NAHB Best In American Living - Winter 2018 - v2 - 26
Tools & Techniques
Before the plans are put to paper, you
need to understand your buyer.
"You need to pay attention to your
market," says Tony Crasi, owner and
founder of The Crasi Company in
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. "That's a broad
statement, but it's true. You need to
know what's important to your clientele.
Then it's much easier to figure out what
type of home to build."
Crasi explains that no matter your
build budget, three elements make up
the cost of a home: the lot, the square
footage, and the finishes. If you have a
limited budget, he offers these tips:
◾◾ Keep your site simple.
A simple, yet stunning
provides a focal point for
this study without
breaking the bank.
◾◾ Keep the square footage
◾◾ Know where it's important to
splurge to wow your customers.
MAKE A SOLID FIRST IMPRESSION
Whether it is a model home in a large
community or a spec home, the first
impression begins with the architecture.
◀ ** ▶
Mary DeWalt, CMP, MIRM, president of
Mary DeWalt Design Group in Austin, Texas,
agrees that at any budget, knowing your
buyer is a critical component of design.
"Everything we do is designed to sell and
connect with the consumers' needs and
wants, but you also need to keep in mind
what's affordable and attainable to them."
Crasi notes that a common mistake is
not paying attention to exterior proportions, such as skinny columns at the front
of the house, dormers that look too small,
or shutters that are too narrow to cover
"When the proportions are off, it throws
the style off," he says. "While the customer
may not be able to put their finger on why,
the house won't feel right to them."
One tip that Crasi offers is choosing
a style that matches your budget. For
example, if you have a limited budget,
26 BEST IN AMERICAN LIVING | www.bestinamericanliving.com
build a simple style, such as a Colonial,
instead of a more expensive Tudor style.
"When you are talking about expense,
it starts with the shape of the building.
When you choose a less complex style,
you have more money to invest on
features and finishes."
The other aspect of making a good first
impression is the entrance sequence,
which begins at the front door. Spend
a little more money on the door and
the hardware so it feels solid and
PHOTO: LITA DIRKS & CO. LLC
CREATE FOCAL POINTS
As soon as buyers walk in the door, the
focal points within their sight lines become
an extension of the first impression.
"We want the buyer to open the door
and go, 'Oh wow!' and it doesn't take a
lot of money to do that," says DeWalt.
The first place a potential buyer walks
to is often the living room, so this is an
important spot in which to splurge.
She adds, "The first thing a builder
should do is have a designer review their
floor plans so they can place realistic