts with the black-painted shutters. Formal, ornate details have been added-the vertical quoins decorations running up the corners, and the keystone wedges in the banding elements above the doorway, windows, and garage doors. The character projected by this exterior is formal, stately and European.

Here are answers to other issues that might be on your mind regarding trends in house styles:

When in the process should I think about house style?

“Typically, you zero in on the layout of the plan to see if it will work for you. Most consumers are savvy enough to know that the exterior can be modified and that they can talk to the builder about that after they have decided upon the plan they want,” Englund explains. “And most people choose a home that blends in with the neighborhood.”

What styles are most popular across the country?

“Consumers are still buying Country styled homes. Front porches are especially what people seem to be looking for. Of the top 10 bestselling HomeStyles homes in 1996, almost all are Traditional, Country or European styled,” Englund explains, “People remember the house grandma used to live in and derive a sense of peace from that. So they are drawn to the Traditional to invoke feelings of nostalgia and comfort. Contemporary homes seem to be most popular in the Sunbelt states, such as Florida, and in California.”

If I choose a distinct style for my home, how will it affect the resale value?

“I believe it has a positive effect. A distinct style is a selling point because it makes the house different and more attractive than a characterless tract house,” Englund explains.

What are features most commonly demanded in homes today regardless of the exterior styling?

“The garage close to the kitchen for unloading groceries is an important convenience to look for,” says Englund. “Also, where the master suite is located-whether it is on the first floor or second-is a priority. For growing families especially, the inclusion of a den that can be used later as a child’s bedroom is important.”

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