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28th Apr, 2011
Blog, New Home Plans

Flora Vista 10-546, Mediterranean Style Home Plan

Flora Vista 10-546


Interesting angles throughout add uniqueness to almost every room. Designed for a frequently hot climate, this Mediterranean-style home has double-thick insulation and three-foot overhangs. Filtered light spills down over the octagonal dining room at center, through a similarly shaped crown of clerestory windows high overhead.

 

20th Apr, 2011
Blog, New Home Plans

Barn Plan 20-059

Barn 20-059


This barn plan features 2 stalls, generous storage, and a recreation room on the second floor. There are three garage doors that open to the center of the barn for easy access. Each stall has two sets of doors, one through the inside of the barn. The other gives you access from the outside. The exterior door could easily be fenced in and left open to expand the stall.

 

19th Apr, 2011
Announcements, Blog

Greenwood House Plan, Energy Star

AWARD WINNING DESIGN

The Greenwood design won 3rd place in the THD 1st annual Green House Plan Competition existing home plan catagory. This design was also featured in April's edition of GreenBuilder Magazine (page 19).

"The ENERGYS STAR® competition was conceived to promote sustainable building, healthy homes and encourage architects and designers to design innovated, new green house plans. The basic criteria consisted of energy efficiency, green design, and design quality."

From this, we are pleased to kick off our new plan type Green Standard home plans. The homes in this catagory have carefully been designed and detailed with green building principals focusing on maximizing efficiency of the plumbing, mechanical system, insualtion, and more.

18th Apr, 2011
Blog, New Home Plans

Sandpoint 10-565, Lodge Home Plan Sand Point 10-565

Panoramic views are a major plus in this lodge home plan, so families will want to chose their lot with care. Vistas from the vaulted hexagonal great room and deck are the most expansive, but those from almost every room can be stunning. The kitchen is open to the great room and is also vaulted, as is the luxurious owners’ suite.

7th Apr, 2011
Blog, New Home Plans

Santa Rosa 30-800, Southwestern Home Plan

Santa Rosa 30-800

Bright tile caps the smooth stucco of this three-level Southwestern house plan, designed for construction on a slope. The living room/kitchen has a fireplace, recessed home entertainment center, and access to a wide side deck. A dining room with windows on three sides is at the rear, and offers sliding door access to a skylit covered patio.

6th Apr, 2011
Articles, Blog

The concept of a "mud room" varies from one geographic location to another. Warmer, dryer climates will not require the same amenities as cooler, damper climates. Household needs not only vary from one to another, but as families transition through life stages. An empty nesters needs will be different from a household with teenagers which will be different than a family with younger children. That being said, the first step should be a review of the needs of the household as it relates to the locale.

After reviewing what is expected of the mud room, consider the amount of available space While every home, regardless of size, should accommodate the transition from outdoor to indoor the space needs to be kept in proportion with the overall size of the home. A small home may only have room for hooks and a shelf in the laundry area while an estate can feature the full function mud room. Or, if your remodeling, you need to consider the available space and cost vs. value.

The following is a question/answer segment for the Washington Examiner

Q. Can you "repurpose" a back hall or laundry? A. Chances are if you are looking at an existing home that the space you are considering is already a mud hall. In this case your first step would be the same as if you were designing a new home, determine what you expect from the space. Is it more storage? A place for the dog? Better separation from the primary living area? Or? Next consider the available space. Reconfiguring available cabinets and closets while updating floor, wall, and counter tops may satisfy the owners' needs. If more space is needed can walls be moved or volume added to the home? In some circumstances as little as 24" (the depth of a bench or countertop) addition can make the difference. An adjacent room may have the extra footage to sacrifice or infill under an existing eave outside the home may do the trick. When designing a new home this becomes a feature of the design process.

Q. Coolest and latest features? A. Simply considering that there is a need for the space is pretty cool. And priority should be given to satisfying the basic requirements including:

Storage, which can feature cubbies, bench, lockers, hooks, shelves, shoe racks, cabinets, closets, whatever fits the owners design sense and needs. Is the owner one who likes everything behind a door and hidden from view or open and accessible. Family of eight or empty nesters? Car keys, cell phones, brief cases or back packs and ipods.

Durability and ease of cleaning. Finish selections play the biggest part in satisfying this requirement. Hard surfaces such as tile are popular but laminates are making a comeback. Higher end laminates can offer comparable durability without grout lines to worry about. I'm also seeing more stained concrete floors and countertops. A cool feature if you’re in a very wet climate is to use a sloped floor to accommodate a floor drain. It's easy when using concrete floor finish. Creating a wainscot with the hard surface will protect the walls. With cabinet finishes, avoiding highly "polished" surfaces will help preserve the new look. Again, laminates seem to offer some good durability and ease of cleaning. Painting can be an option, but look for durability and ease of repair options. If you prefer natural woods you might consider more rustic finishes that will hide the scuffs and scrapes from daily use.

Access and natural light. Of coarse locating the mud hall so that it becomes the families most convenient access is important. The mud room will fail its most important task if the family crosses through the house to get to it. And personally I prefer that every room have a natural light source. This does not necessarily mean that it needs its own window. A re-lit, or indoor window, can allow an adjacent room to share its window.

