2. Inviting Country Style
Square Feet: 2,000
A perennial best seller, this plan has been one of House Plan Gallery’s most popular for years, and designer Mark Mathis has a pretty clear idea why. It’s the optional bonus room above the garage--a cost-effective way to get additional space. Though most plan buyers elect to build it out, people on tight budgets could start with the stairs and use the space as an attic.
“At the point where they want to build out the space, all they would have to do is finish out the walls, ceiling, and floors,” says Mathis, who includes a bonus room in 90%of his designs. “That’s a fairly simple and inexpensive process, especially compared to doing an addition.”
At 336 square feet, the bonus space is large enough to be used as a children’s playroom, another bedroom and bath, a large home office, or anything else a homeowner desires. “It’s a great way to get a lot more space in a home for very little additional cost,” he notes.
Like some of the other best-selling plans, the traditional-country style, one-story home includes a side-loaded garage. But unlike many plans on the market today, the garage bays are large enough to accommodate trucks and SUVs. But Mathis added such extras only where needed. “This plan has an absolute minimum of wasted space,” he says. “That is one of our primary considerations on every new plan we design.”
Mathis also tries to design homes that will work for multiple buyer segments. The “split” floor plan, with a master bedroom on one side and children’s bedrooms on the other, would hold great appeal for families. The large area for congregating in the center of the house, including a great room, kitchen, and dining area, would be ideal for entertaining by empty nesters or retirees. In nice weather, guests could spill out onto a rear covered porch with an outdoor kitchen.
Like the bonus room over the garage, a smaller room off the great room could be used for multiple purposes. It could become a media room, a playroom, or an office, for instance. “We tried to provide a very flexible layout where the use of spaces can evolve to meet the current and future needs of the homeowners,” says Mathis.