The 3 Factors You Need to Consider When Planning for Your New Home or Addition

2e project photo How much house can I build with my budget?

Budget (Money), Size, and Quality are the three items that are top-of-mind during every first meeting with a prospective client I’ve ever had. These initial meetings are mostly about determining if we’ll have a good working relationship and if I’m a style fit for them, but in the end, money (and the size and quality that can be achieved) are always a consideration. When you’re building a luxury property like the kind 2e Architects specializes in, whether the style is modern, traditional, craftsman or a mid-century home, all clients want to know, ‘How much house can I build with my budget?’

Navigating Budget, House Size, and Quality

In many ways, designing and building a home is very complicated. But in at least one way, it is very straightforward … A house cannot be a dream home unless you fully understand the client’s needs. Every luxury home should be unique to its occupants. When designing a home for my clients I start with asking a lot of questions. I talk with them, listen to their needs, understand their wants, and help to translate those into a design and plan. Questions about how you live day-to-day in your home are the key. From the answers to these questions, we’ll create a list of priorities, which we then work with to determine what the right size and level of quality needs to be.

Focus on More than House Size …

We’ve all seen McMansions, they have one thing in common – they focus all of the quality on the front of the building with brick or stone or gables or arched windows. Meanwhile the sides and rear are completely devoid of character (quality) and so become bland vinyl-clad sides of a box that are truly ugly. But here’s the motivator behind this: the decrease in quality allows the McMansion to increase in size.

This happens in the interior, too. The volume of one big open room can seem impressive, but where are the cozy spaces for intimate conversations? Where can you get away to relax and read a book? Do you want everyone who’s come for a holiday dinner to see all the dirty dishes used to prepare the meal? Is there a smart, discrete place for the powder room?

At first glance, the larger home at the same price seems to be an excellent value, but there are things to consider when sacrificing other elements of a home for size. These show up in many, many ways.

This article was written by Peter Twohy of 2e Architects. Read more here:

About the author

Peter Twohy

Peter Twohy received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame in 1988. In 1991 he moved to Germany, learned enough German to work as one of the lead designers of a German firm, Diniaware Architects in Königstein for more than 2 years. Peter then moved to Baltimore and worked for one of the premiere residential architects in the area. There he learned and honed the craft of designing beautiful client focused homes. He opened 2e Architects in 2005, which won “Best Of Design” and “Best Of Customer Service,” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design for the fifth consecutive year in 2018.