Jun 22 2015

Characteristics of Duplex House Plans

Duplex Plan 027M-0050While there are a wide variety of multi-family home plans, duplex house plans are a common choice for housing more than one family unit. Duplexes vary in size, style and the amenities they offer, but they do share some common characteristics.

  1. All duplex plans offer two living units. The floor plan for each unity may differ in size, shape and amenities like design 011M-0004, but the floor plan never offers more than two units.
  2. Living units are separated by walls such as design 025M-0081 or they are separated by floors like design 027M-0050.
  3. Each living unit offers its own private entrance.
  4. Duplex plans fit nicely in a neighborhood because they often look more like a home than an apartment building. Many use various rooflines, offset garages and other exterior features to make the structure appear cohesive rather than like to units that have been “stuck” together. Design 020M-0045 is a nice example.
  5. Duplex plans offer a more cost efficient way to house two families than building two separate single-family homes.

For a wider selection of plans that offer more than two living units, please browse our entire collection of multi-family home plans.

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May 27 2015

Recipe: Sweet and Not too Sour Pork

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Category: Recipes

Here’s one of those recipes that was altered from the original because for my family’s tastes, it was just too sour. Of course if your tastes lean in that sour direction increase the amount of vinegar and decrease the sugar. It may have originally had some veggies in it too. That would be the ones that got picked out and left on the plate. It also tastes great with chicken instead of pork.


Sweet and Not too Sour Pork

2 tbs cooking oilSweet-and-Sour-Pork

1 lb pork tenderloin cut into 1” cubes

½ cup dark corn syrup

¼ cup vinegar

¼ cup catsup

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup brown sugar

15 oz can of pineapple chunks drained

2 tbs cornstarch

2 tbs cold water


In a skillet, brown the pork in the oil. Then add the corn syrup, vinegar, catsup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and pineapple chunks. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Mix the cornstarch with the cold water and add to the pan stirring constantly until mixture thickens about 2 minutes. Serve over prepared rice.

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May 14 2015

Characteristics of Country House Plans

Country house plans come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but most have a few common and recognizable features. Consider the features of these country home designs.


047H-0016 Country House PlanCovered porch with rail – One of the most easily recognizable features of a country house plan is a welcoming covered front porch lined with a decorative porch rail like the one that dresses up the exterior of plan 047H-0016. A covered porch offers a relaxing space for conversation, sipping lemonade with neighbors, and a peaceful place to sit in your rocker and watch the sun set.


Metal roof – Nothing says country like a metal roof. Take a look at plan 063H-0208. A metal roof takes you back in time, while giving your country home plenty of character and charm.


054H-0010 Country House PlanWrap-around porch – For those who enjoy outdoor living, a country-style wrap-around porch provides plenty of outdoor space to read, visit with friends and neighbors and watch the kids play in the yard. A wrap-round porch extends the living areas outdoors and gives everyone room to relax. Just imagine your very own porch swing! Check out the wrap-around porch on plan 054H-0010.


Roofline parallel to the road – Many country house plans feature a roofline that runs parallel to the road. Design 021H-0134 offers a perfect example.


Country kitchen – Country home plans are known for their country kitchens or eat-in kitchens. When the dining space is situated within or adjoining to the kitchen, it easy to serve an entire family with little effort. Consider the step-saver layout of plan 006H-0074.


059H-0039 Country House PlanFarmhouse style – Speaking of going back in time, some country home plans exude farmhouse styling. While reminiscent of yesteryear, farmhouses deliver modern floor plans with many of today’s most requested features. Consider farmhouse plan 059H-0039.

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Apr 30 2015

3 Ideas for Vacation Home Plans

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Category: Vacation House Plans

Vacation House Plan, 052H-0088We offer a variety of vacation home plans suitable for different environments and a variety of vacation needs. For instance, take a look at plan 052H-0088. This plan is well suited for the beach or waterfront. Whether you are rolling out of bed, soaking in the tub, or washing the dinner dishes, this plan offers every room with a view, concluding with a nice porch on which to witness magnificent sunsets or sunrises. The simplicity of this plan meets creature comforts with an emphasis on location. It is the perfect getaway adventure for two, certainly meant for a romantic weekend every weekend.


If your destination is the water, but your romance has blossomed into a family, check out plan 047H-0077. This beach bungalow offers some great views too, including a screen porch for spending time outside but with protection from the elements and crawly things. It offers a little more space to accommodate friends and family. The open floor plan includes a kitchen with a cooking island, a dining room, and living room with a fireplace opened on three sides. How cozy is that? There are two full baths, a laundry room, three bedrooms for family and guests and parking for two vehicles, plus storage space for all of your beach accessories like boogie boards, lawn chairs, and beach balls.


But if your cup of tea tastes better in the wilderness, check out 012L-0020, a nifty log cabin with all the comforts of home plus a scenic deck. This open floor plan includes a kitchen with a snack bar, the dining area, and a great room with a corner fireplace. On the first floor there is a bedroom and upstairs are storage closets plus loft space to accommodate a multitude of kids in sleeping bags. Roughing it without it being too rough, wide open spaces for family togetherness, rustic and simple to reflect nature, but comfortable enough to provide home away from home.  Vacations should always be so good.


For more ideas, browse our vacation home plan collection.

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Apr 14 2015

Safety Tips for your Yard

Fenced PoolWith warmer weather on the way, many of us will be spending more time in our yards, buts sometimes we get so busy that it is hard to keep up on everything around the house especially around the yard. Don’t let an unexpected danger ruin your backyard fun this spring or summer. Take just a moment to review these tips for keeping your yard safe for everyone.


  1. Keep the grill 10 feet away from the house and other objects.
  2. Never leave an unattended fire in the fire pit or grill.
  3. Install a fence around pools and hot tubs.
  4. Make sure no one swims alone in pool.
  5. Wear protective goggles and ear protection when using outdoor machinery.
  6. Let the mower engine cool before refueling.
  7. Keep children inside when grass is being mowed.
  8. Put ladders away after use.
  9. Keep chemicals and garden tools away from children’s reach.
  10. Tighten and cover bolts on play equipment.
  11. Anchor trampolines and play sets.
  12. Seal wooden decks and porches.

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