The House Plan Shop Blog

Apr 24 2018

Garage Storage Ideas – The House Plan Shop

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Category: The Garage

Bike LiftWe count on unfinished spaces like the garage for storage, so utilizing all of the available room becomes essential in meeting storage needs. Sometimes the only alternative for storage is to look up. Most garages have unfinished space above the rafters. But, there are lots of plans and hardware available online and at the local hardware store to help you maximize other space in the garage as well. Building a loft may suit your needs or contact one of the many companies offering services to design and install storage systems. If you are interested in tackling it yourself, consider using Fleximounts storage accessories. For example, heavy gauge steel racks are available in five sizes and the height can be adjusted from 22” to 40”. The packaged solutions offered, guide you to choosing the products that best fit your space. A gallery of photos shows real life garages with storage solutions obtainable with the use of these products that also include wall shelves. Storage hooks are available that work with this system, so not only can you stow all of your holiday decorations off the floor and out of the way, but you can hang items like extension cords and lawn tools.


Bicycles can take up lots of floor space in your garage, but there is a multitude of bike racks to help solve this storage problem. When your head stops spinning at examining just how many choices are out there, here is a clever one for you to consider.  The Racor Pro Bike Lift allows you to store a bike overhead without the clumsy dance of turning it upside down and boosting it over your head. Just roll your bicycle into the garage, hook it up, and hoist it with the cord and pulley system. This lift will work with ceilings up to 14’ high and bikes up to 50 pounds, plus the price is less than $20.00. You also may want to check out the ladder lift manufactured by the same company.


If you have more than one person in your household participating in more than one sport, you already know the effort it takes to keep track of all the gear. Gym bags, bats, balls, shin guards, skates, helmets…Are they in your trunk?  No, that was emptied out for hauling groceries and stuff was tossed on top of the freezer or under the workbench. How about a locker system in the garage, for keeping track of these things? There are numerous websites offering a variety of lockers in different colors, sizes and materials. Consider a locker for each family member to encourage responsibility of keeping track of their own equipment. Also, nobody’s stuff has to touch anyone else’s stuff, definitely a plus with feuding children.


Whether you’re storing bikes, sporting equipment or something else in the garage, there is a storage solution for you!

This article brought to you by The HousePlanShop, LLC, the home of the best selling house plans from the best designers!

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Mar 26 2018

Choosing the Right Roofing Material – The House Plan Shop

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Category: Roofing

Roofing MaterialIf you are interested in exploring roofing material options, there are a number of choices to consider and a plethora of information available to help you choose the right material. Some things to reflect upon are of course, cost versus longevity, ease of upkeep, and naturally, how nicely your roof will blend with the exterior of your home. Your contractor can help guide you through these options:


Slate – Long lasting, like for a hundred years, and very durable, but heavy. You must have the proper truss strength to support this material.

Clay or Concrete tiles – Similar to slate, durable but heavy. Also like slate, upkeep is mainly defined by finding a talented and knowledgeable craftsman to replace broken tiles when needed. There is no denying the design element this material brings to a Sunbelt or Mediterranean house plan.

Metal – Long lasting. We aren’t talking about grandpa’s corrugated roof that directed water into the cistern, although we could. And we aren’t talking about copper, although we should as it is in a premium class of its own, and has been accused of perfection. New designs in metal roofing are attractive, energy efficient, fire resistant and mimic other materials. It must be installed by a trained professional. It blends nicely with most Country-style homes.

Wood – Wood shingles and shakes are durable and blend well with many home designs. However, be sure to check with building codes as they are not desirable in fire prone areas.

Asphalt/Composite – There is no shame is using the most affordable and popular of roofing materials, even though it must be replaced more often. Nowadays, warranties are available for over 35 years, some as high as 50 years when it comes to asphalt shingles. Choices of colors and styles are numerous. These materials are light, relatively less expensive than the other options.


For further information, contact the National Roofing Contractors Association, a nonprofit trade group that represents all aspects of the industry.

This article brought to you by The HousePlanShop, LLC, the home of the best selling house plans from the best designers!

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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.

This article brought to you by The HousePlanShop, LLC, the home of the best selling house plans from the best designers!

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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.

This article brought to you by The HousePlanShop, LLC, the home of the best selling house plans from the best designers!

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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.

This article brought to you by The HousePlanShop, LLC, the home of the best selling house plans from the best designers!

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