Sea Glass

Sea Glass

Friday, August 13, 2010

A House Too Big

When I’ve heard clients over the years refer to home amenities needed for “resale value”, I’ve often wondered who these potential buyers are. Apparently from the decisions I’ve seen clients make to appease this crowd, these buyers must like monochromatic off-white walls, bath tubs that admittedly rarely get used, a formal dining room that sits empty while everyone hangs out in the kitchen, and a living room that seems to never get lived in. Of course there’s other items that seem to collect dust also like a fireplace in the master bedroom, a “morning kitchen”, or a master bath the size of a small garage.

It’s interesting that most clients lament about designing for “resale” and yet most give in to this unknown entity and add the bathtub or formal dining room or whatever. I usually tell clients that unless they have very bizarre tastes, if they like it, most likely some future buyer will also.

Our homes should be designed for us, efficiently and economically, for the way that we live. Unneeded space is a waste of resources and costs money. The costs for these “unneeded” amenities have been rationalized over the years by the belief that someone will come along who wants and demands this extra space and stuff because the “marketplace” mandates it. We seem to have fallen prey to some sort of Martha Stewart Ponzi scheme where we have kept adding beautiful and expensive products and amenities that we’ve been led to believe will forever help to maintain the high market value of our home. Apparently not so, many of the “hot buttons” have gone cold! The “marketplace” appears to be telling us something.

But are we listening? Old habits are hard to break. The first step is to develop a new vision of the needs and expectations of a home and lay a path towards that goal. It’s absolutely necessary to develop an exciting plan that functions effectively for the way we live while still honoring our past and the emotional relationships that we have with our homes. The old models of building and development were overdone because builders and owners perceived them as “safe” alike. This way of thinking is apparently collapsing because of it’s own weight; a change is upon us. Build what you really want, be creative, and most of all, be brave. The time requires it!

Jeff Good
Benchmark General Contractors, Inc.


  1. Nice House Design. Keep continuing blogging because you also have a nice post.
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