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1st Sep, 2015
Articles, Blog

Baby boomers and generation Xers have had their time to dominate the world of home ownership and home design and now it is the millennials who are having a say in the way of home evolution. They have their own needs, desires and concerns that are getting to the core of what it means to be a homeowner in the 21st century. Associated Designs, a residential home design company, offers innovative home planning and design options that cater to the changing times and facets of home ownership.

Millennials and Home Design

The first thing to consider when designing or planning a home for a millennial is the integration of technology. This up and coming home buying market are the primary consumers of technology and they are looking for their homes to keep up with the times. “Smart” homes that integrate tablets, phones, audio systems, LED lighting and security features are at the forefront of this generation’s home preferences.

Next up from technology, is home efficiency. Efficiency in all types from the homes energy and water consumption to its size and layout, millennials are looking to maximize their time and their money. With carefully considered layouts, each room in the house can be multifunctional freeing the home owners’ from traditional form and function. And with careful site review, future homeowners can make sure that their new home doesn’t require more time maintaining it then they want.

Lastly millennials want flexibility in their homes. Continuing in the trend of the generation before them, millennials are looking to open great room style living to fill the center of their home. Great rooms provide multifunctional and highly sociable space that is not limited in its use. Combining work and social spaces to make them more inclusive and communal is a modern and therefore popular solution for millennial households who desire a more cohesive living space.

The millennial generation is unique and seeking homes that will cater to their highly social and active lifestyles. For these homeowners, practicality takes priority over lavish excess and versatile space is more attractive than spaces with rigid, assigned functions. The millennials are a creative and innovative generation seeking home designers who are able to work with their needs and wants in order to create homes that will reflect the values and ambitions of this up and coming generation.

As seen on Newswire
27th Aug, 2015
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Sloped Lot Home Plan, Craftsman House Plan, Berkshire 30-995

Designed for a down-sloping view lot, the Berkshire Craftsman-style house plan offers plenty of room for a family to spread out.

Natural light flows into the gathering spaces through windows that fill most of the rear wall. Atrium doors open onto an elevated deck that is ideal for outdoor dining. Covered and partially vaulted, the railed deck is also accessed from the owners’ suite.

An eating bar provides both openness and separation between the kitchen and the living/dining rooms. 

The room to the left of the entry could be a bedroom or home office, while a spacious room on the right is designed to be a media room.

Storage spaces are abundant throughout. The owners’ suite features two walk-in closets, the kitchen has a walk-in pantry, and both the attic and basement have roomy storage spaces. Covered trailer storage and boat storage are on the lower level, at the rear and side. 

 

26th Aug, 2015
Articles, Blog

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 - Led by a strong jump in single-family production, nationwide housing starts inched up 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.206 million units in July, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Commerce Department. This is the highest level since October 2007.

3 bedroom house plan, home plan, Creekstone 30-708

Single-family starts rose 12.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 782,000 units after an upwardly revised June reading while multifamily production fell 17 percent to 424,000 units. 

"Our builders are reporting more confidence in the market, and are stepping up production of single-family homes as a result," said NAHB Chairman Tom Woods, a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo. "However, builders are still reporting problems accessing land and labor."

"This month's drop in the more volatile multifamily side is a return to trend after an unusually high June," said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "While multifamily production has fully recovered from the downturn, single-family starts are improving at a slow and sometimes intermittent rate as consumer confidence gradually rebounds. Continued job and economic growth will keep single-family housing moving forward."  

Regionally in July, combined single- and multifamily starts rose by 20.1 percent in the Midwest and 7.7 percent in the South. The Northeast and West posted respective losses of 27.5 percent and 3.1 percent.

After several months of permit gains, overall permits fell 16.3 percent in July. Single-family permits dipped 1.9 percent to a rate of 679,000 while multifamily permits dropped 31.8 percent to 440,000.

All four regions posted permit losses in June. The Northeast, Midwest, South and West posted respective drops of 60.2 percent, 4.6 percent, 1.7 percent and 9.9 percent.

