The House Plan Shop Blog

Feb 17 2016

Practical Multi-Generational House Plans Growing Popularity

Multi-Generational House Plan 072H0177In today’s society, not all families are the same. What was once considered a typical American family – Mom, Dad, two kids and a dog – is no longer as common as it once was. Additionally, life expectancy has increased. Because of these reasons, Multi-Generational House Plans are growing in popularity throughout the United States and Canada.

 

What is a multi-generational house plan? It is one home structure designed for multiple generations with separate living units. This arrangement provides privacy and independence for two or more generations all under one roof. With multi-generational house plans, the exterior looks like all the other houses in any neighborhood; it looks like a single-family home. The separate living units are not noticeable on the outside like they are with duplexes, townhouses and other multi-family designs. Instead, multi-generational house plans incorporate a separate living unit into the floor plan that provides private spaces for independent living while still being connected to the main house. Most of these units feature a private entry kitchenette, small living area, bedroom and bath. The laundry area and garage may be shared with the main house or they may be separate. While most multi-generational house plans incorporate the separate living unit on the main level of the home, it is important to note that sometimes the separate unit is located above the garage or in the basement of the home.

 

Who would benefit from a multi-generational house? Now days, no two families look the same. Instead of downsizing, some baby-boomers are trading  up for larger homes that will allow their aging parents or other elderly relatives to live with them, as well as, their adult children who have recently graduated from college and need a place to get on their feet while they begin their careers. Adult children and grandchildren are moving back home with to live with parents and grandparents due to financial situations. In other cases, grandparents are raising their grandkids. No matter what combination of multiple generations live under one roof, it is easy to understand how a multi-generational house plan can provide the living space everyone needs.

 

Are multi-generational house plans practical? Yes! They are practical for countless reasons. Consider the following examples, and you’ll see that a multi-generational house certainly has its advantages.

 

  1. Multi-generational house plans are cost effective in areas with a high cost of living such as California. In this situation, parents and their adult children can pool their incomes and finances to go farther. It provides an opportunity for the adults to live independently but together when they might otherwise be scraping up pennies to pay the rent or live in a lower income area or less desirable neighborhood. In cases like this, a multi-generational home is a financial solution.
  2. For baby boomers, a multi-generational house plan allows home owners to keep an eye on aging parents/relatives who are able to live independently, but sometimes need a little extra assistance. It offers peace of mind and a little extra security.
  3. In other instances, multi-generational houses plans deliver a great alternative to paying monthly fees charged by assisted living facilities. As more and more families try to figure out how add on to their homes to make room for Grandma or Grandpa or how to make ends meet while paying for assisted living for a loved one, the option of building a multi-generational house becomes a more feasible and affordable idea.
  4. Sometimes two-parent and single-parent families need assistance from Grandma and Grandpa when it comes to child care. Again, a multi-generational house is a viable solution. The grandparents can take care of the grandkids while the parent(s) are at work. In the evening and on weekends, the grandparents can retreat to their private suite. Additionally, the grandparents are able to participate in their grandchildren’s lives on a daily basis. They won’t miss birthdays, ball games, etc. This arrangement can develop a stronger bond between grandparents and grandchildren that might not otherwise be possible if the grandparents were living across town, in another city, etc.
  5. Some multi-generational house plans offer a separate living unit in the basement of the home or a small apartment above the garage. These units are ideal for college students and recent graduates who are trying to save money for their own home but need to get their careers started. Every now and then, the young adult might need guidance from parents or grandparents, but for the most part, he or she wants to live independently.
  6. Multi-generational houses are great for resale. As the “family unit” continues to evolve, more and more Americans will find themselves in a multi-generational household. When the time comes to down-size, your multi-generational house is sure to appeal to another multi-generational family.

 

For those currently living in a home with multiple generations of family members, a multi-generational house plan can change your life and your lifestyle. Allowing each generation of the family unit to have its own space will minimize friction, promote positive family experiences, and help to curb financial stress.

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Jan 11 2016

4 Things that Make Small House Plans Feel Larger

Small House Plan 010H-0003Homeowners are attracted to small homes for a variety of reasons. Some choose to build a small house plan because they are on a tight budget, others want to downsize from that five- bedroom, two-story home they bought when the kids were young, some live in urban areas where land is precious and lots are quite expensive, and others just prefer to live a simplistic lifestyle. Whatever the reason for building a small house plan, there are some features that will make it feel and live larger than its actual square footage. If you’re planning to build a small home, consider some of these elements to enhance its feel and livability. You’ll be making the most of your square footage while enjoying a spacious atmosphere.

