All architects have at least one floor plan for a 50-foot-wide by 100-foot-long lot. Some have several. The 50-foot-by-100-foot is a go-to plan for builders, too, because it’s cost-effective. But the truth is most 5,000-square-foot lot plans are as limiting as they are typical.
Devoting half the home’s front elevation to the garage allows only 20 feet of design space for the rest of the façade. In the typical 50-by-100, the garage dictates how you progress though the house. Designing around the garage (usually a two-or three-car tandem) offers limited possibilities; the house becomes an L, no matter how you configure it. As a result, the home ends up looking the same, reading the same, and living the same. Want a bedroom on the first floor? It has to be at the front. Position the living and dining rooms, and you’re now halfway to the back before sight lines to the rest of the house open up. The kitchen gets pushed to the rear, and that’s no place for the hub of the home.
What if you turned that 5,000-square-foot lot into a 4,900-square-foot lot? At 70-feet-by-70-feet, you’ve widened the lot by half, so the house has more street presence and the interior spaces better meet a buyer’s needs.
There are many more upsides, including numerous garage options for four cars and a master bedroom and a secondary bedroom or flex room on the first floor. The kitchen is now in the center and connected to all other rooms. By splitting the garage, you can even create a multigenerational suite that has its own dedicated parking place. Best of all, you can create a private outdoor space to which all rooms have access.
The 4,900-square-foot lot setup costs more than a traditional lot, and you have more streetside space to deal with and more front elevation to design. But those are offset by buyers who are willing to pay more for a single-level home with a private outdoor space, street presence, and a high-functioning garage.