The A-frame Eagle Rock house plan is designed for a sloped view lot and provides opportunies to expand living space. The lower level features a 2 car garage along with plenty of unfinished area along with room for a future full bathroom. Up the stairs to the main level you are greeted with a rich window display in the v-shaped great room to take in all the view the outside has to offer. A wood stove is tucked into the corner of the great room, and a spiral staircase leads you to a vaulted loft.
The ranch-style Kensington house plan was designed for construction on a lot that slopes down at the rear, but it can easily be altered for a level site. The main difference plays out at the rear deck, which would be elevated over a downward slope, but at ground level otherwise.
Shingles fill the upper sections of three gables that add to the overall country feel ambiance. The Craftsman windows across the front facade include a row of small panes at the top of the front door. Slender wooden columns set on handsome stone veneer bases highlight the gabled porch entrance.
A living room with a fireplace fills the right side of the wide open great room. The dining room is open to the living room, and partially open to the kitchen across a work island rimmed with a curved eating bar. Sliding glass doors in the dining area open onto a railed and covered deck that is vaulted.
Standing at the kitchen sink you can keep an eye on the great room and deck, or gaze at the yard beyond. Counters line three sides of the kitchen. Storage is generous, running over and under the counters on two sides, as well as under the work island. The pantry fills one entire corner. Laundry appliances are nearby, in a pass-through utility room to the garage access.
Two bedrooms and a full bathroom are down a hallway to the right of the entry, while the owners' suite is down the other side. Owners' suite amenities include a walk-in closet, a bathroom with dual vanity, oversized shower, and private toilet. The deck access will be very appreciated if the owners install a hot tub out there.
This two story garage plan has two 10' wide by 10' tall garage doors and can house 2 cars. In the back a door separates the main garage from a powder room, storage room and stairs that lead to the attic. Continue through the hall another door will lead you to a vaulted greenhouse with a sink and workbench.
For many people, owning a big home with a spacious back yard in a neighborhood of similarly sized dwellings is still the ultimate symbol of achieving the “American Dream”. However, more attention is being given to the small house movement which started in the 90’s and has continued to grow, including the launch of a TV show, Tiny House Nation. With most of the country still crawling out of the recession and billions lost in the real estate crash, the idea of living just as well in a smaller home has great appeal to some.
In 2013, the median size of a new home was about 2500 square feet, inching its way back up toward pre-recession sizes after several years of decline. Therefore, it’s still the exception rather than the rule for homeowners to build smaller than their neighbors. To help support the concept of smaller home sizes, city planners are opening up zoning laws to encourage urban density on smaller in-fill lots. And, the cost of land has skyrocketed in populated urban areas, making it a necessity to find savings in square footage.
Rick McAlexander of Associated Designs in Eugene, Oregon frequently gets requests to design a home that lives large in less footage. He sees the trend toward smaller homes gaining in popularity. He has clients around the country in recreational or resort communities building a second home with a smaller footprint, but wanting top-quality workmanship. In addition, Rick says he also works with retirees wanting a downsized, simpler lifestyle in their primary home.
“Some of my clients want an intentionally well-designed home, but now they have less need for big spaces. They put their money in the quality of construction materials and custom amenities rather than the square footage. The result allows them to feel like they are living large in a smaller home,” says Rick.
Young couples also see the beauty - and cost savings - of a smaller first home with quality features. If the home incorporates an energy efficient floor plan and attention is given to good construction, it can be a great investment to live in, as well as sell when the family grows out of the space.
Any type of homeowner will find that a smaller footprint can feel large when it’s properly designed. For example, Associated Designs has a popular plan at 1500 square feet, the Glen Eden 50-017. This plan is an updated take on the Craftsman home, and is well suited for construction in both rural and suburban settings. It features eye-catching exterior design elements such as multiple gables, shake-textured siding, varied window styles, and stone entry columns which are capped by welcoming lights.
The house seems much more spacious than its 1500 square feet due to the richly glassed rooms and vaulted ceilings. The oversized steps at the front of the home feel grand as they lead to a set of French double doors which open into a roomy, vaulted screened porch. From the porch, two more sets of double doors open into the vaulted great room. The great room and porch combination extends the indoor space into the outdoors by over 300 square feet.
