geometry of home design

The Home Building Process – Step 3:

The Geometry of Home Design

In addition to the overall building size and home site variables, the home’s design also plays a significant role in the cost of a new home. Let’s begin with this basic geometry example.

If you draw a perfect square with 10’ on each of the four sides, the box contains 100 square feet. Simple math. If you draw a rectangle that had 50’ on the long sides and 2’ on the short sides, the rectangle will still contain 100 square feet. Easy again. However, to build the first 100 square feet the builder must pay for 40 linear feet of exterior wall space, including framing, drywall, mechanicals, insulation, stone, finish trim materials, etc. To build the second 100 square feet the builder has to build 104 linear feet of exterior walls. While this example is extreme, it still proves the simple point that no builder can build 40 feet of wall space for the same price as 104 feet of wall space. When you connect these dots it’s easy to understand how production builders offer homes at affordable prices. They typically build square homes, boxes if you will, on very level or flat lots.

Alternatively, two-story homes are less expensive to build than one-story homes as the old saying of “it’s much cheaper to go up than out” will always reign true. Two-story homes enable you to build on the foundation twice, under the roof twice, use shorter lumber lengths, shorter electrical runs, plumbing, HVAC ducts and more.

In relation to our topic of cost per square foot… When a one-story 3000 square foot home is offered for sale next to a two-story 3000 square foot home there is no consideration in comparing “price per square foot”, as the one story will almost always be priced higher than the two-story. Once our clients understand this, even those who originally desired a one-story home, they often ask us to put a couple of bedrooms upstairs to reduce “costs” in an effort to reach the desired square footage total and fall within their budget goals.

To learn more about other costs that need to be taken into consideration, please see our post on Building Materials and Specifications. This step encompasses defining the features you want in your new home.

Todd Glowka Builder can help you balance your new home design with your budget to get the best value for your money. Peruse our Portfolio to get ideas of what your new custom home can look like. Then contact us to discuss the design of your new home.