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May 14 2013

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7 Things to Know about Beach House Plans

Beach House Plan 017H-0032With summer fast approaching, our minds start drifting to dreams of building a beach house for our summer retreat or maybe as a permanent residence where we can enjoy the sights and sounds of the ocean each day. For others, a beach house is a great place to spend long weekends with friends and family, but it can also serve as source of income if used as rental property. Below are seven things to know about beach houses that might help you decide if building a beach home is right for you:

 

  1. Designed for shoreline living with the main living areas typically raised one level above the ground to accommodate rising tides and prevent flooding. This is achieved by building on a pier foundation (or pilings).
  2. Usually, the parking area is located beneath the home and made possible by the pier foundation.
  3. Floor plans feature large, strategically placed windows to maximize the coastal or shoreline view.
  4. Floor plans incorporate large decks and porches for outdoor living space and provide an opportunity to soak up the sights and sounds of coastal living.
  5. Often feature an open floor plan to allow gentle sea breezes to flow throughout the home.
  6. Often incorporate specialized design elements, materials and construction methods to meet building requirements and specifications related to marine/coastal environments, geographic factors and regional climates.
  7. Floor plans range in size and style offering everything from a simple beach vacation bungalow to a luxurious oceanfront home.

 

Browse or beach house plan collection to find the design that will satisfy your needs and lifestyle.

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Mar 27 2013

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Vacation House Plans for a Variety of Getaways

Vacation House Plan 047H-0077At some point in time, we all need to escape our busy lifestyles and demanding work schedules. For some, this means a getaway to the mountains or relaxing a favorite fishing lake. For others, it means soaking up the sun on the beach or eating dinner on the deck while listening to the ocean waves crash in the distance. Whether you prefer a warm vacation or mountain escape, we have the vacation house plan for you! So if you’re the type who wants to have your own vacation home in your favorite city or town or in your favorite secluded space, considering building one of our vacation homes.

 

Our vacation house plan collection features floor plans that offer 1500 square feet of finished living space or less. Though small and accommodating, these designs are used for recreational residences or secondary homes. They are perfect for long weekends with the kids, mini-vacations, and hunting/fishing retreats. Also, they can serve as a source of income to those who choose to rent them out to others looking for a break from our fast-paced world. Vacation floor plans generally include one or more bedrooms and baths and modest features. The living areas are often open to one another creating as spacious feel for an otherwise small space. Also, this allows for flexibility and maximum use of the space. Though special amenities may be lacking, the basics such as a compact kitchen and a stackable washer/dryer unit deliver cozy yet comfortable space.

 

Our vacation home plan collection includes:

Cabin plans

Cottage home designs

Beach house plans

Coastal homes

Waterfront house plans

A-Frame house plans

Mountain house plans

 

Typically, vacation house plans blend well with their surroundings and are designed to make the most of panoramic views, natural features and location. They commonly encourage the enjoyment of nature by incorporating walls of windows, sweeping porches and large decks strategically positioned to take advantage of the surrounding landscape and stunning scenery.

 

Low maintenance is “key” when it comes to vacation homes. The exterior requires little upkeep and the interior provides simple accommodations. Fashioned with efficient living spaces, vacation homes are designed to promote relaxation and comfort giving you a place where you can get away from it all!

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Oct 25 2012

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Characteristics of Mediterranean House Plans

Mediterranean House Plan 040H-0017Designed to feature the architectural influences of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean house plans most resemble the homes found in Italy and Spain. Their Tuscan and Spanish influences give them a classy and elegant air of distinction. Some or most of the following features are true of Mediterranean home plans:

  1. Commonly designed for warmer climates, these homes are predominantly found in Florida and California as well as other southern states.
  2. Sometimes referred to as Floridian house plans, Sunbelt home plans or stucco homes.
  3. Usually designed with one level although it is not uncommon to find a two-story Mediterranean house plan.
  4. Designed to maximize energy efficiency in warmer climates and feature a white or pastel color stucco façade and a red clay tile roof that hold up well in warm weather regions.
  5. The exterior features wide overhangs designed to block the sun’s rays from windows and entries keeping the interior as cool as possible.
  6. Floor plans feature generously sized rooms, open gathering spaces and tall ceilings promoting and open and airy feel.
  7. Decorative features include arched entries and windows, wrought iron railings, fences and gates, and stylish columns which define individual spaces while maintaining openness with other areas of the home.
  8. The living areas are often arranged around an open courtyard or pool for entertaining purposes.
  9. Large outdoor living spaces such as verandas, patios, terraces promote relaxation.
  10. Two-story versions often feature balconies.

