Apr 07 2014

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Featured Unique House Plan with Cape Cod Charm – The House Plan Shop

Unique House Plan 052H-0096How cute is that?  This house plan, with its Cape Cod style, looks remarkably like a lighthouse. It’s just begging for a lot on the seashore. Two bedrooms and a full bath are snugly tucked away on the lower walk-in level. Just up the stairs locates the busy part of the home, which includes the kitchen, laundry facilities, and dining area plus a half bath. Going up one more level you’ll find a nice open room with access to a balcony that wraps completely around the house. To most, it’s called a living room but with an awesome 360 degree view, maybe it should be called a dream room. With its accompanying full bathroom, a person could spend the entire day up here. What a cozy nest for newlyweds. Or better yet, share it with the family as your very own vacation getaway. Whether it’s located on the beach, lakeside or in the middle of an enchanted forest, this unique home plan with a view can only bring a smile to your face. Oh yes, leaving the lights on is optional.

If you’d like to view more unique house plans like this one or others with similar Cape Cod charm you’ll find plenty to browse in our designated home plan collections.

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Mar 25 2014

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National Walk to Work Day: Pedestrian Safety Tips – The House Plan Shop

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Category: Miscellaneous, Safety

National Walk to Work DayWhether it’s jogging, walking the dog, or running to catch a bus, all of us join the ranks, sooner or later, of the most vulnerable users of the road. Thousands of pedestrians are injured or die every year along our roadways. As we look forward to National Walk to Work day on April 4, 2014, review these reminders of how to keep yourself safe on the road.

1. Use the Crosswalk – Of course everyone remembers the rule about not crossing in the middle of the block, we just need to remember to follow it. When crossing at busy intersections don’t assume drivers will yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.

2. Increase Visibility – During the day wear light or bright colors. Add reflective clothing at night and carry a flashlight to help you see and to be seen by motorists.

3. Use Sidewalks – Take the sidewalk whenever one is available. If a sidewalk is unavailable and you must walk in the street, walk on the side facing the oncoming traffic.

4. Be Aware – Avoid the distractions of using electronic devices. Keep headphone volume low enough to still be able to hear what’s going on around you. If you have a particularly distracting phone call or text, stop a moment in a safe place to attend to it.

5. Walk Defensively – It’s no different than what you do when driving. Keep an eye out for cars displaying erratic behavior or speeding. If the driver is too preoccupied to control his vehicle, he is not watching out for you.

6. Don’t Drink and Walk – Okay that may sound like a joke or a cliché, but seriously, a third of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents are legally drunk. Alcohol impairs judgment and slows reaction times. Well, you know the drill, just don’t do it.

So if you choose to walk to work on April 4th or any other time you opt to walk instead of drive or take the bus, remember to follow these pedestrian safety tips.

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Mar 10 2014

Profile Image of M.K. Tenney

Springtime Lawn Mowing Hints – The House Plan Shop

LawnmowerTaking proper care of your lawn in the spring, will give you a jump start to maintaining a healthy lawn all summer. If you polish your mowing techniques early, they will carry you through the growing season like a major league pro. These tips will help you get started:

1. Rake – Remove all of the dead weeds and grass, sticks, litter, and leaves.

2. Sharpen Blade – Keep your lawnmower blade sharp. A dull blade tears and bruises the grass, therefore weakening it.

3. Proper Height – Generally, a lawn should be mowed by cutting off 1/3 of the blade. This may mean making two passes if the grass is especially long. Cutting a lawn too short allows accelerated weed growth and scalping causes uneven growth and bare spots.

4. Direction – Mix it up by cutting the grass in a different direction each time. This helps to prevent the grass blades from leaning in one direction. When turning the mower make turns as smooth as possible.

5. Don’t Mow Wet – Let the grass dry before mowing. Even the morning dew makes the lawn too wet to mow. Besides causing uneven cuts, mowing wet grass can encourage the growth of fungus. Wet grass clumps up under the mower’s deck. This can impede the blade and tax the engine. Also, there is danger to the operator trying to maneuver on a wet lawn. Don’t be a hero; let the ump call the game.

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Feb 24 2014

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Featured Adobe House Plan for Southwest Living – The House Plan Shop

Sunbelt House Plan 057H-0039Are you tired of shoveling snow, chipping ice off of your windshield, hunkering in all winter? Maybe a two-story home sounded good until years of trudging up and down the stairs with three loads of laundry every day set in your aching joints. If you are ready for a move to a warmer climate, then you are ready for a new house plan. With its stucco exterior well-suited for living in the southwestern United States, this is a house plan that will help you fit in with the locals. And you will fit in it. No more stairs as everything is on one level in this ranch plan. But if you do feel the need for altitude adjustment, try the sunken great room for a change of pace. You will find yourself moving with efficiency from the attached two-car garage, to the laundry room, to the kitchen island and into the study. With no more snow to shovel, you can devote your time to the landscaping opportunities created by the front courtyard and back patios, one of which has exclusive access from the master bedroom. If you find yourself missing the cold, you can lay back and reminisce about it in the whirlpool tub in you master bath. With less time devoted to shoveling snow and running up and down stairs, you may want to take the opportunity to entertain. Escort your guests from the courtyard and covered porch, through your own gallery of family photographs, and into the dining room or great room, or out to the rear patio. When the kids finally leave the nest, you’ll have two secondary bedrooms to use for guests – the friends and family left behind in the cold, who are ready to escape to your adobe sanctuary. Consider this one-story house plan for your new change-of-pace life.

For more adobe house plans like this one, check out our Sunbelt home plan collection.

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Feb 10 2014

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Organize Your Backyard: Build a Storage Shed - The House Plan Shop

Shed Plan 051S-0001When you look out into your backyard, do you see an unorganized mess with toys strewn about the yard, leaf rakes propped against the side of the house, and your patio furniture tucked under a tarp for the winter months? If your yard seems cluttered or you feel like you have more outdoor items that you know what to do with, consider building a lawn and garden shed. Most are attractive and fit neatly into a backyard. Furthermore, they are extremely functional. These versatile designs can accommodate a variety of needs. Some common uses include:

  • Storage for lawn and garden tools such as the lawn mower, leaf blower, and sprinkler
  • Potting shed for gardening enthusiasts offering a place to store pots, potting mix and shovels while providing a place to care for and pot plants
  • Storage for lawn an patio furniture throughout the winter months
  • Ideal for parking the family bikes and storing other outdoor toys like baseball bats and gloves, Frisbees, etc.
  • Tool storage for the family handyman
  • Outdoor workshop
  • Art studio
  • Storage space for the recycling bins
  • Playhouse for the kids/grandkids

There are many more ways you can use a backyard or lawn and garden shed. Your imagination is the limit. If you’d like to view backyard shed plans, please visit The Garage Plan Shop’s outstanding collection of storage shed designs.

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