I’m not able to freely walk in and out of homes under construction anymore due to the homebuilding bust a couple of years ago.
Builders tend to keep the houses under lock and key these days to keep out thieves who are after the tools, materials, and appliances often found on building sites.
But one of the many things that I still can do is look at the exterior of homes — new and old alike — and gather home building ideas.
Homes With A Wall Of Windows
While driving around this past weekend, we came across a neighborhood of around 40 to 50 new homes, with a couple of homes under construction.
The homes were priced in the mid-$300’s to mid-$400’s on one-third to half-acre lots with approximately 3,500-5,000 sq. ft.
As we drove around the carefully manicured lots, something struck me as being very odd. (No, it wasn’t just the red deck on a brown house with another home around the corner with the same exact color scheme.)
Sure, these homes are plenty large with nice architectural features, but massive amounts of square footage isn’t first on my list when I look at houses.
When I drove around to the backside of a group of homes via a different street, I began to notice how many homes had the same configuration of 3-story living room windows.
Essentially, these homes seemed to have the same — or similar — floor plan and rear exterior features.
There a few things wrong with that, and I’ll tell you why:
- There were too many of homes — with the exact same floor plan — within close proximity of one another. I have a photo (see below) with 3 homes sitting side-by-side with no view. What is the point?!
- The only reason I would want a wall of windows 3 stories high is if there was a great view. I saw the view that these homeowners had, and if left me wanting. What is the point of creating this great wall of windows only to watch the guy that lives behind you drink from a jug in his kitchen… in his pj’s?!
- Having too many homes with the same floor plan in close proximity to one another brings down home values and property values. If you’e house hunting, you always want to look for a neighborhood with a wide variety of house plans. No cookie cutter McMansions, if you can afford it.
To top it all off, all of these homes required spending a fortune on window treatments to either block out the afternoon sun and/or the sweet view of the neighbor’s back deck.
The photo above is a small sampling of the homes I observed in this west Cobb County neighborhood.
I should mention that I was standing on a vacant lot to take the photo. (That’s not a field!) I feel confident in saying that someday there will be a home where I once stood that has the same great view as the homes behind it have. Let’s hope not.
This neighborhood qualifies for my dumb homebuilding ideas category.
It really is a shame to see great looking home floor plans being misused. There are way too many choices for a developer or homebuilder to consider to make this kind of mistake. At least in this price range, it should never happen.
Yes… it’s my opinion whether you agree with me or not.
I’ve written about this kind of problem in the past — where a homebuilder decided to build a home with a wall of windows facing a busy street. (It’s near the end of the article.)
It never ceases to amaze me how little thought some developers and homebuilders put into creating a neighborhood with variety. You can still make money and create a great neighborhood because most homeowners want their home to be uniquely theirs.
I’ve also written about homes that use a wall of windows appropriately. (They have a view.)
These homes are having an identity crisis and the homeowners aren’t helping matters.
We noticed something else very peculiar this past weekend. Half of the homes in this particular neighborhood had statuary in their front yards. What is peculiar about that? It was either frogs, dogs, or saints — all in quantity. I’ll leave that for another day’s post.
I started as a home-stalker… visiting brand new homes under construction in the neighborhoods near my house. That inspired me to write about home building and home renovation projects — chronicling homes during different phases of construction from a consumer's point-of-view. Basically, the tips you'll find in my articles are a collection of checklists for what I think should (and should not) go into building or remodeling a quality home.