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9th Jun, 2017
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, European Home Plan, Pronghorn 30-917

The Pronghorn's arched entry and stone facade combine to create a welcoming and handsome exterior for this European house plan. To the left of the entry is a large great room that features 12' ceilings and a cozy fireplace. The kitchen is at the core of the home and offers two eating bars and a large central work island. The luxurious owners' suite takes up it's own wing and features a bathroom with the works: walk-in shower, spa tub, dual vanities and two walk-in closets. A guest suite is on the other side of the living area plus and two additional bedrooms and a full bath on the second floor.

6th Jun, 2017
Articles, Blog

Gone are the flashy, formal living rooms and expansive garages that are so beloved in traditional houses. The home desires of Generation Y – better known as Millennials – tend to gravitate toward smaller spaces, versatility and minimalist floor plans. But that’s not to say that younger homebuyers don’t see the benefits of space or the need for certain amenities. They just like to have options.

“To the Millennial, a traditional home with big spaces and grand bedrooms can be repurposed, or up-purposed,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs. “A garage becomes a workshop. A bonus room is a bedroom. They like to have a home that bends and adapts to their lifestyle.”

In a sense, younger homebuyers’ wishes are a departure from their predecessors. The great room’s ability to be great is not from its size but its ability to adapt with them. To that end, we share four ideal home designs that capture the trends of the next generation of homebuyers.

The Hobbyist’s Dream Home - Azalea 31-028

Millennials are great hobbyists, whether it’s skiing, kayaking, and mountain biking or more creative pursuits such as arts and crafts. In many cases, this means they work from home, or at least partly from home. They’d rather up-purpose a garage into a storage unit for all their hobbies.

In the Azalea home design, traditional amenities and features are given new meaning. Full of Craftsman charm, this home is spacious without being overwhelming at just under 1,800 square feet. The one-story layout includes a garage that can be repurposed as a storage space for outdoor gear such as kayaks, bikes and all-terrain skis. For the creative crafters, the garage can easily become a nifty craft room.

The other key point to the Azalea that will appeal to Millennial homebuyers is the vaulted den, which can also be used as a study or home office. And while the sleeping areas are all on one side of the house, each room has it’s own private entrance so guests and roommates can live comfortably.

“The Azalea is a traditional Craftsman home with an open-style living area,” said McAlexander. “But it’s on a smaller scale for more casual living.”

Minimalist Living with Plenty of Space - Lyndon 30-769

The Lyndon is for the minimalist Millennial – the homebuyer who wants to get more out of less. While not as extreme as the Tiny House movement, this home at only 1,100 square feet packs in two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, plenty of storage, and a bright and spacious gathering space. Two sets of double doors open to a large covered porch that extends the gathering space of the Lyndon in good weather.

Meanwhile, the second bedroom doubles as a studio or office area for the busy telecommuter. The utility and mudroom is ideal for pet owners who would rather not drag dirt all around this quaint but versatile home.

“But there’s a hidden gem with this home design,” said McAlexander. “The second floor boasts a spacious, versatile bonus room that can be utilized for anything – guest room, craft room, storage, office. Anything that a young homebuyer can think of really.”

Where Flexibility is King - Tidewater 30-997

Though small in size at just 1,881 square feet, this one-story, shingle-style home feels comfortably spacious. The home boasts a screened porch that extends the great room’s casual living space on beautiful, spring days. Just imagine relaxing with friends while casually enjoying the night air without the bother of passing bugs. And let’s not forget the Tidewater’s two-sided fireplace and spacious open kitchen with a large work island and flush eating bar.

But the real joy of the Tidewater is its flexibility.

“The additional bedrooms don’t have to be bedrooms,” said McAlexander. “They are large enough to fulfill any need a young homeowner has in mind.”

Guest suite, office, craft room, exercise space, or maybe a library for the book lover, the bedrooms of this one-story home design bend and adapt to the desires of the owner.

An Urbanites’ Dream - Larkspur 30-880

For very narrow lots or confined city spaces, the Larkspur is a dream home. With upscale features that are perfect for city living, the two-story contemporary home may look small from the outside, but the inside is a whole different story.

“It feels spacious inside,” said McAlexander. “You walk into the foyer and are greeted by a casual, open living space that connects the living area, dining room and kitchen. And the home just continues from there with more rooms and a back garage. It’s a surprisingly roomy home design and very versatile – a perfect mix for young homebuyers.”

A tankless water heater in the garage is a great space saver, allowing more room for cars, bikes, a workshop or storage. The loft and bonus room upstairs add more space to this compact 1,600 square foot design, while also adding flexibility and versatility that keeps the home adapting with the owners’ lifestyle. One of the upstairs bedrooms, for example, could easily be turned into a home office with its own private bathroom. The owners’ suite is on the ground floor, far removed from the upstairs bedrooms for that added bit of privacy.

