House Plans with Courtyards have always been popular in the warmest climates. But about a decade ago they started to move north, showing up in new-home communities in temperate climates.
Courtyard plans have only gained in popularity since then, based on several recent newspaper articles, industry show homes, and my visits to dozens of new-home communities each year.
Courtyards are a great way to integrate outdoor space into your home’s footprint, a more aesthetically pleasing alternative than tacking on a deck or patio in back.
When courtyard plans first resurfaced in the mid-2000s, Builder magazine did focus group research with homeowners to find out whether they were a keeper. We half-expected the research participants to dismiss them as a passing fad. Instead, the research unearthed a desire for multiple outdoor refuges – a place off the kitchen to drink morning coffee, an enclosure off the bathroom to practice yoga or take an outdoor shower, and of course a big courtyard in back for parties or evening cocktails.
Another reason to consider a courtyard home; they afford a better opportunity to enjoy the architecture of your home. Sitting in the courtyard provides a three-sided view of the stone, wood, and metal used to construct your house. And, you can enjoy similar views from inside the home, assuming the design incorporates an appropriate amount of glass in the right places. Those kinds of views aren’t available in the typical rectangular home with a straight-line foundation in the back.