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Resources: About Architectural Styles | Types of Houses | Interior Design Styles | Interior Design Ideas

How much do houses with a courtyard cost per square foot (approximately)?

Courtyards are far more common in some styles of building than others, but just about any style of home can have a courtyard. The cost of building a home with a courtyard is only 10 percent more expensive than building a home without a courtyard, unless you are building in an area where real estate is very expensive or you have to do extensive excavation to use a sloping lot. Expect to find some plans for homes you can build for as little as $125 per square foot. Prices go up from there.

Are there plans for houses with a courtyard that come with a detached garage?  Is it possible?

You will have to look hard for plans for houses with a courtyard that come with plans for a detached garage in the same style, but these plans exist. You won’t find them for most styles of building, however. And there won’t be a lot of options in that style.

Do houses with a courtyard usually come with a garage?  

Most houses built with a courtyard have an attached garage, most often with a side entry. It is harder to find plans for a house with a courtyard that has rear entry or that is oversized.

Is a house with a courtyard style considered a grand or luxury style of home?  Is the style used for mansions or normally regular-sized homes?

Many luxury homes have private courtyards. These are usually homes built in an Adobe, Southwestern, European, or Mediterranean style.

Is a house with a courtyard =ever built as a “small” home?  Can it be built economically?

There are ways to build relatively small homes with a courtyard. Place two modular small homes, as small as 300 square feet, together at a 45-degree angle. Then you have room for a semi-open courtyard. But plans for conventionally styled homes with courtyards begin at about 1150 square feet.

Can a house with a courtyard be open concept inside?

It is almost impossible to find plans for houses with a courtyard that are built on an open concept. Usually smaller rooms are built around the courtyard, and the courtyard itself provides the open space for outdoor living. You can find plans for homes with unusually high square footage, 4000 square feet and up, that have the feel of an open-concept floor plan because of the size of the great room or the size of the kitchen, but they are not really “open-concept.”

What are popular house exteriors for houses with a courtyard?

The exteriors of the house facing the courtyard are often painted in neutral colors, beiges, whites,and grays to allow the eye to travel to flowers, a fountain, or a pool within the courtyard. Because courtyards are all about private outdoor living, usually the walls of the house facing the street are painted in a neutral color, too.

Can you build a house with a courtyard on a narrow lot? 

There are plans for building houses with (tiny) courtyards that have a footprint just 25 feet wide. Unless you are building a townhouse, your lot will need to be wider.

Can this style be built on a wide lot?

Wide lots that are at least 30 feet deep, after allowing for distance from the curb, can accommodate a house with a courtyard. The courtyard, however, will be relatively small, allowing for an outdoor respite rather than for outdoor living.

Can a house with a courtyard be built on a sloping lot?

You can find hundreds of plans for houses with a courtyard built on a sloping lot. There are plans in all architectural styles and all sizes over about 1150 square feet.

How many floors or stories does a house with a courtyard usually have?

As many as you want! It’s far more common to build a house with a courtyard with just one floor than it is to build a house with a courtyard with multiple floors, but there are plans for building houses with courtyards with four and more floors.

Do houses with a courtyard ever have a basement?

Most houses that have courtyards don’t have basements, but you can find hundreds of plans for houses with courtyards that do. If you want a pool in your courtyard, then drainage and water protection for your basement get a little tricky, and you will need to consult a home builder or architect.

Does this style of house ever come with a bonus room?

There are dozens of plans for houses with courtyards that include a bonus room for uses to be decided later. Another approach to this design concept is to choose plans that call for more one or two more bedrooms that you think you will need.

Do houses with a courtyard come with energy efficient options?

There are many plans for energy-efficient houses with courtyards. Usually this feature is advertised for larger houses. But for smaller houses, the courtyard itself is an energy efficient option. Courtyards capture warmth in the winter and reduce the need for air conditioning in the summer.

Is a porch a common design feature with houses that have a courtyard?

Most homeowners consider porches redundant when they have a house with a courtyard. When you build a house with a courtyard, you have a wrap-around house instead of a wrap-around porch.

What type of roof does a house with a courtyard typically have?

Houses with courtyards usually have flat roofs, although you can find a few plans for Craftsman, Traditional, and Victorian houses with gabled roofs and a courtyard.

Does house with a courtyard work well with a rustic interior decor?  Or is it more suited to a contemporary interior?

Houses with courtyards are typically decorated in contemporary style. But a log cabin or a beach house with a courtyard works with a rustic interior.