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27th Apr, 2015

Prairie Style House Plan, Home Plan, Featured House Plan of the Week, Denver 30-952

The Denver’s footprint is a mere 50 feet wide, and fits neatly on a narrow building lot. That doesn’t mean it feels the least bit cramped. This Prairie-style home plan has nearly 2200 square feet of living space.

A lot of that space is in the comfortably large and open room at the rear, where the living room, dining room and kitchen flow together. Natural light flows in through wide windows in the living and dining rooms, plus a smaller window at the kitchen sink.

A gas fireplace sits into a corner by the rear windows. Across the room, an atrium door opens onto a covered patio that could be screened if desired.

An eating bar rims the cooktop island that provides partial separation between the kitchen and the gathering space. Cooks can serve soups, snacks and other light meals to family and/or friends ranged along the eating bar, while keeping an eye on activities inside and out. A large step-in pantry fills one corner of the kitchen.

Double doors in the foyer open into a room that could be a den or fourth bedroom. Its location just inside the front door is also ideal for a home office.

Bedrooms, utilities, and bathrooms fill the right side. The utility room links with the two-car garage. It provides a comfortable passage to the inside for unloading groceries and other supplies.

A storage closet lines the hallway to the owners’ suite, which features an exceptionally deep walk-in closet, along with a two-section bathroom with a double vanity.

20th Apr, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House plan of the Week, Cottage Plan, Lincoln 30-203 House Plan, Home Plan

A bold columned covered porch and walkway wrap around the Lincoln, a compact cottage house plan with an extensive and open central living area. Vaulted ceilings add volume, lending a sense of spaciousness throughout, while the plan's footprint allows construction on a fairly small building lot.

Entering the cottage you into an exceptionally bright living area where living room, dining room and kitchen flow together in one large space. Craftsman-style windows line two walls and fill a wide window bay that extends the dining area. More natural light flows down through two skylights.

When days are dreary and nights are long, the central fireplace offers warmth and cheer. Families can enjoy savoring the scent and ritual of burning wood, or the ease and cleanliness of gas-fed flames. The choice is yours.

Storage and counter space are abundant in a kitchen and where one ever feels isolated. Working at the angled island, you can keep an eye on everything. A large walk-in pantry is only steps away, just outside an oversized utility room with counters, cabinets and a deep sink. Another walk-in closet here at the rear offers even more storage.

The owners' suite has a wide bank of windows facing the rear yard. One pocket door closes off the bathroom from the sleeping area. Inside, another leads to the walk-in closet, while a conventional door gives full privacy for the toilet. Twin lavs anchor the corner vanity.

This cottage home is equally well-suited to the needs of young families, singles and empty nesters seeking to downsize. This plan can easily be adapted for wheelchair accessibility.

16th Apr, 2015
Blog, New Home Plans

Contemporary House Plan, Narrow Lot Home Plan, Covina 30-985

If you’re looking for a compact three-bedroom home that fits well on a narrow building lot, check out the contemporary and modern ranch-style Covina. It’s both economical to build and maintain.

The bench just inside the front entry is great location for a row of hooks for coats above as well as a place to sit for removing shoes. On the right is a vaulted great room. Located at the heart of this plan, it gives the home a feeling of spaciousness. Natural light flows into the great room through a bank of windows that line much of one wall. Two glass doors here slide open to access a partially covered patio.

Storage shelves and a home entertainment center flank the gas fireplace. Two additional windows are on the opposite side of the gathering space, along with two skylights. A flush eating bar runs along one side of the kitchen’s work island.

The vaulted owners’ suite is separated from secondary bedrooms. Features include direct patio access, a walk-in closet, and a private bathroom. Utilities are close in a pass-through alcove that links with the two-car garage.

14th Apr, 2015
Articles, Blog

Whether you see sharing your home with in-laws or trying to accommodate visiting adult children, adding another master or guest suite is a great way to provide privacy and additional comfort for your guests when planning your new home.

