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29th May, 2014
Blog, New Home Plans

Country House Plan, Duplex Plan, Kennewick 60-037

Front gables and standard railed front porches provide a country flavor to this updated duplex plan. All the Kennewick’s three-bedroom units has more living space than you may assume, which becomes noticeable as soon as you move inside. Shared walls between the two models are doubly dense, to increase privacy.

Sun light spills into the entry through a slim window next to the entrance. A bench with a strip of hooks above nestles to the entry alcove. From there, one step gives you in to a wideopen space that stretches easily in the existing room’s front window to the kitchen at the rear. A flush eating bar rims the peninsular counter that partly separates your kitchen.

More lighting washes into this large gathering space by way of a wide window in front, and also a triplet of smaller panes set at the top of the living room wall, and extensive windows in the dining area. Counters and appliances wrap around three sides of the step-efficient kitchen. A pantry is on the fourth side.

Sliding glass doors in the rear of your kitchen offer use of a covered patio, while the window in front of your kitchen sink offers a view to the rear. A bathroom is right around the corner, across from the utility room and near a door to the storage. This is most appreciated when unloading items at night or in inclement weather.

Three bedrooms and two additional bathrooms are upstairs in each the Kennewick’s units. The owners’ suite has a private toilet and a wide window that overlooks the street. Its closet spans one whole wall. Secondary rooms share another bathroom, with a linen closet as well as a combination bathtub and shower.

27th May, 2014
Blog, New Home Plans

Ranch House Plan, Vacation Home Plan, Anacortes 30-936

Lines that are simple and clean create the almost symmetrical, ranch house plan the Anacortes a refreshing treat for your eyes, inside and out. Its looks is enhanced by an intriguing juxtaposition of v-shaped struts fronting a wide A-frame entry gable.

One large vaulted gathering room fills the home's heart. Some could even find it breath-taking, stepping into this house through the mirror image atrium doors. Ceilings slope up from the sides to a lofty apex that links the A-framed windows at the front to their reflective twins at the rear of the home.

At the front, a wood-burning fireplace nestles into one corner of the great room. Kitchen and dining area are at the rear, near sliding glass doors that provide access to the vaulted covered patio. Natural light washes in through wide windows in both the kitchen and dining area.

Kitchen cupboard and counter space is liberally available. Friends and family will appreciate the lengthy, multi-angled work island, that will be rimmed by a conversation/eating bar that bounds the kitchen. Stools ranged along it will function as the most popular seats in the house. Cooks involved in food generation certainly are a guaranteed draw.

Utilities, a roomy pantry and a small bathroom are in the wing to the left of the kitchen. This area also serves as being a pass-through link to the 2-car garage, which making it safe and comfortable to unload groceries at night or in inclement weather.

Three bedrooms fill the Anacortes’ right wing. Owners’ suite features include a huge walk-in closet and a two-section bathroom with a dual vanity. The toilet and shower can be fully enclosed for privacy and steam containment. Two atrium doors offer access to a concrete walkway that wraps around to the back.


27th May, 2014
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Shingle Style House Plan, Craftsman House Plan, Ranch House Plan, Home Plan Glenhaven 30-927

Shingle siding, Craftsman-style windows and stone veneer column supports a comfortable, natural experience of the modern Shingle-style Glenhaven house plan. Inside this reasonably compact house, large expanses of glass brighten the vaulted family gathering spaces that flow together at the rear.

Entering via the porch that is covered, you move right into a hallway leading straight ahead for the expansive vaulted area. Along the way, you pass double doors on the right that open to th den. Its place makes it perfect for a property office. This room could also be outfitted as a guest room, another bedroom, art studio, exercise room, or whatever suits.

Two closely identical rooms and a bathroom are for the left of the entry hallway. One has a front window; the other has a side window.

The vaulted ceiling in the living/dining area slopes up from the entry hall, then down at the rear. A gas fireplace nestles into one back corner. On the other side of the room, a peninsular eating bar ties the kitchen. Sliding glass doors in the dining area access a partially covered patio flanked by slender posts. If desired, the covered area could be screened.

A spacious walk in pantry fills one corner of the step-efficient kitchen. Standing in the double sink, kitchen workers can peer over to the patio at the rear yard, or check the gathering spaces to keep track on activities.

The Glenhaven’s owners’ suite is down a passageway to the right of the entry hall, just past the coat den and coat closet. The suites amenities include a large walk in closet and a two-section bathroom with a dual vanity.  A storage closet along with a utility room links the garage and are accessed via the owners' suite hallway.

