When designing your dream home or planning renovations for your existing home, it will be useful for the value of your property and future happiness to consider how your design fits in with the rest of your neighborhood.
Neighborhoods build up a certain character, whether it’s as obvious as living in a heritage area or a development where everyone builds with the same toned bricks, to as subtle as a suburban street of modest bungalow-style homes. You don’t have to copy the exact floor plan of a neighbouring house, but you should definitely consider how your house looks from the street.
Building a white modernist box in the midst of a street of renovated 19th century villas, or fitting an LA-style mansion on a street of modest family homes can negatively impact property values – not only for your home, but for others around you.
Also, many people move to an area because they like the local vernacular. When you fail to comply with that vernacular, you may cause friction with neighbors. And who wants that?
When drawing up your new plans, consider the local character of the following:
The shape of your house, especially its height and size on the section, and the shape of its roof.
The style of your proposed design; modernist, eco, family home, bungalow, split level, etc.
The materials you’re using on the exterior and the colors of these materials.
How “friendly” your home looks. Avoid blocking someone else’s view, and ensure your front door is visible from the street – no high fences in front.
By considering the impact of your proposed design on the whole neighbourhood, you’ll ensure a better price if you decide to sell, and friendly relations with your neighbors for years to come.