Archive for August, 2011

Aug 31 2011

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What Information is Included in House Blueprints – The House Plan Shop

House BlueprintsIf you are considering purchasing a home plan from The House Plan Shop, you may be wondering what is included in the blueprints we offer. Below is a listing of the elements typically included in the pre-drawn house plans we published:

 

  1. Cover sheet
  2. Foundation Plan
  3. Floor Plan(s)
  4. Interior Elevations
  5. Exterior Elevations
  6. Basic Electric
  7. Simple Plumbing
  8. Details
  9. Sections

 

To find out specific information about each one of these elements, please review The House Plan Shop’s FAQs.

 

Note: Not all pre-drawn home plans incorporate every element listed here. Blueprint pages vary by designer.

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Aug 24 2011

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The House Plan Shop – Kitchen Safety Tips

House Plan 027H-0163The kitchen is the heart of most homes and the hub of all types of activities from preparing meals to doing homework and enjoying conversation with family and friends. It is also the room where two-thirds of home fires start. Review this list of kitchen safety tips to identify and correct potential hazards in your home before it is too late.

 

  1. Locate all appliances away from the sink or any other water source.
  2. Keep appliance cords away from hot surfaces, like the range or coffee maker, and away from wet surfaces.
  3. Only plug counter top appliances into GFCI-protected outlets.
  4. Do not use appliances that have been wet.
  5. Unplug all counter top appliances when not in use.
  6. Do not leave counter top appliances on when unattended.
  7. Clean the stove and oven regularly. Also be sure to clean the exhaust hood over the stove.
  8. Keep the cooking area surrounding the stove and oven free of combustibles like hand towels, pot holders, paper towels and recipe books. 
  9. Do not leave something cooking on the stove top or in the oven when unattended.
  10. Give the refrigerator room to breathe. Make sure there is enough room behind the refrigerator to let the air circulate.
  11. Vacuum refrigerator coils every two or three months to eliminate dirt and dust build up that reduces efficiency and can become a potential hazard.

 

With these tips, you’ll be on your way to practicing fire safety in your kitchen.

 

For more information on how to be safe at home, check out our Home Safety Blogs.

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Aug 17 2011

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Characteristics of Elegant European House Plans

European House Plans 029H-0078Reminders of the splendid style and history of the Old World, today’s European house plans blend the original designs of our ancestors with the elegance and style of today. Generally well suited for large pieces of property, they are grand in size and can be one or two levels. European home plans often showcase an exterior featuring two or more materials such as stone, brick, siding or stucco accentuated by ornamental detailing such as wing-tipped shutters, gentle arches and planter boxes. Other noticeable characteristics like copper atop bayed windows, stylish keystones and decorative quoins lend a touch of beauty and splendor. Furthermore, varied rooflines deliver the look and feel of a storybook castle. European house plans are often recognized for their swooping rooflines with flared corners at the eaves and occasional turrets. Additionally, they are known for steeply sloped roofs providing space for a second story “hidden in the roof.” This type of design delivers extra finished living area not easily recognized from the home’s exterior. In some cases, the additional living space can be a full second story, while other times it may be simply a bonus room. The interior and floor plan of a European house is often as grand as the exterior appears revealing rooms of large proportions and volume ceilings in some or most of the gathering areas lending spaciousness. Decorative elements may include stylish columns defining the living spaces, special ceiling treatments and arched openings and doorways. While most European floor plans are generously sized, small home plans can display some of the same noteworthy design elements.

 

These Old World home designs showcase many European influences and encompass a vast array of architectural elements and details including European sub-styles such as English homes, Tudor style designs, Mediterranean floor plans, Italian house plans, Spanish home designs and French style floor plans. In addition to the varied architectural styles, European house plans range in size from grandiose chateau homes to simple chalets, with most enjoying at least a few common characteristics. Because of their wide variety of styles and sizes, these special homes are found throughout all regions of the United States and Canada. Whether large or small, European house plans deliver a unique blend of comfort and refinement making them popular among all types of home buyers.

 

For more information about home plan styles, please visit The House Plan Shop.

