Designs for cost-effective single-family homes

Creating viable single-family homes was really difficult before the pandemic. Now, with material shortages and ever-increasing selling prices, the challenge has become even more intense, while the need has never been more critical.

The House Review design team has responded with a variety of potential single family home solutions ranging from 900 to 2,300 square feet. While all plans save with essentially rectangular floorplans, they differ in how cars are addressed, reflecting the increasing importance consumers and developers place on protecting cars.

In fact, many communities still require single-family homes to provide enclosed space for at least two cars, consuming about 420 square feet. Considering this space is roughly the size of two small bedrooms and a bathroom, it might be time to reassess our priorities.


hut plan 3

DESIGNERS: Seth Hart, DTJ Design, [email protected]303.443.7333

DIMENSIONS: Width: 20 ft / Depth: 40 ft / Living Area: 1,530 sf

This small lot cottage design is one of four plan variations developed to provide affordable housing in the Fort Collins, Colorado market. The cottages are planned in C-shaped clusters to provide private backyards leading to a shared green courtyard.

The garages are detached and attached at the end of the green courtyard, allowing for much smaller plots, compact building footprints and greatly reduced construction costs. The facade styles (pictured above) are generally traditional in form and use colored paint and applied detail to create a more modern appearance rather than using more expensive materials such as masonry, stucco or metal cladding.

A Minimal foundation jumps simplify construction and reduce costs

B. Optional windows keep base costs down while still providing opportunities for more natural light in the home

C Optional covered porch in the backyard

D The second floor stacks above the first floor to eliminate the need for beams and drop ceilings

E External dimensions are designed for 4-foot modules to minimize construction waste

The Cottages at Stockton Plan No. 1

DESIGNERS: Larry W. Garnett, FAIBD, [email protected]254.205.2597

DIMENSIONS: Width: 14 ft / Depth: 55 ft / Living Area: 887 sf (one bedroom plan); 1,197 sf (two bedroom plan)

With a long, rectangular footprint, these cottages can provide efficient density in a small neighborhood.

Square footage matches that of many top-selling multi-family products while offering single-family homes with open floor plans, plenty of natural light and an attached garage with plenty of additional storage.

The one bedroom plan gives a single person or a young couple the opportunity to invest in a first home. The two bedroom option within the same footprint is suitable for a young family. The second bedroom could become a child’s room or the office for someone who works at home.

While a single garage can be controversial, it certainly reduces the overall price of a single family home.

Larry Garnett Design for Single Family Homes, Cottages at Stockton, Plan 1

Larry Garnett Design for Single Family Homes, Cottages in Stockton, Plan 1, Floor Plans

A Open kitchen/living/dining room

B. Single garage with additional storage space

C One bedroom option with loft storage

D Option for two en-suite bedrooms

Larry Garnett Design for Single Family Homes, Cottages at Stockton, Plan 1, Elevation

plan 1

ARCHITECT: Architecture of the Dahlin Group | Planning, [email protected]925.251.7200

DIMENSIONS: Width: 50 ft / Depth: 69 ft / Living Area: 2,212 sf

This modern farmhouse style home proves you can deliver quality design for homebuyers while managing your construction costs.

The single storey plan is perfect for those with varying physical abilities or has ample space for a young family including a dedicated private flexible space to accommodate the lifestyle needs of the owners.

A Californian room within the footprint enhances indoor/outdoor livability, while a thoughtfully planned great room creates effective separation of uses without compromising sightlines or connections. An attached powder room and laundry room at the end of the entryway provide a handy means of cleaning and containment before entering the heart of the home.

Dahlin Group single-family house Plan 1

A The efficient design focuses the articulation of the floor plan on the front elevation

B. Window sizes are standardized to reduce their number and costly variations

C The home uses fewer exterior cladding materials for greater impact

D A steeper roof pitch on the front gable increases impact, while a lower pitch on the rest of the house reduces costs

Dahlin Group single-family house plan 1 elevation
Photos: Chris Mayer Photography

Dahlin Group Single Family Home Plan 1 Outdoor living


ARCHITECT: Todd Hallett, AIA, TK Design & Associates, [email protected]248.446.1960

DIMENSIONS: Width: 25 ft / Depth: 60 ft / Living Area: 2,289 sf

The housing industry’s struggle with rising material and labor costs has led builders to look for ways to become affordable.

This plan leverages the principles of lean design, a concept that reduces labor and material costs by eliminating waste and using a portion of those savings for amenities and aesthetics that increase marketability.

Jasmine single family home plan by TK Design & Associates

A Freely spanned floor trusses eliminate internal bearing elements and simplify the structure for easier/faster mechanical design and installation

B. The second floor staircase is outside of the main living area where the action takes place

C The narrow footprint allows you to build on less expensive lots

D A massive 12-foot island allows for a variety of seating options in a narrow home

TK Design & Associates' Jasmine single family home elevation

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