Q: Times are tight. How can we cut back on the number of floor plans we offer without losing curb appeal and creating streetscapes that look monotonous?

A: It's not uncommon for production builders to work with a “chassis” model, in which several different elevation styles are applied to the same floor plan. Say your standard formula is to introduce one new plan for every 20 to 25 lots. You may be able to get away with fewer plans if you are willing to invest a little more in elevation styling. Variations in roof forms, window patterns, bays, bump-outs, colors, and cladding materials will cause slight price fluctuations—give or take $7,500 per house—but your basic cost-per-square-foot will remain constant. Below are examples of different styles applied to the same floor plan.

Guest Architect: J.R. RUTHIG Dominick Tringali Architects Bloomfield Hills, Mich. 248-335-8888 jasonr@dtarchitects.com

TRADITIONAL COLONIAL
TRADITIONAL COLONIAL
FRENCH COUNTRY
FRENCH COUNTRY
ENGLISH TUDOR
ENGLISH TUDOR