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6th Aug, 2018
Articles, Blog

Picture this: A homeowner wants to update the kitchen in his or her home, and a contractor is called. Without too much quibbling, the details are finalized and the work begins. But then things start to go wrong.

This scenario doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it often gives contractors a bad reputation when in fact the real issue is that the homeowner didn’t do the homework.

“You can do a Google search for contractors in your area, and you’ll get star ratings and reviews of names and businesses, but that’s just one part of the process,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs Inc. in Eugene, Ore. “Homeowners have to do a little legwork to really get a feel for who or what is out there.”

The prospect of spending days, if not weeks, finding the right person for the job can be disheartening when all you want is to get the job done. But it’s important to do your research before choosing a contractor. Following these steps will help things go smoothly and keep you (and the contractor) on the level.

1. Ask for recommendations.

You aren’t the only one who has a home design project in mind. Your friends and family have probably all been on a hunt for the perfect contractor. Their experiences could be useful for you.

“The trust you have with the friend or family member means you can also trust that they will provide reputable names and businesses,” said McAlexander.

2. Search the internet for highly rated contractors.

This is not about just doing a blanket search and picking the top two on the list. Filter through the options that Google gives you because it’s possible that one contractor has expertise in a specific field.

For example, if your project is to upgrade the kitchen, a contractor who gets good reviews and has experience remodeling kitchens is a good one to add to your list.

But bottom line is to take your time. Your list of contractors by the end of the first two steps will be anywhere from eight to maybe even a dozen names. And all of them likely perfect for the job.

3. Interview contractors over the phone.

Consider this step to be like a job interview. And the job is the home design project you have in mind. Whether it’s a new home or a remodel, the interview carries the same weight.

“I don’t think you can talk to too many people when choosing a contractor,” said McAlexander.

The reason is simple: You want to get to get to know what they can offer. Telling them what you want, and their responses to your specific questions, will help you discern who has the potential.

Good topics to talk about include experience, project management skills, and more basic questions about references and qualifications.

4. It’s time for a face-to-face interview.

Your list of contractors should be down to about four or five. A face-to-face interview gives you a chance to see them in action, show them the project, and get their thoughts. Not only that, but an in-person discussion also helps you find out if your personalities don’t clash.

The more you talk with them, the more you know whether they have the skills as well as the knowledge to do the project. And whether you can work with them easily and efficiently.

“Now might be a good time to consider getting bids, but if you have the time and there’s no urgency I would wait,” said McAlexander. “The reason I recommend such a vetting process is that the bidding process is time-consuming. The contractor starts investing their own resources into your project. A mistake is jumping ahead to bids with this big list of recommendations. Eventually, they will know they are competing against a half dozen other people, and they won’t offer you a serious bid.”

5. Ask for references and talk to subcontractors.

In this step, you are taking the face-to-face interview to the next level and now checking the contractor’s references and qualifications.

Who the contractor has worked with in the past (electricians, plumbers, etc.) can be a guide to how they manage a project. Good questions to ask subcontractors include whether the contractor was organized, if they paid their bills on time, and were they on time and on budget.

“It’s the final key to the contractor puzzle,” said McAlexander. “Subcontractors can give you an on-the-ground view of a contractor’s work ethic and skills. Doing this before you get bids is almost a must for me.”

6. Set the project details and ask for bids.

You’ve pared down the list to two or three key players, and now the real fun can begin: bidding. Ask for bids from your top prospects.

“You may end up with contractors that are of a similar quality, so it comes down to not so much the money, but which one you like,” said McAlexander. “Keep in mind, you can get a Cadillac contractor, but you may be paying for it.”

With just two or three bids on the table, you can easily pick and choose the one that suits you and the project best.

But, McAlexander says, there is one final step: You’ve done all this research, but before you sign on the bottom line, make sure the contractor has a license number and insurance. The easiest way to do that is to ask them directly and check the state contractors’ board.