19th May, 2014
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Country House Plan, Home Plan, Marion 30-174

Columns support the Marion's lavishly windowed front porch, creating an overall impression of warmth and understated refinement in this country house plan. Shutters and a plant shelf add to the charm.

This large two-story home with side-entry garage is designed to fit on a narrow corner lot, but the garage could be modified easily to open to the front.

Entering, you step into a two-story foyer, brightened by a gabled dormer and two skylights. Plants thrive on the high shelves near the front entry.

In the living room, high windows on both sides of the fireplace cap built-in shelves, useful for objets d'art, displaying photos, books, you name it.

Kitchen, eating nook and family room are all together, one function flowing naturally into another. This large area is richly glassed along the back. The French door opens onto a breezeway and covered patio supported by more columns.

A work island with built-in range and overhead pot rack is at the center of the spacious kitchen. Counters wrap around three sides. Other features include a walk-in pantry, large appliance center,  prep sink, and built-in desk with storage shelves. The dining room and a large utility room are right across the hall.

Amenities in the well-appointed owners' suite include two large walk-in closets, double vanity, private toilet, deep soaking tub, can custom walk-in shower.

On the Marion's upper level, skylights brighten a library that overlooks the entry. Dormer windows add charm to mirrored bedrooms. The two large unfinished attic spaces could be left as storage, become more bedrooms, or be put to different uses.

15th May, 2014
Blog, New Home Plans

Garage with Apartment, Garage with Living, 2 Story Garage Plan, 2 Car Garage, Garage Plan 20-119

Garage Plan 20-119

This Craftsman 2 car garage plan has two 10' wide and 8' high garage doors. Behind the garage is  a generously sized hobby room with stairs that lead to the apartment on the second floor. At the top of the stairs is small landing that and a door that leads to the vaulted kitchen with a washer and dryer tucked to the right along with space for a small refrigerator. The vaulted great room features a fireplace and a set of double doors that lead to the balcony. Also upstairs is a vaulted office and a bedroom along with a full bathroom which includes a soaking tub.

12th May, 2014
Blog, House Plan of the Week

European House Plan, Home Plan, Sausalito 30-521

It's simple to imagine arriving upon the Sausalito while meandering through the French countryside in this European style house plan. That decorative iron railing exudes Frenchness, while the shutters, stone veneer, porch posts, and multipaned windows add country charm. Arched openings lead into a large three-car garage with added depth within the single bay.

Everyday family living and special events take place in the large, window-bright gathering space on the ground floor. Kitchen, dining and family rooms flow together, linked by a wide arch. Slim windows flank a gas fireplace that creates a cheerful focal point on the right side; dining and kitchen are on the left.

Windows fill most of the rear wall. Inside the dining area, one of two door-high windows opens onto a partially covered patio. Counters wrap around three sides of the kitchen, and more workspace is available on the work island.A raised eating bar runs across the front, while a built-in cook top is seated on the opposite side. The step-in pantry is exceptionally wide.

In addition to the bathroom, two more areas fill out this floor: an office, a study, just inside the entry, and an office/den right off the kitchen. Either, of course, could be put to other uses.

On the second-floor, a balcony overlooks the dramatic, two-story foyer. Additionally, it links the owners' suite on the right with secondary bedrooms, utility room, and a large bonus room on the left. The bonus rooms large walk-in closet offers attic access.

The Sausalito's owners' suite features a substantial walk-in closet, and also a smaller one opposite. The owners bathroom has a dual vanity, private toilet and an oversized walk-in shower with a built-in seat. Secondary bedrooms share a two-section bathroom.

5th May, 2014
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Cottage House Plan, Victorian House Plan, Langston 42-027

If the Langston looks magical to you, you’re not alone. The steep roof and gingerbread trim on this Victorian cottage evokes thoughts of fairytales.

This cottage home offers more than 1500 sq. ft. of living area on three levels, although its presence is small. The dining area, an expansive vaulted living room and kitchen are around the main floor. The owners’ suite is upstairs, along with a large storage area and a wide balcony overlooking the living room. The utility room is in the basement, which support another bedroom.

Diamond-shaped gridding accents the arched window in the front door. A slender, likewise gridded window nestles under a small street-facing gable. This tiny gable echoes the attention-getting two-story A-shaped gable next to it.

That magical fairy tale feeling continues inside. The family room is vaulted towards the second floor ceiling. To the left, day light washes in via a two-story collection of multipaned windows topped by mirror-image quarter rounds. More light beams in through the gridded glass inside the small front gable. A plant shelf below it takes advantage of the light.

