The House Plan Shop Blog

Jan 30 2018

Choosing a Kitchen Counter Top – The House Plan Shop

Counter Top StylesChoosing the right kitchen counter top can be daunting task due to the variety of patterns, colors, and materials that are available. Who can blame you if you decide to go with more than one kind of counter top? Today’s kitchens with islands, peninsulas, snack bars, planning desks, etc., present a variety of surfaces to cover. The list below covers some of the more common types of kitchen counter tops. Take some time to review the list before you decide which type is right for you and your lifestyle.

Plastic Laminate – Probably the most cost-effective choice especially if you like to change things up frequently. It is available in hundreds of colors and patterns, and it is as durable as it is attractive.

Tile – A multitude of choices truly makes it easy to come up with a unique look for your kitchen. However, although tiles provide a hard surface they can be cracked. The good news is, if you save some a few extra tiles when the job is complete, the whole countertop doesn’t have to be replaced if one tile cracks. Grout lines, even though sealed, can become stained with time, so it is necessary to be careful when placing food and other items on the counter.

Natural Stone – Different types of stone require different maintenance. Some are sealed with a sealer that lasts for years. Others must be treated with oil several times a year. Natural and beautiful, stone provides fewer options for color and pattern as manmade materials do, and it is more expensive. Marble is practically maintenance free, but like all stone, it is heavy and must be supported properly.

Engineered Stone – A composite of quartz, this material is harder than stone and doesn’t have to be sealed.

Solid Surface – This is a manufactured material of acrylic, polyester or a combination of the two.  It is renewable and repairable, as well as, stain and scratch resistant. Best of all, it comes in a large variety of patterns and colors.

Concrete – Resembling stone, concrete is scratch and heat resistant but must be sealed regularly. It is available in many colors but takes weeks of curing before it is ready for installation.

Stainless Steel – Heat and stain resistant, stainless can still be dented or scratched. It blends well with modern and contemporary décor so well, it cannot be denied.

Glass – Also a winner for the modern kitchen, glass is stain, scratch and heat resistant.

When selecting a counter top, don’t be afraid to compare prices on different countertop surfaces or research your top choices further with the provider.

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Dec 19 2017

Why Choose The House Plan Shop?

Once you have made the awesome decision to build a new home, it is time to choose a house plan. The HousePlanShop is a premier house plan provider offering a multitude of designs created by home plan designers and architects from all over the USA and Canada. Utilize the advanced search to narrow your house plan choices by architectural style, square footage, number of levels, and/or number bedrooms and bathrooms you desire. Save your favorites and come back later for further comparison and consideration. Some designs even include photos of completed homes to help visualize your very new house.


Spend as much time as you want contemplating and musing over hundreds of plans, all from the comfort of your home computer.  Available blueprint packages and prices are listed on each respective house plan page. Should you find a design you like but it’s not quite perfect, submit a modification request for a free quote to modify the plan to suit your needs. If you prefer to start from scratch, a custom design service is available.


Even if you are already settled in your forever home, The HousePlanShop has much to offer. Consider designs for a vacation home, whether the destination is the mountains or the sea. Rental property provides additional income and this website offers a variety of duplexes and multi-family plans.


Please take some time to browse the designs at and take advantage of its many treasures.

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Nov 20 2017

Preparing Your Home for Winter – The House Plan Shop

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Category: Seasonal

Snow ShovelFirst thing to do?  Why make a list, of course. Psychologists have determined that making a list relieves stress as it allows one to focus on the tasks at hand. A list will allow you to prioritize and delegate responsibilities. Plus, it just feels good when you get to check off completed items. Here are some things to consider for your list.


Cover or Store – Protect your outdoor accessories and equipment like lawn furniture, grill, pool, hoses, air conditioner, lawn equipment, bicycles and toys. Don’t forget to turn the water off to outside spigots. Remove window fans and lower the storm windows.


Clean or Fix – Check out window caulking, gutters, downspouts, and chimney. Make sure your heating system is in order and reprogram thermostats and dusk to dawn lights if necessary.  Service the snow blower and emergency generator.


Collect or Purchase – Locate or replace snow shovels, ice scrapers, ice melt, hats, boots, and gloves. Stock up on emergency supplies like flashlights and batteries, candles, blankets and remember wood for the fireplace.


Once you have completed your checklist, snuggle in and enjoy the holidays or a long winter’s nap or you can begin to ponder and organize a list to get ready for spring.


Have a safe and happy holiday season with these helpful tips.

