Archive for March, 2011

Mar 30 2011

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Tips for Adding a Garden Shed to Your Backyard – The House Plan Shop

Shed Plan 028S-0008Spring is here and that means it is time to start gardening, landscaping and taking care of our yards. If you have a green thumb and enjoy landscaping or gardening (vegetables or flowers), you might benefit from building a garden shed in your backyard. They are the perfect addition to your lawn or garden and work well for storing tools and supplies as well as seeds, bulbs, pots and more. If you think you might benefit from building a lawn and garden shed, the following tips will help you get started.

 

  1. Determine how you will use the garden shed. Do you need it to store items like the lawn mower, rakes, leaf blower, sprinklers and hoses during the off season, and DIY tools? Do you need extra space to store other seasonal items like patio furniture during the winter? Will you store other items inside that you don’t want to keep in your home or garage like paint cans, fertilizer and oil containers? Will you use the garden shed for planting and potting plants? Drying seeds and storing bulbs? Do you simply want a peaceful place where you can enjoy your gardening hobby?
  2. Decide what size garden shed will accommodate your needs. If you have minimal space or a small lot, your lot may dictate the size of the garden shed. However, if space is not an issue, knowing how you plan to use the shed (see # 1) will help you determine what size garden shed you will need.
  3. What type of shed access will you need? A single door? An overhead garage door making it easy to access the riding mower? Double doors so you can easily move or access large items?
  4. Consider your budget. If you are working with a tight budget make sure you stick to it. Check various lumberyards for deals on building materials to keep from overspending. If you have a generous budget, keep an open mind about adding potential special features that you may find particularly handy like lighting, a workbench, planning table or utility sink.
  5. Determine your electrical needs. If you plan to spend a lot of time in your garden shed, you may want to install overhead or task lighting. If you’ll only be in the shed a few minutes at a time, perhaps a couple of windows will provide enough lighting. Also, think about any power tools you may have that require you to charge batteries or need electricity. Plan to install electrical outlets accordingly.
  6. Take time to research local building codes. Before buying a garden shed plan ask your local building department what building codes you must follow. Some municipalities have height and size restrictions. Others must follow building codes based on local weather and climate conditions. It is important to know what your building department requires and what your limitations might be ahead of time.
  7. Choose a garden shed plan in the size that accommodates your needs, local requirements and budget. Also, find a style that blends nicely with your home and other surrounding homes, especially if you live in a neighborhood.

 

If you are considering building a backyard garden shed, The House Plan Shop recommends these helpful tips to help you get started on your project.

 

If you’d like to browse garden shed plans, please visit our sister site, The Garage Plan Shop, to view our shed floor plans.

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Mar 23 2011

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The House Plan Shop: Featured Cozy Cabin House Plan

Cabin House Plan 034H-0090Whether you are a hunter, a fisherman, a nature lover or an all-around outdoor enthusiast, chances are you might like owning your own cabin. Ideal for a weekend getaways and outdoor sporting trips, this cabin house plan delivers all the comforts of home in a modest design. Exterior stone accents blend nicely with the surrounding landscape while the covered front porch provides a place to take in the sight and sounds of nature. After a day on the lake, a hunting expedition or mountain biking your favorite trail, come home and relax in front of the fireplace. An open floor plan delivers an efficient kitchen and nook overlooking the great room beneath a 9’ ceiling. A comfortable bedroom and full bath offer rest and refreshment. Don’t miss the convenient laundry closet. Follow the turned stair to the second floor where a loft features a built-in desk and offers flexible space for an office, computer room, TV area or an extra bedroom for hunting and fishing buddies or weekend guests. If you are dreaming of a weekend retreat, this cabin home plan is ensures a comfortable and practical place to get away from it all!

 

View more cabin house plans at The House Plan Shop.

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Mar 16 2011

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Mediterranean House Plan Tips: Complimenting the Exterior

Mediterranean House Plan 043H-0160Mediterranean homes are considered beautiful and elegant by many. To achieve an exquisite exterior look that is sure to catch the eye of passersby, it is important to understand what makes these homes POP with curb appeal. If you are building with Mediterranean house plans consider these tips to achieve a stunning exterior look.

 

Exterior Finish and Trim

  • Mediterranean homes found throughout Spain, Italy and Greece feature a stucco façade painted in a light color, such as beige or a pastel hue, due to warm temperatures and sun exposure.
  • Brightly colored, red clay tile roofs accent the light color façade with eye-catching magnitude.
  • Wrought iron gates and railings are characteristic of Mediterranean homes.
  • Incorporate brightly colored, hand-painted patterned tiles or mosaics in a square or round shape above the entry door, on the side of the home or on stepping stones in the garden or courtyard.

 

 

Landscaping

  • Seek professional help to come up with a good layout for your garden and the landscaping surrounding your home.
  • Include lush green plants that are suited for your geographic region such as palm trees, jasmine bushes and other rich foliage creating a striking contrast between the light colored walls and the healthy green plants.
  • Incorporate an herb garden into your landscaping with herbs and spices you will use in your favorite Spanish and Italian dishes.
  • Create a path through your garden and to your front door with stepping stones such as limestone.