Multiple Master Suites, guest Suites, Craftsman House Plan, Home Plan, Cedar Creek 30-916

 

Accommodating for this could be as simple as adding a second master bedroom with a private full bathroom; or a more complex solution such as incorporating an additional suite with a separate living room and private entrance. With the second option long-term guests, like the in-laws, can feel like they are still close to their family while still having a place to themselves.

People really need to sit down and consider how their future lifestyle will be. If they see their parents or adult children visiting at some time, the smart choice is to go ahead and provide the accommodations when planning for your new home. Residential home design company Associated Designs offers pre-designed and custom-designed home plans to people across the country. Every plan that they offer can be modified so that a person can add multiple master or a guest suite into the design.

Associated Designs Cedar Creek design is a Craftsman style home not only features a large master suite with a luxurious bath and walk in closet on the main level, there is a secondary suite on opposite side of the home. Upstairs you will find yet another suite with a walk in closet, a private bath with soaking tub and shower. This suite is situated next to a recreation room with a small kitchenette which could add independent living space for those long term house guests.

Having an additional master suite will not only add value in a home by contributing towards the comfort or privacy of guests but by having one master suite on the main floor and another on a second or lower level, it acts as a great tool for aging in place, should the homeowner become unable to use stairs in the future.

Aging in place, planning for shared living spaces, and incorporating multiple master or guest suites are concepts that are gaining in popularity for homeowners as they consider the possibilities and functionality for the future in today’s contemporary thinking of how we live in our homes.

As seen on Newswire

13th Apr, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Duplex Plan, Multi Family House Plan, Mooresville 60-005

Arched garage door openings, brick veneer, and multipaned windows lend a European-style look to the Mooresville contemporary duplex design. Each two-bedroom unit has nearly 1,100 sq. feet of living space.

Entering the home, you step into a vaulted living room that is open to a dining room at the rear. The rectangular window bay brightens and expands the space toward the street and could be outfitted as a window seat. 

Light flows into the rear of the living/dining room through sliding glass doors. This offers access to a patio that could be covered and screened, if desired. Either way, the occupants have a good-sized area for barbecuing and sharing outdoor meals, within a few steps of the kitchen.

Counters and cabinetry run along two walls of the kitchen, and people working at the sink have a view of the rear yard. Children playing there can be watched from inside. Full-size laundry appliances fit into an alcove on the opposite side of the room. Shelves or cabinets fill the wall space above.

A powder room is behind a pocket door on one side of the laundry alcove, while a door leading to the garage is on the other.

Each of this duplexes units has two bedrooms, a linen closet, and a full bathroom upstairs. From the loft/landing at the top of the stairs, you can overlook the living room. A full-sized bathroom provides sound buffering between the bedrooms.

6th Apr, 2015
Articles, Blog

Cape Cod. The name itself inspires the feeling of sunning quietly on beaches and enjoying the great summer weather. When you want to get away from the crowds and truly enjoy a retreat, this is the place to be no matter where you travel to this year. With simple home designs and quaint town atmospheres, Cape Cod offers the best of everything along its peninsula.

Cape Cod House Plan, Home Plan, Lakeview 10-079
                                       Lakeview 10-079

Yet what about the other times of the year when you can't get out to the peninsula? How can you bring the charm of this location a little closer to home? The Cape Cod house plans can bring this charm of beach life and lakes right to where you live. The house plan was designed so that people could withstand the harsh New England weather yet still offers a great exterior look and interior appeal that will have you feeling like you are in your own private oasis.

Cape Cod retreats will often have clean symmetrical lines and simple construction to appeal to people who want to focus on their creature comforts inside. The house is perfect for people looking to downsize, while it can also accommodate small families looking to enjoy every single moment together. Natural light is a necessity with this home design, as there are many double hung and picture windows along every wall of the home. The simple design lends a feeling of practicality that is associated with American homes, where every aspect has a purpose to bring together a solid construction that is still beautiful.

