We enjoyed reading this online Q&A with Marianne Cusato who is the author of Value of Design. She was recently listed as number 4 on Builder magazine’s “Power on 50” list of the most influential people in home building.
Cusato gives background on the rise of the McMansion and what it finally took for builders and homeowners to shake out of it (financial collapse).
We especially liked this answer:
If people only remember one of your eight components of a valuable home, what should it be?
Common sense. For example, using materials according to their physical properties. Brick and stone are both load-bearing materials, which means historically they supported their own weight. So you wouldn’t have vertical strips of either of those materials going up high into a gable surrounded on both sides by siding. Avoid materials that make the house look like a patchwork quilt and design elements that look like they could take flight off the building–enormous gables, three-story entrances, etc. All of this adds unnecessary cost to the home and actually detracts from the value. Real value comes from elements that make sense, like windows on the side of the house that allow cross ventilation, making the home more comfortable and efficient to heat and cool.
You can also download her 8 components of a valuable home.