With summer right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to think about getting your home ready for summer and figuring out how to keep your cooling costs down. Check out the article Prepare Your Home for Summer where you’ll learn efficient and affordable tips about cleaning your refrigerator coils, installing ceiling fans, cleaning and replacing window and door screens and much more.
5 Simple Ways to Cool Your Home helps you access your cooling needs by recommending small, stylish ways to effectively cool your home without using air conditioners like ceiling fans, and solar window treatments. This is especially helpful during the early months of summer when it is so tempting to turn on the a/c.
Since most of us can’t wait to start cooking outdoors, our editor’s have selected some of the best grilling products for 2011, as well as their favorite house plans featuring well-designed outdoor living spaces featuring pools, patios, lanais, decks, kitchens and much more.
Building your own home is an exciting, yet challenging endeavor. You can help eliminate some of the anxiety by selecting the right house plan for your needs, lifestyle and budget. The House Designers provide consumers and builders with over thousands of best-selling stock blueprints from small vacation cottages to magnificent mansions. All their construction drawings include everything you will need to construct your home, from electrical to plumbing to optional spaces to exclusive ENERGY STAR® packages (a great add-on if you are looking to build an energy-efficient home).
When selecting a house plan, the first step is to decide on the basics. How many bedrooms and baths do you need and/or want? Do you want a single story or two-story home? What is the minimum and maximum square footage you are looking for (consider cost and lot)? What kind of architectural style are you looking for – Craftsman, European, Contemporary?
Of course it’s impossible to build a new home without taking into consideration cost-to-build and your budget. All of our plans come with a cost-to-build estimator so you can get a rough idea how much your home will cost based on where you live. Before purchasing a house plan you should consult with your builder to make sure that you are within your budget based on the home you’ve selected and the amenities you wish to have. You can usually modify a plan to fit your budget or if you have enough money – to add more things you want.
After you purchase your house plan you can begin to plan for your home’s essentials like building materials, exterior and interior finishes, interior design elements (cabinets, built-ins, floors, etc), appliances, HVAC equipment and bath products. With a good house plan and proper execution, you can be sure to build your dream home.
If you are just starting to search for a house plan, you might want to check out our collection of bonus room house plans, which allow you to enjoy the flexibility of adding space to your new home when you first build or down the road. These house plans allow for room to grow as your needs and lifestyle change. They are typically located over the garage, in the attic or part of a finished basement plan.
This week’s issue of Dream Designs features the newest house plans from our architects and designers for the Fall. All of these designs are eco-friendly, energy-efficient and encourage the use of sustainable building products. You’ll find everything from cozy coastal retreats to European-inspired designs to spacious Craftsman homes and many more so you can find the right house plan to begin building your dream home. If you would like to makes some tweaks to any of these new designs, simply call our customer service team for a free modification quote at 866-214-2242.
The House Designers is your complete source for small, green, affordable house plans. From budget-minded cottages to cozy ranch and Craftsman homes, we have a style and design to fit your lifestyle and budget without sacrificing amenities. All of our home designs focus on efficient use of living space to make the home feel larger than it is by having an open floor plan where the kitchen, dining and living room share space. Creating a functional outdoor living space is a popular trend with smaller homes to extend the living space and add value to the home. This week’s issue of Dream Designs spotlights some of our best small home designs. All house plans are ENERGY STAR approved to ensure you build an energy-efficient, sustainable home.
This 2,500 square foot house plan utilizes every square foot. The designer of this two-story house plan has created a well-designed and flexible floor plan that offers easy living spaces and exceptional entertaining opportunities. The kitchen is designed with every amenity a cook would want – a center prep island with dual sinks and plenty of counter space that can easily accommodate seating for four; the oven is centered with plenty of wall cabinets; a corner refrigerator and a separate counter space with extra cabinetry. There are no walls blocking the entrance to the dining room and great room which both enjoy easy access to the covered terrace making indoor/outdoor gathering a breeze. The great room has a large fireplace surrounded by plenty of built-ins and 10-foot ceilings. The oversized master suite features a master bath with dual sinks, a walk-in closet, hot tub and shower and access to the terrace. There’s a first floor room that can be used as a den, office or guest suite. Upstairs are two full bedrooms and a bath.
The Vida Carinosa is truly a gem in our collection of two-story house plans, which are less than 3,000 square feet. This home offers exceptional living and entertaining opportunities with its flexible/open living areas. Key features include a two-story family room with a fireplace and balcony, covered front and rear porches, library/media room, office, breakfast room, a grand staircase and a gourmet open kitchen that extends into the dining room and great room. The master suite is elegant and secluded with an enormous walk-in-closet, garden tub and shower.
You’ll love the detached two-car garage, which is connected by a breezeway and of course all the available bonus/flexible spaces to design a dream home that fits your lifestyle. This is one home that you will enjoy living in through all stages of your life.