Flames in the fireplace at the rear of the home’s largest room serve as a warm, inviting focal point on chilly days and dark nights. Stacked shelves flank the fireplace. The room’s vaulted apex runs down the center of the room, lining up perfectly with the center of the fireplace lending a sense of spaciousness to the main living area. Counters and custom built-ins wrap around three sides of the kitchen, while the space they surround is roomy enough for a large, country-sized table.
People who prefer a smaller home understand the best return on their square foot investment is not in the bedrooms, but in the larger living area and kitchen. The Glen Eden home has one full bath, tucked efficiently between two typically-sized bedrooms that both open into a private alcove where the utilities and closet are also located. A third bedroom or office is situated next to a half bath for convenience. This efficient bedroom and bath design offers ample privacy for everyone in a small footprint. Overall, the Glen Eden 50-017 is designed to be livable, efficient, well-appointed and affordable.
The total budget for any new home is finally determined when choosing the type of flooring, countertops, cabinets, appliances, bath fixtures, ceiling fans, lighting and trim. Upgrade options for the external look of the home can include metal roofing for longevity and fire protection, durable cedar shingles, wood frame or casement windows, stone veneers and top quality outdoor lighting.
For a smaller home to work efficiently, owners take a serious look at built-ins and how they can conserve, making the best and most efficient use of available space. Bookcases and closet organizers are necessary for storage. Functional furniture can provide multiple uses, such as a large ottoman with underneath storage, instead of a coffee table. Or, a dining buffet at counter height for serving, with linens and china stored in cabinets below.
With the right floor plan, and attention to quality in construction and decor, a smaller house can offer an uncluttered and simpler life in a luxurious home.
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Family living comes naturally in the Heartwood's bright, airy and spacious kitchen and family room. A friendly wrap-around front porch welcomes visitors and just inside the door is a large room that could be an office, living room or just about anything else you can think of.
Entry and family room in this contemporary country home are vaulted and richly illuminated. Natural light spills into the entry through a sidelight and small arched dormer, while the back of the family room is more windows than wall. The wide-hearthed fireplace nestles in the angle created by a staircase that leads to the second floor.
A long peninsula eating bar serves as separation and interface between kitchen and family room. Standing at the kitchen sink, you can look across the eating bar into the family room, or lift your gaze to scan the deck, the bayed dining room, or the view beyond.
Other notable kitchen amenities include a pantry, large work island, built-in desk and sunny nook with sliding glass doors that open to a covered deck. It's mere steps to the utility room and three-car garage. The parking unit closest to the street could easily be outfitted as a work or hobby shop.
Double doors open into the Heartwood's vaulted owners’ suite, a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of family life. It has a bright bayed sitting area, a cozy fireplace and a luxurious bathroom complete with double vanity, naturally lit soaking tub, oversized shower, private toilet and large walk-in closet. Sliders open on a small covered deck.
Two more bedrooms, a two-section bathroom, and a deep skylit bonus room are upstairs.
Rambling, bright and spacious, the Jacksonville is a Florida-inspired home with a distinctively European flavor. Arches and stucco give it that sunny ambiance, while the entry columns, wrought iron handrails, stone veneer wainscoting and multi-paned windows are more continental.
Windows fill most of the rear wall in the two-story, barrel-vaulted living room at the core. A large home entertainment center is on one side, next to a fireplace. On the opposite side, double doors offer access to the partially covered patio, and a wide arched opening leads into the bright kitchen and nook.
Counters and cupboards wrap around three sides of the kitchen. A rounded work island adds more of both, plus an eating bar and prep sink. Triple sliders in the nook make patio dining a snap. Laundry appliances are nearby, close to a large walk-in pantry, small half-bath and direct access to the spacious four car garage.
Den and dining room are to the right and left of the dramatic two-story foyer, where stairs on the left lead up to the second floor. The elegant owners suite fills the rest of the right wing. In addition to its luxurious private bathroom, commodious walk-in closet, and sitting area, the suite has double doors that open onto a private, covered patio with plenty of room for a hot tub.
Three more bedrooms are upstairs in the Jacksonville, along with two full bathrooms and a vaulted recreation room. The recreation room features a fireplace, full service beverage bar along with an exercise room and full bath. Another stairway leads up from near the kitchen. A nostalgic claw foot tub is the focal point of the window-bright tub room linked to bedroom two. This wing links to a deep, multi-windowed bonus room over the garage. A balcony/loft connects the two upper wings.
The cedar shakes exterior of the McCarren give it a handcrafted look that blends well with a natural environment. In fact, this hexagonal, country-Craftsman-style house would be ideal for construction on a wooded lot with a beautiful view.