Other considerations:

Families with pets often create a space for food and water bowls or litter boxes as well as storage for pet supplies. Pet washing stations are popular with pet owners who have larger homes. Sometimes something as simple as a wash tub with counter space is enough, but I have designed homes with "dog wash stations". These include a raised platform with shower drain and hand held shower nozzle with steps to help the dog up. That same project featured direct outdoor access to a covered kennel area. These folks really loved their dogs.

Big into sports? When designing mud rooms for high mountain homes we often will work in storage for winter wear and ski gear. Some families have aspiring football, hockey or soccer players. While the traditional locker may work for these needs, you should consider extra ventilation.

Cell phones and MP3 players, hand held video games, or other traveling electronics may need a place to land in the mud hall. If space allows consider a laptop docking station with small desk for collecting bills, catalogs and miscellaneous "junk drawer" items.

Other features which have been included in a mud room include potting bench, sewing table, crafting area, gift wrapping station or canning kitchen. As much as I believe in the "Not so big house" design approach, there comes a point when you ask one room to serve to many functions. Potting plants and sewing are probably not compatible?

In regards to creating personal space for each family member. First question, is it really necessary? And then, how many family members are we talking about and what are their individual needs. A three year olds needs will be different from a high school football player, which will be different from a working adult. Is this a family of three or thirteen? Beyond baskets, cubbies, and lockers…not much new in the world storage. But a well thought out wall of cabinets can provide storage for most family needs.

25th Mar, 2011
Blog, New Home Plans

Fern View 30-766, Ranch Home Plan

Fern View 30-766

Slender posts provide graceful accents to the open and welcoming front porch of this ranch home plan. Light washes into the vaulted great room through wide windows that fill most of the rear wall, plus windows flanking the gas fireplace. You can keep tabs on everything from the kitchen. The owners' suite boasts a spa tub, oversized shower, and dual lav.

17th Mar, 2011
Blog, New Home Plans

Riverton 30-811, Ranch Style Home Plan

Riverton 30-811


While this compact ranch-style cottage is designed to sit on land that slopes down at the rear, minimal changes would allow construction on level ground. Vaulted ceilings in the great room, dining room and owners' suite increase the overall sense of spaciousness. Flames in the great room's fireplace can also be enjoyed from the kitchen.

 

3rd Mar, 2011
Blog, New Home Plans

Meadow Lake 30-767, Ranch Style Home Plan

Meadow Lake 30-767


The harmonious interplay of curved edges, horizontal lines and sparkling glass grids draws eyes to this modern ranch-style home plan. Living room and dining room flow together at the front, while the informal vaulted family room, kitchen and nook are open to each other at the rear. The owners' suite boasts a deluxe bathroom and deep walk-in closet.

 

25th Feb, 2011
Blog, New Home Plans

Springbrook 30-805, Craftsman, Cottage Home Plan

Springbrook 30-805

Shake-textured siding lends its eye-catching appeal to the front façade of this updated Craftsman-style cottage. Windows and a corner fireplace fill most of the rear wall in the vaulted living room, which is fully open to a richly glassed dining room. Owners' suite amenities include a roomy walk-in closet, deep soaking tub and double vanity.

22nd Feb, 2011
Blog, Constructed Home Plans

The Craftsman-style Bandon design was completed by Gansen Construction in Junction City, Oregon. Below is the photo tour of the home.

21st Feb, 2011
Blog, New Home Plans

Easthaven 30-778, Craftsman Style Home Plan

Easthaven 30-778

An expansive great room and linked gathering areas give a surprising sense of spaciousness to this compact Craftsman-style home. Natural light spills in through wide windows that fill most of the rear wall in the living and dining areas. A peninsular counter rimmed by a raised eating bar is all that separates the kitchen from this bright space.

9th Feb, 2011
Blog, New Home Plans

Sahalie 30-768, Prairie Style Home Plan

Sahalie 30-768


Crisp lines and sparkling window grids give a fresh clean look to this Prairie-style home plan. Inside, a bright and spacious gathering space comprises the living room, dining room and kitchen. The owners' suite boasts a dual vanity, totally private toilet, and large walk-in closet. Secondary bedrooms share a bathroom and have wide closets.

 

3rd Feb, 2011
Blog, New Home Plans

Ardella 30-785, Ranch Style Home Plan

Ardella 30-785


Uniquely versatile, this ranch-style plan can be seen as having five bedrooms, or as a three-bedroom home with a linked mother-in-law unit behind. A large skylight brightens the kitchen, which is partially open to both the dining room and vaulted living room. The covered porch that fronts the rear unit opens into a great room with a kitchen alcove.

 

24th Jan, 2011
Blog, New Home Plans

West Creek 30-781, Ranch Style Home Plan

West Creek 30-781


Linked gathering spaces at the heart of this contemporary ranch-style home create a congenial environment for family living. Standing at the kitchen sink, you can keep tabs on activities outside on the partially covered patio or gaze out across the flush eating counter into the great room, where tall windows flank the fireplace.

 

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