New Home Tips, Trends, and Ideas - Raleigh Custom Home Builders

7 House Plan Features in the Best Floor Plans

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Dec 21, 2015 @ 14:12 PM

Most Popular House Plans:

The Liberty Park, a floor plan design by Frank Betz, is a popular floor plan with features similar to many homes chosen for the Wake County Parade of Homes. What were some of the most common house plan features this year?

  • Kitchen Island with Seating (with more than 50% accommodating seating for at least 4)
  • Formal Dining Room
  • Built In Drop Zone, many in a totally separate Mud Room
  • An average porch size of 95 sq ft
  • Laundry Rooms on the Second Floor

Take a look at the images and descriptions below, to see more new home building trends in North Carolina, using Cary NC parade homes as a representative "snapshot" guide.

Cary NC New Homes | Popular Frank Betz House Plans
Liberty Park Rendition Copyright Frank Betz.

The Liberty Park - Two Story Home with 2286 sq ft, Four Bedrooms, Two and a Half Baths:

The Liberty Park, copyright Frank Betz, is a great example floor plan that includes many of the most-requested floor plan features. Here are the top 7 layout, design, and special features. 

House Plan Feature #1: Cost Effective Layouts (and Two Story Floor Plans)

Two story homes (with a second story master) are generally more cost effective to build when compared to similar homes with a the master suite on the first floor - find out why here.

(And see the 12 reasons smaller homes cost more to build, here.)

All four bedrooms are upstairs in the Liberty Park. 

Cary NC New Homes | Popular Frank Betz House Plans

House Plan Feature #2:  Kitchen Island with Seating

Kitchens experience more traffic than any other room of the home. And more new home plans than ever are incorporating additional functions and features inside the kitchen, including creative ways to add eating space (island seating), homework stations (a built in desk), and home business technology hook-ups (with special gear built into walls) to accommodate modern needs.

The Liberty Park includes an 8' x 3' island with a raised eating bar designed for four (each seat requires 24'' of space). Here is a similar island: 

Cary NC New Homes | Kitchen Island with Seating

House Plan Feature #3:  Formal Dining Room

Inside the Liberty Park, the 13' x 11' dining room is well-designed to comfortably fit a formal table for family and guests. Looking for a more "casual" floor plans? See how many home buyers convert the formal dining into a home office, library, or multi-use space.

House Plan Feature #4: Built-In Drop Zone

Nearly all Parade Homes included a Built In Drop Zone. If there is no dedicated Mud Room area, the hallway off the garage or rear entry serves as a great place to include built in shelving, cubbies, and storage units.

The Liberty Park floor plan includes a drop zone between the garage and kitchen, ready for storing keys, purses, and other daily use items.

Cary NC New Homes | Built In Drop Zone

See 7 mudroom drop zone layouts, with photos, here.

House Plan Feature #5: Front Porch

Homes in the Parade had an average porch size of 95 sq ft, perfect as a "rocking chair" layout. The Liberty Park includes a 19.5' x 7' front porch, or a total of 137 sq ft, above the average size.

House Plan Feature #6: Storage Space in the Laundry

The usability of laundry room space ranks high on homebuyer must-have charts. In this year's homes, more than half had Laundry Rooms on the Second Floor - which makes sense, given the high number of two story homes with all bedrooms upstairs. Buyers want to keep the laundry close to the master and kid's rooms.

The Liberty Park laundry room is roughly 6' x 7', with space for a base cabinet and folding counter (or a stack of open shelves) beside the washer and dryer and 6' of upper cabinets.

Cary NC New Homes | Popular Frank Betz House Plans

House Plan Feature #7: Attractive Staircase Tucked In

See a staircase similar to The Liberty Park, below. The one story foyer opens to the formal dining room and staircase.  The staircase is enclosed on both sides, with two steps of open railing visible in the foyer entryway. 

Get staircase design ideas from our Houzz Ideabook - here.

Cary NC New Homes | Open Staircase Design

See a full list of Cary, NC Parade of Homes trends, here.

Steps to Build a Custom Home

What is most important to you? Discuss, design, and decide what your next home should look like, with tens of thousands of floor plans to choose from. Contact Stanton Homes at 919-278-8070 or visit to learn more about building an NC custom home - with the help of an interior design expert throughout the selection process.


Tags: Cary NC new homes, NC new home trends, floor plan guide, most popular floor plans

Top 10 Floorplan Trends | New Custom Homes

Posted by Penny Hull on Wed, Jan 02, 2013 @ 14:01 PM

Top 10 Floorplan Trends

Custom Home Designs

Below are the Top 10 floorplan trends for Raleigh custom homes. See how many of these floor plan design features are in your new home wish list.

