IBS 2023: What’s the Latest in House Plan Trends?

Courtesy Madden Home Design

Arguably, one of the most important aspects of building and designing a home is the floor plan. With varying lot sizes, diverse room configurations, and ever-evolving trends, there are somewhat endless possibilities for floor plans and elevation styles.

To see what was popular last year and will be attractive to buyers in the near future, BUILDER consulted Aurora Zeledon, director of digital content and marketing for Zonda House Plans. With over 10 years of experience in the pre-drawn plan industry, she sorts through thousands of designs every week to choose the most interesting, innovative, and marketable house plans.

See below for today’s popular styles, most-requested features, and unnecessary adds. Plus, check out her house plans of the week every Wednesday on BUILDER or tune into her sessions at the Zonda booth, No. C3019, during the International Builders’ Show next week, including:

  • The House Plan Look that Sells: Lessons from 2022’s Top Designs on Jan. 31 at 3:30 p.m.;
  • 7 House Plan Trends for 2023 on Feb. 1 at 12:00 p.m.; or
  • 5 Things to Ditch from Your Layouts in 2023 on Feb. 1 at 2:30 p.m.
Courtesy Custom Home Designs

BUILDER: What pre-drawn floor plans were most popular last year? What did they have in common?

Zeledon: It was the year of the modern farmhouse … again! This modern farmhouse was the best-selling house design of 2022. It’s from Madden Home Design and was the No. 2 plan of 2021.

Across the rest of the top-selling plans, we saw a lot of front porches, white or light-colored siding, and warm wood accents. Metal roofs or roof accents were pretty common.

The average square footage of what sold was 2,051, with some garage and project plans in the mix. That’s about 100 square feet smaller than in 2021.

BUILDER: Will we see the modern farmhouse trend slow down this year? What may take its place?

Zeledon: Modern farmhouses continued to dominate last year. Farmhouse style, in general, made up about a third of our sales, up from 29% in 2021. So no, there’s no sign of slowing yet.

It’s still an open question as to what will replace it eventually. I’ll be speaking at the booth with designers Jonathan Boone and Rachel Watkins of House Plan Zone. They also think that farmhouse isn’t going anywhere but will get increasingly modern.

Courtesy House Plan Zone

BUILDER: Besides home offices and outdoor connections, what is the top house plan trend going into 2023? And why?

Zeledon: The House Plan Zone designers will be with me at the booth to discuss what they see as the key trends of barndominium style, big garages, tons of storage, overall simplicity, and a few more. You’ll have to stop by to find out!

For the record, I completely agree about the barndo look with a big garage gaining even more popularity in 2023. As far as why, the House Plan Zone designers say that “the perception people have about the simplicity and lower build cost of a barndo will cause this style to gain more momentum.”

BUILDER: What three features should designers ditch from layouts this year?

Zeledon: Wayne Ramaker of Lifestyle Design Service will be talking with me at the booth about this. He names several features to chop: tubs and whirlpool baths in the main suite, extraneous jogs in the floor plan’s footprint, and walls around dining rooms. We’ll also be discussing the most common modification requests that his team handles.

BUILDER: What features and styles have just started to emerge and will likely be popular by year’s end?

Zeledon: I’d go back to the big garage for this one, since it’s multipurpose and relatively simple. The House Plan Zone designers think that pet showers in the utility room and a slightly less open kitchen are coming.

BUILDER: What exterior styles are buyers gravitating toward the most? The least?

Zeledon: Farmhouse is still really dominate right now. Craftsman ranks second. Modern is a funny one. Together with contemporary, it tends to stay fairly steady at around 11% of sales, so not bad, but not huge. Tudor, classical, and log cabins rank the lowest for us. Basically, anything very niche and/or elaborate doesn’t do as well.

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