When walking into the interior of the home, you will be surprised by its spaciousness despite the house plans often looking small on the outside. The home can open up into a foyer or grand living room with vaulted ceilings. The Cape Cod retreat also adopts the present trends of an open floor plan with the living room and kitchen open as there are fewer walls. These features give even a greater feeling of spaciousness while encouraging conversation with the occupants no matter which room they are in. Second floors are common with these house plans where the bathroom, bedroom, loft, and master suite are located. Just like if you are spending the night in a vacation home in Cape Cod, the bedrooms are designed to give the ultimate comfort and space.

When you are out in Cape Cod, you want to enjoy the weather as much as you can. The same can be said with these simple and sunny Cape Cod house plans. Covered porches are a mainstay with these designs, bringing the beautiful scenery and the great outdoors closer to you. The porches may be located on the front or back of the house as the size will be based on the amount of lot space you have available. Yet you will love spending the pleasant summer days out on the porch drinking iced tea and playing games with the kids. On those wet days, the family can remove mucky shoes in the utility room often attached to the kitchen to keep the mess away from the rest of the home.

6th Apr, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

House Plan of the Week, Spanish Style House Plan, Mediterranean Home Plan, Rossano 30-569

A detailed wrought iron gate opens into the garden courtyard that fronts the Mediterranean-style estate sized Rossano home with Spanish flavor. Stone veneer, ceramic tile roofing, Tuscan columns, and wood shutters many of the inviting exterior features.

Stepping through the arched entry door you enter a dramatic two-story foyer that leads into a spacious great room with hardwood flooring and a cast stone fireplace. Cabinetry along the fireplace is designed for a home entertainment center. Double doors at the rear open to a covered patio, accented by a row of Tuscan columns.

The great room and dining room both link to the kitchen through arched openings. The dining room has a built-in hutch. Kitchen amenities include: granite countertops on the two islands, a cooking counter with prep sink and stainless steel countertop, a large pantry, built-in bookcases, and a high-ceilinged tiled-floor nook.

Double doors on each side of the nook open onto covered patios. The patio on the left features a wood-burning fireplace. Other rooms to the left of the kitchen are: an exercise room, storage, mud room with storage, and a large laundry room with a walk-in closet and mud bath.

The luxurious owners' suite, to the right of the great room, has a sitting room that can be completely closed off from the sleeping area. Notable amenities in the private bathroom include: a claw foot tub, dual vanity, and an extra large shower with two showerheads.

Three additional bedrooms, each with a private bathroom, are upstairs. A balcony links the bedrooms to a large recreation room, a utility/hobby room and a powder room.

3rd Apr, 2015
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Lodge-Style, Craftsman, Home Plan, Cedar Height 30-975, Vacation Home Plan

Front gables with shake-textured detailing puts an upbeat, welcoming face on the Cedar Height house plan. The rustic gables, along with decorative corbels and trusses, give this single-level design the look and feel of a rustic lodge. It even has a vaulted gazebo.

Ceilings are lofty and vaulted through the home’s center, beginning at the front porch, through the entry hall and on to the great room. Double doors there open onto a partially covered wrap-around deck. A fireplace and built-in home entertainment center line one wall.

Cooking and gathering spaces are on the right side. The kitchen and richly glassed nook open to the great room. A wide opening in the entry hall leads to the dining room, which flows to the kitchen through a passageway with a beverage bar on one side and a pantry on the other.

Bedrooms and a den/office fill out the left side. The owners’ suite features deck access, a large walk-in closet, and a private bathroom with a claw-foot tub.

30th Mar, 2015
Articles, Blog

Home Trends Report, Picture Windows, Nottingham 30-965

Picture windows have been growing in appeal for the past decade, as these large glass windows offer consumers four sought-after benefits: beauty, natural light, unimpeded views, and winter heating. The two home plans which accomplish all the aforementioned benefits with unwavering style are the Nottingham 30-965 and the Juniper 30-964, both are popular with light loving enthusiasts.  

Oversized picture windows have been found on every level and room of a home from dining rooms to bathrooms. For years, the mainstay of windows in many residential homes has been the double hung and single hung varieties due to their affordability. Unfortunately, the multiple panes can block the views outside of homes, allow less light to enter and allow for the entry of moisture into the home since they can be opened.

