Good Design vs. Bad Design
Design is a very subjective subject, and as they say, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
When it comes to architecture (or anything, for that matter), what may appeal to one person may not appeal to another. Some buildings that appeal to most people might then be acknowledged as “good design,” while if that same building is berated by most, then it might be considered “bad design.”
I often wonder if most homeowners really understand the difference between good design and bad design.
We’re surrounded by a lot of both when it comes to houses… take a drive through your neighborhood and look at the “quality of design” of the houses. Chances are they’re nothing special, and they weren’t designed by architects.
This is what’s known as “production housing” done by builders & developers, and these are typically not well designed and well-built houses.
For example, look at the post-war building boom in the ’50s and ’60s, and we’re now left with a proliferation of raised ranches and split levels to contend with.
The ’70s and ’80s weren’t great years either, as the quality of design is typically not the primary focus of most builders and developers.
Understanding good design vs. bad design…
In general, it’s safe to say that most houses built after the 1930s are not of significant architectural value.
With an unknowing public, a market exists for poorly designed and built houses, so the trend continues to this day. I think if most homeowners had a better sense of good design in houses and weren’t buying what’s out there, these poorly designed houses would not continue to be built.
Get an architect’s opinion.
I recently had a client come to me who was working with a local developer who was going to sell him a lot, then design and build a house for him. The developer and his draftsman had been designing the house with him and they were close to done, but the client had enough sense to get a second opinion (from me) on what he was about to commit to.
In my opinion, there was a lot wrong with what was being designed… too much to go into detail here.
With minimal changes to the floor plans, I redesigned the elevations to his amazement and he is now thrilled with the design.
The value of good design cannot be underestimated.
You could build two versions of the same house… one being well designed and one being poorly designed, and the construction cost may be very similar.
Which house do you think will be worth more when it comes time to sell?
This is just another example of why it pays to involve an architect… it’s the best investment you could make in your project.