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27th Jun, 2016
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Traditional House Plan, Home Plan, Chivington 30-260

The traditional-style Chivington design offers an intriguing front facade with hipped roof lines with clipped ends and tall slender porch posts. This mid-sized home is well-designed to meet the needs of a busy modern family.

The entry and great room, offers a striking two-story ceiling which creates an expansive sense of volume. Entering, you pass double doors on the left that open into the living room. This bright space also has another door that leads to the powder room, stairs and eating nook.

Informal living spaces fill most of the rear, where the great room, nook and kitchen flow together. Wide windows, stacked two high, provide plenty of natural light. A two-sided direct vent gas fireplace offers minimal separation of space between the nook and great room area.

Ceiling height drops to eight feet in the nook and kitchen. Counters wrap around three sides, extending in a long peninsula that could function as an eating bar. A walk-in pantry boosts storage space, and wide sliders in the bayed nook leads to the patio.

Laundry appliances are close at hand, in a large utility room outfitted with cabinets, deep sink and a wide counter. Connected to the garage as well as the kitchen, this space also serves as a mud room.

Amenities in the master suite include: a large walk-in closet, two sinks, a soaking tub, and separately enclosed shower and toilet. Three more bedrooms and a bathroom are upstairs.

20th Jun, 2016
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Ranch Home Plan, Fern View 30-766

Slender posts provide graceful accents to the front porch that spans the front of the Fern View, a contomporary ranch-style house plan.

A mostly rectangular footprint this home is economical to build, heat and maintain. This home suites well for young families as a starter home or empty nesters looking to downsize and have a home that is simpler to maintain. This home can be furnished with three bedrooms, or have two bedrooms and a study/home office, whichever suits.

Light flows into the vaulted entry though a sidelight along with a row of panes near the top of the door. A coat closet is on the left, just before the entry hall angles off in that direction. Double doors open into a bright room that could be a bedroom, home office or study.

Continue to the left leads you to the kitchen; going straight ahead takes you to the vaulted great room, after passing the bedroom and bathroom on the right. 

Light spills into the great room through wide windows that fill most of the rear wall, plus the slender windows flanking the gas fireplace. Sliding glass doors in the dining area open onto a wide deck.

Standing at the kitchen sink, you can look out across the raised eating bar into the great room,  or keep your eye on the patio. All appliances are built in, and a roomy walk-in pantry fills one corner. Laundry appliances are right around the corner in the pass-through utility room, and provides accesses the garage.

The owners' suite is luxurious boasting a spa tub, oversized shower and dual lav.

13th Jun, 2016
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Prairie Style House Plan, Home Plan, Crownpoint 30-790

Frank Lloyd Wright is the acknowledged master of the Prairie house, one of the few indigenous American styles. The Crownpoint is a contemporary Prairie-style home design that features low-pitched roof lines, wide eaves, and bold squared porch support columns.

Upon entering the home, you pass double doors that lead into what could be a used as a dining room, parlor, or home office. A conveniently located powder room is nearby, bedrooms are to the left, and the great room is ahead and slightly to the right.

The great room at the heart of the home is open to the kitchen and nook as well. The G-shaped kitchen, an array of counters, cupboards, and built-in appliances wrap around all four sides. From at or near the kitchen sink, informal meals and snacks to family and friends seated along the raised eating bar, enjoy the gas fireplace, or keep track of activities on the partially covered patio.

A good-sized utility room is around the corner, along with access to a two-car garage. The bench by the door is designed for shucking off footwear, which can then be stowed out of sight beneath the seat. A shelved storage closet lines the hallway to a guest suite.

In the spacious owners' suite, features include a walk-in shower, private toilet, two vanities, a deep walk-in closet, and direct patio access. The other two bedrooms share a bathroom that has a combination tub and shower.

7th Jun, 2016
Blog, Under Construction

It's been awhile since I have posted the progress of the new house and to say I'm excited about it is an understatement though it feels rather surreal to me at times.

Here is the entry or Porte corchere (carport). It's stately and solid looking.

The underside is stunning. I LOVE IT!

Early on I touched on superstitions. The discovery of a nesting robin in essentially our great room door way had me doing a bit more research for the meaning. A nest with eggs indicates a blest household, or the creation of happy household promises. I have to say, I like this a lot. 

The roof is felted. As soon as a few vents and our wood stove chiminey are in place, the metal roofing can go on.

Looking in from the back porch.

