A garage is a great addition to any home for many reasons. For one, an attached garage protects you from the weather getting to and from your car. And obviously it protects your vehicles from weather as well, especially important if you live in the snow belt or there’s a risk of hail. It can act as additional storage for lawn tools and such. Most of all, it can add great value to your property. In fact, though a garage costs around $30/square foot to build an owner can recoup up to 65 percent of the cost of construction at resale. The garage is a ‘must have’ for many buyers.
House Plan 2138 is a versatile small craftsman house plan with an optional attached 2-car or 3-car option. This best-seller house plan features 1,698 s.f. and a bonus area above for 1,028.
However, to ensure that your garage addition is exactly what you need, you have to consider the size and placement. Read on to find out more about these considerations.
How much money do you have set aside or marked to invest in your garage project? Of course, everything else will be dependent on how much you can afford to spend on materials, labor and decoration.
- Family’s Needs
Will you use the garage only for parking cars or also as a workshop? The design and layout of the garage will need to meet these needs in order for it to be functional. However, if you are planning to sell your house in the future it is best to consider general needs, like shelves placement, access, etc. Additionally, if your garage will be used as a workspace you should also consider its cooling and heating, electrical and even plumbing systems.
The layout of your garage should maximize every usable space. This means that there should never be odd angles or low rooflines within the floor space. Installing shelves, storage cabinets and workstations could be difficult or impractical if these are not considered.
The standard size for most single garages is 12ft wide by 22ft long while double garages are 18ft wide by 22ft long. However, you can always choose to make yours wider and longer to make enough room for more than one car and put in a workstation. The rule of thumb here is to build bigger when in doubt. The extra space can be used for storing garden equipment, bikes and sports equipment. But keep in mind that a garage that’s too big can also take away considerable square footage off your property.
The design of your garage should complement your house. This is because a mismatched parking area, which may be due to size, architecture or finish, could reduce your property’s resale value. In other words, your house and garage should have common elements, including types of doors and windows and the exterior finish.
Another important consideration for your garage’s design is whether it will be attached or freestanding. A garage that is attached to your home is more convenient, since you won’t get wet or cold when getting inside the house from your car. It is also less costly because it will make use of an existing house wall, and electrical hookups etc. will be simpler to make.
A detached parking area on the other hand offers benefits as potential fuel/exhaust fumes, noise and road dirt are kept away from the house.
- Zoning regulations and building codes
It is important to know the laws regarding building garages in your area. Some places, for example, may restrict owners from building a garage that’s too close to the edge of the property. Similarly, other parts of the country might only allow certain driveway designs, roof heights and the like. Builders and architects will be able to advise you on these requirements.
By carefully considering all of the above, you and your family will be able to enjoy the benefits of a well-planned garage.
When you hear the words “front porch,” you might immediately picture a simple farmhouse porch with a couple of rocking chairs and other rarely used furniture. This may often be the case, but a well-designed house can make a front porch an extremely useful feature and provide other advantages.
- It can meaningfully connect a home’s interior to its exterior.
- It may serve as a real extension of your living space.
- It could be used as a nice cozy spot for an al fresco breakfast.
- In season it’s the perfect place for entertaining guests or neighbors.
- It can transform the appearance of a house, no matter its style or age.
- It can add a beautiful dimension to an otherwise austere facade.
- It will boost a home’s curb appeal and add personality.
Enjoy additional photographs of this classic country House Plan 5678 with a beautiful wraparound porch.
As you can see, there are many benefits to be had if you have a lovely front porch on your house.
Now, if you’re planning to add a front porch to your property, here are some things you need to consider:
- How would you like to use your front porch?
This will help you determine how big your porch needs to be. For example, a veranda with only a small breakfast table and two chairs does not require a lot of space. But a porch for dining and entertaining will take up more space on your property. Hence, it is important to consider how much room is needed if your yard is smaller.
- When will you usually use your porch?
