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IBS 2023: What are the latest trends in the house plan?


Courtesy Madden Home Design

One of the most important aspects of building and designing a home is undoubtedly the floor plan. With varying lot sizes, different room configurations, and ever-changing trends, the possibilities for floor plans and elevation styles are somewhat endless.

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 turnkey industry, she sorts through thousands of designs each week to select the most interesting, innovative and marketable house plans.

See below for today’s popular styles, most requested features and unnecessary add-ons. Plus, check out her house plans for the week every Wednesday on BUILDER or tune in to her sessions at the Zonda booth, #C3019, during the International Builders’ Show next week, including:

  • The House Plan Look That Sells: Lessons from 2022’s Best Designs January 31 at 3.30 p.m.;
  • 7 House plan trends for 2023 on 1 February at 12:00; or
  • 5 things to drop from your layouts in 2023 on February 1 at 2:30 p.m
Courtesy Custom Home Designs

BUILDER: Which ready-made floor plans were most popular last year? What did they have in common?

Celedon: It was the year of the modern farmhouse…again! This modern farmhouse was the best selling house design of 2022. It is from Madden Home Design and was the #2 plan in 2021.

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

The average square footage of what sold was 2,051, with some garage and project plans in the mix. This is around 100 square meters less than in 2021.

BUILDERS: Will we see the modern farmer trend fade this year? What can take its place?

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

It is still an open question as to what will eventually replace it. I’m talking at the booth with designers Jonathan Boone and Rachel Watkins from House Plan Zone. They also believe that the farmhouse is not going anywhere, but will become more and more modern.

Courtesy House Plan Zone

BUILDERS: Besides home offices and outdoor connections, what’s the top house plan trend heading into 2023? And why?

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

For the record, I totally agree that the big-garage barndo look will gain even more popularity in 2023. As for why, the House Plan Zone designers say that “people’s perception of the simplicity and lower construction costs of a barndo will make this style gain more momentum.”

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

Celedon: Wayne Ramaker of Lifestyle Design Service will talk to me on the stand about this. He mentions several features to cut: bathtubs and jetted tubs in the master suite, extraneous runs in the floor plan’s footprint and walls around dining rooms. We’ll also discuss the most common change requests his team handles.

BUILDER: What features and styles are just starting to emerge and are likely to be popular by the end of the year?


Celedon: I would go back to the large garage for this one as it is multi-functional and relatively simple. The House Plan Zone designers believe that pet showers in the utility room and a slightly less open kitchen will come.

BUILDER: What exterior styles are buyers looking for the most? At least?

Celedon: Farmhouse is still really dominant right now. Craftsmen take second place. Modern is a fun one. Along with modern, it tends to stay fairly steady at around 11% of sales, so not bad, but not huge. Tudor, classic and log cabins rank lowest for us. Basically, anything very niche and/or complicated doesn’t do very well.