Archive for February, 2011

Feb 23 2011

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The House Plan Shop: 6 Reasons to Use a Safe at Home

Home SafesMany people use a home safe to protect valuables from burglars. With home burglaries, burglars generally break into a home and leave within minutes taking all the items that are easily accessible like money, purses, jewelry, small electronics, wallets, guns, and anything else that is easy to “grab and go.” Many of the most commonly stolen items would be inaccessible to burglars if they were securely stored away in a home safe. But other than keeping your valuables safe from criminals, there are a number of other reasons to keep your things locked away in a home safe.

 

Below is a list of other good reasons to use a home safe:

 

1.    Safes are a great place to store prescription medications, especially when they are purchased in large quantities such as a three-month supply.

2.    They are a great place to store valuables and keep them out of the reach of children.

3.    Home safes provide a secure place to store important documents such as passports, health records, insurance policies, bank account information, etc.

4.    Some home safes are large enough to store guns allowing you to have access to your firearms without compromising the safety of the occupants of the home.

5.    Safes can protect important documents and valuables from fire and flooding.

6.    Wall safes offer reliable storage that can be hidden completely out of site.

 

Today’s home safes are available in a variety of models offering convenient entry systems that do not require keys. They come in a range of sizes allowing you to select the one that is right for your needs. With a home safe, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your valuables are securely stored in an easy-to-access place. Think of a home safe as a more convenient safe deposit box because you have 24-hour access.

 

Don’t let a potential burglary at your home become a crime of opportunity. Burglars usually take only the items that are left out in the open and easy to carry. Home safes help prevent “in-and-out” burglaries and deliver an all-purpose, secure containment solution for all your important belongings and documents.

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Feb 16 2011

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7 Uses for Bonus Rooms – The House Plan Shop

House Plan 034H-0022Do you ever find yourself wishing for a flexible space in your house that can be a sewing room today and a guest suite tomorrow? House plans with bonus rooms offer tremendous flexibility when it comes to changing needs. Weather your needs change day-by-day, week- to-week or every 10 years, a home plan with a bonus room is sure to accommodate you.

 

Usually bonus rooms are found on the upper level of the home or above the garage and most are designed to be finished when the home is built or years down the road. That’s their first sign of flexibility. Maybe you don’t have the need for extra living space when you first build the home or maybe it is not in your budget to finish another room right away. Just wait until you’re ready and finish the bonus room when the time is right for you. Or if you have an immediate need for the bonus room, finish it right away and get maximum use out of it.

 

So what can you do with a bonus room? How you use your bonus room will be completely influenced by your lifestyle and changing needs. Here are a few ideas:

 

Guest Room/Suite: If you have frequent overnight visitors, finish the bonus room as an extra bedroom. Add a full bath to completely accommodate your guests.

Game/Recreation Room: For all the entertainers out there, a game or recreation room offers a great place to kick back and relax with friends and family weather you are enjoying a billiards game, playing cards with the guys, Bunco with your girlfriends, or your teenagers need a space to hang out and visit with friends. A game/recreation space encourages conversation and relaxation.

Home Office: Perhaps you own a home-based business or just work from home on a regular basis. An upstairs office provides a private workspace and you’ll never even have to leave home! Plus, because it is secluded, you’ll never have to worry about the kids or guests seeing important documents or interfering with the big project you’ve been working on for weeks.

Homework Station: While the kids are still in school, your family might find it necessary to have a dedicated space for homework furnished with decks, a computer and good lighting ensuring a good place to study and complete homework assignments and school projects. This is a place where students can focus on the tasks at hand without being disturbed by other happenings in the home.

Craft/Hobby Room: If you enjoy crafts, scrap booking, sewing and other indoor hobbies, a bonus room offers the perfect place to work on your projects and store supplies. Plus you won’t have to clean up a project you’re working on until it is complete.

Exercise Room: For families with an eye on a healthy and fit lifestyle, create an exercise or workout room for everyone to use. This is the ideal place for the treadmill and weight bench keeping them out of sight in the main home, but still conveniently accessible, ensuring you’re workout routine won’t be disrupted.