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Aug 17 2011

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Why Building a Detached Garage Plan will Improve Your Home – The House Plan Shop

Garage Plan 052G-0003Looking for a way to improve your home? The experts at The House Plan Shop recommend building a detached garage. Whether you’ve been thinking about building a detached garage for a while or the idea is new to you, it is important to keep in mind that such an addition to your property will improve the overall function of your home and prove to be valuable. Not only does a garage provide sheltered parking and protection for the family cars, but also it can offer storage space for seasonal items or serve as a workshop or hobby area. Review the list below and find out a few reasons why building a garage will improve your home:

 

  1. The primary function of a garage is to store and protect automobiles. An enclosed structure such as a garage can protect the family cars from the elements preventing hail or sun damage. It will also protect your vehicles from falling tree limbs and other debris during thunderstorms. And who wants to scrape frost, ice and sleet of their windows every morning before work throughout the winter months? Don’t forget to consider auto protection from a safety stand point. When your car is parked safely in a locked garage, there is less chance of auto theft or property damage than when it is parked on the driveway on in the street.
  2. Sometimes, building a garage adds a special workspace in the form of a workshop or a hobby room you might not have space for in your attached garage or in your home. Some garage plans include special spaces like a workshop or craft room in addition to parking bays giving the garage another function in addition to auto storage. Other times, an entire garage can serve as a workshop or a place for hobbies and wood crafts. Garage plans with loft space sometimes allow for the upper level to be finished a usable space such as a home office or sewing room.
  3. Many people build detached garages to add extra storage space to their homes. In the instance of a 3-car garage, perhaps just two bays are used for parking. The third bay could be used to stash boxes and attic overflow or for storage of the family bikes, outdoor sporting equipment or even the riding mower and other lawn and garden tools. A garage loft plan might offer attic storage for seasonal items like holiday decorations. Other home owners might build a detached garage plan to store motorized items, like ATVS, motorcycles or a golf cart, that do not fit in their attached garages. Storage possibilities are endless with detached garage floor plans. 
  4. Don’t forget about the added value a new detached garage will contribute to your home. When you add a practical and useful structure, such as a garage, to your backyard, it will increase the value of your home. Should you ever have to sell your house, you’ll see a nice return on your investment.

 

It is easy to see why adding a garage to your home or property will improve its overall function while satisfying your needs for parking, workspace, storage, and value. Furthermore, detached garages are available in a wide range of sizes and architectural styles, ensuring you find the right one to fit on your property and match your home.

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Aug 03 2011

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Featured Country House Plan with Welcoming Wrap-Around Porch – The House Plan Shop

Country House Plan 031H-0190Just imagine coming home to this welcoming country house plan. An inviting wrap-around porch greets guests and offers a great place for a pair of rockers or a porch swing. The foyer features double closets and introduces the peaceful study behind double doors, just right for a home office. Or finish this space as a bedroom is you choose. Across the foyer, corner cabinets enhance the formal dining room where family and friends are sure to gather and share food and drink. At the back of the home, the spacious two-story living room reveals a cracking fireplace and it connects with the kitchen and breakfast nook. This open gathering area accommodates everyday happenings and special get-togethers. The kitchen island boasts an eating bar, ideal for meals and the go and a great place for the kids to do homework while you prepare dinner. The nook overlooks the rear, covered porch and don’t miss the screened porch, just right for dining alfresco on pleasant evenings. Keeping things tidy and organized, the laundry room and 3-car garage polish off the right side of the home. Positioned for privacy, your master bedroom is tucked in the back corner of the home. Special features here include a walk-in closet, deluxe bath and private covered porch. On the second floor, a handsome balcony gazes down on the living room and connects with two family bedrooms. Large closets and sunny windows complement these rooms while a full bath accommodates the children’s needs. Pay attention to the optional game room. Finish this space giving the whole family a place to kick back and relax. A splendid mix of comfort and functionality, this country house plan is second to none!

 

You’ll find more design’s like this one in The House Plan Shop’s complete country home plan collection.

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