Following these steps basically means you don’t have to worry whether the contractor will do the job right. You have vetted them and done the research, so the possibility of problems in the future is minimal.

“And that’s the whole point,” said McAlexander. “If you vet and do all the research before you get the bids and sign off on a contract, you are better off in the long run.”

As seen on Newswire
23rd Jul, 2018
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Beaufort 30-630, Ranch Home Plan, Contemporary Floor Plans

Single level Beaufort is friendly to wheelchairs, home business

Three round and stately columns highlight the recessed front porch of the Beaufort. This contemporary Georgian-style home has wide passageways on one level, which makes it easily adaptable for wheelchair accessibility.

Once inside, a wide arch on the right leads into a a dining room or parlor. The built-in buffet/hutch is nestled into an alcove. To the left of the entry the vaulted room could function as a den, guest room, or home office.

A centrally located bathroom is steps away from both of these rooms, as well as the three large gathering spaces that flow together at the rear of the home. The vaulted family room is windowed on two sides, and a gas fireplace creates a focal point in one of the rear corners.

Standing at the kitchen sink allows you to see into the family room, nook, patio, and beyond. The eating bar is great for conversation separation. Sections of counter space are available on all four sides of the kitchen, and a large walk-in pantry is in the corner.

Laundry appliances and a deep sink are close by, in a pass-through room that links with the two-car garage.

The luxurious owners' suite features a dual vanity, an angled cultured-marble shower, private toilet, and rlarge walk-in closet. The bedroom next to it could be used as an adjacent study. Two more bedrooms and a two-section bathroom are on the opposite side of the house.

 

17th Jul, 2018
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Mediterranean Home Plan, Velarde 11-051

While standing in the Velarde's living room, makes you feel as if you are standing outside. This bright space has a 10-foot ceiling with high arched windows on five sides and offers a panoramic vista. 

This Mediterranean home plan's lofty entry portico makes a striking first impression. The arched opening echoes the shape of the living room windows while sidelights and an arched transom frame the front door.

A family room with a 9-foot-high ceiling is at the core of this plan and is accessible from almost every room in the house - the bedrooms, entry, living room, dining room, kitchen, and screened patio. The family room has an eating bar and a large entertainment center.

The entry has a 12-foot ceiling and a coat closet. Columns define the boundaries of the living room, family room and dining room without sacrificing the feeling of openness.

Between the formal living room and the informal family room shelves between the columns create visual separate and a place for for displaying family mementos. 

The owners' suite has a large walk-in closet and a private bathroom with double vanity and enclosed shower and toilet.

10th Jul, 2018
Articles, Blog

A lot of families, big and small, crave a home life that is free of worries and troubles. They want to be able to move freely, focus on the good things, store their memories, and plan for the future. Formality is not in the cards (necessarily). Large rooms that seem to echo and reverberate with their grandeur are more ideal for entertaining than casual living.

But what is a “casual lifestyle”? Well, defining it is not as simple as just saying it’s having these rooms in a certain order or this layout in this size house.

“Casual living is about putting the spotlight on what’s important,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs Inc. in Eugene, Ore. “The important rooms, the ones that families will use the most such as the kitchen and living room, are the ones that become the highlight of the home design.”

The point of a casual lifestyle floor plan is to remove the redundancy and formality and keep it all in the family. Pretty simple, right? But it’s also about providing variety and, dare we say it, flavor.

“The casual lifestyle design is never boring,” said McAlexander. “Each floor plan is a bit different in style, depth, and amenities.”

Need inspiration? Have no fear. We have three great designs that showcase just how diverse the casual lifestyle floor plan can be.

Bungalow House Plan, Ranch Home Design, Casual Home Design

Efficiency with Style

The floor plan of the Strathmore (30-638) is both spacious and charming. From the outside, it looks like a simple bungalow with little flare and finish. But the 1,500-square-foot Craftsman home showcases the features more reminiscent of larger homes, giving it both a casual touch and a living space that is full of amenities.