Flames in the masonry fireplace serve as a cozy center point when the sky dims and darkens. With the exception of the pass-through in front of its sink, the kitchen is a separate space. An arched opening links it into a dining area with a windowed bench alcove. Basement stairs are off of the kitchen, while stairs to the second floor angle up behind the fireplace.

Upstairs, the owners’ bedroom is expanded by a window bay crowned by a half-round and creates a cozy window seat. Inner shutters can be opened or closed, allowing the Langston’s owners to overlook their living room, or opt for privacy.

1st May, 2014
Articles, Blog

Urban Village, Narrow Lot House Plans

It was no surprise to seasoned home builders when the Census Bureau reported in March a newer trend of people moving closer to the city and away from the suburbs. Rick McAlexander of Associated Designs in Eugene, Oregon has worked with hundreds of builders over the years to design houses for all types of neighborhoods. But, when Dane Butler of Future B Homes, also in Eugene, approached Rick about designing a series of single family homes for a growing, mixed-use development close to the urban core, Rick jumped right in. Rick has a passion for density housing, close to the city, and was happy to create his first collection of urban styled house plans, specifically created for a planned village development.

Dane Butler, president of Future B Homes, knew his urban village units needed a fresh concept in order to offer contemporary styled homes that most people could afford and realistically enjoy living in. “These kinds of homes should actually cost less to take care of with lower utility bills and less maintenance.”, Dane says.  

After months of collaboration, Future B Homes began building a series of small footprint homes in a local development called Crescent Village. Rick created house plans for this project that have a north and south orientation. However, he situated the windows and patios on the home’s south side, which faces the neighbor’s adjacent exterior wall. This allows natural light to stream in throughout the home while offering privacy for each homeowner. After experiencing enthusiastic homeowner demand, Future B Homes has now built a total of 14 village style units out of a planned 26 for the mixed-use neighborhood.

The unique idea of an ‘urban floor plan’ attracts two types of clients, but for different reasons, according to Rick. He says some clients are keenly interested in living in a home with a smaller footprint. Other clients are driven primarily by economic benefits, because a smaller lot leads to lower development and construction costs, and lower maintenance bills. “Our clients get the best of both worlds with this plan”, says Rick, “whether the person is environmentally driven or conscious of cost”.

The concept of a planned urban village is not new. There are hundreds of examples of older, high-density neighborhoods in larger cities, like San Francisco and Seattle, or on the east coast in Boston and New York City. Even Charleston and New Orleans have long traditions of narrow homes built close to the street, right in the city. These types of dense neighborhoods were known to be highly livable during their heyday when individuals worked, shopped and socialized, within blocks of their home.

While Rick says he’s inspired by the lifestyles of yesteryear, fast forward about five decades and he’s incorporated significant differences in today’s urban house plan. First and foremost, homes are not attached by a shared wall. These plans offer more privacy, natural light and some amount of defined yard space. And, the homes are energy efficient and include amenities that are considered must-haves in today’s lifestyle. According to Dane, “With these plans, people find they have all the space and features they need with no wasted square footage.”

For example, Associated Designs has the ‘Parkview Plan 30-905’, where the house is only twenty-six feet wide and almost sixty feet long. The home is designed with an inviting entry court close to the street that could include a fenced privacy screen. A person can approach the home and take a right into the front door or turn left and head along the exterior wall toward an open or enclosed patio.

The first floor of this plan offers a contemporary, open kitchen with a great room layout, plus a master bedroom that includes a luxury bath and walk-in closet. The second floor accommodates three good-sized bedrooms and a two-door, shared bath with double sink. Add a 300 square-foot bonus room over the garage and the space lives large. The total living area is right under 2200 square feet with a footprint at just about 1500 square feet. Lot lines are approximately 3.5 feet from the exterior walls.

A developer doesn’t have to build a whole new village to utilize this style of housing. It works just as well when placed within undeveloped lots in older neighborhoods. It’s not uncommon in most cities to see well established neighborhoods from the turn-of-the-century, or mid-century, to include empty lots or houses in serious disrepair. City planners and developers both recognize the potential to convert weedy tracts into housing for people wanting to live closer to the city’s core. And, astute developers can turn several contiguous residential lots into a coordinated group of urban concept houses, each with a different plan but similar in styling. Dane notes that people who choose an urban village house tend to feel comfortable spending more time outdoors, enjoying a sense of community and neighbors.

There is a definite trend, says Rick, where people want to move closer to the city and cut their commute times while increasing access to urban amenities, city events and al fresco cafes. It’s about affordable and quality living, while working and playing in the same neighborhood – just like the old days, only better.

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