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Oct 30 2017

Coastal or Rustic? Vacation House Plans

While many enjoy vacationing at the beach, others prefer a relaxing stay in the mountains or near a lake. Still others, enjoy spending their vacation in a quaint little town or the quiet country side. No matter where you like to vacation, we have a house plan that will fit your desired setting. Our vacation house plans are available in a variety of styles and are typically no larger than 1500 square feet. The floor plans offer the comforts of home in compact and efficient fashion allowing you to enjoy your vacation rather than spending your free time taking care of home maintenance. Below are two vacation house plans that will get your started on your search for the perfect vacation house plan that will fit your lifestyle and preferences.


Vacation House Plan 052H-0105052H-0105: Who wouldn’t enjoy home away from home when it includes the ocean? This beach house plan is built on pilings and has much to offer from stowing beach gear underneath to stepping out onto the top floor watch deck to check the weather or enjoy the sunset. A covered back porch provides room to sit and enjoy the sound of the waves while the kids build sand castles. Meals are easily prepared in an efficient kitchen and enjoyed at the island snack bar.   Two bedrooms, one a master suite on the top floor, two full baths, a laundry room, closets and walk-in pantry round out the plan to make your vacation comfortable and relaxing.


Vacation House Plan 062G-0089062H-0089: Vacation house plans can deliver more than just the comforts of home. Take a look at this cabin and how well this plan works on a sloping lot. It is ideal for a mountain side, or lakefront property. The floor plan delivers all the amenities that one needs to enjoy their vacation like a kitchen, full bath, bedroom, family room, and breakfast nook. An optional basement plan expands the living space to include another bedroom and bath plus a den with wet bar. The aesthetics of this comfortable cabin can’t be overlooked. Check out the family room with its spacious vaulted ceiling and wall of beautiful windows sharing the landscape with its occupants. Cleverly designed to create a covered patio below, the wrap-around deck provides an even closer opportunity to enjoy nature’s contributions.


If you’re looking for a rustic vacation home, a coastal design or something in between, our collection of vacation house plans will have something to please you.

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Oct 05 2017

Superb Mediterranean and Sunbelt House Plans – The House Plan Shop

Do you like Florida-style house plans? Consider a Mediterranean house plan or a Sunbelt Home plan. These thoughtfully designed house plans offer all the features you love like open floor plans, tall ceilings, decorative details, and practical elements like a kitchen snack bar and a large, master walk-in closet. The three plans below are just a sampling of the Mediterranean and Sunbelt house plans we offer. Take some time to review these plans or continue your search by viewing our entire collection of Mediterranean house plans or Sunbelt home plans.


Mediterranean House Plan 027H-0379027H-0379: The multi-material exterior intensifies the fresh, up-to-date design of this Mediterranean house plan. Its open floor plan provides the convenience of everyday living, all on one level. Enjoy meals in the dining room, breakfast nook or at the kitchen island snack bar. Gather around the living room fireplace or catch the game on the television in the family room. Delight in the outdoors on the comfortable screen porch. Mom and Dad are taken care of in the master bedroom featuring two walk-in closets and a master bath with separate tub and shower, twin sinks, and a compartmented toilet. On the other side of the house, the children’s rooms share a Jack and Jill bath with two sinks. A two-car garage protects the family vehicles with space for the lawnmower and lawn tools.


Mediterranean House Plan 037H-0137037H-0137: Imagine coming home to this incredible dwelling with its hint of tropical living, and its definite abundance of amenities. Pulling into the motor court there is a choice of a garage on each side. Inside you will find an open floor plan with a plush living space full of interesting angles all around, and special ceiling treatments above. The sumptuous master suite contains the mother of all walk-in closets with a tremendous capacity to hold an extensive wardrobe. Two secondary bedrooms both have full baths, one of which doubles as the pool bath. Even with its lavish display of interior space, the focus turns to the outside. Enter the covered lanai through double doors from three different vantage points and enjoy. An outside kitchen provides sustenance for family and guests as they delight in their open-air freedom.


Sunbelt House Plan 070H-0009070H-0009: Though small in stature, this Sunbelt house plan begins with a most intriguing covered front porch whose front door is at a jaunty angle next to a bay window. Enter the foyer and notice the room to the left. It can be utilized either as a bedroom or a study/home office depending on your needs. Pass another bedroom on the right and proceed directly to the combined dining and living areas. This open floor plan offers all the necessary living spaces in a most direct and efficient way. Rounding out the plan is a master bedroom with a walk-in closet, a laundry room, and a two-car garage. But wait, there’s more. A covered lanai presents a most comfortable way to enjoy the outdoors. Carefully designed home has lots to offer while fitting a narrow lot.

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