If you were to journey across the United States you would find that there is a clear pattern when it comes to a home’s exteriors. Clay tiles are prominent in the Southwest, more muted traditional colors are found in the Northeast, and in the south and countryside you will find a lot of patios and sprawling porches.
In a blog post, the NAHB reported a rise in the appearance of porches, patios, and decks on new homes built in three Southern states. The data comes from the Survey of Construction and centers the phenomenon in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee. In those four states, known as East South Central, 90 percent of new house plans started in 2012 had porches. On the other extreme, new house plans with porches in the Middle Atlantic region of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania have been under 50 percent this year.
For house plans with sprawling porches you can take a look at the Southern house plan collection from The House Designers. All the homes in our Southern house plan collection capture the spirit of the south and range from simple cottage house plans to luxurious Southern estates. The designs tend to feature certain keystones of Southern house plans, including high ceilings and covered porches.
One thing is for sure, purchasing a Southern house plan will give your home’s exterior a warm and inviting style. Take a look through the collection and see what charms you.
If you want a chic green floor, bamboo is the material you want. With all the properties of hardwood floors you might be surprised that this floor is actually constructed from a type of grass and has many of the same benefits as hardwood flooring. Here are some of the things you need to know to make an informed decision when purchasing bamboo flooring.
Renewable Flooring: Bamboo is made from naturally renewable vegetation. Since the plant grows to maturity in three to five years this materially is much more renewable than hardwood trees, which take up to twenty years to mature.
Environmentally Friendly: Bamboo is also easy to maintain. You can sweep or vacuum it regularly to remove small particles of debris. You can also damp mop it, or clean it with non-wax, non-alkaline, hardwood or bamboo floor cleaner. Even though they can become discolored, scratched, or marred over time the surface can easily be refinished too, saving you from having to replace the flooring.
Durability: Certain types of bamboo are extremely strong. When it is properly harvested natural, un-carbonized bamboo can be as durable as red oak hardwood. It’s also possible to manufacture strand woven bamboo to be even harder than that. Not to mention. It is also water resistant to water damage, stains, and warping, even more so than hardwood. However, it is still a concern.
Style: In the construction industry green and natural materials are currently trending. Not only is bamboo an environmentally conscious material but it also elevates the elegance of a space almost instantly. It has the appearance and feel of hardwood, while at the same time looking distinctly different. This works particularly well if you want to reject the modern cookie cutter world and add some personality into your space.
Bamboo flooring is one of many options on the list, right there on the list next to hardwood. It is stylish, durable, and easy to care for. In the end, what it really comes down to is the look you want.
One of the commercials I remember from childhood involves a Realtor driving a couple around a neighborhood and showing them ranch after ranch house plan even after the couple says, “Didn’t we say ‘No ranches?’” I can’t even remember the company or the point of that commercial but that one line got into my head and stayed with me. I grew up with this idea that ranch house plans were undesirable, so imagine my surprise to find out that ranch house plans are the most popular choice for house plans.
Ranch house plans share one simple attribute: they are house plans with one-story living. Aside from that, ranch house plans can be as diverse in floor plan and exterior design as you want. Whether you are looking for a small retirement cottage or a luxurious Mediterranean villa there is a ranch house plan for you.
Say, you want something a little more modern for your exterior style. Homes like The Park Place house plan give you that modern and contemporary styling while still giving you the efficiency of single-story living. The Park Place house plan has plenty of amenities embedded into the design that allow you to live efficiently and practically. A welcoming foyer houses lots of storage space for coats and shoes and minimizes the dust and dirt tracked into the house. The home office is directly accessible from the foyer, allowing business and pleasure to be co-located but still remain separate when needed. The office can also serve as a flexible space, easily becoming a guest room or additional bedroom.