You might want your porch to be usable all year round, so consider including details that will allow you do so. However, you have to keep in mind your region and climate, as these can determine the placement of your porch, materials to be used and even the design.
- How convenient do you want your veranda to be?
The entry to and from the portico into your house should be conveniently placed in order for it to be easily accessible. An easy path leading to and from the porch will encourage good traffic flow. This can be achieved by installing large patio or French doors that are also great sources of natural lighting for your home.
- What do you need to consider in terms of safety?
Each state and city has their own sets of rules and regulations for residential and commercial structures, which include porches. In colder places, for example, the foundation of a portico should be deeper than the frost line to ensure the structure will stay intact as the soil freezes and thaws. This is why it’s important to work with architects and licensed contractors to ensure that your veranda will comply with industry standards.
- How do you want your porch to look?
Beautiful 3-story coastal House Plan 9323 with two large covered porches. Enjoy additional photographs of this new narrow lot design from The House Designers.
If you hire licensed architects to create a layout for your porch, it will be designed with scale and proportion in mind. But to give this home feature a personal touch, you can search for inspiration online and then, discuss the things you want with your designer. To give you some good ideas, here are some charming porch plan types to explore:
- Rustic – Typically, you’ll find rich wood textures in this kind of terrace. It may even have a fireplace made of stones to give the space a log cabin feel.
- Seaside – This porch is the perfect spot to enjoy the stunning view of the ocean and surrounding areas. You can install large French doors to allow more natural light in.
- Screened – Screens make your veranda more useful as it can be used more often and for more activities. Plus, it’s a protected spot where little kids can safely play.
- Open – An open porch is a breezy porch as it has little barriers to let the wind and sun in. This is the best option for homes with breathtaking views.
- Classic – This is characterized by brick or cement columns and floors with wood railings. This is also an open and airy space.
Once you have made up your mind about the size, design and other elements of your front porch, be sure to work with a trusted architect to ensure the best result.
If you and your family are in search of the perfect house plan, you might have come across the term “split bedroom floor plan,” especially with older designs. It was in the 1950s and 1960s when the split-level floor plan began to gain popularity in the suburbs of America. Although the design is basically derived from the ranch style, it was a fresh and modern take on home styles of the ‘50s. Aside from that, families moving into upscale neighborhoods were looking for grander homes.
House Plan 5458 is an affordable ranch home with split bedrooms and an open 1,492 design. Explore this popular design by The House Designers.
The split bedroom house plan refers to a design where the master suite is isolated from the rest of the other bedrooms as well as common areas, including the living room, dining room and kitchen. The location of the rooms is what makes this floor plan unique compared to other house styles, and the split bedroom design typically features living and eating areas with an open plan concept, making the home look and feel more spacious, comfortable and functional.
Today, the split bedroom floor plan is no longer considered modern, but is still quite practical. Here are some of the reasons this type of house plan is attractive:
This is one of the main reasons a lot of homeowners are still drawn to this house style. This house style costs less to build because of the absence of several interior walls, a common feature in open concept plans, reducing the quantities of construction materials.
- Peace and Privacy
For parents who want more privacy, this type of floor plan may work best for them. This is because the master suite will be located some good distance from the rest of the rooms in the house and away from heavy foot traffic. The living and dining rooms and kitchen, which get the most noise, will all be located in another area of the house, minimizing the noise traveling from one room to another. This means that your teenagers can conveniently entertain their friends while you enjoy some peace and quiet in your own room.
This 3 bedroom split bedroom layout enjoys a center living space and formal dining room. There’s plenty of room for future expansion above in House Plan 5558. Take a look at this popular country ranch house plan.
Generally, in split bedroom design plans floor space is used more efficiently. There are no hallways to separate the rooms, which could make a home look smaller because the sleeping zones are divided by the living area, great room, dining room and kitchen. As a result, the common spaces can be made bigger to accommodate a range of activities like entertaining guests, playing games and relaxing by the fireplace.
