Aug 05 2015

10 Special Victorian House Plans – The House Plan Shop

Victorian house plans are commonly recognized for their striking exteriors. However, they aren’t always easily recognized for their casual interiors. TVictorian House Plan 027H-0192ake a look at these 10 special Victorian house plans and discover the splendid mix of elegance and comfort they have to offer.


027H-0192 – Offers formal and casual dining and gathering spaces, plus three bedrooms and two baths upstairs for privacy. Don’t miss the bonus room!


032H-0042 – Features a bayed living room with a view and a hearth-warmed family room. Four bedrooms and two baths upstairs accommodate everyone’s needs.


034H-0022 – Boasts an open floor plan with two-story great room and island kitchen. Don’t miss the peaceful den, your luxurious master suite or the large bonus room!


035H-0092 – Elegant exterior with spacious rooms and three floors of living inside! Special outdoor living area, striking staircase, playroom and  a loft where you can kick back and relax!


043H-0162 – Open floor plan with a touch of country living. Kitchen serves the nook and dining room with ease. Deluxe master bath and library will get your attention. Three secondary bedrooms and a bonus room upstairs.


047H-0006 – Country Victorian flavor with an emphasis on outdoor living. Three bedrooms and two baths located upstairs for privacy.


051H-0004 – Showcases formal and informal gathering spaces, plus interesting angles and plenty of windows. All bedrooms positioned upstairs including the caretaker’s quarters.


Victorian House Plan 054H-0121054H-0121 – Bays of windows fill this home with natural light. Notice the spacious family room and nearby rec room. Three bedrooms and two baths upstairs accommodate everyone’s needs.


057H-0009 – Outdoor living abounds, but there is plenty of family gathering space inside too. Features a pampering master bedroom on the main floor and four more bedrooms upstairs.


063H-0184 – Highlights include octagonal sunroom and living room, spacious family room, and access to the turret from your lavish master bedroom. Don’t miss the gazebo and veranda!





Want to see more? View our entire collection of Victorian House Plans to find the design that is right for your family!

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Jul 21 2015

Recipe: Mom’s Chocolate Chip Icing – The House Plan Shop

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Category: Recipes

Mom's Chocolate Chip Icing2This was my mom’s “go to” frosting that she used to ice a lot of birthday cakes and cupcakes. She never had trouble finding volunteers to lick both the spoon and pan clean. In fact, sometimes she would make it for us when she didn’t have a cake to ice and we would spread it on graham crackers, vanilla wafers, or even Wonder Bread. Then we would add some broken nuts to what was left and pour it on a buttered dish and refrigerate it. We were pretty proud of our homemade “fudge.”


Mom’s Chocolate Chip Icing

1 ¼ cups sugar

½ cup milk

5 tbs butter or margarine

12 oz pkg of semi-sweet chocolate chips


In a sauce pan, heat the sugar milk and butter to the boiling point, stirring frequently. Just as it starts to boil remove pan from the heat and add the chocolate chips. Stir like crazy until all of the chips are melted. Let it cool 10-20 minutes before icing your cake. It will thicken as it cools, but if you cool it too long it will tear the cake when you ice it. Be careful if you reheat it as direct heat can burn the chocolate. This is enough icing to easily cover a 9×13 inch cake.

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Jun 22 2015

Get Rid of Mosquitoes Around Your Home

While we all love to enjoy summertime activities like gardening, picnic, backyard barbecues and playing with the kids in the yard, many of us across the country have one thing in common: Tiny mosquitoes can sometimes be HUGE troublemakers! Not only do they annoy us with their buzzing and itchy bites, but they also transmit various diseases. So, it is a good idMosquitoea to try to get rid of these pests near your home. You certainly won’t miss them when you are enjoying your favorite backyard activities.