As Seen on NAHB.org
24th Aug, 2015
Blog, Under Construction

Hello, this is us, Rick and Debbie McAlexander owners of Associated Designs. Here we are on one of our favorite hikes at Tumalo Falls in Oregon.

We have begun the process of designing a new home for what we feel is a little piece of heaven on earth.

There is normally a view of Mt. Washington, Black Butte, 3 Fingered Jack, and Mt. Jefferson in the back ground, but right now we're choking in smoke from forest fires. I'll share the view again on a beautiful clear day.

While we undergo this adventure, we're living here:

A 50 year old, 800 sqare foot cabin that is on the property. Let's just say, it's rustic. Those times when I've taken care of far too many spiders for my liking, I mentally go to my hobby room or the kitchen in the new home.

We want to share the experience. The good and the challenging. 1,742 decisions already made, and only 5,831 decisions to go - haha!

 

24th Aug, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Ranch House Plan, Home Plan, Featured House Plan of the Week, Alton 30-943

Brick veneer underscores the lap sideing and entry columns that run counterpoint to the gently arched porch opening of the Alton, a contemporary ranch-style home design that fits well on a narrow building lot..

Family gathering spaces fills most of the right side. The entry hallway leads directly into the kitchen end of it. A flush eating bar rims the work island, and the cupboards, counters and appliances wrap around two walls. A deep walk-in pantry is across the room.

Natural light flows into the linked gathering spaces through an array of windows. The dining area and great room has matching trios of glass, an atrium door, and several smaller windows. The atrium door opens to a partially covered patio. In the corner across the great room, the gas fireplace serves up instant flames.

An arched opening along the left wall of the great room leads past a storage closet to a two-section bathroom flanked by two bedrooms. The rear bedroom has a direct bathroom entry, plus a walk-in closet. Two more storage closets are outside the bathroom.

Access to the owners’ suite is through an arched opening on the left side of the entry hall. Double doors next to it open into a den that could also be a home office, hobby room, or what ever you like. Suite features include an large walk-in closet, and a bathroom with a walk-in shower, double vanity and private toilet.

Entering via the two-car garage, you pass a powder room, a fully outfitted utility room, and coat closet, before feeding into the main entry hallway.

20th Aug, 2015
Blog, New Home Plans

Cottage House Plan, New Home Plan, Afton 30-993

Nostalgic Craftsman are apparent on the Afton, our newest Cottage-style home design. A graceful arched transom caps the larger window below the gable on the left. To add balance, a row of small windows runs across the garage door beneath the right side gable.

Natural light flows into the entry through a sidelite. Secondary bedrooms and a bathroom are to the left. A  coat closet is at the end of the entry hall, just before it opens into the great room at the rear of the home.

Windows fill most of the rear wall in the combination living and dining room. The gas fireplace is a warm, bright focal point on the other side. In the opposite corner, sliding glass doors access the covered patio. The step-saving kitchen is open to the great room across a peninsula eating bar. A large walk-in pantry boosts the kitchen’s storage capacity.

Well-isolated from the other bedrooms, the owners’ suite features a walk-in closet and a two-section bathroom. 

18th Aug, 2015
Articles, Blog

Incorporating a fireplace can bring both comforting and practical additions to your home. Whether you desire a fireplace unit out of heating necessity or simply to give your house a homier feel, there are a few factors to consider when selecting the type of fireplace for your home. From the three most common fireplace setups, which include woodburning, gas, and pellet stoves, some of these factors include ambiance, installation, heat production and cost effectiveness. Weighing the importance of these will help determine which unit is best for your home.