Custom home plan designer Rick McAlexander, president of Associated Designs, Inc., has noticed an uptick of customers looking for house plans that incorporate larger window designs that are the epitome of grandeur -- such as can be found with picture windows. These beautiful fixed windows fit into different home styles whether people are looking for the simple, rustic styles of Ranch houses to the fancier, modernized Cape Cod homes. People are no longer limited to just picking the typical windows every other house has nowadays. The growing design technology for house plans has now allowed consumers to truly customize their homes without restrictions when it comes to window styles.

Unlike the historic homes that focused on smaller apertures with small paned windows, designers are now focused on creating homes that appeal to a person's unique design preferences --- and that means changing up the style of windows so that they offer more functionality and beauty to a home. In addition, picture windows are versatile when paired with other types of windows. By combining casement or double hung windows with picture windows, there can be an increase in the ventilation and the aesthetic appeal of the house.

Consumers are becoming very creative with how they want the exterior of the home to look, as they are seeking designs that incorporate all of their desires. Yet it is also the benefits that are truly drawing consumers to these types of windows. Picture windows allow for more natural light to filter unimpeded into the rooms. It instantly brightens up the interior, making small rooms feel bigger because they offer larger views of the scenery outside, at the same token, picture windows are matching the grand feel of vaulted large rooms without looking out of place.

Also, homes with darker interiors are shied away from for a number of reasons. With the lessening of natural light, people have to look for other means to brighten the space with artificial lighting. They are seeing an increase in their energy consumption, leading to higher electricity bills to light up the home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over $19 billion was saved in 2008 with people adopting more energy-efficient practices in their homes, including relying on more natural lighting. Another benefit that picture windows give toward energy savings is the heat gain for homes located in the Northern states. Sunlight streaming through a picture window can warm up a room, lowering how often a furnace and other heating methods must be used. This warming method translates to additional reduction to energy use and the lowering of home expenses.

Lastly, people are leaning more toward natural lighting to avoid a host of seasonal disorders, most often called the “winter blues”, as the days grow shorter and people are experiencing less natural light in the home. People may suffer from a host of different problems from mood swings to appetite changes. Living in a home with few lighting options can only increase such seasonal disorders, as people seeking home construction may be able to lessen such affects with getting oversized windows in their homes to allow in as much light as possible.

Associated Designs brings more creative designs to consumers who are interested in bigger and brighter natural light options for windows in their house plans. Combined with the benefits that picture windows lend to a home and the durable construction of these windows that prevents moisture from entering, they are the ideal window solution to home construction projects across the country no matter the style of the house. It is just a matter of informing consumers about the variety of house plans that are available where picture windows would make an ideal addition.

With quality window companies such as Milgard, Andersen, and Pella offering durable and beautiful picture windows, consumers can gain a greater understanding of what is available in home plans that will take advantage of such window options as they can select pre-designed plans or seek out customized house plans.

More homeowners want large spaces with ample natural light. They will look toward available design companies that can offer the right plans that spur their imaginations when it comes to home construction projects. As a trusted home design company that relies upon the opinions of their clients, Associated Designs aims to please their homeowners by offering valuable information and designs bases on consumer needs.  The Nottingham 30-965 and Brookville 30-928 home plans feature big oversized picture windows for the natural light lover.

As Seen on Newswire

30th Mar, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Traditional House Plan, Home Plan, Eldon 30-076

Framed posts, brick veneer and painted shutters give a traditional-style look to the otherwise contemporary Eldon house plan. This four-bedroom home is well-suited for a family with children. Gathering spaces are large, and the owners' suite is isolated from the other bedrooms.

Entering the home, you step right into the vaulted great room which is centrally located partially open to the kitchen and nook. A direct-vent gas fireplace is in the rear corner, next to a wall of glass: two windows and a door. This space is bright, as well as spacious. The door provides access to a wide patio.

Double doors near the front open into another large room. Possibilities for use include a den, media room, a study area with one or more computers, exercise and hobby room, or formal dining room. The possibilities are endless.

Cupboard and counter spaces are ample in the roomy kitchen. The nook is cozy and naturally bright - a great place for hanging out in the morning, and sharing family meals.

