Eaves are usually large and overhanging. Small ranch house plans tend to be simple rectangles; but there are larger designs which can be have L or U shapes surrounding a courtyard in the center visible from the living areas. Frequently there are sliding glass doors which open onto patios, or large picture windows in the living and dining areas. The design often includes an attached garage as well as patio area. Also, the exteriors are usually of brick, wood, or stucco with simple or rustic interior décor and exterior trim.
Nowadays architectural soundness has acquired a new meaning, with the advent of sustainable designing. A dwelling sheathed in solar panels has a very different aesthetic than the usual suburban house. Multi-unit housing which eliminates the thermal bridges created by extensive glazing and concrete decks do not share the aesthetic of glass paneled high rise towers. Passive solar designs often borrow elements from local architectural styles to address local climactic conditions.
Modern home plans come in all shapes, sizes and styles. It will be up to you to find the one that best suits your needs. If that's a contemporary plan that includes an open layout, you can find plenty of great plans available to choose from. Of course, you also have the option of creating your own home plans based on your requirements, be they extra bathrooms for the teens, home office or workout space. Perhaps you want an open kitchen and lounge area, but a private dining room. Maybe you prefer the entire lower level to be open but want the sleeping areas divided accordingly. It really doesn't matter because you can get whatever you want.
Know what to ask designers. You need to talk to these people before you choose one to work with and asking the right questions can make all the difference in the world. You need to find out how long they've been in the business of designing home plans, what they have done in the past, and see what they can do for you. Make sure you look at a collection of other houses they have designed; this will give you a solid idea of the quality of their workmanship and creative talent.
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