Begin by eliminating standing water. Mosquitoes need less than one inch of standing water in which to lay their eggs. Make an effort to eliminate standing water around your home by emptying bird baths or fill them with fresh water daily. Dump out buckets and pales of standing water. Cover or store things that tend to catch and hold water in your yard or on your back porch like empty flower pots, patio furniture or the kid’s plastic toys. Wading pools, dog dishes, sandbox toys and old tires are all great places for water to collect that will attract mosquitoes sooner or later. Also check your yard for areas where water tends to stand after a rain or after you’ve used the hose or sprinkler. Whether it is in a flower garden or the middle of your yard, areas that hold pockets of water should be leveled with fill dirt to prevent standing water. Finally, check your gutters. Clear any debris from your gutters as clogged gutters are an attractive place for mosquitoes.


While water is a main mosquito attraction, they can be found in dry spaces and places that provide cover during the day. Shrubs, bushes and ornamental grasses are wonderful for landscaping, but they are also a wonderful place for mosquitoes to congregate during the heat of the day. Keep your shrubs trimmed and your lawn mowed. Remove weeds as well. All of these things will attract mosquitoes to your backyard if left unattended.


Consider natural insect repellants for your backyard. Some plants are natural repellents for mosquitoes and other insects and they blend nicely with other landscaping vegetation. Consider planting catnip, rosemary or marigolds.


Using electric outdoor fans on your patios and porches or burning citronella candles when outdoors will help create an environment that isn’t very inviting to mosquitoes. If you create an unfriendly environment for mosquitoes, you’ll actually increase your own outdoor comfort level!


At night, turn out porch lights if it isn’t necessary for them to light your porch or entry. Porch lights will attract mosquitoes and other insects after dark. You only need to open your front door one time while these critters are swarming around your porch light, and you’ll quickly have some winged and buzzing guests inside your home. If you need to have the porch light on at night, consider using LED bulbs. These bulbs do not put off as much heat at incandescent bulbs and are therefore less inviting to mosquitoes. Additionally, check window screens for holes and repair them to keep mosquitoes from entering your home.


With a little effort, you can make your home and backyard a little less mosquito friendly and a lot more people friendly.

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Jun 22 2015

Characteristics of Duplex House Plans

Duplex Plan 027M-0050While there are a wide variety of multi-family home plans, duplex house plans are a common choice for housing more than one family unit. Duplexes vary in size, style and the amenities they offer, but they do share some common characteristics.

  1. All duplex plans offer two living units. The floor plan for each unity may differ in size, shape and amenities like design 011M-0004, but the floor plan never offers more than two units.
  2. Living units are separated by walls such as design 025M-0081 or they are separated by floors like design 027M-0050.
  3. Each living unit offers its own private entrance.
  4. Duplex plans fit nicely in a neighborhood because they often look more like a home than an apartment building. Many use various rooflines, offset garages and other exterior features to make the structure appear cohesive rather than like to units that have been “stuck” together. Design 020M-0045 is a nice example.
  5. Duplex plans offer a more cost efficient way to house two families than building two separate single-family homes.

For a wider selection of plans that offer more than two living units, please browse our entire collection of multi-family home plans.

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May 27 2015

Recipe: Sweet and Not too Sour Pork

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Category: Recipes

Here’s one of those recipes that was altered from the original because for my family’s tastes, it was just too sour. Of course if your tastes lean in that sour direction increase the amount of vinegar and decrease the sugar. It may have originally had some veggies in it too. That would be the ones that got picked out and left on the plate. It also tastes great with chicken instead of pork.


Sweet and Not too Sour Pork

2 tbs cooking oilSweet-and-Sour-Pork

1 lb pork tenderloin cut into 1” cubes

½ cup dark corn syrup

¼ cup vinegar

¼ cup catsup

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup brown sugar

15 oz can of pineapple chunks drained

2 tbs cornstarch

2 tbs cold water


In a skillet, brown the pork in the oil. Then add the corn syrup, vinegar, catsup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and pineapple chunks. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Mix the cornstarch with the cold water and add to the pan stirring constantly until mixture thickens about 2 minutes. Serve over prepared rice.

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