Updated: May 19


If you are a residential home builder and have not updated your home designs and floor plans recently, you may be missing out. Buyer’s preferences and needs can change from year to year – especially after an event like the pandemic, which has caused many of us to re-evaluate our lifestyles. Now might be the perfect time to review the designs you are offering.


What Makes the Perfect Home?

Obviously, that can differ from person to person, but some of the things we are seeing in today’s market include:

  1. Increased demand for work-from-home spaces that work. Yes, you can turn an extra bedroom into a home office, but that is not always the most convenient choice. A first-level office tucked away from daily household noise is a popular option, as is an office with a door to the outside for the occasional visitor to use.

  2. The pandemic has made us more aware of the importance of family. For some, this means multi-generational living space may become more popular. Privacy will still matter, so spaces that are separate but open to common areas may pique a buyer’s interest.

  3. Smaller but smarter designs. For many years, bigger was better. Now, as the kids leave home and couples rethink how they live, less square footage, combined with a usable layout and high-end finishes is becoming popular.

  4. Open floor plans are still popular but are not for everyone. Many people have discovered over the past year that sharing space 24/7 has resulted in the desire for some separation! That could be a hobby room, reading nook, finished basement with a theater area and pool table, or even a standalone workshop.

  5. Formal living areas are still on the decline. They have become less and less popular over the past decade for many families, but offering a flexible design that can be adjusted relatively easily is one option to present to buyers.

  6. Outdoor space matters. After having been cooped up for so long, people are re-discovering nature. A well-planned outdoor living space is a popular feature.

As always, kitchens, bathrooms, and master suites heavily influence homebuyers. Adequate storage, built-ins, and the choice of quality finishes can turn a production home into something unique for your buyer.

Our home designers are happy to work with you to create a series of home plans for your development. Contact us today to learn more.



Benefits of a Home Designer

If you have been watching current trends, you may have noticed how much the housing marketing is booming. Since the start of the shutdown caused by the pandemic in early 2020, prices have been rising, with fierce competition for homes. Should you increase your budget? Decrease your expectations? Renovate your existing home? Buy land and build? If you decide to build or renovate, you may want to consider the benefits of hiring a home designer.


We all know the process of deciding on a home is difficult and can be stressful at times. Whether you choose to build or renovate, you have the ability to decide what features will be included in your home. One benefit of having a home designer is that they work with you to help create a vision for your home that takes into account how your family lives. With a custom designer you have full control over all design elements in your home.


In addition to having design control, a custom home designer can create a design plan that is specific to your lot or where you plan to add on or renovate. Whether you are building on a few acres of land, in a neighborhood, or renovating, a home designer can create plans that fit your specific needs.


Building or renovating a home can be expensive, so you will want to set your overall budget before meeting with the home designer. A home designer can help you by creating plans that fit the square foot limits of your budget. From open floor plans to floor-to-ceiling windows and everything in between, the home designer will work within the parameters you set to develop a design that aligns with your budget.


Working from home and need a new office? Want to add additional space to your house or remodel? Looking for a new build? Whether you are looking at your first home or forever home, having a home designer will be beneficial for you in the long run. Taking advantage of the expertise of a home designer to create the plans for your new home, addition, or renovation is the first and most critical part of the building process and is a small percentage of your overall budget.


If you want to learn more about having a custom home, remodel, addition, or workshop designed, please contact us or call 919.631.5979. We’ll be happy to share how we take your ideas and turn them into plans that say, “Welcome Home.”




Passivhaus (or passive house) is a set of building concepts that focus on energy-efficient housing that has a low carbon footprint. There are five basic building principles that set standards for insulation, high-performance windows and doors, an airtight building “envelope,” minimal space conditioning, and balanced ventilation. These principles may be used in both residential (single or multi-family) and commercial construction.


Why Build a Passivhaus?

The Passivhaus concept was introduced in North America in the 1970s, but only recently has seen renewed interest due to an increased awareness of the impact of our built environments on the planet. Passive houses are designed and built with specific attention to detail and are typically very resilient. Fresh filtered air and airtight construction provide high indoor air quality and a quiet, comfortable indoor environment, regardless of the weather. A Passivhaus may even lead to lower power bills and a net-zero impact on the environment.


Can I Build a Passivhaus in North Carolina? (COULD swap to “the Mid-Atlantic States”)

Standard Passivhaus principles typically work well in moderate climates, like North Carolina. (Different principles may be recommended in other, more extreme climate zones.) Katrin Klingenberg and Mike Kernagis co-founded Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) in an effort to make passive building mainstream in the U.S. PHIUS researches and recommends best practices, sets performance standards, and certifies passive houses in the US and Canada. The PHIUS has pre-certified or certified projects in 37 states and provinces in North America.


If you are considering building a custom home in North Carolina or the mid-Atlantic states, consider a passive house. Talk to your home designer and builder about options.

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