• Arc1 Design Inc.

THINK OUTSIDE THE SPEC HOME BOX



"Which house is it? They all look the same! Why do they all have such boxy proportions? Why do they all use the same cheap finishes? Would it kill them to add a few more windows?"

These are the thoughts that run through my head when I drive through some urban communities. Then I think about all the interesting people I've met who have a vision of their dream home, but can't find anything like it anywhere!

What does the average a dream home look like, you ask? Generally, it's not a mansion. It's a 3,000 to 4,000 square foot home with ample natural light, an open floor plan, and a few pockets of privacy. It has medium-sized bedrooms with larger closets, super functional bathrooms, and smart built-ins for extra storage and clutter-free living.

The perfect dream home uses natural materials to promote a healthy living environment, it has extra insulation for added energy efficiency, requires very low maintenance, and maybe has solar panels or a rainwater collection system. It also has a modern look to it. Not too modern where it looks cold, but a little modern, with hints of natural woods to give it warmth.

So why can't they have that!? Well, they can! And it's not too hard to achieve. Unfortunately, the average builder does not build these types of homes. They tend to build the "spec home box" that we have all come to know and expect. This type of development started in the 1950s when mass-produced homes began to cover the landscape. They were driven and shaped by low-cost framing methods and cheap materials. Aesthetics and sustainability were an afterthought, if considered at all. The main goal was to squeeze out homes as quickly and as efficiently as possible - a cart-before-the-horse approach.

Custom homes were once seen as being too expensive and taking too long to build. While it is true that designing a home from scratch takes a little more planning, the costs of buying an already-built home or having a custom home builder build one for you are the same. In both cases, the cost of design and materials have been factored into the cost of construction. Then why not take control of these decisions?

Think outside the "spec home box" and build what you love! Don't settle for a close-fit when you can have your dream home. Hire a designer who can help you chose a style, pick out finishes, and plan out spaces that compliment your lifestyle. Together, we can redefine the home building experience.

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