By Larry Garnett

If you’ve been in the homeHPD final cover copy building business for a while, you’ve undoubtedly experienced the “highs and lows” of this profession. After surviving what many consider the worst economic times since the Great Depression, you’re probably breathing a sigh of relief as the market continues to improve.

Since I’ve been designing homes and planning neighborhoods for small to medium size builders for over 35 years, you can imagine how many of the “highs and lows” I’ve witnessed. I’ve watched many builders navigate these times quite successfully, and unfortunately, I’ve seen many who didn’t survive.

Over the next weeks and months, I hope to relate some of the thoughts about design and building that I’ve been able to accumulate. Thirty-five years provides a great deal of valuable perspective, along with even more gray hair!

One of the first lessons I learned early in my career was the tremendous value of good design. Most of us tend to be somewhat complacent when things are going well, and many builders become reluctant to try new ideas.

While the importance of innovative design might be ignored when you’re selling those same old designs as fast as you can build them, consider this: exciting and functional designs can be the one thing that really distinguishes you from your competition.

I’m not suggesting that you design and build the most unique and forward-thinking design that’s ever been built in your community! Rather, take advantage of some of the newest plans that are offered by experienced designers and architects. Homes that are innovative and fresh, but still offer the features that will motivate your clients. Here are a couple of designs that can offer you a design edge over your competition!

Plan PBH-4838

Plan PBH-3151

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