A passthrough utility room connects kitchen and garage. Across from the laundry appliances is a small powder room. Family members with wet or muddy shoes can quickly dash in and out without tracking up any carpets.

An extra thick layer of insulation buffers sound between the kitchen and owners' suite. Features here include: his-n-hers walk-in closets, oversized shower, dual vanity and private toilet.

The three secondary bedrooms share another bathroom, this one has glass blocks on the exterior wall, over the bathtub. Both of the front bedrooms feature walk-in closets.

27th Mar, 2015
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Craftsman Home Plan, Alexandria 30-974

Craftsman detailing gives the left side of the Alexandria the look and feel of a traditional bungalow home. The gridded windows, stone veneer bases, and quartet of iconic tapered columns. But inside, this home is designed to suit the needs of the family of today.

Entering through the covered porch, you step into a long foyer that leads to the vaulted and generously windowed living space at the rear. 

A gas fireplace anchors the great room, on one end of this naturally bright space; the kitchen fills the opposite end. In the center, the dining room’s sliding glass doors open to a partially covered patio. A wide loft upstairs overlooks this large living area.

Up front, the luxurious owners’ suite is to the right of the foyer, while another bedroom is on the left. This room could also serve as a den or home office.

The right wing has a more contemporary exterior. At the ground level, its two-car garage and shop angles off at a diagonal. Upper living spaces include a loft and bedroom, and around the corner is a recreation room, a bathroom and bedroom which could function as an independant living area, if needed.

26th Mar, 2015
Articles, Blog

Kitchen and bathrooms are some of the last places that get a modern update despite how often we use these two rooms in our daily lives. Yet having an updated kitchen and bathroom can vastly improve the functionality of these spaces, increase the home's value if you plan to put the house on the market in the next few years, and create beautiful rooms that match the decor style of the home. So remove the outdated elements of these two rooms and bring them into the current century. It doesn't take much to change the look. Focus on these specific areas in the kitchen and bathroom to make boring rooms look extraordinary.

Modernize Your Kitchen, Brookhill 30-963, Prairie Style House Plan, Home Plan

Upgrade Cabinets and Handles

Cabinets go through tons of abuse from adults, kids and pets. They can become dinged, scratched or loose on their hinges. Modernize your kitchen and bathroom quickly by changing the look of these cabinets. Repaint or stain the front of cabinets in bright or bold colors. You may also want to replace the door fronts or handles with something more stylish. If you simply don't like the look of the bathroom vanity, you can get a new stock one or get a customized cabinet that will be a better fit to your preferences.

Counters and Floors

Counters and floors are some of the few things that rarely get replaced for long periods of time. So their look can quickly fall out of the current home style trends. Some people like to match the look of the counters with the flooring to give a more uniform appearance. Also, incorporating backsplashes can instantly transform the spaces and give a unique design theme.

Modernize the Kitchen and Bathroom, Barnhart 30-946, Lodge Style House Plan

Replace Old Appliances

When old cabinets in the kitchen isn't the problem, it might be time to modernize the appliances. Having modern appliances not only improves the look of your home, they can also work more efficiently and save you money. Stainless steel appliances are still the current design rage as they add a modern and industrial eye-popping beauty to your kitchen.

Modernize Sinks and Faucets

With the variety of sinks and faucets available, you can find one that fits perfectly in your bathroom and kitchen that can modernize the space. From pedestal sinks to faucets with sensors that automatically turn on the water, the marvels of technology can be placed into your home to make the spaces more comfortable to live in.

Modernizing the Kitchen and Bathroom, Owners Suite, Nottingham 30-965

Bring In the Light

Light instantly brightens the room and highlights the aspects of the space that you want to show off. Consider changing the lighting fixtures or adding additional lighting to these two rooms. With a brightened kitchen and bathroom, you can also use the spaces better as they can become enjoyable places in your home.

23rd Mar, 2015
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Country House Plan, Cottage Home Plan, Molalla 30-685

The Molalla is as compact and charming, and economical to build, heat and maintain. Its exterior has the look of a country cottage, while the interior feels contemporary.