If you’re looking for a home plan that delivers a masterful blend of comfort and elegance check out our Mediterranean house plan collection and Sunbelt home plans.

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Sep 13 2012

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The Skinny on Narrow Lot House Plans

Narrow Lot House Plan 058H-0066With land becoming scarce and more expensive to purchase and the growing awareness of limiting the impact of homebuilding on the environment, narrow lot house plans are becoming more popular. Over time, home building sites have decreased in size placing a higher demand on narrow lot home plans, allowing them to evolve into what they are today. With today’s designs, there is no need for home owners to sacrifice comfort, special features or livability. Narrow lot house plans deliver all these things and more while keeping the budget in mind. If you are faced with the challenge of building on a narrow strip of property, take a look at the list below outlining the qualities of narrow lot house plans that make them attractive to a broad range of homeowners.

 

  • Designs in our narrow lot home plan collection have a maximum width of 40 feet.
  • What they lack in width, they make up for in depth. Floor plans are long and lean with no limit of depth.
  • Narrow lot house plans are applauded for having a minimal impact on the environment. Their small footprints require less green space while still allowing “a lot of home” to fit on a small lot. This leaves the surrounding land undisturbed. These homes are recognized for being eco-friendly.
  • Floor plans are economically designed to make efficient use of interior space. They make use of every square inch of space offering maximum storage in the form of closets and built-in cabinets and shelving.
  • Often, gathering areas are open to one another with few walls creating a spacious feel.
  • Floor plans incorporate many of today’s most requested features like main floor laundry rooms/closets, kitchen islands, outdoor living spaces, energy-saving elements, deluxe master baths and more.
  • Many narrow lot house plans incorporate a garage.
  • Narrow lot home plans have a linear floor plan.
  • They can be one or more levels and range in sizes from a couple of bedrooms and baths to four or more bedrooms and baths.
  • One-story designs often feature one long hall grouping the living areas at one end of the home and the bedrooms at the other for extra privacy.
  • Two-story designs are ideal for property with limitations allowing an opportunity to add square footage economically in the form of a second floor. These floor plans often position the living areas on the main level and the sleeping areas upstairs for privacy.
  • Narrow lot homes are found in densely populated areas where land is precious and houses are built close together.
  • They are frequently built as replacement homes on in-fill lots in older urban areas.
  • Narrow lot house plans are available with various foundation types and come in a vast array or architectural styles.

 

Honoring the restrictions of a narrow lot, these house plans are sometimes referred to as zero lot line homes. But don’t be fooled. Though they are often smaller in stature than their larger and more sprawling cousins, narrow lot house plans deliver the same comfort, style and features, plus they are environmentally friendly and often deliver more economic construction.

 

Visit our narrow lot house plan collection to view floor plans in a broad range of sizes and architectural styles including beach house plans, craftsman house plans and everything in between.

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Jul 04 2012

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Distinguishing Features of Craftsman House Plans

Craftsman House Plan 001H-0203Rooted in the Arts and Crafts movement, Craftsman house plans have been popular for generations. While they are available in a vast range of sizes and can be one or two levels, these home designs are sought after for their sturdy construction and easy living floor plans. Craftsman house plans appeal to a wide variety of home buyers and display unmistakable characteristics that can be recognized both from the exterior and interior of the home. Below is a list of some of the easily identifiable characteristics you’ll find with Craftsman home plans:

 

Exterior Features

  • Multi-material façade (a combination of  local natural materials such as stone, brick, siding, and cedar shakes)
  • Wide and deep front porch
  • Flared, tapered or square porch columns atop stone pediments/pedestals
  • Low-pitched roof
  • Wide, overhanging eaves
  • Exposed beams, rafters or rafter tails
  • Triangular brackets in the eaves
  • Shed dormers
  • Decorative details
  • Rustic styling
  • Appearance of handcrafted workmanship

 

Interior Features

  • Open floor plan with few hallways
  • Make use of every square inch of living space
  • Built-in shelving, cabinets, and seating
  • Extensive use of dark wood and wood moldings and trim
  • Extensive use of windows
  • Some windows of stained or leaded glass
  • Beamed ceilings
  • Stone fireplace and chimney
  • Use local, natural materials

 

While Craftsman home plans can be as small as a cottage or an impressive luxury home, they all display as least some of the features characteristics mentioned above. They are closely related to Northwestern style designs and bungalows. Browse our collection of Craftsman house plans now.

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