Archive for May, 2010

May 26 2010

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Quick Decorating Tip: Unify Adjoining Rooms with Color

Filed under Home Decorating

Paint SamplesIf you are in the process of building a new home, chances are, you are thinking about how you plan to decorate the interior. Here is a quick decorating tip for you. If you’d like to unify two adjoining rooms, like the living and dining rooms for example, do it with color. Using the same color in different ways within each room will tie them together. They will be cohesive spaces, yet still very distinct. Consider this example:

 

Choose a neutral color for the dining room walls such as Sherwin Williams’ Kilim Beige. Carry this color scheme through the room using another shade of beige for the upholstery of the dining room chairs and perhaps an area rug. In the adjoining living room, select a completely different color for the walls such as Sherwin Williams’ Baize Green or Surprise Amber. Then, accent the living room walls with draperies of beige similar to the wall color in the dining room. Add couple other beige accents in the living room like lampshades or throw pillows on the couch. Finally, finish off both rooms with dark wood furniture further uniting both spaces.

 

From more information about interior decorating, visit The House Plan Shop’s resource page.

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May 19 2010

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4 Tips for Choosing a House Plan

Filed under Choosing a House Plan

031H-0131 2-Story Home PlanThe experts at The House Plan Shop understand choosing a house plan can be both exciting and challenging. For many, it is the first time they actually get to plan and decide everything about their home from what it looks like to the rooms and special features inside. However, with so many stock home plans available it may be a bit overwhelming or challenging to narrow down your choices to the right floor plan. The following tips will help you settle on the right home design.

 

Determine your home building budget.

Take some time to determine your budget. Seeking home loan approval before you begin will help you stay within your means throughout the construction process and into the future. Research multiple lenders to find out who can offer the best deal. Determine “how much house” you can afford. Consider what you can afford to pay for your monthly house payment. Even though you may qualify for a loan of a large amount, it doesn’t mean that you can necessarily afford it. The last thing you want to do is make a mistake of getting in over your head with a house payment you can’t afford. Also, consider how much home owner’s insurance costs annually. How much will taxes cost you each year? These points will help you determine your budget and figure out exactly what is realistic in terms of your income. Your budget will influence the size of your home and the elements and features you choose to finish your home. It will also determine your house payment for years to come.

 

Consider what features you NEED and what features you WANT.

 Make a list with your family of the room, spaces, special features and functional elements you’d like to have in your home. List all the things you have always wanted and include necessities too. If you NEED 3 bedrooms and 3 baths, write it on your list. If you need a separate office instead of a computer station in the family room, write it on the list. Next, separate your list into NEEDS and WANTS. This will help you incorporate all the elements necessary for family living. If there is additional money in the budget, then you can select items from your WANT list. Keep an open mind and be flexible. Maybe you WANT a kitchen island and snack bar with seating for five, but you only NEED seating for three. If you are getting tight on your budget, you might have to scale back and settle for what you need (a smaller snack bar) instead of what you WANT. If you have too many items on your lists, you can prioritize them and cut back latter. Be sure to be specific when listing your needs and wants. It will save you time later.

 

Meet with your builder.

Consulting with your builder is a very important step in selecting the right house plan. Often this professional has been in the home building business for years and has valuable insight when it comes to choosing house plans. Discuss your list of NEEDS and WANTS with your building professional. He or she will be able to help you narrow down your choices to the available floor plans that best fit your criteria.

 

Educate yourself about geographic factors.

When looking at various house plans and floor plans, it is important to keep in mind the specific factors of your geographic region. When building along a beach or shoreline, homes must be built on piers to accommodate potential rising tides, so considering a floor plan that is designed with a basement foundation is not going to work for your lot. Likewise, it is important to keep in mind the style of your home. If you are building in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, a Mediterranean style home might not be the best choice. It is important that you consider the style of the region. Should you ever want to sell your house, you need to make sure that it is similar to other homes on the market in your area. Taking time to research geographic factors of your region will help you eliminate house plans that are not suited for your area. 

 

Keeping these tips in mind as you browse through the broad selection of house plan available at The House Plan Shop will help you select a floor plan that is sure to satisfy your needs.