Masonry and Wood Burning Fireplace

Masonry or Wood Fireplace

Arguably the most classic fireplace set up, a woodburning unit has both its perks and downfalls. Their biggest plus is the ambiance they provide; the smell of burning wood, crackling sounds, firework-like sparks and dancing yellow and orange flames make for a particularly cozy and nostalgic feel to a home. With controlled combustion units, doors can either be left open in order to enjoy these cozy perks or they can be stocked with wood and left closed to make the most of the heat they produce. However, old houses with old masonry fireplaces aren’t very efficient. For these homes, a fireplace insert is a beneficial idea. These units are designed to fit into an existing masonry fireplace spot. These units additionally require chimney maintenance and regular cleaning. In woodburning fireplaces favor, fire wood is highly available in stores and easily harvestable by hand in more rural areas. They also serve as convenient places to burn combustible litter such as newspaper and small twigs.

Gas Fireplace

The main advantage of gas fireplaces is their convenience. Gas units can be controlled by a remote control or control unit on the wall and are easily installed in odd spaces within the home including walls and corners, whereas woodburning fireplaces are much more restricted. Additionally, while the relative cost of units (wood vs gas) is the same, gas stoves don’t have the cost of chase needed by the chimney for a wood stove. It also doesn’t have the hassle of cleaning and supplying fuel like a wood stove does. Rather, a gas fireplace functions hands free. They come in many versatile styles and many units even feature aesthetic such as fake logs to mimic the ambiance of a woodburning fireplace.

Pellet Stove

Pellet stoves, which take fuel that comes in the form of small pellets made of wood and sawdust, are an additional option for homeowners. These units don’t necessarily require a chimney because they can be ventilated through a small hole in the wall, making them easy to install anywhere, similar to the gas fire places. A downfall to these units is that pellets can be harder to come by than wood logs because they are not necessarily manufactured and sold everywhere, whereas firewood can be found almost anywhere, hand-picked or store bought. However, while pellets may be less readily available and cost slightly more than wood, they do burn longer and have easier clean up. 

 

17th Aug, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Cottage House Plan, Vacation Home Plan, Cabin Plan, Arden 30-329

The cottage-style Arden plan is designed as a vacation home, but it could be lived in as a year round residence. The kitchen, utility room, great room and nook are every bit as spacious and well appointed as those found in many primary residences. This plan also has three bathrooms - at least one more than a typical home this size.

Wooden posts support a front porch that spans most of the front exterior. A rustic wooden handrail bounds most of the porch and wraps around to enclose the long side deck too. An old-fashioned porch swing would be right at home here on the front porch.

The side deck is accessible from both the great room and one of the bedrooms. Families with small children, grandchildren or dogs could create a secure outdoor play area by simply gating this deck left of the entry.

A lofty vaulted ceiling slopes up from both sides of the great room to an apex over the entry. Windows on three sides, including four on the second level, make this a bright space. A freestanding wood stove provides warmth on chilly days.

One of the secondary bedrooms has a walk-in closet and a private bathroom with shower. The other bedroom has direct access to the main bathroom.

Side shed dormers expand the available headroom in the second floor loft, creating a space large enough for a bed and windowed sitting area. Three more windows brighten the bathroom, which features a large soaking tub/shower combination.

14th Aug, 2015
Blog, New Home Plans

Shingle Style House Plan, New Home Plan, Tidewater 30-997

Though smaller in size, the shingle-style Tidewater feels comfortably spacious. This design works well on a narrow building lot, and can also be considered as a vacation beach house, or as a cabin in the woods.

The living room, dining room and kitchen flow together in a great room at the heart of this home. Ceiling lines give a unique look to the interior, angling up from the front and then curving toward the two-sided gas fireplace and across the face of the kitchen. Windows fill the front and side walls.

A flush eating bar mimics the ceiling’s curves where it rims the outer edge of the kitchen’s spacious work island. Light also flows in through a side window near the walk-in pantry. Families that enjoy dining outdoors will appreciate the screened porch at the rear of the home.

Flames from the two-sided gas fireplace can also be enjoyed from the vaulted owners’ suite, which features a large walk-in closet. The suite offers access to the screened porch, an inviting space to relax on warm summer nights.