The stars of the show are the key rooms that make up the casual lifestyle in the front of the house. The rest of the house flows around it. The kitchen, living room and dining area are centralized with ample natural light and an easy, comfortable flow.

From there, the features of a larger home come into play including a walk-in pantry, well-appointed master bath, and vaulted ceilings. A covered front porch and a back patio round out the home with outdoor living space.

“With the Strathmore, you get efficiency with style,” said McAlexander. “It’s not so much that the key rooms are center stage. It’s that you still have room to play and live comfortably with all the features included.”

Cottage Home Design

Adaptable Living

Another key point of casual lifestyle is flexibility. The important rooms -- the living spaces -- not only deserve the spotlight but also need to be fluid.

“You can have a home with all the amenities, but if there’s no flow, no adaptability, there’s not much point,” said McAlexander.

The Brookville (30-928) embraces a casual, open living with an upscale turn at 2,013 square feet. Clean lines and a pleasant combination of stone and wood create an eye-catching first impression. The vaulted living spaces are at the center of the house and are arranged for ease of movement.

The L-shaped kitchen connects with the living area and the dining area on either side. But those in the kitchen can still watch what’s happening on the back patio or by the fireplace.

“This doesn’t mean there can’t be private spaces that offer flexibility,” said McAlexander. “The Brookville has a large den at the front of the house for just this reason.”

The den can be an office, a study space, a private living area, or playroom, meaning the Brookville has the ability to adapt to the needs of the family.

Craftsman House Plan, Luxury Home Plan

Casual Luxury

The Westheart (10-630) showcases the best of Associated Design’s 2016 Home From The Heart survey. It’s understated luxury in a 3,100-square-foot home. Even so, it embraces the casual lifestyle.

The living spaces fill the heart of the home, with an expansive great room that opens up to large rear-facing windows for natural light and spectacular views. The bar in the kitchen faces the great room and runs perpendicular to a half wall and additional counter space that act as a built-in buffet for the dining area.

Top this off with a vaulted den for flex space, a guest suite one side of the house and a vaulted owners’ suite on the other side of the house, and you have a home that beautifully mixes casual living and luxury.

“Even back in 2016, preferences were high toward open, casual spaces,” said McAlexander. “I don’t foresee this preference changing anytime soon.”

Why? Because a casual lifestyle floor plan is not cookie-cutter living. It grows, flows, mixes, and moves with the needs of the homebuyer. 

As seen on Newswire

 

9th Jul, 2018
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Duplex Plan, Duplex Design, Vancouver 60-031

The Vancouver is a unique Craftsman-style split-level duplex plan designed for construction on land with a slight upslope to the rear. The two interiors are mirror images of each other.

Slender columns highlight the gabled entry porch. The shingle siding that accents the gable peaks runs an eye-catching counterpoint to the lap siding that covers most of the exterior.

When entering from the street-level garage, a half-flight of stairs leads to the vaulted gathering spaces. Guests entering from the front climb a similar half-flight of stairs to a covered porch and entry that feed into the vaulted living and dining areas. Secondary bedrooms and a full bathroom are another half-flight up, over the garage.

A handy half-bathroom is just inside the front door, to the left of the coat closet. Light flows into the vaulted gathering space through windows at the front, and the sliding glass doors at the rear that open onto a patio. The ceiling slopes up to its lofty central apex from the front, then down toward the rear.

From the G-shaped kitchen you can see into the dining area across a raised eating bar. Kitchen counters wrap around four sides, and cabinets line three of them. An opening on the opposite side of the vaulted space leads into a utility alcove on the left and the vaulted owners' suite on the right. Features here include a walk-in closet, dual vanity, linen closet, and shower.

 

2nd Jul, 2018
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, European Home Plan, Stonehaven 30-465

The Stonehaven's stone veneer covers most of the multigabled front facade, reflective of a European country retreat. Keystones crowning the entry arch and most of the front windows add classic flare to this house plan.

