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A Better Way To Design A Vacation Home

A Better Way To Design A Vacation Home

Designing a vacation home is an exciting process. It’s also a tall order: a vacation home has to check so many boxes — and all within your budget. 

The perfect retreat is:

  • A getaway where you can escape the daily grind and enjoy the amenities of home
  • Roomy and relaxing and requires minimal maintenance.
  • A smaller, more affordable space that also captures the beauty of its natural surroundings.

To have any hope of meeting these exacting requirements, hire an architect instead of trying to DIY it. 

An architect can take your ideas and make them work by drawing on building science, expertise in architectural design, and experience in the field. Working with an architect, you’ll end up with a better version of your vision.

A Collaborative Process

A good design will refine your ideas, combining a series of rational choices that are based on your budget and your priorities. How many people will your vacation home sleep? What kind of storage do you need? How important is long-term accessibility to you? How about privacy?  

Your decisions about these (and many other) issues will provide a guide for your architect, who will take your ideas and mold them into a design for a beautiful, functional vacation home.


A vacation home should have everything you need — in a smaller space. An architect can help you clarify your priorities and come up with solutions to the quandaries that inevitably arise when you’re trying to fit a lot of functionality into a more contained space.

A great design can make use of every possible space for storage, create a dining nook or a dormer where you didn’t think one was possible, or scale back certain aspects of the project to create more space somewhere else. A great design will maximize space and functionality. 

A Good Investment And A Great Retreat

A good architect can also help you build a long-lasting vacation home that’s a great investment. They know how to help you put your money in the right places. Particular design elements can help your vacation home last. Ventilated siding detailing (rainscreen), for instance, can help paint last longer and prevent moisture from getting into your walls. Proper insulation and envelope detailing ensure your home will remain comfortable while using minimal energy when you’re there and when it’s vacant.

Certain materials are essential to the longevity of the structure. Durable materials, such as polished concrete floors or slate tile, don't require much upkeep. Saving natural wood finishes for the home’s interior and using composite or metal materials on the exterior will set you up for minimal maintenance; that way, you can spend your vacation enjoying your home rather than refinishing the deck or siding.

Taken together, a well-designed and well-built vacation home — one that’s functional, comfortable, and that’s created to last — is an investment that will serve you and your family for years or even generations to come.