Entering, you pass through a covered porch accented by tapered columns. Once inside, a coat closet is located behind the door. To the right and you can see most of the main floor. The large living room in the front flows into a dining area rimmed by a raised eating bar that bounds the kitchen.

Light spills into the living room through a wide front window. More flows into the dining area through sliding glass doors on the right that open to a covered patio. The kitchen has long counters on two sides, and the sink is centered creating a u-shape. A desk fits into an alcove across the room, next to the walk-in pantry.

A full-size utility room and small powder room are also located on the ground floor. They flank a short hallway that links the interior to the two-car garage.

The bedrooms, and an unfinished bonus room are upstairs. The owners' suite at the rear has a  walk-in closet and a bathroom with a dual vanity. Up front, both secondary bedrooms have cozy windowed alcoves with views of the street. These could be window seats, used as display areas, or fitted with desks.

20th Mar, 2015
Blog, New Home Plans

Narrow Lot House Plan, Ranch Home Plan, Alton 30-943

Brick veneer covers the Alton’s entry columns, counterpoint to the gently arched porch opening. Brick veneer wainscoting also underscores the lap siding of this contemporary ranch-style house plan ideal for a narrow building lot. A rambling family open space fills most of the right side. The entry hallway leads directly into the kitchen. A flush eating bar rims the large work island, while cupboards, counters and appliances wrap around two walls. A deep walk-in pantry is across the room.

Natural light spills into the gathering spaces through a generous array of windows. The one in front of the kitchen sink makes cleanup more pleasurable.

Light flows into the dining area and great room through matching trios of glass, an atrium door, and several smaller windows. The atrium door opens onto a partially covered patio. Nestled into a corner across the room, is a gas fireplace.

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, and a roomy walk-in closet. Two additional storage closets are outside the bathroom.

Access to the owners’ suite is through an arched opening on the left of the entry hall. Double doors next to it open into a room that could be a den, or home office. Suite features include an extra-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 by a powder room, utility room, and coat closet, before feeding into the main entry hallway.

18th Mar, 2015
Articles, Blog

Tiny homes are a growing trend for young adults who are trying to save up their money while trying to advance in their careers. If you haven't heard the news yet and are scratching your head about tiny homes, these small buildings are 200 square feet or less in size. They can cost around $20,000 or less as they have the very basic necessities of living. Most of these tiny homes have kitchenettes, bathrooms, and loft areas that provides a bed. The simplistic design also allows the homes to be placed on wheels as they can be parked like RVs at designated camping spots or occupy a lot that someone owns.

image © by designer used with permission from Houseplans.com


What Makes Tiny Homes So Appealing?

Tiny homes offer simplistic living. This arrangement appeals to people who don't require much in their lives at the present time as they enjoy spending more time out-and-about and only need a place to rest their heads or cook meals. People who are concerned with their carbon footprint may find tiny homes appealing because it uses less materials and resources. So they are using up less natural resources. Since tiny homes have wheels, they can be moved about as people enjoy road adventures.

Another factor to consider is that tiny homes cost less than a traditional home. Many people own their homes outright, eliminating the need for a mortgage as they have less debt to carry for years. In addition, tiny homes require less maintenance and lower utility bills, saving more money for the homeowner.

The Downsides of Owning Tiny Homes

Tiny homes aren't for everybody. You have to feel comfortable coming home to a tiny space that is about the size of an outdoor shed or small garage. Since the space is so tiny, it doesn't leave room for you to entertain guests or host parties. Also, you don't have much storage space, keeping the possessions you own to a bare minimum.

Another downside is that you may own the tiny home, but you may not have a place to park it unless you also buy property somewhere. So you have to consider paying property taxes every year. If you don't want to own the land, you have to find an acceptable place to park, and oftentimes engage in communal living arrangements with other people.

Lastly, if you decide to get married and have children, a tiny home will never provide the right amount of space for your growing family. You also eliminate the ability to have elderly parents move in with you if they can no longer live in their own homes. Due to these factors, people may continue to save up their funds to purchase a bigger home as they can later downsize to a small house or cottage.

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