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May 12 2010

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Buyers Still Want Practical Features with Scaled Back House Plans

0036H-0058 Outdoor LivingA recent post discussed the “Less is More” building trend, by which home builders and buyers are scaling back house plans by cutting lavish amenities, choosing smaller floor plans and making the most of usable space. Though home owners are willing to give up yesterday’s outdoor kitchens and state-of-the-art home theaters, there are many practical features that continue to top their “Want” lists. Home builders are focused on elements that make a new home practical now and in the years to come. With the rough economy, cutting costs is essential, and since no one can predict what the economy will do in the future, it necessary to select new home features that have proven themselves time and again instead of choosing something that maybe trendy now, but undesirable in just a few years. Home builders and buyers are stripping floor plans of all the excessive amenities and selecting elements that promote function, convenience, practicality, and relaxed living.

 

Below is a list of ten “must haves” as revealed through interviews of home builders and in a recent survey of home buyers by Avid Ratings Co.

 

Large kitchen – The kitchen is often the center of activity in most homes, a place where people gather, talk, eat together, etc. So, if you’re going to spend extra cash, make the kitchen as roomy and functional as possible.

 

Kitchen island – The island is a practical workspace used for more than just meal preparation on a daily basis. Cooking islands or islands that include a sink or snack bar offer additional functionality.

 

Low maintenance exterior – Face it, people are busy. Home owners do not want to spend all of their free time maintaining the exterior of their homes. Instead, they want to enjoy their new homes, so many are choosing exterior finishes that require as little upkeep as possible such as brick or stone.

 

Flexible rooms – No person or family’s lifestyle will stay the same forever. Home buyers are looking for flexible rooms that can serve as a bedroom while the kids are young and convert to a hobby room years down the road. Others are looking for multi-purpose room that have a primary function and double as something else when necessary, like a den that can serve as a guest suite when occasional overnight guests arrive.

 

Outdoor living space – Whether it’s a porch, deck, covered patio or terrace, outdoor living spaces remain popular among new home buyers providing a place for outdoor cooking, eating, entertaining and relaxing.

 

Energy efficiency – Buyers value energy efficient appliances and lighting as well as other energy saving elements that help cut rising utility costs from energy efficient windows and high quality insulation to water stingy shower heads and solar panels.

 

Geared for the “Golden Years” – When building a new home, it is hard to imagine moving somewhere else later in life. Many home buyers have an eye on their golden years and plan to make their new home their last. They look for things like open floor plans. A barrier free design makes it easier to get around with a walker, cane or wheelchair should the time come. Likewise, a roomy walk-in shower is a more likely choice than a whirlpool tub for accessibility reasons. Furthermore, a main floor master suite is a must have, eliminating the need to climb stairs later in life.

 

Ceiling Fans – Indoors or outdoors, ceiling fans remain a popular choice among home owners providing air circulation and comfort from the kitchen and great room to the bedrooms and covered porch.

 

Two-car garage – Most American families have at least two cars making a double garage, a necessary convenience. A three-car garage option is a popular choice as well providing additional storage space for everything from the lawn mower and bikes to attic or basement overflow.

 

Home office – Home buyers are looking for as much usable space as possible. Most are likely to skip the formal dining room or media room for a more practical space such as a home office that will be used on a regular basis. Think about it, you’ll only use the formal dining room for special occasions and when you plan to entertain.

 

Storage – Walk-in closets, a large pantry, abundant kitchen cabinets, storage closets and built-in shelving rank high when it comes to home storage. Families have a lot of stuff and it is necessary to have plenty of organizational space.

 

If you are considering building a house or are currently browsing The House Plan Shop’s extensive collections of house plans, keep these “must have” features in mind.

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May 05 2010

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PDF House Plans Now Available at The House Plan Shop

053H-0001 House PlanIf you are in the market for home plans, The House Plan Shop is pleased to announce we are now selling PDFs for many of our home designs with new ones being added every day! The PDF is an electronic version of a blueprint that can usually be emailed to you within 24 hours of placing your order during regular business hours Monday-Friday. If you need your house plans right away and don’t mind taking them to a print shop to print the copies you’ll need for bids and construction, PDF house plans are the way to go. Not only will you receive them quickly, but you’ll also save on shipping costs. Plus, the PDF allows you to print copies of your blueprints in various sizes depending what you’ll need them for. Print full size copies for construction and smaller copies (i.e. (11”x17”) for getting materials estimates or going over the kitchen cabinet layout with the cabinet manufacturer. Please Note: PDFs cannot be altered electronically and cannot be returned once the designer has emailed the home plan to you because it can be copied.

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