For many years, the home building industry, fueled by unrealistic lending policies, urged people to buy much larger and grander homes than they actually needed, let alone could afford. Since this is no longer an option, what’s the solution for homeowners who will need more space as their family grows?
The answer can be found in the way previous generations approached the idea of homeownership. First, houses were built with the intention of staying in them for many years. Then, as families grew and finances al- lowed, additions were made to the existing home.
With that in mind, today’s homes could be built with expansion ideas inherent in the design. In other words, the home can grow with us as our need for space and finances both increase. Perhaps affordable should no longer refer to inexpensive, but rather what we can actually afford.
This month, our House Review design team presents four ideas for efficiently designed homes with various preconceived options for expansion  (PDF, 2.6 MB). Rather than creating designs where expanded areas become obvious add-ons, these homes maintain both functionality and outstanding curb appeal in their original form and as they are expanded.
For more information on these plans and to view additional designs, including previous House Review reports on infill housing and narrow-lot designs, visit www.HousingZone.com/HouseReview .
DOWNLOAD THE HOUSE REVIEW REPORT (PDF, 2.6 MB)