Archive for the 'Building a House' Category

Feb 02 2012

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Today’s Home Building Trends – The House Plan Shop

House Plan 023H-0102There is no doubt home building trends have changed throughout the years and continue to evolve. Today’s home building trends are influenced by environmental factors, homeowner preferences, the availability of land and other factors. Some of today’s building trends keep the comfort and lifestyle of the homebuyers in mind as well as call each of us to be more environmentally responsible. Check out these home building trends:

 

  1. Gathering spaces are open to one another allowing for easy interaction among family members and guests. For those with an eye on the golden years, open floor plans allow for easy mobility should you one day find yourself using a walker or wheelchair.
  2. Kitchens are becoming larger in size as most families consider the kitchen to be the hub of activity throughout the day.
  3. Master bedrooms and bathrooms have become larger and more spacious serving as a quiet retreat at the end of the day while offering homeowners a place to relax, refresh and pamper themselves.
  4. Plenty or organizational spaces are a must. Floor plans are including built-in shelving, display niches, abundant closet space, built-in desks, drop zones/lockers near the garage entry and convenient linen closets.
  5. Garages have grown in many cases to accommodate over-sized vehicles like trucks and SUVs while others use the extra space to provide a workbench or storage cabinets. Some garages are becoming environmentally-friendly offering a space for a charging station for electric vehicles or leaving room for a charging station in the future.
  6. Use of sustainable and environmentally-friendly building materials is becoming more common.
  7. Energy-saving and eco-friendly features such as low-flow toilets and energy efficient windows are gaining popularity and add vault to the home.
  8. Multi-generational living is trending upward and homeowners are finding a need to include a guest or in-law suite in the home or a mother-in-law cottage or garage apartment located behind or adjacent to the home. This allows aging relatives to continue to live in a home or somewhat independently with assistance nearby if necessary.
  9. Designers and builders are making an effort to take advantage of natural lighting by carefully positioning the home on the lot and the windows in the home to draw natural light inside, thus saving on lighting and energy bills.
  10. Home builders are making an effort to use less toxic materials and incorporate recycled materials when possible.
  11. Many builders are incorporating security systems including alarms and motion lighting around the perimeter of the home.
  12. Home designers are carefully arranging floor plans to have a narrow footprint especially in densely populated areas where land is precious.
  13. Floor plans often include large porches, screened porches, decks, patios, etc., for outdoor living and entertaining.
  14. Designers are including flexible spaces in their floor plans. For example, a full bath might be included in a den or office so the space can easily convert to a guest room with weekend visitors arrive. For those who only have occasional visitors, there is no need to have a designated guest room that is only used a couple times a year. In other cases, the flex space is meant to change and flex as your lifestyle changes. What might serve as a nursery when the kids are young can convert to a home office or hobby room as you move through the various phases of life.

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Oct 19 2011

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Will My House Plans include Electrical, Plumbing and HVAC Details? – The House Plan Shop

House Plans 001H-0044The home plans published by The House Plan Shop are considered stock plans or pre-drawn blueprints designed to meet the national building codes in place at the time each was created. They do not necessarily meet any state, county or municipal building codes. Furthermore, pre-drawn house plans do not include extensive information regarding HVAC, electrical and plumbing details.

 

Information about the HVAC will be determined locally. The HVAC system will depend on the climate, types of unit(s) you use, and the size of your home/amount of finished living space to be heated and cooled. Necessary ductwork will be determined by the type of heating and cooling system selected and local building codes. Discuss and review all HVAC information with your local HVAC professional or your contractor.

 

While some stock home plans include a simple electrical plan indicating the suggested locations of outlets, switches and fixtures, it will be up to your builder or local electrician to install all electrical elements according to local electrical code. Take time to review the electrical information and details with your builder or electrician before construction begins.

 

Finally, plumbing fixtures are included in stock house plans. However, the blueprints will not reflect a plumbing schematic. The sewer system and flow of water lines are site specific and must be determined by local professionals. Talk with your plumber or contractor to discuss plumbing details.

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Sep 21 2011

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Building a House: Where to Begin? – The House Plan Shop

House Plan 054H-0077Have you found yourself asking, “I want to build my dream home, but where do I start?” If so, you’ve come to the right place. There is a wide range of resources available to help you get started on your home building project. Most of these resources are easy-to-access and will offer insight and knowledge about the construction project you are about to tackle. Below are just a few of the house building resources available to you.

 

  • Talk to family members and friends who have built a home or completed another residential construction project such as building a garage. These people will speak from experience and have a wealth of knowledge to share. Ask them what worked, what didn’t go so well, what that would have planned better and what things they would do differently if they were to build again.
  • Spend some time talking to professionals at local lumberyards. These people are especially knowledgeable about building materials.
  • Take time to check with your local building department or building inspector. Find out what is required in your city, town or municipality for new home construction. Ask about building permits, building codes and other regulations you’ll be expected to follow.
  • Contact local building professionals that have experience with residential construction and ask lots of questions. Some of these people include builders, contractors, residential designers, carpenters, electricians and other various professionals.
  • If you need to get a loan, check with various mortgage lenders. Find out what steps you need to take to qualify for a loan and what the lender expects throughout the lifetime of the construction loan.
  • Use the Internet. There are all sorts of construction and building websites that offer a wealth of information about the building process from beginning to end.
  • Don’t forget about The House Plan Shop! We have an extensive resources page with many articles and tips to help you through the home building process. Also, you can follow us on Twitter and check out our Facebook page for current postings about building a house, residential construction, green building and other related information.

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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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Jun 29 2011

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Choosing the Right Garage Door for Your New House – The House Plan Shop

Garage DoorsThe purpose and function of overhead garage doors have changed over time. Now, not only do they open, close and lock keeping your cars and other items in the garage safe and out of site, but they also contribute to the overall style and curb appeal of your home giving it a stylish look. Furthermore, they play a roll in energy efficiency keeping the cold and heat out of your home. Safety is another important task for your garage door offering security and protection for your cars and other items stored in the garage. Garage doors are available in a vast array of sizes, styles, colors and architectural themes ensuring you’ll find the right one to complement your new house. If you are building a new home, put some thought into the type of overhead doors you’d like to install. Below is a list of things to consider before purchasing your garage door:

 

  1. Does the garage door have a high durability rating?
  2. Is it available in a color that blends nicely with the façade of your house?
  3. Does the garage door complement the architectural style of your home and its exterior decorative elements like the front door, window shutters, etc.?
  4. What energy efficiency features does it have including insulation?
  5. Are there any special safety features included? Does the overhead garage door have a safety rating?
  6. Is the garage door available with customizable options such as your choice of hardware or glass allowing you to have your own unique appearance?

 

Also, take some time to check with garage door manufactures. Some offer a design tool by which you can upload a photo of your home and experiment or “try on” all the different garage door options including color and style, making it easy to select the right overhead garage door for your new house.

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