Monday, April 9, 2007

Model Homes - Revisited

When I first began Touring Model Homes, there were four basic house types. Each builder might have a slight variation of these.

The first was the "Ranch" (bearing no resemblance to an actual "ranch" - since it was set on a piece of property slightly larger than the house itself) This type was the single story model. Usually the bedrooms were at one end and the living area was at the other end. The shape could be straight across, L-shaped or U-shaped.

The second was the "Colonial". This type was a two story which had the main living area = kitchen, living room and dining room on the main floor and the second story had the bedrooms. There would be a bathroom on one or both levels.

The third was the "Split Level". This type had a ground level with an attached garage. On this level there would be a Family Room -perhaps a bathroom and an additional room that could be a bedroom.
There would be a few steps and a partial level that had the kitchen and "Living Room"(which was a more formal seating area ) and a Dining Room.
Then up a few more steps would be the bedrooms and bathroom(s).

The fourth type was a variation of the Split called a "Raised Ranch" (In my opinion the ugliest - and most annoying type). The garage would be below the actual entrance to the house. It would appear that the house was on a hill. You would have to go up a flight of steps to get to the front door. Upon entering, you walked into another stairway. You could go down to the lower level - which was again a Family Room - One or more Bedrooms and a Bathroom.
If you went up the stairs - that would lead to the Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room and more Bedrooms and Bathrooms.
My biggest dislike of this model -is that you cannot get to the main area of the house without climbing stairs (whether you enter from the front door or the garage)

For many years, these were the types used - Of course there were variations on exterior finishes, interior finishes, flooring choices, the number of bedrooms, maybe a "Breakfast Nook", fireplace, patio, and several other "Extras". But the same four types was used over and over.

Then a few years ago Builders starting mass producing what would have to be classified as "Mini Mansions". They were always two Main Stories (and in New Jersey where I lived a Basement Level Finished - with separate rooms, carpet, bathroom, appliances - that could itself house a small village of refugees)

These "Homes" would have : huge entry areas, extra high ceilings, extra large rooms, Extra Rooms such as a Library, a Guest Bedroom w/Bath, a Garden Room, a Game Room, at lease four normal sized bedrooms, a Master Suite which was the master bedroom with a sitting room, a huge walk-in closet perhaps a his and her bath.
Because of the enormous size - it would be necessary to have an intercom installed to communicate with the family members in the various locations in the "Home".

These were an absolute JOY to tour (as long as you took a map with you). Because in addition to being large and having different layouts, they were Creatively decorated - with exquisite accessories, colors, furniture and finishes. Wow! There were many I didn't want to leave. I would continue to walk through looking and admiring until either my companion would drag me out or the guard would "politely" tell me they were closing.

I have taken many pictures of Model Homes I liked and if I can figure out how to get them onto my Blog, I will include them.

Enough for now....

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