If you need a home that is somewhat larger you can look at homes like the Aspen Creek house plan. Not only does it have ample space for four bedrooms and four bathrooms but it also has amenities like a cozy study, game room, and cooking patio. This house plan’s central zone is the main living area where you will find a family room, keeping room, and living room that are separated only by a breakfast bar. You can also enjoy the view outside from large windows while you keep cozy with two corner fireplaces in the living room and keeping room.
If you are looking for something that feels a little bit more like a cottage, then house plans like the Lado del Rio will be just your cup of tea. The Lado del Rio offers wide open planning and lots of room to grow. The spacious front porch is inviting and cozy and a large rear porch creates the perfect space for outdoor entertaining. With extra luxuries in the master suite like a walk-in shower and large walk-in closet you will find that this home has everything you could possibly want, all in one story.
This is a small sample of the various exterior styles you will find when looking into a single-story floor plan. If you want to keep browsing you can take a look at the large ranch house plan collection from The House Designers.
The thought of stepping in your front door and looking around to see everything you own might sound a little different but there are some very good reasons to embrace and love a tiny house plan. We define a tiny house plan as one under 500 square feet which usually consists of just a handful of rooms, usually a kitchen, bedroom and living room. Everything about these rooms has a purpose and is carefully thought out.
If you live in a city or other metropolitan area, it might be necessary to have a space this small, but plenty of people prefer these tiny homes over larger ones. Let us explore some of the great reasons to love living in a tiny home.
Less Clutter- Living in a tiny house plan means less clutter for you. When you have only a few rooms and limited storage space you have to be selective about just how much stuff you’ve got in the house with you. This tends to discourage impulse shopping and may help to curtail ‘collecting’ and frivolous purchases. This tendency toward reduced clutter and it’s small size means that you’ll spend less time cleaning your house. The time it takes to clean a couple of rooms compared to the time spent cleaning, sweeping and dusting a large home is significantly less.
Easy Maintenance- One person could paint the King Fisher house pictured above in a day or two, easily. Extrapolate this to any maintenance item in or on a home and you’ll see how easy it is to live with a small home.
Lower Energy Consumption- Another benefit of living in a tiny home is that you simply won’t consume as much energy. Since there is less space to be heated/cooled this is a major plus and makes these homes very green in comparison with many larger ones.
More Savings- In addition to lower energy bills, owners of tiny homes enjoy lower property taxes, leaving more money into your pocket for vacations and other fun things.
The end result of this is a genuinely higher quality of life. Whether you are looking for a tiny home, or you just want to live less large you can find homes under 2,500 square feet in the small house plan collection at the House Designers.
When you hear the phrase “concrete house plans” you might imagine a home that looks like a military barracks building. The truth is that today’s concrete house plans are far away from that. Of course poured concrete and/or concrete blocks are used but they certainly don’t need to end up looking like a box. Concrete house plans are sometimes called ICF houses, short for Insulated Concrete Forms. Aside from their construction they are just like any other house plan. But what are the benefits of using concrete rather than wood or brick?
Strength- One of the advantages of concrete house plan construction is that it is strong and durable. It’s able to withstand weather extremes, hurricanes and even fires. Quite likely the toughest, longest-lasting construction method available.
Healthier Environment That’s Mold and Pest Free- Pests, mold, and moisture cannot damage or inhabit concrete in any way. With no termites, carpenter ants, rodents or other pests that might reside in a wood frame home it provides a cleaner environment that’s easy to maintain.
Concrete homes are also mold free because the walls contain no organic material that mold and mildews need to grow. It also reduces the infiltration of outside air that may bring in allergens. The polystyrene foam used in ICF construction is non-toxic and free of formaldehyde, asbestos, and fiberglass.
Energy Efficient with Lower Energy Bills- The process of constructing concrete is very energy efficient (water, aggregate, and cement mix). So by using concrete construction you are already helping the environment. Next, ICF concrete walls have high thermal efficiency. ICF walled homes require about 44 percent less energy to heat and 32 percent less to cool compared to typical wood framed houses. These energy savings come from the outstanding insulation values for ICF walls (their R-Value can get as high as R-40).
