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Aug 31 2017

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Looking for a Family-Friendly House Plan? Try These Designs

If you are looking for a house plan to accommodate your family, sometimes it is hard to find the right mix of bedrooms, bathrooms, gathering spaces, quiet spaces and outdoor living areas. Additionally, convenient elements like a kitchen island, plenty of closet space, a large garage, and an easy-to-access laundry room are a must. There are other things to consider as well, like the number of levels and foundation type. Below are three family-friendly house plans that will get you started on your search for the right design and floor plan that will accommodate your family and lifestyle.

 

House Plans 050H-0135050H-0135: The great room located centrally on the main level of this open house plan, functions as a gathering place for every day family activities.  With its cathedral ceiling, a feeling of spaciousness is prevalent throughout the room.  Situated on one end is the kitchen.  It has a long roomy counter that is great for little ones to pull up a chair while mom and dad prepare a meal.  The close proximity of the kitchen and walk-in pantry to the 3-car garage, makes for convenient and efficient transfer of groceries from trunk to storage.  Busy families will appreciate that flow as with the laundry.  Washer and dryer are just steps from the master bedroom’s walk-in closets and likewise from the stairs to the children’s bedrooms on the second floor.  Families can break bread together in the dining room as they discuss their day.   A covered back porch and a screen porch offer protected enjoyment of the outdoors.  When day is done, children are tucked into their beds on the second floor, close enough to look in on, but far enough away for parents to enjoy their privacy in the main level master bedroom.

 

House Plan 001H-0101001H-0101: This attractive country house plan features a multi-material façade and would look great on any block, especially if it’s yours. It is a dandy fit for a family. Each of the children’s bedrooms has its own full bath so there’s no waiting and no bickering. Mom and Dad each have their own walk-in closet, their own vanity in the master bath, and their choice of separate shower or bath. There is sitting space in the master bedroom, the perfect getaway from the rest of the household when need be. Between the children’s rooms is a media room, a great place for using the computer for homework or games. A spacious great room with a vaulted ceiling readily accommodates daily family activities. With its handy food prep island, the kitchen is designed for efficient completion of meals and their delivery to the raised snack bar or dining room. Utilize the patio in back or the covered porch for outdoor gatherings. Every family needs lots of storage spaces and you will find them here. There is a small flex room that is probably large enough to house your hobby supplies or store the holiday decorations. A bonus room over the garage provides more storage or looks toward the future as your family grows.

 

House Plan 007H-0060007H-0060: Begin with the covered front porch of this family-friendly Southern house plan. It provides plenty to welcome guests and delivers unobstructed views. Perfect for pulling up a chair and visiting with a neighbor while waiting for the school bus to drop off the kids. An open floor plan accommodates family activities and a formal living room makes entertaining company special. Interior details such as the master bedroom tray ceiling, columns at the entry, a family room fireplace and the kitchen snack bar make everyday living extraordinary. For outdoor activities, the open patio is a great space for grilling and the screen porch provides outdoor dining while protecting you from pests. Each of the bedrooms boasts its own full bath and walk-in closet. Mom and Dad enjoy their privacy on the opposite side of the home. The three-car garage offers protection for the family vehicles and lawn equipment. Above it is a bonus room for extending your living space as the family grows.

 

Use our advanced search to look for more family-friendly house plans that will satisfy your family’s needs.

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Jun 22 2015

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Get Rid of Mosquitoes Around Your Home

While we all love to enjoy summertime activities like gardening, picnic, backyard barbecues and playing with the kids in the yard, many of us across the country have one thing in common: Tiny mosquitoes can sometimes be HUGE troublemakers! Not only do they annoy us with their buzzing and itchy bites, but they also transmit various diseases. So, it is a good idMosquitoea to try to get rid of these pests near your home. You certainly won’t miss them when you are enjoying your favorite backyard activities.

 

Begin by eliminating standing water. Mosquitoes need less than one inch of standing water in which to lay their eggs. Make an effort to eliminate standing water around your home by emptying bird baths or fill them with fresh water daily. Dump out buckets and pales of standing water. Cover or store things that tend to catch and hold water in your yard or on your back porch like empty flower pots, patio furniture or the kid’s plastic toys. Wading pools, dog dishes, sandbox toys and old tires are all great places for water to collect that will attract mosquitoes sooner or later. Also check your yard for areas where water tends to stand after a rain or after you’ve used the hose or sprinkler. Whether it is in a flower garden or the middle of your yard, areas that hold pockets of water should be leveled with fill dirt to prevent standing water. Finally, check your gutters. Clear any debris from your gutters as clogged gutters are an attractive place for mosquitoes.

 

While water is a main mosquito attraction, they can be found in dry spaces and places that provide cover during the day. Shrubs, bushes and ornamental grasses are wonderful for landscaping, but they are also a wonderful place for mosquitoes to congregate during the heat of the day. Keep your shrubs trimmed and your lawn mowed. Remove weeds as well. All of these things will attract mosquitoes to your backyard if left unattended.

 

Consider natural insect repellants for your backyard. Some plants are natural repellents for mosquitoes and other insects and they blend nicely with other landscaping vegetation. Consider planting catnip, rosemary or marigolds.

 

Using electric outdoor fans on your patios and porches or burning citronella candles when outdoors will help create an environment that isn’t very inviting to mosquitoes. If you create an unfriendly environment for mosquitoes, you’ll actually increase your own outdoor comfort level!

