At New American Homes, we know that good house design starts with good architectural drawings. That shouldn’t surprise you.
But, what you might not know is that efficient house design starts with a home’s shape. (Even if you hate math, bear with us on this!)

 The most expensive partsof a house typically are thefoundation, theexterior wallsand the roof.
So, let’s suppose you have a 1,600-square-foot house that is a square ranch. It’s 40 feet x 40 feet; that’s 1,600 square feet. In this house you have four exterior walls, each 40 feet long. So, 40 + 40 + 40 + 40 = 160 feet. That’s 160 lineal feet of foundation walls, and 160 feet of exterior walls.Next, let’s suppose your 1,600-square-foot ranch house is arectangle. It’s 80 feet x 20 feet. In this house you have four exterior walls, two 20 feet long, two 80 feet long. 80 + 20 + 80 + 20 = 200 feet. That’s 200 lineal feet of foundation walls, 200 feet of exterior walls.

Then, let’s suppose your 1,600-square-foot house is a two-storybuilding. Let’s say it has 900 square feet on the first floor and 700 on the second floor. The foundation is 30 feet x 30 feet. 30 + 30 + 30 + 30 = 120 feet. This house has just 120 lineal feet of foundation walls. And, its roof is about half the size of the roof on the two ranch examples.
To summarize: A two-story house should cost less to build than a ranch, and a square house cost less than a rectangular one.And this, ladies and gentlemen, is just one of the many reasonswhy builders shrug their shoulders when you ask them this question:How much does a house cost per square foot?

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