Comfort and Quiet- People who live in ICF homes praise the absence of cold drafts and unwanted noises. On top of the energy savings, ICF homes tend to have even temperatures and are far less drafty. A foam-and-concrete sandwich cuts air infiltration by as much as 75 percent. The high thermal mass of the concrete also protects the home’s interior from extreme outdoor temperatures. This makes them just as popular in the sunbelt states as in the northern climates.
Concrete walls are also effective with keeping out loud noises. The mass of the concrete reduces the sound penetrating through the wall by more than 80 percent, compared to stick built construction. Some sound still penetrates through the windows, but a concrete house plan is often two-thirds quieter than a wood frame home.
Concrete house plans may not be the most conventional or familiar construction method, but for the efficiency-seeking or environmentally conscious shopper a concrete house plan might be just the ticket. You can browse a wide selection of concrete house plans from The House Designers.
Now is the perfect time to build that single-family house plan you’ve had your eye on. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) reports a third consecutive monthly gain. During the month of July builder confidence rose six points taking the HMI to 57, the strongest reading since January 2006.
“Builders are seeing more motivated buyers coming through their doors as the inventory of existing homes for sale continues to tighten,” noted NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe in a press release. “Meanwhile, as the infrastructure that supplies home building returns, some previously skyrocketing building material costs have begun to soften.”
The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Index gauges builder perceptions of single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as good, fair, or poor. The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers high to very high, average, or low to very low. The scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over fifty indicates that more builders view conditions as good rather than poor.
Does this news give you confidence? Think it might be time to build you dream home? Then take a look at these top selling house plans from The House Designers.
Don’t build just any house on the water; make it a lake house plan. When you buy a plot of land by the water, you are naturally getting some amazing views. Whether you are looking for a luxury lake estate or a small vacation home, the lake house plan collection from The House Designers is sure to have something for you.
The lake house plans featured in this collection have a few unifying characteristics. Each lake house plan features fabulous window placement that will maximize the view and the amount of natural light entering each room. In turn, this will also help reduce energy costs. They also tend to have large wrap-around decks, patios, or porches, to blend indoor lifestyles with the outdoors.
The Halstead Craftsman Ranch house plan gives you nostalgic charm and Craftsman details. With a vaulted Great Room to host family and friends in style and an impressive kitchen and dining room arrangement you are sure to be able to live comfortably and entertain with ease. The main floor master suite is designed with endless closest space and a garden spa tub. On the upper level two more bedrooms await along with a bonus room that you can transform into anything you wish. Home theater anyone?
With 4,304 square feet of living space, the Portsmouth “B” lake house plan looks like it just came off the pages of a magazine. Not only does it look amazing but it has every amenity on your list. The kitchen will be your resident chef’s heaven with a sizable pantry, extended island, and bright sunroom. The deluxe master suite is located on the main floor and is the perfect place to unwind after a long day. This house is also designed with a daylight basement that could accommodate a spacious suite, a recreation room, and wet bar and wine cellar.
A country cottage lake house plan, the Cliffside 5 is perfect as a four-season vacation home or a year round residence. A main level family room is warmed by a wood burning fireplace and the dining room opens to a screened in porch. This home also includes desired amenities like a kitchen island, guest room with walk-in closet. The upper level hosts a master suite alongside a secondary bedroom and full bath.
If you plan on making the lake your home, consider one of these plans or one of many other lake house plans in the lake house plan collection from The House Designers.
Admit it. Who wouldn’t want to live in a home that was once featured in a famous television show? Well, fans of the USA Network original series Burn Notice are lucky. Not only are scrupulous records of all of Burn Notice’s filming locations available, but there are detailed photos of the real homes used as exteriors for the hit series.