Upon entering, you pass between stone veneer pillars into a bright two-story foyer. Natural light flows in through sidelights and a gracefully arched transom. An open stairway climbs up the left side and curves around to the right, ending in a balcony overlook.

Double doors to the right open into a den or home office. Pocket doors on the left slide out of the way to reveal a high-ceilinged, richly windowed, sunken living room. The gas fireplace here serves as a focal point. This space flows into the dining room.

A bright, roomy kitchen is at the heart, and closeby a second stairway also provides a direct link with the second floor.

Two work islands boost available work/storage space, and there's a large walk-in pantry too. The nook creates a sunny eating area, and this entire space is open to a spacious family room.

The luxurious master suite features dual walk-in closets and direct access to a partially covered hot tub on the patio. Three more bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an unfinished storage room are upstairs.

One of the bedrooms, a guest suite, has a balcony. Another has a wide window seat with storage below. The shared bathroom also has a cozy bench tucked in a smaller windowed alcove.

25th Jun, 2018
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Spanish House Plans, Home Plan, Kendall 11-092

Graceful stucco columns with arched openings welcome you to the Kendall, a medium-size Spanish-style home that features plenty of formal and informal living spaces.

An eating bar provides partial separation between the kitchen and the nook. Otherwise this area is wide open. Vaulted to the second floor, the family room and dining room are bathed in natural light. The curved second floor landing forms a unique bridge that overlooks the family room to the back, and the dining room and entryway to the front.

Holiday and formal gatherings can spread out in the spacious dining room and living room. The front parlor has a wide bay window.

The owners' suite features access to a patio, and has a private bathroom with a walk-in closet, raised spa, and separately enclosed shower and toilet. The upstairs bathroom, shared by two large bedrooms, features a two-section bathroom with two wash basins.

The utility room and powder room are equally convenient to the kitchen and the two-car garage.

4th Jun, 2018
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Eganville 30-428, Country Home Plan

The Eganville works for multi-generational families, along with those that include teenagers, or just want extra space to spread out. The room to the right of the foyer can accomodate an aging parent, or serve as an office or den. The shop, behind the garage, is another flexible space that could be used as an art studio, exercise room, or a man cave.

This Country-style house plan offers more than 3,000 sq. ft. of living space, plus a thousand more in the storage and shop, along with a two-car garage.

The front facade has welcoming appearance. Nostalgic wooden detailing accents the vaulted entry porch, and wooden shutters highlight the Craftsman-style windows.

A two-story ceiling gives the foyer an expansive feel. Pocket doors on the left lead to a large living room, where shelves trim a gas fireplace. A window seat with storage below fits into the window bay. Across from the window, an arched opening leads into the dining room, which links with the kitchen.

The kitchen is open to a family room and is expanded by a bayed nook. Amenities include: a gas fireplace, entertainment center, and built-in desk. Double doors on the right open into a vaulted play or game room.

Light flows into the kitchen and nook through skylights. A curved-front conversation bar rims a large work island, and the walk-in pantry is large. Laundry appliances are close by in an utility room connected to the garage. 

Three vaulted bedrooms, storage rooms and two bathrooms are on the second level. The luxurious master suite fills the left side. Both of its large walk-in closets are illuminated with solar tubes.

4th Jun, 2018
Announcements, Articles, Blog

Associated Designs, Inc. would like to announce their brand new website:
TheHousePlanCompany.com!

The House Plan Company, HPC, New Website

What is new about The House Plan Company? It’s the experience. Gone is the barrier between you and the designer of the plan that has caught your eye. The House Plan Company believes the best people to answer your questions and help you customize a plan is the person who originally created it. With direct access to Designers and Architects along with The House Plan Company’s own customer services specialists you will receive the attention you deserve. The decision to build is a big one. Finding the right plan is the first of many important choices you will have to make and The House Plan Company is here to help.

Now that the introductions are completed on to the celebration!