Millennials know what they like, and what they like is a change of pace from the usual home design. A touch of flexibility, a smaller footprint, and a simple layout are not confining but freeing. Nothing is impossible or improbable for a versatile home design fit for younger homebuyers. 

As seen on Newswire
5th Jun, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Bungalow Home Plan, Colorado 30-541

Craftsman-style bungalows reached their peak of popularity in the early 1900s. The Colorado is an attractive update of that style that is captivating to look at.

Decorative wooden corbels accent gable peaks and lower rooflines. Simple stickwork highlights the vaulted porch, shingles fill the upper sections of front gables, and Craftsman-style windows sparkle across a front facade underscored by stone veneer wainscoting.

Constructing this home on a downhill sloped lot creates the space needed for a daylight basement and covered patio below the wrap-around suspended deck on the main floor.

Gathering spaces and an owners' suite fill the main floor. Atrium doors in the bright, vaulted living room access the deck as do similar doors in the owners' suite and screened porch. This home is clearly designed for easy access to outdoor living.

The living room features a masonry fireplace and a home entertainment center. A two-sided fireplace can be viewed from both the den and the kitchen.

Range and oven are built into the large work island at the center of this luxurious kitchen. A raised conversation bar rims one edge. Other amenities include: built-in desks, and a sunny nook with a long window seat lining the bay window.

A vaulted ceiling expands the owners' suite. It features two walk-in closets, and two interconnected master bathrooms, each with its own shower, vanity and toilet!

Two more bedrooms are upstairs, on either side of the vaulted loft. Each has its own bathroom.

1st Jun, 2017
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Shingle Style Home Plan, Red Oak 30-922

A charming combination of shingles and stone welcome you home to the Red Oak house plan. The core of this ranch home is a blend of formal and informal gathering areas. To the left of the entry is a dining room that is open to the kitchen creating a casual eating space for family and friends. Through double doors to the right of the entry, is a formal living room perfect for spending quiet time. Straight through the entry hall is the vaulted family room that features a fireplace. The owners' suite fills the right side of the home and features a large walk-in closet, dual vanities and soaking tub. Secondary bedrooms fill the left side along with the utility room and the basement stairs.

30th May, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Traditional Home Plans, Willcox 30-232

Brick veneer and keystone arches give a classic look to the Willcox and in line with what people desire in contemporary time. Gathering spaces are not separated by walls, as they are in traditional homes, and vaulted ceilings in the core rooms contribute to the sense of spaciousness.

With the exception of the skylit recreation room over the garage, it's a single-level home. The recreation room features a half bath, storage closet, narrow window, and two large skylights. This room could be used as a separate playroom for the kids, or a secluded workspace for those who enjoy retreating from the normal hustle and bustle of everyday home life.

The large, open great room which fills the core comprises a vaulted living room, dining room and kitchen. Abundant natural light flows in through wide windows, front and rear.

The living room's gas fireplace offers stress-free warmth, and colorful flames. Its easy to fire up on chilly days or when darkness falls. Wide cabinetry, designed for a home entertainment center, fills the space between the fireplace and the rear wall.

A long, three-sectioned eating bar is defines the kitchen and the rest of the space. The pantry is exceptionally roomy, as is the closeby utility room. The latter is a pass-through space that links with the garage, and makes an ideal mudroom.

The owners' suite fills the right side of the home; secondary bedrooms are on the left, and share the main bathroom. Owners suite features include: a soaking tub, dual vanity, large walk-in closet, and separately enclosed shower and toilet.

26th May, 2017
Articles, Blog

A good garage can drastically improve the value of your home. It’s something that most prospective homeowners and all real estate agents will focus on, and a little care and attention can go a long way here.

You don’t need the biggest budget or the best DIY skills either. It just takes a takes a few minutes and a little hard work to bring your garage up to scratch, as these 4 Tips for Improving Your Garage show.

Maintain Garage and Garage Door 

It’s easy to lose interest in your garage when it begins to fall into disrepair. The mold creeps in, the spiders take over, and the door rusts so much that it begins to sound like the entrance to a haunted manor house. Most homeowners have designs on making the perfect garage, on keeping it clean and useable, only to lose track and then give up when the rot sets in.

But it doesn’t need to be like that as essential maintenance is cheap and easy to perform. The first thing you should look to do is replace the torsion springs on all garage doors. According to Garage Door Nation, who lead the way in the sale and installation of these products, it should take you less than 10 minutes. That way, when you open your garage door on a morning you won’t expect to be greeted by a servant named Lurch.

The door itself may need replacing as well, but most of the time you can get by with a good clean and a few little DIY improvements. Fill the holes, replace broken/rusted parts, add an electronic opener, and finish it off with a lick of paint.

Make it Parking Friendly 

A garage should be one of two things: an extension of your home, or a place to store your car. It should not be a giant dumpster where you store everything from unwanted Christmas presents to empty appliance boxes.

If you decide to use it to house your car, then make sure it’s fit for that purpose. Remove the junk, hang a tennis ball from the roof so you know when to stop reversing, and remove anything that can cause damage to the paintwork.