Shot on location in Miami, Florida the show is about Michael Westen, a burned(discredited/terminated) spy. With no resources and all his connections severed, Michael Westen has to find the people who burned him using his skills as a CIA operative and the only people that are still talking to him. This team includes: his old friend Sam, his ex-girlfriend and former IRA explosives expert Fiona, and his mother Madeline.
There are lots of homes and locations noted for the filming of Burn Notice and a quick online search will bring you to the in-depth guide that shows you where certain scenes were filmed. Since they seem to cover much of Miami here are a few locations the team goes to there. The show is typically bright and colorful and the background is usually filled with palm trees and sometimes a Spanish style house plan with clay tiles and white stucco.
You could write a book on all the homes and locations Burn Notice has shot at in their six year run but if one thing is certain, it’s that the homes in Miami are wildly diverse. The sixth and final season of Burn Notice premieres on Thursday July 11 on the USA Network, but if you think you want a little bit more of Michael Westen’s Miami in your life, browse the Spanish house plan and Mediterranean house plan collections found at The House Designers.
I don’t think I have ever coveted a house more than I do Clarice Willow’s cabin house in Caprica. Imagine my surprise when I later found out that not only was the cabin real but it had been used by the Syfy Network as Colonel Jack O’Neil’s fishing cabin in Stargate SG-1. The real life cabin is located in Vancouver, British Columbia and is known as the Murdo Park Caretaker’s cabin.
In addition to appearances in Caprica and Stargate SG-1 this cabin house has also appeared in Eureka, Supernatural, Fringe, and most recently Once Upon a Time as Mr. Gold’s Cabin. I am not entirely sure what it is about this cabin that attracts me to it but its log cabin exterior looks so cozy. Sadly I will probably never get to own this cabin. However, if I ever get the opportunity, I could find a few other log cabins that I would like to stay in.
While it might not be possible to live in the cabin that has been featured in so many television shows, it is possible to have a similar home. Browsing through the log cabin house plan collection from The House Designers assures that you will find the perfect cabin for your dream vacation, or primary home.
Florida House Plans, What’s hot right now? And not just because of its proximity to the equator. Reports from Florida Realtors say that the housing market is heating up in the Sunshine State. This translates to a rise in pending sales, closed sales, an increase in median prices and a decrease in the supply of homes for sale compared to the Florida housing market figures for the first quarter of 2013.
“Home sales continue to increase, it’s taking less time for sales to close, and median sales prices are on the rise,” said 2013 Florida Realtors President Dean Asher, in a June 20th press release. “This is the 17th month in a row that we’ve seen the statewide median sales prices increase year-over-year for both single-family homes and for townhome-condo properties. Sellers are seeing this momentum in Florida’s housing sector and it’s prompting many to decide now is the time to list their property for sale. Statewide, new listings for single-family homes increased 10.2 percent in May, while new townhome-condo listings rose 7.1 percent.”
This bolstering of the housing market can be explained by the increased job creation in the region as well as the growing population. Both factors offer more foundation for housing market stability. Land prices are also continuing to rise as Florida homes gain popularity.
Whether the tropical Florida climate is for you or not, you can own a piece of tropical paradise with a Florida house plan. The typical house plan you will see in Florida is typically a ranch or one-and-a-half story floor plan that is usually finished in stucco. Florida house plans are also intended to be built on a concrete slab and don’t usually have basements. Florida house plans may have dramatic floor plans and frequently include outdoor living spaces in the form of covered or screened rear porches and lanai’s.
Spanish house plans and Mediterranean house plans are also popular in Florida, and make it possible for everyone to enjoy a little bit of Florida sunshine. If you like the idea of a Florida home or you simply want a Florida inspired house plan, you will find exactly what you want in the Florida house plan collection at The House Designers.
Beach house plans, like the ones in this collection, are designed to be located on a beach, lakefront, coast, or any area with lots of water views. Beach house plans are typically contemporary or modern with open spaces to capture views. The beach is a beautiful place to relax. There is the sun and the sound of the ocean, but it is even more relaxing when you don’t have to worry about leaving.
