Creating the IDEAL New Floorplans

February 25, 2021

We often get asked about floorplans and elevation design so we decided to take you behind the scenes of the research and design process. The process in which we create new floorplans is unique for Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods because over the past five years we have increased the emphasis on innovation and style. Kent Dahl, Vice President for Estimating and Design, shares the ins and outs of how his team has created more than 60 current floorplans and more than 200 elevation styles (208 to be precise). TWO HUNDRED! This exceeds most other builders’ offerings because we strive to provide different styles within a variety of sizes and price ranges.

The Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods floorplan design process all starts with analysis of what our customers gravitate toward and away from when building a home. Customers might love a floorplan, but may not like what it looks like on the outside (this is called the “elevation”). Diving into the numbers and analysis of which homes our customers are building allows our teams to identify underperforming floorplans and then evaluate if it’s likely a problem with the floorplan itself or if it’s because we aren’t offering the right elevation designs. We update all floorplans and/or elevations once every 5 years to keep them fresh and current. This helps us make sure we’re able to deliver new designs that meet our customers’ hopes and dreams.

So, what do we think  about when creating a new plan?

It all depends on the inspiration! The Overly, for example, was all designed around the wall of windows in the living room. The team knew they wanted to be able to provide a large open great room with vaulted ceilings and a wall of windows toward the back so they developed the entire floorplan around the center of the home.

But brand new plans are sometimes simply adaptations of older plans. For example, when trends in washer/dryer designs, refrigerator designs, car designs, etc. change, our homes have to adapt to the updated products. Kitchens were re-designed years ago to make sure refrigerator doors can open to their full width as side-by-side styles became more prevalent. Laundry rooms were enlarged to accommodate front-load washers and now are being adjusted to accommodate taller top-load washers. Garages are now being extended to accommodate larger vehicles. As buyers’ needs change, so do our floorplans.

“A brand new floorplan typically takes a couple months to design and finalize. We will usually start with 5-10 iterations of a new plan and narrow it down to the best version,” said Kent. “From there, another 5-10 iterations may be designed before a final version is chosen.” Beyond design trends and customer needs, this team also has to consider building codes to ensure size requirements are met, support structures are included, and more.

We asked Kent which floorplan was his favorite and he said the Halstead and Overton are his favorite (the Overton is the same design as the Halstead, but with a second floor). In fact, his family has built one of each!

Do you have an idea for a floorplan that you’d love for us to consider? Drop us a note!

Erin Yarbrough

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