Though just 39’-wide, the Sunset
Gable plan still offers a 23’-wide
garage! Notice also the pocket office tucked in behind
Design Basics 3 top selling plans 10 years ago had garages measuring
20-foot, 20-foot 8-inches, and 21-foot 4-inches wide, respectively.
Single-wide garage doors measured 8-foot wide by 7-foot tall, and
double-wide garage doors were 16-foot wide. When building lot widths
allow, a 24-foot wide garage is most popular today, coupled with either
twin 9-foot wide garage doors or a single 18-foot wide garage door
(either measuring 8-foot tall). Even in narrower homes, serious effort
is made to offer at least 22-foot wide garages.
At the same time, designers are trying to de-emphasize the garage’s
impact of the home’s overall appearance from the street. Restrictions
are being put into place limiting how far the front of the garage can
protrude out from the front of the house. Numerous architectural elements
are also used to draw attention away from the garage door—which
is many times the single largest design element on the front of a home.
Of course, selecting an attractive garage door reduces the likelihood
it will be seen as an “eyesore”.
Estimates suggest there are as many as 38 million home-based businesses
in the United States and another 45 million U.S. adults bring work
home to finish after a long day at the office. The most successful
home designs today offer well-thought-out working from home solutions,
from the dedicated den/home office to the modest-size pocket office
concept, to dual purpose rooms such as a den with a wall bed so that
that space easily converts to a spare bedroom.
Another new home favorite today is hobby and craft areas—often
found in an expanded laundry room. Hard surface flooring and a sink
for easy clean-up make this an ideal space for messy pursuits or where
projects-in progress can be left undisturbed.
Finally, personally-tailorable spaces in homes are becoming deal-clinchers
for buyers. Examples include pet centers, planning centers, and travel
Improved accessibility Universal design elements are showing up in
varying degrees in today’s new homes. Some, like wider halls
and minimum 32-inch wide doors, are now dictated by the International
Residential Code. Other features such as “curbless” (a.k.a. “roll-in”)
showers, raised dishwashers, zero barrier entrances to the home and
more spacious bathrooms help ensure everyone who visits your new home
will be welcome.
Female home buyers have been driving almost all of these evolving
preferences in residential design. Where does design innovation come
from? LISTENING. Listening to the things home owners and prospective
home buyers want or would change. Not that the homeowner needs to solve
the issue—that’s the designer’s job. As designers
we take our cues and our inspiration from you. So please, continue
to inspire us to develop welcome new design amenities by sharing with
us your challenges and dreams for the perfect home!