Archive for August, 2010

Aug 25 2010

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The Qualities of Cape Cod House Plans – The House Plan Shop

054H-0054 Cape Cod House PlanOriginating in the 1700’s, Cape Cod house plans are deeply rooted in America’s historical past. They express the style of the New England Seaboard and are designed to withstand the stormy weather of the area. Just like those from long ago, Cape Cod home plans are simple in design. Below is a list of qualities and characteristics common among these timeless and classic designs.

 

  • Cape Cod house plans are one of the first home designs built by settlers in the New World.
  • These homes were constructed in many parts of the New England area and quickly became associated with Cape Cod, MA giving them the name we still use today.
  • They are designed with a rectangular or symmetrical, boxy floor plan.
  • The exterior often features a centered entry door and simple or little ornamentation such as window shutters only.
  • Cape Cod home plans often display exterior finish and trim of wood shingles or clapboard siding.
  • A steep roofline accented with dormers and side gables to help protect against stormy weather characteristic of New England’s coastlines is one of the most noticeable exterior features of these homes.
  • The floor plans are generally arranged with the main living and activity areas on the first floor off a center hall.
  • Cape Cod floor plans usually feature at least one large, open gathering area anchored by a fireplace.
  • These designs can be one or two levels.
  • They are designed for efficient family living.
  • In two-story homes, it is typical for all bedrooms to be positioned on the second floor for privacy.
  • Hardwood flooring is a distinguishing interior characteristic of Cape Cod style homes.
  • They range in size with a varying number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • Cape Cod houses are sometimes referred to as 1 ½-story homes or saltbox home plans.
  • Designed with careful planning and thoughtful design, many of these homes blend nicely with other Waterfront designs.
  • Beach and Coastal homes and Colonial floor plans share some recognizable similarities with Cape Cod house plans.
  • Today, they are built throughout the United States and Canada along coastlines and inland bodies of water and even in landlocked areas.

 

Gracing our past, present and future, these New England house plans are a popular choice among homeowners for their efficient floor plans, affordability and practical layouts. Take some time to browse The House Plan Shop’s collection of Cape Cod designs to find the right one for you!

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Aug 18 2010

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Wooden Garage Doors

Filed under The Garage

Wooden Garage DoorsWhen building a new house, there are many decisions to make regarding the look and functionality of your home inside and out. One choice you’ll be faced with is selecting the type of garage door you prefer. Garage doors come in various materials including aluminum, steel, vinyl and wood. Wooden garage doors have been around since garages have become part of a family home. They remain a popular choice in today’s market due to durability, longevity, technical aspects and visual appeal. The House Plan Shop has provided a list of the advantages and disadvantages of wooden garage doors to help you decide if they are the right choice for you.

 

Advantages

·         They are custom built to meet the home owner’s specifications and preferences.

·         These doors can be built to fit any size or shape garage.

·         They can be created or adjusted to accommodate non-level garage floors.

·         Their custom-built nature ensures your garage doors will have a unique look.

·         Wood garage doors nicely complement homes with an exterior finish of natural materials such as cedar shingles, wood board siding, logs or stone.

·         They do not crack or dent like vinyl, aluminum and steel doors.

·         Wood is a renewable resource; therefore wood garage doors are earth-friendly.

·         Natural material treatments are available to increase the longevity of the garage door by protecting against bending, distorting and rotting.

·         Damaged garage doors can be replaced easily by repairing the damaged portion or panel rather than replacing the entire garage door.

·         They can be operated manually or automatically like garage doors made of other materials.

·         Wood is a natural sound barrier and cuts down on noise pollution better than other garage door materials in noisy neighborhoods and along busy streets.

·         Wood can withstand drastic temperature changes and serves as an insulator against heat and cold.

·         These garage doors can easily be repainted in the future giving them a whole new look.

 

Disadvantages

·         They are more costly to build than their manufactured competitors.

·         Wood garage door manufactures are hard to come by.

·         Due to their custom-built nature, wood garage doors must be custom ordered. They require building time and therefore are not readily available in lumberyards and home improvement stores like their manufactured competitors.

·          Wood garage doors are heavy requiring a properly sized garage door opener and springs to move the weight of the door. 

·         Regular maintenance is necessary to prevent rotting and other damage.

 

The House Plan Shop recommends taking some time to consider the advantages and disadvantages of wooden garage doors as well as other pre-manufactured doors ensuring you choose the garage doors that are right for your new home.

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Aug 16 2010

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House Plans for Swimming Pools: Featured Floor Plan

Filed under Featured House Plans

040H-0016 House PlanHouse plans designed for swimming pools require careful thought and planning to make the most of the sparkling blue pool. This luxurious Mediterranean home design does just that! The floor plan was fashioned with the pool in mind reaping all the benefits it has to offer.