The Bug Hunt is on. Even with countless hours of testing and development all great websites launch with a few hiccups where things just don’t work the way they should. These oddities could be deemed “websites ghosts” are also known as “bugs” or “glitches” in the development world. Be the first to report a glitch to the HPC Extermination Team and you will receive a $25 gift card when the bug is verified. Would you like to know more? Check out our Facebook page for additional Bug Hunt details.

For those who don’t like Bugs but enjoy a good Egg Hunt we have one of those too! Hidden throughout TheHousePlanCompany.com will be brightly colored eggs with HPC logos. Be the first to find a logo egg and email its location to info@TheHousePlanCompany.com and win a $25 gift card.

It wouldn’t be a GRAND opening if there wasn’t a GRAND prize. We want to share our excitement that The House Plan Company is now live with everyone who visits. Each Bug or Egg Hunt entry (even if you are not the first to find them), newsletter subscription, and social media follow will get you an entry into the GRAND Opening Giveaway of a $1000 gift card!!

More games and chances to win will come up throughout the month of June. Make sure to subscribe to The House Plan Company newsletter or follow us on social media so you don’t miss out.

Be the 1st through the website to purchase plans for your dream home with HPC and take an unprecedented 40% off your plan package purchase (5 set or greater). 

Use promo code THEFIRST when placing your order online. 

The next website 5 plan purchasers get to take 30% off plan packages using promotion code HPC30.

We hope to make The House Plan Company your go to for home, garage and multi-family design projects! Now get out there and let us know what you think. And good luck!

 

29th May, 2018
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Contemporary Home Plan, Rock Creek 30-821

The Rock Creek is a town home that looks small from the front, and extends  behind its charming front. A stucco exterior and gracefully curved entry arch give this contemporary home a decidedly Mediterranean look. 

A welcoming front porch spans across the front, next to the entry arch. Double doors off the porch open into a home office or study. Natural light flows into the foyer through a sidelight, panes at the top of the door, and a wide window on the right. 

Just past a flight of stairs, the entry opens out into a large space that consists of the dining room, living room and kitchen. A large work island rimmed by an eating bar helps separate the L-shaped kitchen on the left side of this open area. The gas fireplace can be enjoyed from anywhere in the room.

From the dining area or kitchen, you can walk out onto a small, partially covered patio. An abundance of light spills into the utility room through one of the inner windows that outline the patio. 

Features in the owners' suite include a walk-in closet, a double vanity, and an enclosed toilet and shower area.

Two more bedrooms, a three-section bathroom, and a loft are upstairs. 

20th May, 2018
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Craftsman Home Plan, Tealwood 30-440

The Tealwood is a compact Craftsman-style house with a spacious feel. This home plan is designed to fit on a small lot and its footprint is almost square: 47' by 50'. 

A covered porch along with an impressive array of windows grace the front exterior and  the porch goes on to wrap around the side. Inside, the combination living room and dining room is full of natural light.

The kitchen fills more than a quarter of this large, open great room. A work island with a raised eating bar separates the areas. 

An atrium or French door in the dining area provides access to the covered porch, a great spot for outdoor dining. Two doors across the room open into the utility room and the garage. The utility room is large for a home this size and is outfitted with cupboards and an L-shaped counter.

Coat and storage closets line the hallway leading to the owners' suite. Features here include: a large walk-in closet, and bathroom with dual vanity, shower, and private toilet. The two front bedrooms share another bathroom.

18th May, 2018
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Country House Plan, Home Plan, Featured House Plan of the Week, Cumberland 30-606

Classic keystones accent the custom brickwork on the front exterior of the Cumberland, a three-bedroom, three-bathroom Country-style design with a large gathering space at the center. Arched Craftsman windows, along with a wide, wrap-around front porch, adds to the welcoming appearance.

Natural light flows into the 16-foot-high entry through a sidelight and overhead dormer. A wide window bay expands the parlor, to the left. 

The entry's right opening leads to a short hallway with a display niche at one end and the owners suite at the other. The owner suite's ceiling is vaulted and features include a spa tub, large walk-in closet, dual vanity, and an enclosable shower and toilet.