In this home design, the house can look and feel more spacious because it generally uses cathedral ceilings in the great room. This could accommodate more or bigger windows and skylights to let more natural light in, giving the house that sophisticated appeal.
- Upkeep and Adaptability
Maintenance and upkeep will be straightforward in split bedroom home plans. You can easily access most of the working parts of the house, making cleaning, repair and upgrades less tedious and less costly. Aside from that, customizing or renovating the house will never be a problem because it can easily adapt to the changing trends in décor and interior design. For example, you can give an old home a new lease on life by using modern minimalist details, like recessed lighting instead of a massive outdated chandelier in the middle of the living room.
Split bedroom house plans have many benefits. This is why these types of homes offer excellent resale value. In fact, it is still quite popular to a lot of homebuyers.
Your home may have been built using a floor plan that’s common in your neighborhood, but that doesn’t mean it can’t stand out from the rest of the houses in your area. By learning more about architectural styles and adding complementary design elements, you can infuse character and beauty into your home to set it apart.
- Be mindful of proportions. For example, the width of the shutters used in pairs on a window should be half that of the window, and must have the same height as the window.
- Baseboard should be as high as the ceiling. Aside from that, the baseboard molding must always be larger than the frame built around a window or door.
- Install chair rails to make any room look taller. Chair rails are moldings that prevent the backs of chairs from rubbing against the wall. From the floor these should be a third of the way up the wall and should be a half to one inch more narrow than the casings.
- Hanging curtains higher than the windows can make a room appear taller. Use colorful draperies to add more character.
- Add storage units wherever you can, but do it with class. Add purpose to an empty area near a bay window by transforming it into a reading nook. Install seating that doubles as storage for old magazines, toys, etc.Take advantage of open shelves to store and at the same time, display favorite collectibles. Airy shelves don’t just keep your space clutter-free, but also add charm to your home.
- Accentuate a basic kitchen with architectural details. If your cooking area lacks flair, frame its windows with wide moldings and spice up your cabinets with carved legs and cornices.
- Use natural wood or bamboo flooring. Not only do these last longer than synthetic materials, but they also add personality to your interior. For heavy traffic area use machine-washable rugs to keep the space warm and inviting.
- Classic Georgian style front doors can be enhanced by capping its panel with an intricate crown supported by decorative pillars. You’ll find thousands of excellent quality millwork elements at Fypon®.
- For a Victorian style home, add appeal to it by using ornamental spindlework on the porches and patterned shingles on the roof.
- Highlight the unique style of country cottages with clapboard shingles for siding, or wood shakes for siding and roofing. Also, add wide white trim for window shutters.
- Go for the finished look and feel of a Mediterranean-style home with decorative accents, like round columns, tiles and stones. Also, consider planting lush gardens and installing a stunning fountain outside your house.
- Keep your home’s traditional look with updated building materials that last longer and require as little upkeep as possible. Polyurethane, for example, is a lightweight and, not to mention, cheaper alternative to wood. Aside from that, such materials are easy to install and can be resistant to insect infestation, moisture and weather conditions.
With a bit of trim here and there, your home could have the appeal and character it truly deserves.
To get the best value for your money on window and door trim, as well as other millwork, check out what Fypon® has to offer.
Finally, you’ll be able to toss your thick jackets and bulky boots into your closet. After a long winter that brought snow as high as your car, spring is definitely a welcome change.
Aside from a chance to enjoy the outdoors, spring is also the perfect time to prepare your abode for summertime. Use these helpful tips in spring cleaning, decorating and organizing to ensure a comfortable home through the season’s rising temperatures.
#1 – Double-check window and door insulation
Although spring weather usually doesn’t require heating or cooling, there may be days when it feels warmer. Plus, you’ll most likely be using your air-conditioning system in the months ahead, so it’s only right that you make sure you don’t waste money or energy because of drafts. The best thing to do is to double-check the condition of your insulation system. Make sure weather strips are still usable, that there are no cracks on glass windows and all doors and windows are fully sealed.
