3 Ways Residential Architects Are Able To Design Smaller Homes That Developers Won't Build

6 November 2015
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


Millennials who want to live in smaller homes soon discover that there is a shortage of available properties. Developers have been focusing on building huge, upscale mansions and neglecting the starter home market, making it difficult for millennials to locate homes in their price range.

To have the more modest and stylish homes of their dreams, many people are hiring residential architects to design those residences that the new housing market neglects to offer. Here are 3 trends that are making it easier to build with sustainability and style:

A new appreciation for mid-century restraint.

There is a reason why post-WWII ranches sprung up like wildfire all over the American landscape. The homes packed a lot of living into a small footprint, they were well-built, and they offered unique amenities including two-way fireplaces, bay windows, and built-ins that allowed for flexibility in room function.

As you're consulting with your architect about potential small home designs, have a discussion about some of the old school ranch homes and how you might incorporate some of their practical features in your new home. Your architect will most likely have access to blueprints from the era, and they can help you update the older look for a modern aesthetic with time-tested space conservation.

3D printing helps you see your plans.

One issue many people find daunting is the way blueprints and architectural renderings don't really give a good sense of what a home actually will look like in person. A 2D floor plan from a developer may look spacious and attractive on paper, but when you enter the model home, the stairs are too big or the bedroom is too boxy.

It's even harder to visualize what your own plans will look like when there's no model home to check out in real life. 3D printing is coming to the rescue, giving architects and future home builders the opportunity to see and touch a scale model of their design. While most architects won't have access to this technology right away, as 3D goes mainstream and gets cheaper, they'll be able to provide you with a set of blueprints and a mini version of your new home.

Repurposed materials make a small home even greener.

Architects and designers are aware of the commitment many people have to build homes that don't use excessive resources. Together, they're developing innovative ways to incorporate repurposed materials into new home construction.

If you want to build a sustainable home, be open with your architect about your desire to use recycled materials in the design. Ask them for recommendations about sourcing salvaged wood, brick, and windows. When your architect knows that you want to use unique and eco-friendly elements in your home's construction, they will incorporate your wishes into their plans for your new home.

You can have the home of your dreams even when contractors aren't offering it in their new developments. A residential architect will make sure you build the home you really want to call your own.