The benefits of choosing a house plan that includes a full basement foundation are endless. You can create a private retreat like a recreation room, media room, home office, wine cellar, second kitchen, wet bar or additional bedrooms. It’s a great way to give your children a fun and flexible place to hang out with their friends, watch movies and store all their toys, games and electronics. If you’re creating a large living space in your basement, be sure to include at least a half bathroom into your basement design and a small kitchen or wet bar. You’ll be glad you did, when the time comes for entertaining and containing your children to one area of the house. A finished basement also adds to the value (in many cases you’re almost doubling your square footage) and efficiency of your new home. Check out some really cool basement floor plans in the latest issue of Dream Designs like this game room and wet bar from the Traverse House Plan:
When you begin to build your new home, make sure you and your builder research all the energy-efficient building materials and HVAC products available so you can create a comfortable temperature in your home. The size and detail of your house plan will greatly effect what kind of total home comfort system is appropriate for your home. Our latest issue of Home Ideas features the most energy-efficient total home control systems on the market as well as insightful articles about choosing the right cooling system and cooling your home efficiently. You’ll also find our editor’s favorite green home plans, including this two-story French Country home:
Architectural stone veneer adds unsurpassed warmth and character to your home’s exterior façade. The versatility, creativity and affordability of manufactured stone allows you to easily enhance the aesthetics of your home’s interior such as walls, floors, columns, fireplaces and outdoor living spaces. This week’s issue of Dream Designs, our free weekly e-newsletter highlights several house plans that incorporate stone veneer into their exterior and interior design.
Create a grand front entrance using stone columns, as shown in this contemporary house plan:
You’ll find stone veneer being used throughout all the interior rooms of this floor plan, which also features an eye-catching stone and cedar facade. Be dazzled by the rear outdoor living space of this modern home plan:
Natural stone veneer with brick accents sets the tone for the warmth of this French Country house plan:
This affordable, two-bedroom cottage house plan is perfect for any waterfront property. Enjoy the view with a full-length porch and second floor balcony. The living room has two-story ceilings for an open floor plan and the master suite enjoys a private bath on the first floor. It also comes with a garage plan featuring a carport, utility room with washer and dryer, storage room and covered porch.
Stock house plans offer something very important to new consumers — great value. Not only is the cost of a stock plan considerably lower than a custom design, but you’ll save on building costs because stock house plans have already been built and the design is proven. A custom plan works out the kinks as you go along, which can dramatically increase your cost to build.
For example, a custom blueprint by an architect or designer can begin at $2 per square foot, which means a 3,000 square foot home plan would cost minimally $6,000. A similar stock house plan averages around $750. Even with modification costs, a stock plan can easily be half the cost of a house plan drawn from a custom designer or architect.
You can save on construction costs when you use stock house plans, since most stock home plans have already been used at least once so any construction issues regarding the plan have already been resolved. You can also avoid unnecessary building costs and have more accurate budget estimates since the building process should be faster and more efficient.
One of the greatest things about using a stock house plan is the selection. There are thousands of architectural styles and collections to choose from so most likely you will be able to find what your are looking for. Don’t think for a minute that you’ll be forced to accept every single detail in your stock house plan. Making a few changes is no problem, because house plan modifications are very common and offered by most companies. Even with the additional modification costs, stock house plans give you more value for your money.
Our recent issue of Home Ideas, our free weekly e-newsletter focused on how to create a stylish, spa-like bath that resembles the look and feel of a real spa. You’ll enjoy browsing through our designers and architects hottest house plans featuring photographs of well designed and amenity filled bathrooms. No matter what size the house plan all our designers are spending extra time creating a spa-like retreat in the bath.
Learn how to incorporate a vessel sink into your design to create a really unique look. Vessel sinks are available in so many sizes and shapes that it’s easy to find one that will complement your homes architectural style and décor.
The master bath in this two-story luxurious house plan has been integrated with the master bedroom to create a haven for rest, relaxation, pampering and romance. No amenity has been spared in this design.
This house plan is ENERGY STAR® approved and features one of the most gorgeous green bath designs. Enjoy a great view while relaxing in the hot tub with an oversized window seat and large glass window.
If you’re on Facebook, we would love for you to join us and “become a fan.” Share pictures of your home or tell us some of your favorite stories about building or remodeling your home. Anyone who owns a home has a great story and image to share. You’ll find helpful tips and inspiring information about what’s happening in the home building industry. And of course you can be on the inside of the latest house plans our leading designers and architects are creating. Hope to see there!
The recent issue of Dream Designs, our free weekly e-newsletter, showcased five fabulous house plans with exquisite window designs to create aesthetically pleasing living spaces so you can enjoy exceptional views, maximum ventilation and natural light all while improving your home’s energy-efficiency.
Enjoy this Mediterranean estate with gorgeous stacked windows and plenty of elegant architecture inside and out.
The two-story foyer of this European design offers an open view directly to the vaulted living room and rear-covered porch.
The rear of this home offers a wall of gorgeous windows to enjoy the outside. For added outdoor living there’s a bbq deck, screened porch with fireplace and large corner deck.
Thanks to former President Ronald Reagan, July is National Ice Cream Month, not that we need an excuse to eat this delectable confection, since it’s enjoyed by 90% of Americans and generates over $21 billion in annual sales. We would love for you to Tweet us your favorite ice cream flavor or better yet show us a picture of you making homemade ice cream or enjoying it at your favorite ice cream shop. If you enjoy creating edible masterpieces, you’ll want to check out our collection of best-selling kitchen designs and top kitchen products to create a professional cook’s kitchen in your own home.