The before photo of my future kitchen! Looking forward to cooking and entertaining here. We have some fun things planned here. Shaker style hickory cabinets, a Thermador cook top, a red painted island with copper vegetable sink, and a 5 drawer Kitchen Aid refrigerator. I love the light we found to hang over the island! This will be the kitchen of my dreams! 

Coming soon, I'll show you some of the selections we've made for the house!

6th Jun, 2016
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Chalet House Plan, Home Plan, Barrett 30-773

This estate-size contemporary Chalet house plan a treat for the eye. King posts and gently curved struts highlight the Barrett's four front-facing gables, while shingles and stone veneer wrap around the exterior. Diamond-shaped and Craftsman-style windows bring abundant light inside.

Arrays of slender posts flank the grand entry portico. Sidelights and a wide transom wrap around the front door. Inside, closets line the vaulted entry that leads directly into an large hexagonal great room.

Beams outline the six pie-shaped ceiling panels that meet at a central peak. The three rear walls are richly windowed, and the center section there is almost all glass. The lower windows are crowned by two more levels of gridded glass that highlight the triangular apex.

A fireplace is in the right rear section living room; the dining area is in the left section. Both offer access to larege decks. A conversation bar rims the work island in the kitchen that is partly open to the dining area. A walk-in pantry fills one corner.

Bedroom suites are in the wings on both sides of the central hexagon. A powder room along the hallway to the guest suite is available for general use. The large utility room further along that hallway also serves as a pass-through to the side entry three-car garage. Luxury features abound in the spacious owners' suite that fills the left side.

A bunk room and another bedroom are in the daylight basement below, to the left of a huge recreation room that accesses covered patios on three sides. The roomy workshop on this level has double door access to the outside.

1st Jun, 2016
Articles, Blog

At long last, after hours of searching online, the home design that you love is in your hands. You’ve made your choice and are ready to take the design from paper to brick and mortar… almost.

While the design has all the important pieces, there are some elements that you want to adjust, change and add to it so that it more perfectly matches your lifestyle and family needs. In many cases, the design is great but the layout isn’t quite what you were hoping. Maybe you are thinking of expanding your family in the future, and that one small bedroom/nursery should be closer to the master bedroom.

Country House Plan, Home Plan, Nottingham 30-965
Nottingham 30-965

At first glance, it would seem the next step is to talk to a contractor, but in actuality, that depends on the level of customization and design needs.

“If the plan online meets all the homeowner’s expectations, the next step would naturally be to seek out a contractor,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs. “But if the design changes are specific and aesthetic in nature, a professional designer can craft those modifications better.”

A professional designer, therefore, is where you go if you had your heart set on a large, country-style kitchen or a larger storage area in the garage.

Choosing a designer starts with experience. A professional designer with the right experience can make all the difference in modifying the layout and feel of your home. It’s also important that you are able to communicate well with the designer. Going around in circles about an idea and never getting to the right point is not efficient or fun.

“Personality should also be considered,” said McAlexander. “It’s important that you and the designer are compatible, which is crucial to communicating the design wishes and desires.”

In the end, a designer becomes a friendly ear, a sounding board, a partner on the road to building your home. You shouldn’t be looking for someone who just follows your instructions without offering advice or presenting options. A designer brings artistic flair and a wealth of ideas, and with the right collaborative spirit, the changes you want won’t seem so far-fetched.

At each meeting with the designer, your design changes will be continuously altered and refined until it’s exactly what you want. Each room will be kept to scale so that the basic layout still remains consistent. But, during those conversations, it’ll become apparent that part of your idea goes against building ordinances for the area. For that reason, it is to your advantage to find a designer that’s located where you’re hoping to live.

“A designer who is near to your future home site will be more familiar with the building rules and regulations for that area,” said McAlexander.

This does not mean that you shouldn’t reach out to the original designer of the home plan. Even though you bought your design online after hours of searching and may not know exactly where the designer is from, he or she will know the design in and out and will be the person best equipped to make any major customizations. For instance, if you purchased the design from a large website, ask if the person assisting you is the original designer. If not, ferret out whether they can assist you correctly.

“Keep looking for someone else to help you with those modifications,” said McAlexander. “Because with a designer at your back, guiding you through each step, your custom dream home will be that much closer to a reality.”

Finding a home design that works with your needs and lifestyle doesn’t mean it can’t be modified or refined. An experienced designer with whom you can collaborate easily and who is able to give you effective advice will help you make those changes. You’ll be that much closer to building the home of your dreams. 

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