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29th Dec, 2014
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan, Craftsman House Plan, Home Plan, Pineville 30-937

A large great room and linked living areas give a surprising sense of spaciousness to the compact Craftsman-style house plan. At slightly more than 1600 square feet, the Pineville design is an ideal starter home for young families. Being a single story home, it is equally well-suited to empty nesters wanting to downsize their maintenance responsibilities.

Craftsman accents include the iconic gridded upper windows, a matching door, and three low-profile front-facing gables. The porch is large enough for a relaxing porch swing or outdoor furniture.

From the entry, you can proceed directly ahead to the great room, or turn right into the richly windowed nook. A sliding door offers separation between the nook and kitchen, when needed. Counters wrap around four sides of the kitchen, which is open to the dining area, across a peninsular raised eating bar.

Natural light spills into the dining room through a set of windows on the right, as well as the sliding glass doors at the rear. This offers access to a partially covered patio. The left side of the dining room is open to the great room, where more light flows in through windows that fill most of the rear wall.

Closets for coats, storage, and linens line the hallway leading to the bedrooms and a pass-through utility room with garage access. The owners' suite features a two-section bathroom and a walk-in closet.

22nd Dec, 2014
Articles, Blog

You’ve decided it’s time to update and freshen up your kitchen. Remodeling your kitchen doesn’t have to be a daunting experience as long as you keep a few of these tips in mind.

Understand The Kitchen Triangle

The kitchen triangle takes into consideration the position of the stove, refrigerator and sink to have free access to use each workstation. Each place should be within easy access to the other for quick cooking, yet spaced out far enough where if multiple people are in the kitchen that everyone isn't bumping or tripping over each other. The stove, sink and refrigerator should be less than 20 feet away from each other but more than ten feet in proximity to give enough space.

Alder Ridge 30-906, Contemporary House Plan, Home Plan


Maximize The Space With Enough Storage and Counter Space

For some reason, a person will have tons of counter space but few cabinets to store their items, or tons of cabinets but a very little counter to prepare food. You don't have to compromise on either storage space or counters. Consider cabinets that reach up to the ceiling for added storage and an island when you need more counter space.

Barnhart 30-946, Lodge Style House Plan, Home Plan


Have Enough Strong Lighting

Lighting is essential to ensure a safe working environment to prevent accidents. Countertops, sinks and stoves should have enough lighting to prepare and cook food safely. Natural lighting from windows can brighten up the space during the day. Yet when the sun goes down, the kitchen can look like a dungeon. Consider a mixture of lighting sources that combine natural light with artificial lighting such as overhead lights, pendant lights and under cabinet lights.

Brookhill 30-963, Prairie Style House Plan, Home Plan


Factor In The Plumbing

Plumbing can ruin the perfect kitchen design every time. You have the ideas and the perfect design in mind as you order all the materials. Then later you realize that the setup won't work because of where the plumbing is located for the sink and dishwasher. Always think about the plumbing in the early stages of the kitchen design. If you have to move the pipes, you can get the plumber in early to place in new lines and then consider the placement of the other work stations in the room.

Perhaps the two biggest tips for people designing a kitchen is to develop a budget and stick to it no matter what. Many kitchen designs fail because a person doesn't consider the budget, as they go over it by large amounts for small aspects of the kitchen workspace. This problem can make the room look mismatched with high-end luxuries mixed in with cheap materials.

22nd Dec, 2014
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Prairie Style House Plan, Home Plan, Hood River 30-947

Bold stone-veneer columns frame the Hood River’s lofty entry. Built on a rear downhill slope, this home is larger than it looks, thanks to the daylight basement.

Its low-pitched hipped roof and widely overhanging eaves lends to the Prairie-style feel. Frank Lloyd Wright created the style in Chicago in the early 1900s.

High ceilings overarch the living spaces, from the entry through the center to the rear. Entry and foyer ceilings are 13 feet high, and the vaulted ceiling in the expansive great room soars to even heigher. Stacked windows, angling to a low-pitched central peak, fill most of the rear wall. The gas fireplace can be enjoyed in both the dining and great room.

 A drop in ceiling height indicates the transition between the great room and the kitchen and dining area. A curved work island/eating bar is at the kitchen’s center. Counters, cabinets and appliances are along the walls on two sides. A sliding glass door opens onto a covered deck.

This design has a passageway off of the great room that leads into a short hallway. The owners’ suite is at one end, storage and a utility room at the other. In the owners’ suite, a large walk-in closet is reached through the two-section bathroom.

The den just inside the front door is in an ideal location for a home office. A few steps further through the foyer, are the stairs down to the daylight basement. At the bottom of the stairs, is a large family room, where natural light streams in through wide windows at the rear, and sliding glass doors open onto a covered patio. 

Two bedrooms and a bathroom are down the hall. 


19th Dec, 2014
Articles, Blog

When considering building a new home, one consideration is the number of stories they should build. People need to make sure that they have enough room to accommodate their family, yet not too large a house that could be costly to maintain. Choices boil down to either a single story ranch style house or a two story home.