#2 – Use your air-conditioning sparingly
Days will be hotter as we approach summer, which means that you’ll be using your AC more. This can increase your energy use, which could translate to high electricity charges. To minimize energy use, invest in a good thermostat to help you adjust the temperature according to a pre-set schedule. Additionally, you can install ceiling fans that run in a counterclockwise direction as this blows air downwards, helping you minimize the use of your cooling system.
#3 – Take advantage of air outside
If you have large windows, you can open these to let more natural light in and make the most of the cool air outside. This also allows hot air out, making your space feel much more comfortable without relying too much on your AC system or electric lighting. To prevent direct sunlight from overheating your interiors though, install blinds, shutters or curtains to block some of it.
#4 – Take a look into your attic
Sometimes warm or cold air can be circulating up in the attic, which can considerably affect the temperature of the rest of the house. So invest in proper ventilation to insulate your home.
#5 – Replace your HVAC’s old filter
Replacing your HVAC’s filter regularly is one of the easiest and cheapest things you can do to make your home as energy efficient as possible. This removes clogged dirt in your air-conditioning unit and allows the equipment to run much more efficiently. You can buy reusable HVAC filters, which you need to rinse regularly. This is can be more expensive up front, but is more practical since you don’t need to throw it out once it becomes riddled with dust.
#6 – De-clutter
Clutter is one of the major things that can make a house look and feel hot and uncomfortable. To allow air to circulate properly in your house, make sure to get rid of clutter in every room. Get rid of the things you’ve hoarded and kept, but aren’t using since you got them. Not only will this let air flow freely inside your home, but it will also leave you more space for a much needed makeover. That way, you’ll be able to decorate your home with a spring/summer feel.
Important spring preparations to keep in mind:
- Dust ceiling fans, corners and even moldings.
- Wipe light features with a damp cloth to get rid of dust.
- Clean windows and tops of doors to ensure they’re spotless.
- Clean tables, countertops, bookshelves and wall décor.
- Clean blinds and furniture pieces.
- Vacuum baseboards, rugs and carpets.
- Use a gentle cleaner to clean hardwood, tiles and linoleum.
- Vacuum air-conditioning vents to remove allergens.
- Remove cobwebs from every corner of the house.
- Wash light shades with mild soap and water.
- Replace light bulbs, if needed.
- Trim bushes and trees outside your house.
- Install outdoor lighting
- Pressure wash windows, siding and garage door.
- Clear patio, porch and deck.
Building a house requires you to invest a considerable amount of money. This is why it’s important that you take the time to consider the design as well as the features you want to have in your own house.
This stunning one-story House Plan 5086 is compact yet functional, with an attached garage and 1,528 square feet of living space.
One of the considerations you need to make when it comes to choosing a design is whether to build a single-story or two-story house. Which one will suit your needs best? This is the most crucial question you need to ask yourself to determine which option to choose. However, the answer will depend on a large number of factors.
This gorgeous two-level House Plan 2325 allows you to make use of the garden area for outdoor living.
Things to consider
Many people might immediately think that building a two-story house would be more expensive than a single-story. This may not always be the case. Deciding on building a two-level home allows you to build your dream home on a smaller lot, which can be more affordable. A two-story design allows you to add considerable square footage to your home without the additional costs of roofing and foundation. Choosing to go with a single-story home can mean that you’ll need a considerably sized lot if you are planning to build a large home. Consider how much money you have in the bank and how much you are willing to borrow when deciding which floor plan to go for.
This small affordable ranch house plan offers an open floor plan and functional kitchen with access to the covered patio.
When deciding on the design of your future home, you’ll need to take note of the rooms and features you want included. If you were anticipating living with your elderly parents or in-laws, a single-level home without stairs would be more functional for the whole family. Having all rooms on the same floor also means gives everyone easy access to everything. If you want more flexibility, a two-level home would be perfect. Consider having the master bedroom on the first floor planning on spending your golden years in the same house. Extra bedrooms and flexible space on the second floor will give everyone some privacy.