 

At night, turn out porch lights if it isn’t necessary for them to light your porch or entry. Porch lights will attract mosquitoes and other insects after dark. You only need to open your front door one time while these critters are swarming around your porch light, and you’ll quickly have some winged and buzzing guests inside your home. If you need to have the porch light on at night, consider using LED bulbs. These bulbs do not put off as much heat at incandescent bulbs and are therefore less inviting to mosquitoes. Additionally, check window screens for holes and repair them to keep mosquitoes from entering your home.

 

With a little effort, you can make your home and backyard a little less mosquito friendly and a lot more people friendly.

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Nov 19 2014

Profile Image of M.K. Tenney

7 Hints for Holiday Safety

Christmas TreeWith Thanksgiving right around the corner, people will begin turning their attention Christmas decorating and holiday parties shortly thereafter. The holidays not only bring new safety hazards into the house, but the excitement of them distracts even the most wary. Below are a few hints to help keep you safe for the season.

 

  1. Trees – Live trees require lots of watering and even then they will dry out. Place them well away from any heat sources. Don’t burn discarded trees in the fireplace as it can lead to creosote build-up in the chimney. Instead consider taking it to a recycling center or compost it for the garden.
  2. Fireplaces – Of course by this time of the year you have had your chimney swept and inspected. Don’t be tempted to reduce the landfill by burning wrapping paper or other paper products in it. Besides the flash fire they produce being dangerous, they could have coatings that produce unsafe fumes when burned. Check for opportunities to recycle paper and plastic products to ease your guilt.
  3. Smoke Alarms – Check all smoke alarms to make sure they are functioning. Replace batteries at least twice a year even if they are still working. Install a carbon monoxide detector for added safety.
  4. Candles – Keep candles away from all combustibles and extinguish when leaving the room. Place them so they are away from areas where they can be knocked over. The coffee table is just the right height for Fido’s tail to do damage. Don’t forget to stow away the matches or lighters that could be temptations for inquisitive children.
  5. Lights – Check all strands for any damage and for the UL approved label. Turn them off when going to bed or leaving the house. Don’t run any wires under carpets and don’t overload the circuits.
  6. Decorations – Check decorations for small pieces that could be a choking hazard for children or pets.
  7. Guests – Don’t assume that your guests know what you know. Remind them not to place their gloves on the space heater for drying or throw anything in the fire in the fireplace. Ask them to help keep the kids safely out of the kitchen while food is being prepared. If you have overnight guests, review your household escape plan with them in case of emergency.

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Oct 23 2014

Profile Image of M.K. Tenney

Tips for Throwing a Safe Halloween Party at Home

Halloween 2014One of the best ways to keep your eyes on the little ones on Halloween may be to keep them home. Of course that may involve throwing them their own party which can still involve safety issues for you and your guests. Here are a few tips to keep everyone safe on Halloween night:

 

  • Costumes – Even if you are not hiking the neighborhood, you still want to keep the costumes safe. Shorter is better so that there is no tripping. Enlarge the eyeholes in masks or use makeup to enable children to see their best. Check the labels for fire retardant clothing.
  • Food – Be aware any food allergies that your guests may have. Common allergies include dairy, shell fish and peanuts. Stay away from small hard candies that may present a choking hazard. If using dry ice, prevent children from handling it as it can cause burns.
  • Childproof – Move any breakable items beyond reach or to another room. Don’t let a broken keepsake spoil your night. Candles may add to the atmosphere of spookiness, but don’t be tempted to use them. There are plenty of flickering lights available that are battery operated and eliminate the hazards of a flame.
  • Pets – A houseful of exuberant party goers in strange costumes could freak out your pets. Also, your guests may share too many things with your pets that shouldn’t be eaten by animals. Arrange for your pets to stay in another part of the house or away from home.
  • Guests – Know your guests. With the excitement and hubbub of escorting costumed guests in and out of your house, unescorted trick-or-treaters could accidently crash your party. That would be a scare for both you and the unknowing ghosts and goblins.
  • Plan – Plan ahead to include lots of fun activities to keep your guests busy. The good memories that they have will last a lifetime.

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Oct 06 2014

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Pedestrian Safety: International Walk and Bike to School Day

Filed under Miscellaneous,Safety

CrosswalkOctober 8, 2014 is International Walk and Bike to School Day. If your children will be walking or biking to school on Wednesday, take some time to go over our pedestrian safety tips with them.

 

  1. Always wear a bike helmet when riding a bike.
  2. Use crosswalks with crossing the street or cross at street corners.
  3. Be aware of the cars around you. Stay alert for those that are turning, backing up or pulling in and out of driveways.
  4. Be sure to use sidewalks when available. If there is not sidewalk, travel on the shoulder of the road and face the oncoming traffic.
  5. Avoid using electronic devises when crossing the road.
  6. If you must use a cell phone while walking or biking, stop and find a safe place to use it.
  7. Make eye contact with drivers before crossing so that you know that they see you.
  8. Pay attention for cars backing out of driveways or out of parking spaces as well as those that are turning.
  9. Do not enter the street from behind parked cars. The parked car will block you from the view of oncoming drivers.
  10. Be alert for cars moving in or out of driveways.
  11. Wear light or reflective clothing especially if you must be out walking/biking after dark.
  12. Stick with your normal walking/biking route or use only parent approved alternatives.

 

For children aged 5 to 19, pedestrian injuries are the fifth leading cause of injury-related death with teens accounting for half of those deaths. Take time to walk around the neighborhood with your kids and set a good example. Only walk or bike routes that you’ve approved for them to travel when you are not present. Make sure they know the safest routes. Provide them with reflective clothing or reflective stickers for backpacks and book bags. Remind them to speak up and warn others if they notice another pedestrian in danger.

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