Archive for January, 2013

Jan 30 2013

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3 Ways to Control Home Building Costs – The House Plan Shop

Home under ConstructionWhen building a new house, one of the most important things you can do is control your building budget. Without careful planning, it is easy to go far over budget when building a home. Beginning without a building budget, making changes during construction, and poor craftsmanship are just a few of the things that can blow your home building budget or cause extra expenses.

 

1. Most homeowners who embark on a home building project rely on obtaining a loan from a financial institution. This requires careful planning of the building budget up front. Begin by getting a feel for what things are going to cost. For example, visit several local lumberyards and find out what materials are available and their costs. Talk to the lumberyards about buying materials in bulk. Often, lumberyards will offer a better discount when all of the materials for the home are bought at the same time. This will slash your material costs. Also, compare the costs of luxury items verses budget items such as light fixtures. If a budget fixture is just as visually appealing, comes with a good warranty and serves the same purpose as the luxury item, choose the budget item. This tactic will cut wasteful spending tremendously. Using methods like these will help you save money and establish a building budget that works with your loan.

 

2. Next, go over your house plans carefully and discuss everything about the design, the floor plan, special elements, etc., with your builder before construction begins. It is important to have all the details worked out with your builder ahead of time. Once construction begins, making changes to the exterior of the home or the floor plan can become very costly in a hurry. When changes are made during construction, it often requires the builder to tear down or redo some portion of the home that was already complete or near completion causing a waste of time, money, materials, and labor.  

 

3. Finally, you might not be able to control the local labor costs, but you can control who you choose to do the work on your new home. Interview potential builders, ask to see their credentials, visit other jobsites where the builder has worked, and ask the builder for references from past clients. Researching the builder you hire (and the subcontractors) will help you choose the most qualified and skilled builder you can afford. Your new home is a major investment. You don’t want to ruin the experience of building a new home with poor craftsmanship. If you end up hiring an inexperienced builder or subcontractors, it is likely you’ll run it to problems quickly. Poor craftsmanship means you’ll be spending more later to repair things that were not properly built, constructed or installed during the construction of your home.

 

If you’re planning to build a new home, follow these tips to control your building costs.

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Jan 15 2013

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Featured Mediterranean House Plan for Large Families – The House Plan Shop

Mediterranean House Plan 043H-0177Characteristic of the Mediterranean region as well as the southern states such as Florida and even some regions of California, this Mediterranean house plan boast many recognizable exterior features. Begin with the eye-catching red clay tile roof and the stucco façade. Then notice the arched windows and decorative wrought iron enhance the second floor window/double doors. From the neatly detailed exterior to the elegant and spacious interior, this one-story home plan delivers sophisticated family living. Interesting angles and large windows contribute to a unique yet comfortable atmosphere. Upon entering, a roomy foyer greets all. It quickly introduces the formal gathering spaces where you’re sure to host dinner guests and entertain family and friends on holidays. The dining room features a decorative ceiling treatment and stylish columns defining the space while maintaining openness to the living room where large windows and double doors deliver views of the rear yard. Now pay attention to the causal family spaces that team up to create an open area for daily activities and family time. Two islands are better than one in the well-appointed kitchen where you’ll also discover a culinary pantry, eating bar, abundant counter space and adjoining nook. The family room connects with the kitchen and nook showcasing a fireplace flanked with built-ins. Along with the nook and formal dining room, you’ll find another option for meal time when you take a look at the sweeping covered patio, complete with outdoor kitchen, perfect for summertime barbecues and cookouts with the neighbors. Three family bedrooms and two bathrooms (one can serve as a pool bath easily accessed from the patio) accommodated the children’s needs on the right side of the home. These bedrooms are shielded from street noise by the three-car, side-entry garage and laundry room. Don’t miss the bonus room above the garage, ideal for a home theater or game room the whole family can enjoy. On the left side of the home, Bedroom 2 delights in a bayed window and enjoys access to a nearby bath. This arrangement is ideal for weekend guests or an aging family member in your care. Your master bedroom is secluded for privacy and loaded with amenities. You’ll love the bayed window and luxurious bath delivering pampering features like His and Her walk-in closets, soaking tub, separate shower and dual sinks. Designed with plenty of room for everyone and stylish features that are sure to charm you, this Mediterranean home plan is mixes the best of both worlds – comfortable living and elegant design.

 

For more information about this Mediterranean house plan, please visit our website. Or browse our entire Mediterranean collection for more options!

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Jan 04 2013

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New Year’s Resolution: 15 Ways to Live Green in 2013 – The House Plan Shop

Recycling CenterSometimes we make New Year’s resolutions that are hard to keep, but making a commitment to live a greener lifestyle is easy because there are so many ways to start living a little more eco-friendly. Below is a list of ideas for living green in 2013. Even if you just get into the habit of doing of few of the things suggested below, you’ll be making a positive impact for future generations while protecting our environment.

  1. Switch to using natural cleaners at home like baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice instead of harsh chemicals. They are better for the environment and your health.
  2. Turn the thermostat down 5-8 degrees when you are not home and while you’re sleeping during the winter months to save energy and money on your heating bill. In the summertime, do the opposite. Set the thermostat a few degrees higher when you are not home so the air conditioner doesn’t run so much. Also, open the windows when the outdoor temperature is comfortable instead of using the air conditioner.
  3. Make the most of natural lighting by arranging furniture such as a desk or reading chair near a window and do homework or read by natural light instead of turning on the lamp whenever possible. Open up the blinds during the daylight hours instead of switching on the lights.
  4. Turn the water off. Whether you are washing your hair or brushing your teeth, turning the shower or faucet off while your scrub and brush will save a precious natural resource – water.
  5. When doing laundry, only wash a full load of clothes.
  6. Clean the lint out of the dryer after every load. This makes the dryer more efficient and eliminates a fire hazard.
  7. Use reusable shopping bags for every shopping trip whether you are headed to the grocery store, shoe store or the mall. This eliminates waste.
  8. Don’t waste unwanted holiday gifts. Re-gift them or donate to charity.
  9. Grow your own vegetable garden. You’ll save on your grocery bill, reduce trips to the grocery store and be eating something healthy that you know wasn’t sprayed with harmful pesticides.
  10. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Set up a recycling station in your home or garage and teach the kids what things can be recycled from aluminum cans and newspapers to glass jars and plastic packaging. Additionally have a yard sale to get rid of any items in your home that you don’t need but are still usable, or donate them to charity.
  11. Walk or bike to work and other activities whenever possible. Or car pool with friends. This saves you money, while reducing wear and tear on your car and reducing emissions.
  12. Shop online to reduce fuel emissions.
  13. Purchase appliances with Energy STAR ratings ensuring the energy efficiency in the kitchen and laundry room.
  14. Turn off lights and appliances when not in use.
  15. Connect your kids with nature – appreciation now leads to preservation for future generations. Plan a monthly outing such as a hike at a state park or an afternoon of fishing at a nearby lake.

These are not the only things you can do to live greener in 2013. Maybe our ideas will inspire some of your own.

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