For Your Ideal Vacation Home: The View’s the Thing
Whether it’s located along the Malibu coastline or nestled deep in the woods near your favorite lake, a vacation home can offer a much-needed respite and a welcome change of scenery from your everyday life. But many homeowners looking for vacation house plans and homes find them asking the same question: How do you find the ideal vacation home?
The answer: focus on the view. View lot homes allow you to make the most of your natural surroundings by paying special attention to the natural beauty of the lot, giving you a home that will surely take your breath away every time you set foot in it.
And if you’re lucky enough to live year-round in an area that affords great views, one of these houses will be perfect as your primary home as well. We’ll let you in on the unique characteristics of these homes and the trick to choosing the best house plans with a view.
Large windows like these in a transitional Craftsman style vacation house that look out on a striking lake vista are an obvious key to a home plan designed to take advantage of stunning views (Plan #146-2810).
Make the Most of an Amazing View
As you might tell from the name, view lot homes, or house plans with a view, are designed specifically to focus on the natural views available in the area. Unlike urban and suburban house plans built to maximize a minimal amount of space and accommodate several other homes and buildings surrounding them, view lot homes are more expansive and less concerned with the amount of horizontal space they take up. Without those limitations in place, the homes are free to stretch out to include larger living rooms and dining rooms and ample windows and even back porches or patios.
Unlike city homes, which are usually confined to small lots, vacation homes face fewer size limitations and feature more space overall (Plan #130-1007).
Every feature is designed to allow you to take in the stunning visuals around you, from a serene mountain range off in the distance to the gentle lapping of waves against the beach just feet from your back door. That said, every house plan with a view is going to include different elements and features, depending on the specifics of the terrain as well as your personal preferences (such as if you are more interested in hosting large outside dinner parties or gathering the whole family around the fireplace in the living room).
Choosing the Features You Want in a Home with a View
To find the vacation home that best meets you and your family's needs, it’s important to start by making a list of the must-have features that you can’t live without. This will heavily influence the style of home you choose, and it will help you narrow down the selections by eliminating any plan that doesn't meet your needs. For example, if you really want to spend your evening grilling out on the patio, you can look for home floor plans that include an outdoor kitchen or cooking space. If you know that you won’t be spending much time indoors when you’re staying at the house, you can focus on smaller home plans – ones with smaller gathering places and bedrooms to decrease the overall price.
Just as with any home, it’s important to think about the features that matter most to you – besides taking in the view – such as a large space for entertaining or multiple bedrooms (Plan #146-2810).
It would be best if you also considered the general characteristics of the area where your vacation home will be, as this will also play a major role in picking the best vacation home. If you’re looking for beachfront vacation homes, you would want to make sure the home has areas where you can clean off before heading inside so you don’t track too much sand indoors. Or if you’re looking for a lakefront home so you can go fishing, think about how close it is to the lake.
Enjoying Ample Space, Inside and Out
View lot homes are often much larger than homes made for more urban areas, which means you’re typically going to be looking at houses with upwards of three bedrooms and some impressively high ceilings. It’s also prevalent for vacation homes to feature open floor plans or Great Rooms that combine the living and dining rooms into a single space that’s open to the kitchen, especially on newer models. This makes the homes ideal for entertaining or accommodating larger groups, as many vacation homeowners enjoy traveling with extended family or inviting friends to join them to visit.
Some view lot houses can include elaborate porches and outdoor kitchens, giving you all the amenities you need to enjoy the great outdoors from the comfort of your own home. This covered outdoor area in a 4-bedroom, 4½-bath luxury home is a good example of outdoor living (Plan #107-1015).
Even with the generous amount of interior space you are often going to find in view lot and vacation homes, the real beauty comes from the exterior space you receive. As the homes are built to allow you to enjoy the area around the home, you should pay attention to the kinds of outdoor amenities available. Some lakefront homes might include their own private docks, while cabins in locations with snow may feature easy access to nearby slopes or heated hot tubs.
Working with Unstable Terrain
Many homes with stunning natural views are built on land that is not necessarily made for easy construction – like mountainsides. That’s why many house plans with a view are also designed to accommodate these unusual or unstable terrain types to provide a higher level of safety tailored to the unique needs of that area. This is not only important for general safety while you’re staying in the home but can potentially save you thousands of dollars in renovations and remodeling later down the line by preventing issues such as flooding or erosion of the foundation.
Homes built on sloping ground require additional care to ensure long-term safety. View lot homes like this 4-bedroom, 3-bath, 2-half-bath luxury retreat are fine-tuned to the land on which they are built, giving you peace of mind as well as a wonderfully functional home (Plan #161-1000).
To ensure that you choose a second home house plan with the appropriate safety construction, you must carefully consider the area's natural features. For example, a beachfront house would need to account for shifting sands and the proximity to harsh sea winds. In contrast, a home built on a sloping mountainside would need support to keep it level and resist potential erosion of the ground underneath it.
The Power of Multiple Windows
One of the most common features in house plans with great views is many windows, frequently placed on the rear of the home. These windows, which can often appear in a wide array of shapes and sizes, are placed at the rear because the homes are usually oriented so that the back faces the best view on the lot. The front of the home is your entryway into your own personal lookout at the amazing scenery around you. Many coastal houses also include decks and patios at the rear, so you can sit outside to appreciate the glory of your natural surrounds, such as watching the sunset over a beach at night.
This Contemporary style 3-bedroom, 3-bath vacation home plan is designed to deliver stunning uninterrupted views of the view – forest, mountain, or water – thanks to the ample number of large and small windows (Plan #158-1255).
But don’t let the mere presence of windows distract you—it’s essential to think about the actual placement of the windows in relation to your surroundings, such as any public areas or neighbors nearby. Even if you have floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook a gorgeous beach, it might not be the right house for you if that beach has people throwing parties at night or provides too clear of a view into your home. Make sure that the windows allow you to see everything that you want to see – and remember that they work two ways – and you’ll be able to pick the perfect view lot home for you.
The natural view from your vacation home can easily become its best feature, as long as you plan the home around truly enjoying the environment around it.