 

First, consider the view. Most of the main gathering areas are arranged across the back of the home delivering views of the pristine water from all angles. The family room, dinette and living room not only enjoy direct views of the pool and surrounding areas, but also open to the pool and lanai extending the living areas outdoors. Plenty of natural light spills inside through the use of pocketing sliding-glass doors, French doors, windows, and mitered glass. Furthermore, guests immediately receive a breathtaking and refreshing view of the pool the moment they step though the double door entry as the foyer affords a glimpse of the pool through the living room. The master suite is also oriented to the poolside view with a wall of windows and sliding glass doors overlooking the water’s edge. Views of the pool are always an important element with house plans designed for swimming pools.

 

Now pay attention to the outdoor living area. With many of the living areas, the master suite and Bedroom 4 opening to the lanai, this design encourages outdoor living and enjoyment of the poolside atmosphere. There is plenty of room to relax on chase lounges and add outdoor dining patio furniture. Take a look at the summer kitchen promoting outdoor cooking and dining alfresco with friends and family. There is nothing like enjoying an exquisite meal beside the water. The layout accommodates small and large groups as well as pool parties. Many house plans designed for swimming pools make the most of outdoor living spaces.

 

Finally, this floor plan offers a pool bath beside Bedroom 4. Its convenient location works well for using the restroom and provides a space for visitors and guests to change clothes without leaving wet footprints throughout the home. Convenience is key with floor plans designed for swimming pools.

 

While the main focus of this Mediterranean house plan is its pool orientation, this ranch floor plan has much more to offer. Four bedrooms and four baths, arranged in a split-bedroom layout, accommodate a large or growing family while keeping everyone on one level. The island kitchen is designed for efficiency serving both the formal and casual dining spaces with equal ease, not to mention its simple access to the lanai. Fanciful ceiling treatments top the dining room, living room and family room while a fireplace surrounded with built-ins adds a touch of flair. Practical elements include a peaceful den, ideal for a home office, His and Her walk-in closets, a convenient utility room and a 3-car garage. For the home owner, a sumptuous bath is ready to pamper, refresh and relax. A double bowl vanity and compartmented toilet are only the beginning. A splashy soaking tub and huge walk-in shower are the main attractions.

 

Sophisticated, yet family-oriented, this house plan designed for a pool is sure to get your attention.

 

Visit The House Plan Shop to view an extensive home plan collection including floor plans with swimming pools like this one.

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Aug 13 2010

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Denver Parade of Homes Starts this Saturday

Filed under Miscellaneous,News

Early this week, the Denver Post reported the Denver Parade of Homes starts tomorrow, August 14, and runs through Labor Day. This year’s showcase of homes includes broad range of designs stretching from affordable homes to posh luxury designs. While some of the dream homes and state-of-the-art technology will certainly get your attention, this year’s Parade has shifted its focus a bit acknowledging the present situation of the economy. You’ll find homes designed for practicality and function to accommodate the needs of individual families at many different price points. Furthermore, admission is free.

 

Read more about the Parade.

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Aug 04 2010

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Time for Back to School: Healthy Lunch for a Healthy Planet

Reusable Lunch Box/BagTechnically, it may still be summer, but soon our thoughts will turn away from swimming pools and vacations and focus on back to school preparations. When you do your back to school shopping this year, consider what your children are going to eat and how to make those choices good for the planet.

 

Believe it or not, part of living green is packing a healthy lunch. A waste-free lunch can be healthy and nutritious for your child and healthy for the environment. Get in the habit of packing a healthy “green” lunch. It will have a positive impact on your child, the environment and your wallet.

 

Most kids don’t have a lot of time to eat lunch so keep it simple, healthy and tasty. Pack things your kids will eat and remember to use portion control.

 

When you pack the lunch, think “waste-free”. Skip single use containers and bags and start using reusable food containers like the following:

 

·         Reusable canvas bags, nylon sacks or lunch boxes.

·         Reusable and washable plastic or metal food containers for food and drinks.

·         Reusable and washable cloth napkins.

 

Here are a few things to avoid when packing a “healthy child and healthy planet” lunch:

 

·         Individual serving-size packages

·         Single-serving lunches or snacks

·         Items with Styrofoam and Polystyrene packaging

·         Plastic bags

·         Disposable single-use items

 

Remember packing waste-free lunches isn’t just for school kids. Adults can enjoy the benefits of healthy meals, portion controlled lunches and the accompanying savings!

 

So, pack a healthy lunch for your child or yourself, save money and reduce waste! It is the green way to eat lunch!

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