 

  1. Choose a floor plan with an open layout. An open floor plan minimizes the use of walls in the main gathering spaces making each room or space look and feel larger. The lack of walls separating individual spaces helps everyone feel connected instead of creating a boxy floor plan where one room is cut off from the other. An open floor plan promotes flexibility. If you’re entertaining, your guests can relax on the sofa and chat with those eating at the table without having to move from one room to another.
  2. Look for tall ceilings. Consider a floor plan that offers volume ceilings in the living areas. Just like an open floor plan, tall ceilings eliminate the boxy feel sometimes found with small house plans. Instead they promote and open, airy atmosphere. From vaulted ceilings to two-story ceilings, the taller the ceiling, the more spacious your rooms will feel.
  3. Choose a floor plan with outdoor living space. When building a small house plan, outdoor living spaces can greatly enhance the spacious feel of the home by extending the main living areas outdoors. Floor plans with a screened porch, deck, patio or covered porch provide additional, usable space for gathering and relaxing. They are ideal for entertaining offering another place for guests to gather without making your small home feel crowded.
  4. Incorporate plenty of windows. Windows work wonders for small homes. Not only do they make your home feel not quite so confined by allowing a view of what is beyond the walls, but also, they allow natural light shine inside your home. Natural light promotes a bight and open feel while eliminating dark and shadowy corners. Just like volume ceilings, windows help eliminate the boxy feel sometimes found with small house plans. Try to include a few windows in every room of your home.

 

A small home doesn’t have to feel crowded or confined. With a few of these tricks, you can make your small house plan live large! Take some time to browse our collection of Small House Plans. We have plenty that offer open layouts, volume ceilings, outdoor living spaces and/or abundant windows.

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Dec 18 2015

Snow Shoveling Safety Tips – The House Plan Shop

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Category: Safety,Seasonal

Snow ShovelingWhile the physically fit may consider shoveling snow as just another workout, it can be problematic for others. Many people associate back problems and sore muscles with shoveling the driveway and sidewalk, but there are other risks as well. For example, heart attack rates are elevated during the winter months and these heart attacks are often the result of shoveling snow. When it snows this winter, follow these safety tips to maintain your health and avoid injury.

 

  • Avoid shoveling right after waking up in the morning. Slipped disc injuries are more likely to occur in the morning due to the build-up of fluid disc from lying down all night.
  • Be sure to stay hydrated while you work and continue drinking water after you’re done shoveling snow for the day.
  • Spend 5-10 minutes stretching before you head outdoors to shovel snow. This will help prevent sore muscles later.
  • Wear gloves, hat, etc. to cover your extremities. Also, wear layers of clothing and shed the layers when necessary to prevent overheating.
  • Wear sturdy boots with a rubber sole to prevent slipping and falling.
  • Take frequent breaks while you work. If you become fatigued, put down the shovel and go inside to rest.
  •  When possible, avoid lifting a snow-filled shovel. Instead, it is safer to push the snow off your driveway and sidewalks. If you must lift the snow, be sure to face the direction you are lifting and twist as little as possible.
  • Spray or rub your shovel with lubricant such as cooking spray or WD40 to help prevent snow from sticking to the shovel. The lighter the load, the better for your body.
  • Check with your doctor if you believe shoveling snow might present a health hazard, especially if you have a heart condition.

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Dec 02 2015

What does a Set of Stock House Plans Include?

BlueprintsIf you are considering building a new house, you have a couple of options when it comes to purchasing blueprints. You can choose a stock house plan like those found at www.thehouseplanshop.com or you can hire a design professional to draw a custom home plan. Many people who build new homes choose a pre-drawn stock house plans, but often wonder just what is included in a set of blueprints. Below is a list of items that are included in a typical set of construction drawings. Most stock house plans will include:

 