Ranch style houses have been a popular floor plan for decades, as all the rooms are located on a single level. There may be a second story bonus room, or storage space.

Two story homes have become the traditional homes to build. Bedrooms and bathrooms may be located on the second level while the kitchen, living room, and dining room are located on the main floor.

Which Home To Build?

When debating on the type of house to build, consider the benefits and disadvantages each type offers.

Lot Size

Lot size will play a factor when building a ranch style house. With all the rooms are located on a single story, is your building lot large enough to accommodate this? You could find there is little outdoor space left to enjoy on the lot if you wish to have a front or back yard. It’s possible that a two story homes could fit on your building lot with enough space to have ample room for a nice front yard, a play area for kids and entertaining in the back, or both.

Mobility and Stairs

People with mobility issues may find a two story home difficult to navigate the stairs. While there are mobility devices available, sometimes the single floor in a ranch style house makes moving around easier as one can reach each room with only a few steps. Families with young children may also consider a ranch style house to prevent the possibility of a children falling down the stairs.

It comes down to your personal choices on the floor plan style to select. Both a ranch style house and a two story home can make great living arrangements for you. Consider each design and select the one that is better for your lifestyle.

16th Dec, 2014
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Cottage House Plan, Ranch Home Plan, Northfield 30-972

Craftsman touches add to the charm of this cottage house plan. You see the detailing in the Northfield’s gridded window uppers, shingled gable fronts, decorative corbels, and cultured stone wainscoting. The railed porch invites relaxation on wicker chairs, or a porch swing.

Natural light flows into the entry hall through a side lite and the door’s glassed upper panes. The hallway leads past an opening to the secondary bedrooms and a coat closet, then arrives at a window-rich living/dining area, warmed and brightened by a fireplace.

The fireplace can even be enjoyed from the kitchen or from the eating bar that rims its peninsular counter. When the weather is inviting, meals can be taken out onto the covered patio through the dining room’s sliding glass doors.

The well-appointed owners’ suite is isolated from the other bedrooms. Its two-section bathroom has a double vanity, plus an enclosed toilet and shower. A sliding door accesses a large walk-in closet.

The Northfield’s utility room links up with the two-car garage.


16th Dec, 2014
Articles, Blog

Older people are no longer being regulated to nursing and assisted living homes when they no longer want to live on their own. For many aging baby boomers, they are living with their adult children in their own places commonly referred to as Granny Flats.

Granny Flats, also known as Mother-in-Law Additions or Secondary Suites, are additions added to the main living space that allow older people a place to live and be close to their families. These additions can be built directly onto the home, or a builder can convert a garage into an apartment for the older relative. The flats usually have a master bedroom and a bathroom for the relative. Yet they can also be equipped with kitchens, living rooms and separate entrances.

Ranch House Plan, Home Plan, Kingsley 30-184, Detached Garage, Granny Flat
Kingsley 30-184

Cities across the country will have different restrictions for Granny Flats. Granny Flats may be a minimum of 400 square feet to a maximum of 800 square feet depending on the location and lot size. Other restrictions may involve lot size, height of the addition and number of permitted rooms.

The best way to consider if a Granny Flat would make the perfect place for your relative is to decide on what they will need to live there comfortably, and what changes you will have to incorporate for wheel chair accessibility and other mobility factors. Most people who have Granny Flats constructed have relatives who are self-sufficient enough to take care of themselves. If the elderly relative will need medical care and other needs, the addition will have to be designed to accommodate them as this factor can lead to higher building costs. You also must decide whether your family can handle seeing each other on a daily basis.

Lastly, you need to take into account your older relatives wishes. Having them involved in the decisions with the design, layout and even paint colors of the Granny Flats allows them to feel excited about moving in and welcome to have a place that is their own home that is close to their family.

Older people are living longer lives, enjoying their golden years while wishing they were closer to their families. People may consider a Granny Flat for their relatives so they can be close to their family and have the support they need from their loved ones for the remainder of their lives. Just plan ahead to ensure the addition meets all building requirements, and have your relatives involved in the process so they can be happy with the decision of moving in with you.

15th Dec, 2014
Blog, House Plan of the Week

European House Plan, Home Plan, Luxury House Plan, Vidalia 30-134

The Vidalia is a class act. With more than 4,000 square feet of living space, this European style luxury home is designed for families that want plenty of space for relaxing and entertaining.

A two-story foyer is overarched at the rear by a balcony where you can view both foyer and family room. Formal living room and dining room flank the foyer, while a two-story, sunken family room is one step down, just past the two columns that support the balcony.

Windows fill most of the rear wall of this bright and lofty informal living area. On one end, it connects to the kitchen. At the other end of the room there's a fireplace with bookshelves on one side and an entertainment center on the other.

The large kitchen is expanded by a nook. At the center is a uniquely shaped work island. Friends and family can sit at the conversation counter, chatting with the cooks. Other notable features include: a large walk-in pantry, built-in desk with shelves, and plenty of storage space.

Luxuries abound in the Vidalia's owners' suite. Features include a huge walk-in closet and an elegant bathroom with raised spa tub, oversized shower and twin vanities. Both secondary bedrooms have walk-in closets and private bathrooms.