Although some beach house plans are raised up on pilings, many are conventional in construction. One common feature you will find in all beach houses is a wall or window facing the water and many rooms sharing that view. Since these homes are leisure homes they are usually informal in design, with the emphasis on rest and relaxation.
For something traditional and inviting, take a look at the Portsmouth “B” house plan. This 4,304 craftsman ranch house plan provides ample living space that will surprise you with virtually every amenity on your list. The kitchen comes outfitted with a sizable pantry, extended island, and a bright sun room. On one side of the main floor is the deluxe master suite, perfect for a retreat after a long day. The walk-out basement provides more living space, with spacious suites, recreation room, wet bar and winery. Are you looking for the perfect getaway, looking for beach house plans? This beach house plan is the perfect place for that getaway.
With a 1,625 square feet of space the Touchstone 1 house plan leaves nothing behind. A lovely fireplace warms the vaulted living room, the perfect spot for any gathering. French doors lead out to a breezy deck, perfect for enjoying some salty air or just relaxing and watching the scenic views. The master bedroom and a deluxe bath top off the main floor, while upstairs two more bedrooms share a single roomy bath. As an added bonus, the railed balcony upstairs provides a view of the living room—a unique feature not offered in many other house plans.
Beach cottage house plans like the Jefferson are charming buildings with loads of curb appeal and visual punch. In addition to being the perfect beach house this house is also energy efficient. This three or four bedroom cottage was designed specifically to drastically cut heating and cool costs without adding building costs. Some of its features include insulated doors and windows, positive vapor barrier to enhance comfort control, and centrally located plumbing, heating, and A/C for added efficiency. Additionally its small footprint helps to minimize costs.
These are only a few of the many beach house plan designs in the beach house plans collection found at The House Designers.
You don’t have to go far for sun and sand. The coast of Connecticut has plenty of that. Last year, Hurricane Sandy left Connecticut’s shoreline pretty beat up, but since then vacation homebuyers have been coming out of the woodwork. On July 6th, The Hartford Courant reported that sales along the shoreline and Litchfield county, two popular second-home areas in Connecticut were starting to pick up again. The Connecticut housing market is showing signs of improvement.
“Over the last six months, we’ve seen some fairly good values around,” said Michael Blair, a broker at Hunter, Moore & Stearns in Stonington. “Interest rates were low. Supply was high. Now that has diminished a bit. Prices are starting to stabilize. People are peeking their heads out.”
Real estate agents believe that the vacation home market slowed because of the arrival of storms Irene and Sandy the last two summers. Couple the storms with worries about whether prices had truly hit bottom and you have a perfect formula for a falling market.
This increase in sales isn’t limited to Connecticut though. Across the country, buyer confidence in the housing market is surging. The rebound is driven by record low mortgage rates and confidence in the economy. That confidence is spilling into seasonal communities like those found at Lake Tahoe in California and the Berkshires in western Massachusetts.
The Hartford Courant reported that “Vacation-home demand relies on discretionary spending and typically lags behind the broader housing market by about one or two years, indicating secondary properties are on the cusp of a recovery,” according to Jeff Meyers, a housing research consultant with Beverly Hills, California-based real estate firm Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc.
The Connecticut shoreline has always been attractive to those seeking a summer or vacation home, and with the recent pickup it appears that now might be the perfect time to seriously consider a secondary home in whatever part of the country you desire. You can check out a vast selection of seasonal homes in The House Designers vacation house plan collection. The housing market is picking up so look for your dream home today.
In your search for the perfect house plan you may have come across the words ‘daylight basement’ and you might wonder just what a daylight basement is. A daylight basement is also referred to as a walk-out basement. The main difference between a regular basement and a daylight basement is that a daylight basement has one or more full-sized above ground windows placed on one or more of the walls. Daylight basement house plans may also include a door leading to the outside.