Home Theater: This is an option the whole family is sure to love, not to mention friends and visitors. Turn your bonus room into a home theater so every night can be movie night. Furthermore, the kids can enjoy watching a movie upstairs without disturbing you while you might be reading or talking on the phone downstairs. This is a space people of all ages will enjoy.

 

Now, consider this. Perhaps you really needed that home office when you started that successful business in your younger years. But, now that you’re retired, you’d prefer to use the bonus room as something else. So convert the home office you originally started with to something more fun like a rec room. Or maybe your family really needed the bonus room for a homework station years ago, but now the kids have homes and kids of their own. Maybe you need to convert the homework station into a playroom for the grandkids.

 

With a little imagination and a bonus room, the sky is the limit. If you’d like to browse house floor plans with bonus rooms, visit The House Plan Shop.

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Feb 09 2011

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Building a House: Home Building Professionals You May Need to Hire

The ContractorIf you are planning to build a new house in the near future, it is necessary to understand it will not be a simple task. Unless you are a qualified building professional or you have all of the specific skills required for a residential construction project, you will need to hire a builder or contractor. Or if you plan to be your own general contractor, you will be responsible for hiring all of the subcontractors skilled in the various building trades to contribute to the construction of your new home. Below is a list of all the skilled professionals you may need to hire to build your house.

 

·         Excavator to clear the lot

·         Concrete/Foundation contractor to build and set concrete forms and pour the concrete foundation

·         Carpenter to frame the home

·         Roofer to install roof covering, i.e. shingles

·         Insulation contractor

·         Electrician to wire the home and install outlets, switches and fixtures

·         Plumber to install all plumbing and related fixtures

·         Stone mason, bricklayer or someone to install exterior finish and trim

·         Drywall contractor to install/hang drywall

·         Taper and painter to cover and paint interior walls and trim

·         Finish carpenter to install interior doors and finish the inside of the home with trim, moldings and some decorative elements

·         Flooring contractor to lay tile, carpet, hardwood flooring, etc.

·         Lawn crew to sew grass seed, lay sod and landscape the yard

·         Interior decorator to add all the finishing touches

·         Garage door contractor to install overhead garage doors

 

Depending on all the details of your new home and the special elements you’d like to include, it may be necessary to hire additional building professionals.

 

For more information about home plans or building with stock house plans, please visit The House Plan Shop.

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Feb 02 2011

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The House Plan Shop – 6 Tips to Save Time and Money on Laundry

Filed under Miscellaneous

Washer and Dryer  Plan 025H-0151Nobody loves to do laundry, but we all have to do it. The House Plan Shop recommends these six laundering tips for your next load saving you time and money. We’ve even include a few tips to help keep laundry chores a little more earth-friendly.

 

1.    Clip coupons – It is easy to find discounts on laundry detergent, stain removers and dryer sheets in the weekly coupon circulars. Check out the website of your favorite detergent company for online coupons.

2.    Stop over-laundering – Your clothes only need to be cleaned when they look, feel or smell dirty. Get double use out of your clothes before you wash them. Air out barely worn garments on a hanger and then return them to your closet for another wear.

3.    Measure detergent – Most laundry detergent companies have begun using highly-concentrated formulas for regular and high-efficiency detergents so you may need less detergent than you are used to using. Read the label and carefully measure the detergent for your next load of clothes. Not only does using too much detergent per load waste money, but all the extra detergent leaves a residue on your clothes and washing machine.

4.    Use cold water – When it comes to energy use, most of the energy consumed in laundering is used to heat the water. Many leading detergent companies now produce a cold water formula that does not require the use of hot or warm water for washing. Heavily soiled items as well as bedding and clothing used when sick often require hot or warm water for washing, but they can always be rinsed in cold water.

5.    Select a shorter wash cycle – Slightly soiled garments will only require a short wash cycle to get them clean. This uses less energy and water resulting in lower utility bills.

6.    Do not over-dry – Consider air-drying dark colored clothes. This keeps them looking vibrant, preserves elasticity in stretchy clothes and cuts energy costs. When you use the dryer, use automated settings. Today’s machines have sensors that eliminate over-drying, which can cause garments to shrink and cloth fibers to become brittle.

 

From clipping coupons to washing in cold water and air drying your laundry, these helpful laundering tips are sure to help save time, money and energy.

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