AT AMERICAN WEST HOMES IN LAS VEGAS, it's called the “upside-down” house. That's because the 1,602-square-foot home in the builder's Coronado Ranch community has a floor plan that reverses conventional logic when it comes to room placement. Plan 4 puts the master bedroom and communal living areas—living room, dining room, kitchen, and optional den—on the second level. The first floor is home to a large game room and secondary bedroom.

A generous, front-facing balcony and covered front porch play a central role in the plan, which was executed to capture interest in the front yard. “As lot sizes get smaller, people have started moving from the backyard to the front,” says Jeff Canarelli, American West's vice president of sales. “It's a way of maximizing the lot.”

Somewhat unexpectedly, Plan 4 has become popular with singles looking to share a house with roommates. They're attracted to the notion of two separate living areas—one up, one down—and a shared kitchen.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Las Vegas, NV.