 

 
11th Aug, 2015
Announcements, Articles, Blog

ARDA Best in Working Drawings, Award Winning House Plan, Home Plans

 

Washington, D.C., Friday, August 7, 2015 – The America Institute of Building Design (AIBD) named Associated Designs Inc. as one of its top designers in the seventh annual American Residential Design Awards (ARDA) in Providence, RI. During a banquet dinner held in conjunction with the AIBD Annual Conference, Associated Designs was awarded the ARDA trophy in working drawings. The winning entries were chosen from approximately 118 finished and proposed projects submitted by 30 designers from across the nation.

Associated Designs submitted the Tillamook 30-519 home design as an example of the thoroughness and attention to detail of their construction drawings. The designers; Rick McAlexander, Tim Thompson, and Kelly Alvord have over 65 years of combined home design experience and the three have been working together from almost the beginning. It's important to Associated Designs to provide their clients and customers with the most complete set of construction drawings to help ensure construction of a quality home.

ARDA is a progression of the AIBD Annual Design Competition, which has been in existence for more than 60 years. This year’s final panel includes Hillary Gottemoeller, Hanley Wood, Washington, DC; Jaclyn Toole, Senior Program Manager, Green Building at National Association of Home Builders, Washington, DC; and the ARDA Committee Chairperson Michael Battaglia, Dayton, OH.

The American Institute of Building Design is a nationally recognized organization dedicated to supporting and promoting residential design professionals. Its members have specialized knowledge and expertise in residential design and are held to a high level of professionalism and ethics in their business practices. You can trust an AIBD member to bring a combination of talent and practical value to your project.

The winning ARDA entries are published at www.ResidentialDesignAwards.com.  

10th Aug, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Mediterranean House Plan, Home Plan, Plainview 11-079, Featured House Plan of the Week

Three planter boxes full of color and green foliage soften the lines of the Plainview, a mid-size Mediterranean style family home with a large screened porch at the rear. 

Inside boasts an open floor plan. Posts provide definition between the entry hall and the living room and dining room -- without blocking the view or ease of movement. The rear of the dining room, sliding glass doors open to a screened porch which is also accessible from the nook. The screened porch has an exterior door to a paved patio.

Windows at the sink brighten the kitchen and provide a view through the screened porch and the yard. The rangetop is housed in a combination work island/eating bar. Cooks can watch the activities in the family room while they prepare meals. The family room is the largest, brightest room in the house. Windows trim the fireplace, and sliders at the rear open to the patio.

Secondary bedrooms are located far from the owner's suite. Both feature walk-in closets and share a two-section bathroom.

Well-isolated from the family room and kitchen, the owners' suite serves as a retreat. It features a large walk-in closet, spa tub, and double vanity. Shower and toilet are separately enclosed and accessible from the rear yard.

6th Aug, 2015
Blog, New Home Plans

Garage Plan, Garage Design, 4 Car Garage, Garage with Living Space

Garage w/Living 20-058

This cottage style detached garage plan park up to 4 cars and is a guest cottage or can be used as a vacation retreat. The two exterior side garage doors are 10' wide and 10' tall. The living space features covered front porch, great room with a 12' ceiling, full kitchen and bathroom.

Shop with Carport

Shop w/Carport 20-172

This stand-alone accessory shop plan has an attached carport which could park two cars or offer additional covered storage space. More storage is availble in the attic which is accessed from a set of pull down stairs.

2 Car Garage with Attic 20-171, Garage Plan, Garage Design

Garage w/Attic 20-171

This detached garage barn-style design has plenty of country charm. The exterior garage door is 18' wide and 7' tall and can hold up to two cars. The second level attic storage is accessible from a set of pull down stairs.

ADU, Accessory Dwelling Unit, Guest Cottage, 2 Car Garage with Living Area

Garage w/Living 20-158

Two cars can be parked in this traditional accessory garage plan. Both exterior garage doors are 9' wide and 8' tall. This plan offers 780 square feet of living space with a bedroom and full bathroom that could be used as a guest cottage, recreation room, or as vacation retreat. 