Day-to-day living centers around the bright and spacious vaulted family room. Windows fill the rear wall, and a gas fireplace, shelving and a home entertainment center line another. The wide bay window that expands the dining area has sliding doors that allow access to the covered patio.

A raised eating bar rims the kitchen's long, angled work island. A roomy pantry adds to the kitchen's abundant storage space, and appliances are built in.

The powder room and utility room are closeby, as well as the stairs leading up to a bonus room. The utility has access through to the garage which features space at the rear for a shop and storage. Two more bedrooms and a full bathroom fill the left wing.

7th May, 2018
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Prairie Style House Plans, Featured House Plan of the Week, Elmhurst 30-452, Home Plan

Unique planters draw eyes to the Elmhurst, a midsize, single level Prairie-style home design. Stone veneer lends its variegated textures to the planters, wainscoting and columns. High on the roof, the clerestory windows nicely echoes the grid on the garage door.

This house plan is designed for construction on a sloped lot, but it could also be built on level ground. No living space would be lost, only basement areas.

Inside the foyer, diffuse light flows in through a transom and sidelight. Mirror-image double doors open into the library/study on the right, and the office on the left.

Straight ahead is a bright and spacious vaulted living room. Display shelves with recessed lighting wrap around three sides. During the day, more light washes in through the high row of front facing clerestory windows, as well as skylights and wide windows at the rear. A gas fireplace and home entertainment center fill part of the left wall.

Openings into the dining room and kitchen are on the right. A raised eating bar provides partial separation between the dining room and kitchen, while the walk-in pantry and central work island add to the ample cupboard and counter space.

Laundry appliances are closeby, in a large utility room complete with a deep sink and drop-down ironing board. The small powder room is equally close.

The luxurious owners' suite, plus a guest room with private bath, fill the left wing.

1st May, 2018
Articles, Blog

It’s hard to imagine building anything on a hill, let alone a house. But sometimes, a sloped lot can also be perfectly positioned for a custom home that touches on all your dreams and desires.

“The first reaction to some homebuyers is that a sloped lot is going to be a pain,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs. “But they really are anything but that. They allow for creativity and design aesthetics that may not be considered in a traditional home design. Plus, in all honesty, I just love them because they make home designers think a little outside the box, as it were.”

Homes come in all shapes and sizes, layouts and possibilities, on sloped lots. It’s important to embrace large modifications to an existing home plan so that your dreams aren’t hindered by the slope of the land. But more importantly, a custom home design can bring you all the joys of easy living with a unique design that doesn’t affect your surroundings or your view.

Sloped lots have diverse design opportunities. Here we present three custom home designs that showcase elements and features that just might work for you -- in the city, to the country, or the garage in the back.

Sloped Lot House Plan, Home Plan, Craftsman House Design, Ridgeview 30-496
Ridgeview 30-496

 

Unconfined Views

A 2,559-square-foot home on a narrow sloped lot, the Ridgeview (30-496) doesn’t limit you on space or views. The three levels all provide plenty of flexibility and unique features to make the sloped (or ridged) lot seem less a hinderance and more of a bonus.

The Craftsman-style home includes balconies and patios at strategic places around the house to embrace the views of the hillside. The varied textures lend itself to a far more rustic feel, but the interior is a whole other ball game.

“This home is all about leveling up,” said McAlexander. “It captures the views of the city in key living areas as well as the owner’s suite on the second level. So each level isn’t confined or limited.”

The garage/basement is on the lower level with an expansive hobby room that can be transformed into a flex space. The main living areas make up the stairs on the first floor where city views can be enjoyed from the den as well as the living room. Forest views are the focus of the gathering room on the other side of the house. Four bedrooms make up the second floor, including a vaulted owners’ suite.

Each floor, in other words, puts the sloped lot into a new perspective, allowing for both space and flexibility. It is a custom home design that does exactly what the name says: gives you great views on a ridged lot.

sloped lot house plan, Sloped Lot Home Plan, Chalet home designs, Barrett 30-773
Barrett 30-773

 

A Downhill Palace

What if the downhill sloped lot you choose is not in the city, but in the country? The roominess of the lot is one thing, but a custom home design to make use of the sloping landscape may seem like a trick.