A daylight basement is an ideal feature when working with a sloped lot. This is because it takes advantage of the natural topography and the view often offered by sloping lots. Little extra work is required to create a house with a daylight basement. Naturally, there’s the benefit of additional natural daylight. If natural light downstairs sounds good to you, a daylight basement house plan may have expansive windows to let in the most light possible.
One thing to take into consideration when looking at a daylight basement house plan is to be able to work with existing grades so that the driveway pitch is not too steep and the daylight or walk-out side is level with the adjoining grade.
In the end, a daylight basement offers more natural light and can serve as a flexible living space for your family. You can convert your daylight basement house plan to give you extra bedrooms, laundry rooms, or game rooms. They can also provide needed additional storage space, particularly if a crawl space is featured in the design.
If you like the idea of a daylight basement check out this daylight basement house plan collection from The House Designers.
You’ve selected your house plan and built your home and now you have the task of painting the exterior. While not extremely difficult, painting your house does take time. So how to keep your exterior paint job on the right track and looking great? Here are a few tips to make painting your home go a little bit smoother.
Work with Mother Nature
Obviously paint does not dry instantly. It needs time to cure, and while it is curing rain is its enemy. Also it shouldn’t be intensely humid out because the humidity can get under your paint and cause it to bubble as it cures. With this in mind, autumn is one of the best times to paint since it is not too humid or rainy.
Wash It, Sand It
Not only will a clean surface look better but it will also take paint better. Power washing your house will remove any dirt and mildew, and sanding will give the surfaces traction for the new paint. A light all-over sanding will greatly aid paint adhesion and make your paint job look ten times better, and make it longer-lasting.
Apply Quality Primer
Before you think about applying your paint, you must first apply a coat of good quality primer. Primer readies your surface to take paint by sealing the wood or old paint, and providing an anchor for the finish coats.
Quality Trumps Price
Invest in a high-quality latex paint. It might be tempting to go for a paint that doesn’t cost as much but you are much more likely to get a good return on investment with a more expensive paint that is sun and weather resistant.
On average, painting the exterior of your home will take about sixty hours. Making sure you follow the right procedure and have the right tools to do the job are very important aspects of the job. One thing is certain—with the right paint palette, any home or house plan can come to life with a fresh, coordinated coat of paint. Take a look at some of the bestselling house plans from The House Designers for more inspiration on how to paint your home.
I’ve always had a vivid imagination, and one dream has always fascinated me is a version of my life in which I live and work on a tulip farm in Holland. In this alternate reality, I can see my house, and the fields striped with buds of colorful tulips and the houses are personified in the farm house plans found at The House Designers.
Farm house plans were born on hundred-acre spreads of rural America and are as ingrained in American tradition as traditional or craftsman house plans. When you picture a farm house in your mind’s eye, you might see a version of Grant Wood’s painting “American Gothic.” If you recall, it’s the picture of the rugged-looking gray haired couple with the man holding a pitchfork. Behind the couple is a farm house that actually exists in Eldon, Iowa.
Even though farm house plans come in a variety of styles varying from modest to expensive they are unified by a few characteristics. For example, they usually have large porches that often wrap around and occasionally extend to the rear. Although they can sometimes be ranches, they are usually one-and-a-half to two story homes. Farm house plans typically have wood frame construction and gabled roofs. Upon first look, a farm house is usually symmetrically shaped, sometimes with side wings.
Farm house plans have a particular charm about them because they are very family-centered. They tend to be more practical than fanciful and usually feature a spacious country kitchen with a cozy fireplace and plenty of room for a big rustic table. Most importantly, they bring to mind an old-fashioned sense of home where the family gathered in the open kitchen and living room.
Farm house plans are typically well suited to large lots, and examples of farm house styles can be found in most regions of the country. Although farm house plans are based on the idea of a country farm dwelling, the farm house can also be suited to an urban area as well and it is ideal for homebuilders who desire a more informal country style in their homes, an appreciation for rural culture, and strong connections to the past and the land they will build upon.