If it’s a tight squeeze you should also place bumpers along the walls of your garage. You don’t need to cover the entire wall. Simply use something that sticks out in the middle of the wall. Pool noodles are great for this, as they are soft, spongy, cheap and easy to affix to the walls.

Make it Storage Friendly

If you want your garage to be an extension of your house, then add some flooring, lights and furniture. Put up a storage rack, some drawers and some other units.This way it’s still a room for storage, but the storage is neat and orderly, and it can also be an additional bedroom, a den or an office.

Don’t overlook the ceiling when it comes to storage. There are sliding storage racks, hanging storage systems and much more that will make use of all that previously untouched space. If you don’t have the budget to buy steel shelving units, then just make them yourself. You can get the raw materials cheaply and it’ll only take a few hours of your time.

Here are a few more storage ideas:

•   Screwdriver Rack: Puncture a series of holes into a length of wood, nail it to the wall and you have a handy place to store your screwdrivers.

•   Plastic Storing Containers: Use cheap, open plastic containers to store all of those smaller items for easy access. Make sure you write down the contents on a label and stick it to the front of the boxes.

•   Pegboards: A few simple pegboards can be used to store loose tools. Just hammer some nails in and hook those tools on them.

•   Tin Cans: Tin cans can be a great way to store small tools, while transparent pots and jars are ideal for screws, nuts and bolts.

Make it High-Tech 

There are a number of cool gadgets and tools for your garage. Some will make your life easier, some are just fun to play with. You can purchase devices that connect to your smartphone and warn you when you garage door is open, either because you’ve left it open or because it has been broken into.

There are high-tech garage door openers that will open and close automatically and can also run off backup battery power, just incase there’s a power cut. There are also doors that require security codes to gain access, and the more high-tech of these will randomly change the codes at regular intervals, ensuring that only the owner has the correct access code at any given time.

Alarm systems, security cameras and insulation are also a common feature of high-tech garages. They will keep your home safe and secure, while helping you to cut down on those energy bills and to reduce the risk of mold and animal infestations.

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22nd May, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Victorian House Plan, Home Plan, Pearl 42-010

Well-suited for use as a vacation retreat or as a year-round residence, the Pearl is a quaint Victorian cottage. Double doors on the covered porch open into a front living room linked to a rear kitchen/nook. A half bathroom is on this level, while the two bedrooms above share a larger one.

17th May, 2017
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Country Home Plan, Farmington 31-068

Created for a lot that slopes to the side, the Farmington is a charming country-style two story home plan. Entering the home, you walk into the great room with a fireplace. Along the back of the great room is the dining room which is open to the kitchen which is seperated by a flush peninsual eating bar. Through the kitchen a hallway leads past a large walk-in pantry, half bathroom and to the utility room. The owners' suite is also off the main level and features a private bathroom with a walk-in closet and dual vanity. Upstairs, are two additional bedrooms, a full bathroom and bonus room.

15th May, 2017
Blog, House Plan of the Week

Featured House Plan of the Week, Contemporary Home Plan, Palermo 30-160

The Palermo is relaxed, spacious and designed to suit families who prefer an informal lifestyle. Family living spaces flow together at the rear of the naturally bright vaulted great room. The room to the right of the entry could be purposed as a media room, study, or home office.

Storage space is generous throughout, with large cabinets and closets in the entry, great room, kitchen, owners' suite, and utility room, along with the three-car garage.

This contemporary home entryceiling is a lofty 12 feet high, and begins sloping up as you move into the great room. A bank of windows run along the back and side walls, while a gas fireplace fits neatly into a corner. Deep shelving is ideal for housing a home entertainment center.

A conversation bar with an overhead plant shelf marks the kitchen boundary without cutting it off from the larger space. Someone standing at the kitchen range can watch over the entire room, or gaze past the skylit dining area through French doors to watch in the back yard. A partially covered patio spans the rear.

Utilities and a compact bathroom are close by, nestled in a pass-through space that leads to the garage.

French double doors in the owners' suite offer direct patio access. A great location for a hot tub is right around the corner. Other features include two large walk-in closets, and a bath with double vanity, private toilet, oversized shower and deep soaking tub.

The front of the two secondary bedrooms is vaulted. Its boxed bay provides an nice location for a wide window seat with built-in drawers.

11th May, 2017
Blog, New Home Plans

New House Plan, Cottage Home Plan, Arborbrook 31-072

Designed for a narrow building lot, the Arborbrook is a delightful cottage house plan. Not only is it surprising large (2200 square feet), from the exterior it appears to be a single level home but once you step inside a set of stairs takes you up to the second floor where two bedrooms and a loft are nestled into the roof. To the left of the entry is a den which could also serve as a home office or an additional bedroom. Down the entry hall the home opens up to a great room with corner fireplace and a kitchen with a large work island. In the rear right corner of the home is the owners' suite which features a dual vanity and large walk-in closet. 

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