Built high on a mountain slope, or lower, by a lake, ocean or stream, this design offers its owners stunning vistas from almost anywhere in the home. A wide deck that wraps across the rear allows family and friends to move outdoors for a closer look, when the weather is inviting.
A vaulted hexagonal great room is at the core. Short wings extend off on two sides, then angle forward to partially encircle the covered entry porch.
Windows span across the back three sections of the hexagon, creating a room as bright as it is lofty. A spiral stairway at center leads up to a loft that caps three of the six sections. Hence, the kitchen, utility room and part of the living room have 9 foot high ceilings that are flat instead of vaulted. An inviting gas fireplace nestles into one corner.
An eating bar is the only other separation between the kitchen and great room. Besides its openness, this large kitchen features a huge pantry plus a generous amount of cupboards and counter space. Standing at the sink, you can look at the great room and deck, or appreciate nature's ongoing outdoor pageant of changes.
The view from the McCarren's owners' suite is as remarkable. This adult retreat has a sitting area, with a second fireplace. Bathroom luxuries include: a large walk-in closet, spa tub, dual vanity and oversized shower.
Selecting the right type of house plan is a big decision for homeowners, whether they are first-time owners or people looking for their second home. With the Internet readily available to most Americans, it isn't any wonder that people are selecting home plans online. The versatility of seeing how the house will look on the inside without traveling to see a display house gives people the perfect view of the interior as they compare home plan designs until they can select the right one for themselves and their families.
The year 2014 has shown some interesting trends in house plan designs. Check out the latest trends that people are adopting when wanting to build their custom dream home.
Open Floor Plans
Open floor plans still dominate the house plan design. People do not want to have a confined kitchen, living room or dining room space. They want to be able to see into all three spaces at once as the open flow allows for families to interact and mingle while doing other things in the home. Walls are being eliminated as spaces are becoming defined by how the furniture is set into these spaces.
Universal design, also known as flex space design, is a style where the house plans accommodate people while they age. As people are living longer, they want a house that can fit into their current needs no matter what age they are. Universal design elements include spaces that can change as a family grows older. A room may start out as a children's playroom for a young family, morph into a home office when the kids are in college as the spouses work on their careers, and then change to a craft room for elderly adults during their retirement years.
Owners' Suites are a must-have for most home plans. Yet during 2014, these suites are no longer located at the top of the house. Instead, this spacious bedroom is located on the first floor when incorporated in a universal design plan. Owners' suites have also increased in size as they have dressing tables, double sinks, walk-in showers and soaking tubs.
Outdoor Living Spaces
While people may be dreaming of their perfect homes, they are also keeping in mind that they don't want to always be cooped up indoors. Outdoor living spaces are taken into consideration when people are selecting house plans, as they want a space where they can have their outdoor deck, patio or porch with seating areas and outdoor kitchens.
This new two story Craftsman-style garage design can store up to 6 cars or a combination of cars, toys and trailers. The two outer garage doors are both 10' wide and 10' tall while the other two doors under the covered area are both 10' wide and 8' tall. Towards the back of the garage is a service area, laundry room and half bathroom. The u-shaped staircase leads to a vaulted recreation room and generous sized outside balcony.
With the power of the internet today’s home buyers have more choices than ever. Even with all of the design options available many people are still unable to find a predesigned house plan that fits all of their needs and lifestyle. For many a custom home design is the answer. As professional building designers we have helped thousands of clients create the home of their dreams.
A few years back, our clients Mr. & Mrs. U came to us to help them design a home to not only fit on their narrow, downhill sloping building lot but incorporate their ideas of a smaller home that would feel large. The Feng Shui concepts and built-in features were also very important to our clients.
Over the course of meetings, preliminary drawings, and a few emails we were able to deliver to Mr. & Mrs. U a home plan they were thrilled with.
We were delighted that they took the time to write a review on the popular home idea site Houzz. They wrote: "Rick McAlexander and Kelly Alvord are great house designers who know how to take the client's design and execute them into plans for obtaining permits from the planning department. In our case, this is Eugene, Oregon, but they work with clients nationwide. We have worked with them on multiple occasions, and each time they have delivered with on time, with complete, professional results. They are available throughout the building process for consultation and/or the fleshing out of necessary details. The photos here are of a single family residence that covers 1597 heat sq ft and 2081 sq ft including 2-car attached garage."
We are sharing with you the photos provided to us by the clients.