Garage with Shop, 3 car garage, garage plan, garage design

Garage Plan with Shop 20-149

This traditional detached garage design and hold up to 4 cars and offers both fully enclosed parking and an attached carport. The exterior double car garage door is 16' wide and 8' tall and the single car garage door is 9' wide and 8' tall. A generous sized shop and storage room are inside on the right.

2 Car Garage with Recreation Room, 2 Story Garage Plan, Garage Design

Garage with Recreation Room 20-147

This country-style detached garage plan can hold two cars. The exterior garage doors are 9' wide and 8' tall. Along the back of the garage the staircase leads up to a second floor recreation room with wet bar and full bathroom. 

2 car garage with shop, Garage Plan, Garage Design

Garage with Shop 20-139

This county-style accessory garage design can hold up to two cars. The exterior garage doors are 9' wide and 8' tall. To the left is a generously sized attached workshop.

3 car garage with Recreation room, 2 story garage design, Garage Plan, Accessory Dwelling Unit, ADU

Garage with Recreation Room 20-095

This country-style accessory garage plan provides plenty of space for both cars and people. The vaulted garage features three bays each with 9' wide and 8' tall doors. You can either house three cars, leaving plenty of storage and workspace in the rear of the garage, or you can stack two cars in each bay to hold up to six cars! There is plenty of room to entertain with a large, vaulted recreation room which features a corner fireplace. There is also an office, hobby room, storage room and full bathroom. The second floor has vaulted loft which looks down to the recreation room below.

2 car Garage w/Carport, RV Garage, Garage Design, Garage Plan

RV Garage 20-082

This traditional garage design can hold either two cars or one car and one RV and has an covered porch. The recessed bay's door is 10' wide and 10' tall and the RV door is 10' wide and 13' tall. This garage design can be constructed as a free standing detached garage or can be attached to your existing home with an optional covered breezeway.

 

Garage w/RV Parking, 3 Car garage, Garage Design, Garage Plan

Garage w/RV Parking 20-169

This two car garage plan with RV parking has a clean stucco exterior. The 2 car garage side of this design doors are 10' wide and 8' tall. The RV Garage starts with 14' top plates and vaults upward to a center ridge. The RV door is 12' wide and 13'-6" tall.

 

 

4th Aug, 2015
Blog, Constructed Home Plans

The Hilyard's multipaned windows, nostalgic wooden handrails, wrap around porch create a welcoming country farmhouse.

This two-story house plan is great for family gatherings. It has four large connected gathering spaces: parlor, dining room, kitchen/nook, and family room. The large owners' suite and utility/mud room are also on the main floor. A powder room is just inside the entry.

A ramp up to the covered porch, creates easy access for wheelchairs. Inside the two-story entry, natural light flows in through sidelights and windows on the second level. Double doors on the right open into a parlor with a masonry fireplace with a built-in wood box.

An arched opening in the parlor leads into the dining room, which links with the kitchen through a pocket door. The kitchen is also accessible by walking straight through the entry, past the stairs, and into vaulted family room. 

From the kitchen sink, you can keep an eye on activities in the family room, nook and deck. Families and plants flourish in this bright space provide by the skylights and a wide window bay.

A relaxed sitting area expands the owners' suite, which features a roomy walk-in closet, large screened porch, and dual vanity, and a separately enclosed shower and toilet. Upstairs, a balcony overlooks the family room. One large bedroom and bath are on one side; two more rooms and another bath are on the other.

 

3rd Aug, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Lodge Style House Plan, Home Plan, Timberfield 30-341, Dog Friendly

A handsome porte cochere is a warm welcome to friends and family upon entering the Timberfield, a Lodge-style luxury home that is as spacious as it is well appointed.  Even the family dog is considered in this design with a spacious indoor/outdoor kennel and dog run. 

Entering the wide vaulted foyer, double doors on the left lead into a den with a pocket door that links it to two bedrooms on the left. Bookshelves fill one entire wall. If needed, this room could be used as bedroom, or a home office.