A huge bonus room over the three-car garage is outfitted as a theater with a beverage bar at the rear.

8th Dec, 2014
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Home Plan, Ranch House Plan, Little Creek 30-878

Not much is little about the ranch-style Little Creek house plan. The roomy linked gathering spaces at its center are ideal for entertaining, while a den and three bedrooms offer plenty of privacy.

Craftsman accents add charm to the exterior. Inside, living spaces are on one floor, but the unfinished basement below offers room for expansion. Space for a lift hides behind a door off of the entry.

A corner fireplace warms and brightens the high-ceilinged great room. Wide windows, stacked two high and rounded at the top, face onto the covered vaulted rear patio. Standing at the kitchen sink, allows you can take it all in at a glance.

Eating bars rim the kitchen’s island. Counters and cabinetry, plus a deep pantry, wrap around three sides. Natural light spills in through windows on two sides of the dining room.

Utilities, a mud room, bedroom, den, and bathroom fill the right side, which links with the three-car garage. The luxurious owners’ suite and another large suite fill out the left side.


8th Dec, 2014
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Contemporary House Plan, Home Plan, Hexagonal Home Plan, Forsythia 10-426

From the front, the Forsythia has the look of a typical contemporary ranch-style house plan. A  view of the floor plan tells a different story. A large, dramatic hexagonal space is at its core, with wings jutting out to the right and left.

This design offers broad vistas to the rear, making it perfect for construction as a vacation home with a view. It is equally well-suited for construction in a more urban setting, with a view of a nicely landscaped back yard.

Framed out twin columns support the roof of the covered porch. Double doors open into a high-ceilinged foyer, naturally illuminated by a wide transom. An art niche is ahead and to the right; an open passageway is ahead and to the left. This leads directly into the bright and spacious great room, where six pie-shaped ceiling sections slope up to one central apex.

Windows, wide and high, fill the three rear wall sections, offering stunning views from anywhere in the great room. A free-standing wood stove provides warmth.

Counters wrap four sides of the G-shaped kitchen. One long, angled counter is open to the great room, while a raised eating bar rims another peninsular counter.

The owners' suite serves as a quiet retreat, entirely filling the left wing. Sliding doors in the vaulted sleeping area provide access to the rear deck. Bathroom features include: a large walk-in closet, a spa tub with a shower head, and a private toilet.

The secondary bedrooms, a bathroom, and a utility room are in the right wing.


1st Dec, 2014
Articles, Blog

Craftsman House Plan, Home Plan, Carrington 30-360

Today’s homeowners are smartly maximizing the additional space of their bonus rooms to accommodate a range of contemporary activities, making it a highly functional room which looks great and offers something for the whole family.

The idea of a bonus room is actually a newer phenomenon and unique to the American culture. Prior to the 80’s, it was common for families to convert a garage in a single-level ranch home into a “rec room”. Parents imagined a spot where the family could play board games and listen to records on the console stereo system.

Since then, the average home size has grown from about 1650 square feet in the 70’s to over 2600 square feet today. The original recreation room idea has now evolved into a common requirement for a family-sized home.

Rick McAlexander of Associated Designs in Eugene, Oregon has designed thousands of homes over the last 30 years. He’s seen the bonus room become one of the most highly requested features of a new home. According to Rick, by using a loft truss in the construction of the home, he can create efficient space in the attic over the garage that can become an extra room at an affordable cost. An attic truss has a steeper roof, which adds additional head room.

The truss system is a great multitasker. It provides a lightweight, very strong roof while offering additional volume for bonus living space. This additional space can be left unfinished to be completed as a family’s budget and lifestyle create the opportunity to spread out, or it can be completed at the same time as the rest of the house. Good insulation and energy efficient windows create a comfortable place for friends and family to enjoy.

“Taking advantage of the extra space trusses can provide will result in the traditional bonus room with a sloped ceiling,” says Rick. “This is a great opportunity to incorporate built-ins, storage closets and other functional spaces that take advantage of the slopes,” he states.

A classic Craftsman style home, like Associated Designs’ Carrington 30-360 plan, is a perfect example of how to add bonus space to a smaller footprint. The main house lives large at 2049 square feet, while the extra bonus space is a few steps up and over the garage, adding another 350 feet to the overall plan. And, this plan calls for a window on every wall, ensuring loads of natural light that prevent the space from feeling like an attic.

Today’s savvy decorators know how to incorporate many elements that create a contemporary living space with fresh styling. Built-in cabinetry under the eaves includes a counter top, drawers and cubes for a crafting environment where projects can sit until completed. A finished crawl-space storage closet keeps seasonal clothing or extra linens fresh and ready for quick use. Library shelving under the eaves provides a wealth of space for books and keepsakes.

A kitchenette can include a wet sink and counter with microwave, with wine cooler and compact refrigerator. Add a built-in day bed and the bonus room becomes a gracious spot for overnight guests.

Maximizing every part of the bonus room with tricks of the building trade ensures the room is well used and enjoyed by all.

As Seen on Newswire

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