Accessing Your Family’s Needs
Your lifestyle should be one of the considerations you need to make when choosing between a single-story or two-story house plan. This also includes the size of your family as well as your children’s ages. For example, families with small kids usually want to have their bedrooms and bathrooms in one area of the house, while those with teenagers want to have separate rooms.
If your family likes to entertain, a single level home with a wide foyer leading to open living space would be perfect.
To recap, here are the advantages and disadvantages of two-story and single-story homes:
- Great for people with small children.
- Perfect for aging couples or families living with older in-laws where stairs can be challenging.
- An open floor plan provides easy access to all rooms.
- A one-story home has high resale value.
- You can easily double or triple your square footage with a second level and basement floor plan.
- Allows you to separate living and sleeping areas.
- Is great for building in urban areas or waterfront areas where narrow lots are plentiful.
We just returned from the NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS) in Las Vegas and we saw a lot of new and innovative products that we could not wait to share with you. Here are seven of our favorite new products from IBS this year.
1. Lumber Liquidators® Bellawood Hardwood Flooring Collection
2. SnapPower Guidelights
We love the new SnapPower Guidelights! They took Best in Show and Best of Indoor Living Product this year at IBS and rightfully so. They aren’t just beautiful but they also they also provide great accent and safety lighting. This year they also introduced the SnapPower Charger which will be available on the market in March 2015.
3. Schlage® Sense™ Automatic Door Lock
We love Schlage’s® smart door locks! This year they introduced Schalge Sense™, their first Bluetooth-enabled lock that is easy to use and install with no-monthly fees. Just like their other smart locks, this lock is also able to store up to 30 unique codes but has the added benefit of being compatible with your favorite Apple® device.
4. GAF® Roofing Sienna® Lifetime Designer Shingles
GAF® Roofing brought their Sienna® Lifetime Designer Shingles to the show this year. These shingles feature affordable luxury and sophisticated design. A unique, specially designed color palette accentuates the shingle’s natural appeal and Diamond Cut™ granules add dimension and depth.
5. Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet™ Outdoor Dishwasher
Love to barbecue? Does your dream home feature an outdoor kitchen? You can now cut ties with your indoor kitchen with the help of the industry’s first Outdoor Dishwasher from Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet™. With an extra-large capacity and a system designed specifically for cleaning outdoor dishes this will be a welcome addition to any outdoor kitchen.
6. LAMPS PLUS® Possini Euro Strada Red Art Glass LED Mini Pendant Light
We love the Possini Euro Strada Red Art Glass LED Mini Pendant Light from LAMPS PLUS®. The red art glass combined with a beautiful chrome hardware are perfect for adding a dash of color and a contemporary statement to your kitchen design.
7. Wellborn® ColorInspire Cabinets
Want to inject a little bit of color into your kitchen, bathroom, or built-in cabinetry? Then take a look at Wellborn’s® ColorInspire program! Choose your favorite color from a collection of Benjamin Moore®, Sherwin-Williams®, and Valspar® paint chips to get cabinetry that expresses your own unique style.
This is just a sampling of our favorite products from this year’s show. Sign up for our Home Ideas newsletter to see more of our favorite products.
Do your plans for 2015 involve building a new home? Do you want to find the perfect small house design for your dream home? We have five of our best-selling small house plans that clock in at under 2,000 square feet. Take a look and see if your dream home is among them.
The Vita Encantata house plan is a scaled down version of our L’attesa di Vita house plan. Instead of media room and study option, the Vita Encantata house plan features a workshop space and the same great entertaining space inside or outside. Add three bedrooms and two bathrooms in 1,848 square feet of living space and you should have plenty of space for entertaining.