Straight ahead, an open bridge overlooks the foyer and the vaulted great room. To the right, an arched opening leads to a powder room and a set of double doors that lead to a formal dining room.

The vaulted great room is great in every sense. At the far end, transoms crown atrium doors that flank a lovely stone fireplace. Natural light washes in through another set of wide windows higher up on that same wall.

Standing at the kitchen sink, you see into the great room, though it is not entirely open to it. A T-shaped work island holds the dishwasher, a vegetable sink and a, two-sided raised eating bar. The informal family room is richly windowed and has a pellet stove. A circular staircase there leads to the luxurious owners' suite upstairs.

Features in the vaulted owners' suite include a fireplace, a balcony, and two large walk-in closets. The naturally bright bathroom has a walk-in shower, twin vanities, and an enclosed toilet. Large storage closets and a large bonus or exercise room are next to the suite.

31st Jul, 2015
Articles, Blog

With the warm summer weather present, people are looking to put their outdoor spaces to good use and people are looking to create ideal outdoor areas in their new homes. Lot size is no barrier to creating a backyard paradise when careful consideration is given to how the home is laid out and orientated on the building site. Combine clever design with creative homeowners and any home can utilize any outdoors space to its fullest.

Outdoor Spaces, Coeur D'Alene 30-634

Gone are the days of the remote and seldom used outdoor living areas. Homeowners these days are looking to stretch their living outside as one seamless extension of the home. These artful transitions from inside to outside allows for bringing the indoors out when the summer sun comes out to play.

The first step to creating an outdoor paradise is determining where this space will go. There is the traditional approach that has the outdoor living area connected to the home and accessed with sliding glass or French doors. A more contemporary option is to place the outdoor space out in the yard, disconnected from the home. And then there is always choosing the best of both worlds and combining a little of each. Both of these options provide their own sets of benefits. By integrating the outdoor living with the home it can easily become an extension of the homeowner’s day to day living. Or by separating the outdoor area from the house the outdoor living is now dual purposed and can serve as a tranquil getaway or perfect party spot for friends and family.

The next thing that homeowners have to consider is the function of the outdoor living space. Will it be used strictly as another room of the home? Will it be an entertainment area for hosting parties and get-togethers with family? Perhaps it will be a play area for the kids to go outside and get their bodies moving during summer vacation? Deciding the functionality of the space allows the homeowner to hone in on the elements and amenities they want to incorporate, whether it is lounging couches for the living area, outdoor kitchens for dinner parties, or play sets for kids.

If choosing just one outdoor living space function or amenity seems limiting, Associated Design offers the gorgeous Coeur D'Alene 30-634 home plan. This exceptionally large, richly windowed, Chalet-style home plan not only features a vast and spacious interior but exemplifies outdoor living as an extension of the home and will not limit homeowner’s options. Outside of the bright and open vaulted living room, double doors on both sides flow into the large curved patio that spans the entirety of the back of the home. This beautiful space offers endless opportunity to create a functional, cozy and multi-faceted outdoor space that can be accessed and enjoyed at various points of the home. Because of the way the Coeur D’Alene patio wraps and expands across the back of the home, the space can be utilized for various purposes and is not limited to one outdoor amenity. For example, situate an outdoor dining area just steps outside the double doors off of the living room to enjoy summer barbeques on warm summer evenings. On the other side of the patio, install a play set as a way for the kids to get outside but not occupy the entirety of the patio space. Outside the owner’s suite, create a tranquil space perhaps a Jacuzzi might be the perfect touch for a relaxing couples evening. With this beautiful and opportunistic home design, your outdoor living options are anything but limited.

Outdoor living areas bring families together, welcomes friends, and becomes the perfect retreat for people after a hard day's work. Additionally, they provide opportunities for homeowners to enjoy the beautiful outdoors while staying within the comforts of their home. In order to create the most personally designed home plan based on the amount of space available, Associated Designs’ staff team is here to work hard to turn imagination into reality.

As seen on Newswire

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