Enter the Barret (30-773), a grand ranch home with a hexagonal design that means practically every room has a view.

The great room, for example, is richly glassed to bring in lots of natural light plus a 180-degree view of the surrounding countryside. And if that’s not enough, every room has a similar glassed-in feel -- even the lower level -- so that the home embraces the sloped feature of the lot rather than hides it altogether.

“In this design, the hill becomes a feature of the home,” said McAlexander. “The first floor, which in some respects is also the second floor, gives you these great expansive views. But going downstairs to the walk-out basement… well, it’s just more of the same benefits. Natural light, amazing views, and a spacious combination of comfort and entertaining.”

Does this mean there is no privacy at the Barret? Far from it. The palatial ranch-style home gives the owners’ suite it’s own side of the house, away from the larger gathering areas. Kids rooms and a guest suite are also separated, with a bunk area and extra bedroom in the walk-out basement.

The home takes complete advantage of the hillside and makes it probably the crowning feature of the entire design.

Sloped Lot Garage Plan, Sloped Lot Garage Design, Garage 20-008
Garage 20-008

Studio Garage

But let’s say the house is on the level, but the detached garage is not. What’s a homeowner to do?

“To put it simply, there’s nothing to fear in such a scenario,” said McAlexander. “A custom home design for sloped lots also works for garages. You can make the garage itself have a little character to match the hillside.”

Case in point, this Studio Garage (20-008) from Associated Designs. Instead of fighting the hilly nature of the lot, this garage is designed to be partially surrounded by the ground. Much like in the Barret, the hill becomes a part of the design itself.

The garage is in the lower portion of the design, nestled into the hill, while the studio apartment takes the featured spot above with a covered front entryway. In a sense, you could say the garage is at ground level, but so is the second floor apartment.

The apartment features a vaulted ceiling in the main room with an L-shaped kitchen and handy breakfast bar or island. An outside staircase leads down to the garage below, meaning that the studio truly is its own place.

What do these three custom home designs have in common? They let the landscape be what it is and create a design that works with it rather than against it. So if you’re wondering how to build a house on a hillside, take some of these ideas into account. In the end, you may have a home design that is original, eye-catching, and close to perfect.

As seen on Newswire
30th Apr, 2018
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Craftsman Home Plan, House Plan, Hartford 10-420

Stone veneer columns and decorative roof supports draw eyes to Craftsman home plan's beautiful vaulted entry.

The Heartford's shingle siding and stone veneer wainscoting give a rustic look to this otherwise thoroughly modern home. A wealth of uniquely shaped multi-paned windows sparkles across the front and rear walls, creating gathering spaces that are naturally bright.

In the vaulted foyer, light flows in through sidelights and transom windows, while more washes down through a bank of clerestory windows above. The rear wall of the great room is almost entirely glass, as is the sidewall of the dining area. Windows flank the fireplace, and another wide window fronts the kitchen sink.

All of the gathering spaces cluster together in the central section, with the apex of the vaulted ceiling running down the middle, front to rear. The owners' suite in the left wing is a retreat, well isolated from the busy areas. Garage and secondary bedrooms are in the right wing.

The large kitchen is almost completely open to the great room. Its raised eating bar and flat, 13-foot ceiling create the boundary. Counters wrap around four sides, and storage cabinets are many. The handy work island and large walk-in pantry add more useful space.

Utilities are close by, in a pass-through room that links to the garage.

Amenities in the luxurious owners' suite include: two large walk-in closets, and a vaulted bathroom outfitted with a spa tub, oversized shower, double vanity and linen hutch.

The den/office has a stately stepped ceiling. It could be built with (or without) doors that link it to the owners' suite.

1100 Jacobs Dr., Eugene, Oregon 97402-1983
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