 

When it comes to building a home with Mediterranean house plans it is important to know how to compliment the exterior and achieve stunning street appeal. These tips for exterior finish and landscaping are sure to make your home stand out among all others. You can find other ideas for decorating and landscaping a Mediterranean home by paging though magazines and looking at various online websites.

 

To find a Mediterranean home plan that is sure to accommodate your needs and deliver an elegant feel and life style, take some time to visit The House Plan Shop.

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Mar 11 2011

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7 Good Reasons to Build Carriage House Plans

Filed under Carriage House Plans

Carriage House Plan 027G-0008For many planning to build a garage, there is a growing trend with carriage house plans. These compact floor plans contribute additional functionality to the ordinary garage plan in that they offer a fully functional living area in conjunction with the garage. The finished living quarters can either be on the same floor as the garage or positioned above the garage creating an upper level. Carriage house plans cover a broad range when the living area is considered starting with a studio apartment and stretching to a two or three bedroom design. These floor plans include at least one full bath and a modest kitchen in most cases. Some designs include thoughtful extras such as an eating bar, walk-in closet or a laundry closet. So, why are carriage house plans becoming a popular choice when it comes to building a new garage? The list below addresses some of the reasons why buyers and builder make them their top choice.

 

  1. Added Value – Now only does a carriage house contribute street appeal and functionality to your existing home, but they also add value to your residence. Furthermore, it is easy to find a design to complement your home while adding usable space.
  2. Extra Income – Many home owners build a garage for additional parking and storage space. If you’re going through the trouble to build the garage, you might as well make money too. Home owners are opting to use garage space for personal needs while renting out the living quarters for additional income. Carriage house plans with a private entrance or exterior stairs leading to the living quarters are especially popular for this possibility.
  3. In-Law or Guest Suite – Everyone enjoys out-of-town guests, overnight visitors and short visits from friends and family members. Your kids may especially like long weekend visits from Grandma and Grandpa. With a carriage house plan, your guests will have the privacy and comfort of home while staying with you.
  4. Home Office – For those who run a home-based business, a carriage house is the ideal solution to office needs. The living area can easily serve as an office or meeting room providing a space to work or meet with clients without disturbing the main home. Furthermore, if offers peace and quiet, essential for productivity without ever leaving home.
  5. Flexible Space – Sometimes, as families grow and change, they need a flexible space to change with the many phases of their lives. A carriage house design with an open floor plan allows for this flexibility. Perhaps it can serve as a play area when the kids are small and transform into a recreation room or home theater when they are teenagers providing a place for them to hang out with friends. When they’ve grown and moved away, convert the space into an activity room or meeting area where you can meet with your gardening club or play cards with your friends. The kitchenette and bathroom will be handy no matter what the phase of life.
  6. Work Space – Hobby enthusiasts often benefit from carriage house plans. The living quarters are perfect for use as a hobby room, craft area, etc. Use the living area as a workspace for all your projects. The plus side to this option is that you won’t have to clear the dining room table before every meal. And if that’s not enough, the bedroom and bath will still be available for overnight visitors in most cases.
  7. Secondary Residence/Weekend Retreat – For the people who like to get away from it all, carriage house plans are an economical and practical solution. They are a great alternative to vacation house plans. Whether built on a wooded lot or a in a cozy neighborhood, carriage house plans deliver storage and comfortable living. Use the garage to store your outdoor sporting essentials from a boat or ATV to bikes or hunting gear. The living quarters will provide a comfortable place to kick back and relax after a day of fun on the lake, hiking or exploring town. Some carriage house plans are designed with multiple bedrooms offering room to bring friends, family or the kids along for the weekend.

 

If you are considering building a new garage, take time to think about the additional value and possibilities of choosing a carriage house plan.

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Mar 02 2011

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About Log Cabin House Plans – The House Plan Shop

025L-0022 Log Cabin House PlanLog cabin house plans are rooted in America’s history being built first by settlers and pioneers along the American frontier during Westward Expansion. At that time, they served as a simple source of shelter and were constructed with logs from trees native to the area. Log cabin home plans became popular again near the end of the 20th century offering a rustic alternative to modern living. Many of today’s homeowners build log cabins as a secondary residence, such as a hunting or fishing retreat or a vacation getaway. Like the log cabins of old, today’s designs are primarily built with white pine longs or logs native to the region. They showcase a rustic exterior blending well with their natural surroundings, and some may include the use of other natural materials such as stone. Cabin designs like those offered at The House Plan Shop generally offer less than 1200 square feet of living space. Due to their small size and their ability to fit into the surroundings almost anywhere, log cabin house plans are closely related to vacation homes, mountain house plans, log homes and other cabins and cottages.

 

Most log cabin floor plans are fairly simple featuring one or two bedrooms or a bedroom and a sleeping loft along with one or two baths. Typically, the kitchen is a compact design providing just the basics and the living and dining areas are combined. Occasionally log cabin house plans include a few thoughtful extras like a stackable washer and dryer unit, a fireplace and a covered porch or deck. 

 

Whether you are looking for a hunting cabin for you and your buddies, a peaceful fishing retreat near your favorite lake a vacation cabin for outdoor and adventure sporting trips, log cabins are practical, cozy and comfortable accommodating your needs no matter what they might be.

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