The Sutherlin Small House Plan
The Sutherlin Small House Plan is a beautiful country style home with front and back porches for relaxing on warm summer nights. With 1,492 square feet, this is one of the best-selling house plans. Insider there is a versatile Great Room where you can host your family and friends in comfort. The master suite has a deluxe private bath with dual vanities and a garden bathtub.
Merveille Vivante Small House Plan
Love the look of a storybook cottage? Then consider giving the Mervielle Vivante Small house plan a shot. With 1,412 square feet of living space, this house plan uses its floor plan efficiently with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. With an open space that encompasses a dining room, living area, and an island kitchen this living room feels spacious. Plus, split bedrooms give the homeowners plenty of privacy.
Espresso House Plan
The Espresso house plan gives you the best of both worlds. The well-detailed exterior gives you the charm of a mountain lodge but a floor plan for an urban setting. A foyer leads to a generous great room with a raised ceiling. A large window means that this house plan is great for picturesque views. The kitchen has a large island and a walk-in pantry. The master suite is steeped in luxury itself with a large walk-in closet and double vanities. Two additional bedrooms round out this 1, 529 square foot house plan.
Vida de la Confianza
This popular design has plenty of charm. The Vida de la Confianza house plan features dormers, shutters, and Craftsman details to give it plenty of curb appeal. Inside you will find lots of features in this home’s 1,698 square feet floor plan. This plan is designed to entertain guests both indoors and outdoors and a private master suite is the perfect retreat at the end of a long day. If your family is still growing then you can rest easy knowing that upstairs provides plenty of space for future expansion.
Which of our best-selling small house plans is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below and take a look at our collection of small house plans and see if you can find your dream house plan.
As the economy continues to move in the right direction, more and more people are expected to fulfill their dream of building their own home in 2015. The House Designers remains committed to helping consumers and builders find the perfect house plan at an affordable price.
Our architects and designers have been very busy creating new, innovative and energy efficient house plans for the New Year. Many of these new house plans were originally custom designs, allowing us to share beautiful photography to help you visualize each home.
This Luxury European Cottage home combines stucco and stone with rich earth tones for the shutters, roof and doors to create a breathtaking exterior. The floor plans and additional photographs to build this home are available by clicking here.
Charming 3-bedroom cottage house plan features a wraparound porch and the master suite on the first floor. View all the details of House Plan 8529.
The House Designers’ is also pleased to present the work of several new architects and designers, who recently partnered with America’s leading house plan provider to share and showcase their best-selling house plans.
This luxury contemporary house plan features 3,217 square feet of living space including a second story with two flexible spaces. Browse additional photographs and floor plans of House Plan 9044.
Brand new luxury mountain house plan features 3,738 square feet in an open two-story design with an added bonus space of 200 square feet. If you have a beautiful view, you’ll want to check out House Plan 9046.
You’ll find plenty of ranch house plans from this designer, many with finished basements. View additional photographs and the floor plans of House Plan 9075.
Look for a big increase in multifamily homes, primarily townhouses and apartments. Our new collection of 4, 5, 6, 7, 8-plexes is in response to a growing need from our builders to provide developments and growing neighborhoods with affordable, housing.
A new collection of 4-plexes have been added to The House Designers’ multifamily house plans, including this Traditional 4-Unit Townhouse 9029.
If you’re looking to start out with a small house plan, but want to have a design that has lots of room to grow then you’ll want to check out House Plan 2259 from The House Designers. This versatile home is one of our best-sellers and with great reason – it offers beautiful curb appeal and plenty of possibilities.
The main floor offers 1,421 square feet of living space including 3 bedrooms, an open kitchen/living space and beautiful covered lanai. There’s 504 square feet of bonus space on the second floor that you can enjoy now or at a later date. A finished basement floor plan featuring 988 square feet is also available so that you can enjoy additional living space. For a small footprint, which makes it affordable to build you can have a maximum size home of 2,480 square feet. A large covered lanai with fireplace is accessed through the family room and kitchen making outdoor entertaining easy.