  1. A Coversheet – Usually the coversheet is an artist’s rendering of the finished home. It serves as a visual aid that represents the finished home. Generally, this page is not necessary for construction of the home, and some designers do not include a coversheet with their designs.
  2. Foundation Plan – The foundation plan is a detailed drawing of the foundation of the home. It provides necessary information about the foundation like the dimensions, location of support columns, thickness of the foundation walls, and floor joist sizes and spacing as well as other details and construction notes.
  3. Floor Plans – The floor plan page reflect the layout of the house and the arrangement of the rooms on each floor of the home. This page typically provides construction details such as room dimensions, wall sizes, door and window sizes and locations, notes about ceiling design and other details about layout and structural elements. Two-story homes and those with finished lower levels may have separate floor plan pages for each level of the home, or they may be found on the same page of the blueprint.
  4. Exterior Elevations – The exterior elevation page(s) provides views of all four sides of the home. These elevations reflect the exterior finish and trim of the home. They call out the materials used to finish the outside of the house such as siding, stucco, brick, stone, etc., and the elevations note the placement of these materials on the exterior of the home as well. Also, the exterior elevations will specify roofing materials and typically indicates roof pitches. Finally, the elevation page(s) will depict or call out decorative elements such as window shutters and porch columns. Sometimes window and door sizes are shown on this page as well.
  5. Interior Elevations – The interior elevations offer drawings and descriptive details specific to some of the built-in elements of the home such as handrails, moldings, fireplaces, built-in desks and bookshelves. Some interior elevations will include a cabinet layout as well.
  6. Simple Plumbing – The simple plumbing can either be found on the floor plan or on a separate page in the construction drawings. The simple plumbing will only reflect the locations of bathtubs, showers, toilets and sinks.
  7. Basic Electric – The basic electrical information will either be found on its own separate page or on the actual floor plan. It will simply reflect the suggested locations of outlets, fixtures and switches.
  8. Sections – The sections of a home plan may be found on a separate page in the blueprints or they may be found on various pages throughout the construction drawings. In general, the sections provide a view of the home that shows the composition of the foundation, exterior walls, interior walls, floors, roofs and stair details. The blueprint sections specify the rooflines, ceiling heights and the relationship between the floors of the home.
  9. Details – House plan details will either be found on a separate page of the blueprints or on various pages throughout the construction drawings. They provide necessary information about how smaller elements of the home should be constructed. Some examples include the design of the handrail and spindles or the moldings used throughout the home.

 

NOTE: Not all stock house plans include each element described here. The composition of a set of construction drawings varies by designer.

 

It is important to be aware that stock plans may not include everything you need to obtain building permits or pass building inspections. Sometimes it is necessary to hire a local design professional to add other information to the blueprints before you begin construction. Stock house plans will not include the following information:

 

Site map

Energy codes

Septic design

Truss layout

Finished electric

Finished plumbing

HVAC

Engineer’s or architect’s seal/stamp

 

Additionally, keep in mind that stock house plans are drawn to meet national building codes and are not guaranteed to meet all local building codes. Every state, province, city, county, municipality, etc., may have its own set of local building codes and requirements. Often, local building codes are influenced by geography and climate, and stock house plans may need to be adjusted to meet these codes. For example, a customer building a stock house plan in California will need to make adjustments to satisfy seismic codes, while a customer building the same house in the Rocky Mountains will need to make adjustments for snow load and insulation requirements. A local design professional will be able to add the necessary details to the blueprints in order to meet local building codes.

 

For more information about what is not included in stock house plans and additional details about local building codes, please review Everything You Need to Know about Stock House Plans in the resource section on our website.

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Nov 11 2015

3 More Ideas for Vacation Home Plans – The House Plan Shop

Vacation House Plan 053H-0029Take a look at our vacation plans! We have a variety of different types to suit any destination. For instance, if taking to the woods is your pleasure, check out our Vacation House Plan 053H-0029.  Not only does this rugged design look at home in the wilderness, it makes a great home away from home for those weekend getaways. There are plenty of windows from which to enjoy a woodsy view. To get even closer to nature, there’s a great porch to sit your rocking chair. Two bedrooms offer comfortable nights for sleeping away from home and the open floor
plan provides great spaces for gathering and dining together for family and friends.

 

Vacation Design 013H-0088 offers similar spaces for family togetherness but its octagonal shape with surrounding deck is more at home at the beach. With its open flo
or plan, the kitchen and great room provide convenience, simplicity and togetherness. Two bedrooms deliver necessary rest for enjoying days full of fun. While you enjoy the view from anywhere from the 360 degree deck, the kids will be wearing themselves out circling your fortress of solitude.

 


Lake House Plan 010H-0012
Vacation House Plan 010H-0012
encompasses the best of both worlds, land and water. Its rugged woodsy appearance would enhance a lakefront lot. It too offers great views of the outdoors with its wrap-around porch and sundeck. Creature comforts are provided for with an efficient kitchen, great room, three bedrooms and two full baths. Family and friends will enjoy the amenities at the end of a long day of fresh air and sunshine.

 

For more vacation home plans like these, please browse our entire Vacation Collection.

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