Floor Plan Trend #1: Walk in pantry

Top 10 Floorplan Trends | Walk In Kitchen PantryCustom home floor plans will include more walk in pantries, in several unexpected locations.

Homebuyers will take advantage of previously unused square footage but tucking (large) pantries away from coveted kitchen space and into hallways, under the stairs, and as "hidden" rooms just around the corner.

See photos of the top 5 walk in pantry designs for raleigh new homes here.


Floor Plan Trend #2: Island kitchen with seating

Top 10 Floor Plan Trends | Island Kitchen with Seating



Kitchens will remain the central gathering place of the home. Therefore, a carefully planned kitchen floor plan will remain a priority for new homeowners

 Island kitchen floor plans will include seating above and innovative storage solutions below.

The custom home pictured here, a version of the Country Manor, includes:

 - Island with seating

 - Specialty carved wood island legs

 - Stone surround

 - Decorative wood ceiling beams

 - Glass front cabinetry


Floor Plan Trend #3: Main floor master

Top 10 Floorplan Trends | Main Floor Master

Main floor master suites will continue to be a top homebuyer request.

Why choose to build a first floor master home?

 - Main floor master suites are great for long-term planning. They eliminate the need to climb stairs every day.

 - Main floor master suites enable easy access to outdoor living spaces. Many homeowners are adding a set of French doors to open their master bedroom into a screen porch, deck, or patio.

Watch photo tours of Raleigh main floor master homes designed and built by Stanton Homes.

Floor Plan Trend #4: More Accessible

Top 10 Floorplan Trends | Accessible Floor Plan Design  From fully accessible floor plans (which qualify for grants) to individual features, many Raleigh custom homes will integrate accessibility.

 Stanton Homes is an industry leading Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) approved builder in central North Carolina, with an innovative, technology-driven approach to customized, functional and beautiful fully accessible and universal homes.


Floor Plan Trend #5: Guest suites

Top 10 Floorplan Trends | Guest SuiteFirst floor guest suites will be a top request for custom homes, with privacy and convenience at the top of homebuyers' “must have” list.

Traditional plans have a first floor guest bedroom with an attached (or near-by) bath, but there are a tremendous amount of variations. Guest suite baths can be designed with the same upper-end features as the master suite bath.

Pictured here is a version of the Cove, a guest suite custom home designed and built by Stanton Homes. 

Floor Plan Trend #6: Multigenerational living

Top 10 Floor Plan Trends | Multigenerational LivingThe demand for new homes with multigenerational living and mother in law suites continues to rise.

See floor plans of our most popular mother in law suite floor plans - click here. Stanton Homes can modify or design/build a custom mother in law suite home to meet your needs and budget.



Floor Plan Trend #7: Pocket office/first floor office

Top 10 Floorplan Trends | First Floor Pocket Office


In Raleigh new homes, more owners will include a built-in first floor office or tucked-in pocket office.


 A pocket office can double as a storage area with shelving, a craft area, or sitting room.




Floor Plan Trend #8: Mudroom with drop zone

Top 10 Floorplan Trends | Mudroom with drop zoneMudrooms will increase in popularity. 

Mudrooms serve as a transition area between the outdoors and indoors, designed to keep your home clear of mud, debris, and clutter.

Mudrooms can be small or large, and can sometimes double as large laundry rooms, with a washer, dryer, folding table, and sink for easy cleaning of dirty clothing and outdoor items.

Mudrooms are usually placed adjacent to the garage, sometimes with a separate entrance.

See photos of money and Time Saving Laundry Rooms and Mud Rooms on Pinterest - click here.

Floor Plan Trend #9: Outdoor spaces

Top 10 Floorplan Trends | Outdoor SpacesLiving areas will expand to the outdoors, with courtyard patios, screen porches, and covered decks.

 Stanton Homes can design your outdoor living space to keep you cozy in the winter and social in the summer.

 The custom home pictured here includes a courtyard style patio with see-through fireplace to the great room.



Floor Plan Trend #10: Second living area

Custom home floor plans in will focus on adding a secondary living area, such as:

 - Bonus roomTop 10 Floorplan Trends | Second Living Area

 - Game room

 - Basement

 The custom home pictured here, a version of the Woodlake, includes a second story bonus room with hardwood floors and full wall window seat.



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Raleigh custom home builder Stanton Homes is now offering full ecoHOME certification in every custom home that the company designs and builds.

Click here to learn more.

Tags: new home styles, NC new home trends, new home trends, kitchen trends