Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Different Elevation = Different Square Footage

This post is a little late for those of us who have already locked in our choices/started building, but hopefully it will be helpful for those still in the planning process. 
Foyer Area in Elevation D
When you walk in the Courtland model home in our community, the grand 2-story foyer is the most eye-catching feature of the house.  It's actually the main reason we chose the Courtland instead of another similar house we were considering.  Another Courtland was recently built in our development so we went to check it out after our pre-construction meeting last week.  The difference in the foyer when you walk in the other house is so obvious.  The door almost hits the stairs instead of the nice, spacious foyer at the model home.  At first I thought I was crazy, but we measured and there is a two foot difference in the distance from the front door to the staircase from the model home to this other Courtland! 

The difference is caused by the elevation choices.

The other Courtland is Elevation A, which has a flat front and the distance between the front door and the staircase is 4 feet.
Elevation A
The model home is Elevation D, which has a two-foot bump out in the middle, so the distance from the front door to the staircase is 6 feet.
Elevation D
Floorplan with 2' bump out for Elevation D drawn in (Elevation A is flat across)
Two feet doesn't sound like a lot, but it really makes a huge difference in the entrance of the home. 

We are getting Elevation C, which has a one-foot bump out and a two-foot bump out.   
Elevation C
Floorplan with 1 ft and 2 ft bump outs for Elevation C drawn in

I am really hoping the one-foot difference will not be as noticeable as the two foot difference is.  If I had bought the Courtland for the grand foyer, then wound up with the dinky 4 ft one with no warning, I would be pretty upset.  I was pretty upset on Friday when we discovered this, but my dad reminded me that with Elevation C, we are actually getting the most square footage... 44 extra sf between the study and the bedroom #2 and 8 extra sf in the foyer area.  So our study and bedroom #2 will actually be 2' longer than the floor plan shows.  I am still a bit concerned about our foyer area, but hopefully it will be ok.

It bothers me that they didn't mention this when choosing the elevations.  I guess I should have figured it out, but you never get to see the floor plan of your actual elevation and no one mentioned the difference in square footage so it never even crossed my mind (it probably never would have if I didn't get to see the inside of an Elevation A).  Our SR told us the price difference for the different elevations was because of the number of peaks on the exterior. 

So if you haven't locked in you elevation choice yet, make sure you are completely clear on how it will affect the inside floor plan so you don't get a surprise like us!


  1. We're stuck in a flat-front elevation (A) since the Waverly was so popular in our development. We were lucky that our SR did point out to us that we'll be losing a foot or so off the study and foyer compared to the model. I'm also keeping my fingers crossed on the foyer. But at least we went in to it knowing that if we wanted a Waverly, we had to go this route.

    Good warning for others!

    1. The Waverly's entrance is so gorgeous, I'm sure it will look great no matter what. I'm glad to hear your SR warned you of the change though. My feeling is when you are spending this much money, you should know EXACTLY what you are getting.

    2. Agreed. It does seem like a mixed bag on telling you exactly what you get and exactly what your options are.

  2. I had forgotten about the bump out but kudos for your dad for pointing out the extra square footage! On the bright side, the study is on the small side so that 2-foot bump will make a big difference in there. I hope the 1-foot bump out in the foyer grows on you. :)

  3. This is really something they SR's should tell folks in the beginning. Gratefully, I walked through the model and we were able to get that same elevation. They should also put on their website, especially with the virtual tours the elevation that is being viewed. I think you asked some really great questions in your post with your PM meeting. Keep up the good work!

  4. They really do need to make sure people are aware of this difference from the outset. That is a good way to make people very upset!

  5. This is an excellent post. We had been through several Jefferson Elevation C's in the past, but now the closest decorated model to us (since those other Jeffersons sold long ago) is an Elevation B. When we went to visit it a few weeks ago, we noticed that the Study and Bedroom #4 seemed smaller than we remembered, but it was so long ago that we chalked it up to memory failure. That is, until my husband reviewed a floorplan for our actual Elevation C online, and noticed that the study and bedroom #4 were in fact larger than the ones in the model. This was important to us, since we had planned on getting five can lights in the largest of the bedrooms (bedroom #3, at the time) since that's what was in the model. Since our Elevation C bedroom #4 will be almost the same square footage as the #3, we had to go back and add a fifth can light to that bedroom as well! These are good things to know, and the SR's should really be telling us this.

  6. i'm just re-reading this becuz i've been pretty bummed out lately about our elevation A choice. when i was shown the different elevations I was like ok the front just looks different, thinking: I don't care where the arch on the outside of the house is". once we saw the model to see what we'd gotten ourselves into, it never dawned on me that the different elevation was 2ft longer in the loft (elevation C) than what we had chosen. and nobody ever mentioned that either. i didn't notice till after they started framing that something was different. i'm not going to even mention that the windows in the loft are severaly off center. but of course now we are 6 weeks roughly from closing lol so it's nothing i can do about it. but no really...i'm a little bummed. i also found out the size of the bedrooms were affected as well, by nearly 3 feet in one bedroom :-/

  7. Of course i am late on the band wagon for this post.
    What a great post! Luckily I picked the biggest elevation and didnt even realize it! Lucky dog I am! Because like many I went with the "look" and not the size! And Nope was never explained to us, just showed us a pic!! I so wish we could build all over again, i would be so much more confident.....we seriously consider building again in maybe 10 years.......YUP crazy people we are, but I think we will make money on this home, so its our live and learn home...that's the plan anyway!! Not sure if it would be a RH home, because I have a feeling all builders have similiar good and bads :)


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