Tag: farmhouse

What do I need to ask a Potential Home Builder?

 

So you’re ready to build a new home. One of the first steps should be to pick a builder. If you live in a decent sized town or city, there is a good chance you will have a lot of potential options. There are many things to consider when making the choice, but by asking the right questions of the candidates, you should end up with the best builder for you. Here are some question topics to keep in mind:

References

Besides being licensed, the best builders will always have a wide array of references. It’s a good idea to meet the builders past clients to not only view the builder’s craftsmanship but also get an insight into their customer service. Industry websites can also be a reference source for the local area. A builder who is not forthcoming with references is a major red flag.

Catawba Ridge House Plan- Frank Betz

Do they allow customization or do you have to agree with standard finishes?

A good home builder will always offer the ability to customize your design. You probably want your home to be a reflection of your taste and style. Standard finishes may work for a car, but you shouldn’t have to settle when building a home. A qualified builder will use standard finishes as a starting point, and be open to customization from there.

What warranty does the builder supply?

Builder home warranties are a must. When interviewing each builder, be sure to get the length and coverage of their warranties. Your new home’s products, systems and components should all come with extensive warranties. Make sure your builder will honor the warranties and provide ample service if needed.

Beaufort House Plan- Frank Betz

Pricing

Builders price building a new home a number of different ways. Do they calculate everything per square foot, do they have a flat fee? If you customize, will there be additional costs? Will they keep you up to date on the costs as you go through the building process? It is important to have a thorough understanding of a builder’s pricing before you commit to working with them.

Frank Betz Material Workbook

Estimated time length for the project

A building time frame is another piece of information you should have before choosing the builder. You don’t want a builder who will take too much time, but on the other hand, you don’t want someone who will rush through your job. A fast build often means reduced craftsmanship and lower quality. If your builder has his hands full with a bunch of other homes, that may mean less time and attention to your home build. Finding a good balance between the two is a solid choice.

Bucknell Place House Plan- Frank Betz

Overall, it is a good idea to interview as many builders as possible. The more questions you ask, the better. The answers will help you make a better informed decision. With the right questions you will find a builder that fits your style, temperament and budget. If possible, spending a bit more for the right builder will pay off in the long run. After all, this is your new home we’re talking about.

The latest product trends for new home construction

 

Now is an exciting time to build a new home. Beyond advances in building technology and energy efficient materials, current product and home plan design trends are making today’s new homes quite remarkable. These products include unique patterned flooring, wide bi-fold/sliding doors, free standing bath tubs, interior shiplap siding, exposed beams, and bold and bright paint color schemes.

 

Gone are the days of boring home floors. Patterned wood and tile have made their way into homes across the nation. From fumed wood, which dramatically enhances the grain, to blanched wood for a distressed but clean look, wood flooring has taken a prominent step forward. We’re seeing mixed-width planks used to create distinct patterns to the more traditional herringbone arrangement. Marble, slate and ceramic tiles with patterns and textures are also being used to create floors that are an integral part of the home decor scheme.

Frank Betz House Plan- Ansley Cottage

 

New door trends are also finding their way into homes these days. What was once just a utilitarian item has now become a unique design feature. Incorporating wide sliding glass doors or large bi-folding doors into the design of home plans with covered porches, patios or decks provides living spaces with natural light and more generous views. Weather permitting, opening these wide doors also extends the home’s living space to the outside creating large, flowing floor plans perfect for entertaining and family gatherings.

Frank Betz House Plan- Tuxedo Park

In the master bathrooms, the large soaking tubs are breaking free from their typical built-in platforms as the stand-alone tub is fast becoming a hot new item. These free standing tubs, both tranquil and beautiful, make a great design focal point and many master bathrooms are being designed around these icons of luxury and relaxation to create a more spa like feel.  With this increased interest, many companies have designed a wide array of tub styles that are both sculpturally beautiful and affordable.

Frank Betz House Plan-Beaufort

Another trending design element made popular by the modern farmhouse plan is the use of shiplap siding as an interior feature.  Bringing this common exterior finish to the inside of the house gives instant character to any space. Whether used as an accent on a fireplace or covering the walls of a room, shiplap siding provides clean, simple lines that exemplifies the “less is more” design concept while impacting the home’s aesthetic appeal.

Frank Betz House Plan -Northfield Manor

Next on the new product trend list are exposed beams. Inspired by the roughhewn beams of old barns and traditional farm houses, leaving these bones of the ceiling exposed, adds texture and depth to family rooms, keeping rooms, bedrooms and even kitchens. Architecturally, this technique can work in many different home styles from farmhouse traditional to modern. Whether made from reclaimed or new timbers, exposed beams celebrate the engineering of a home while bringing the ceiling into the forefront of the design pallet.

Frank Betz House Plan-Ansonborough

And finally, what’s new on the home construction front wouldn’t be complete without a mention of trending paint colors. Bold is back. Striking paint color choices like dark navy, rich golds and berry reds are finding their way onto the walls of new homes. Homeowners are embracing intense color schemes, from deep earth tones to vibrant jewel tones, to establish personality and character for their rooms.

Frank Betz House Plan- Ansley Cottage

All told, conventional home construction has made way for a brave new world of exciting product trends. These products help create a new home that breaks from the norm and better fits the needs and style of the individual family. More than ever, the home has become an extension of a family’s lifestyle. These trends help enable that expression.

The modern farmhouse style. It’s come a long way from the farm.

 

The term “farmhouse style” describes a home that is a bit different than it was a century ago. Back then, a farmhouse was just that, a house on a farm. It’s where the farmers lived. Today, it’s a very popular design for new homes and has dramatically broadened from a style standpoint. In fact, farmhouse style homes are being built throughout urban and suburban areas. And while the modern farmhouse style has definitely evolved from its days on the farm, its enduring appeal comes from the simple, clean lines, functionality and natural materials.

Latimer Farm House Plan- Weather Vane

 

If the farmhouse style is what you want out of your home, there are a number of exterior and interior key features that will make it so. First and foremost is the front porch. The front porch provides a nice transition from the exterior to interior. Back on the farm, shoes fresh from the fields needed to stay outside and the porch was that place. That may not be the case today, where a front porch allows for casual seating and a warm welcome.

Brookshire Manor House plan – Front Elevation

The farmhouse style floor plan gives ample room for a growing family with a large kitchen and dining area for entertaining. It usually features 3 plus bedrooms, a fireplace in the family room, a mudroom to keep coats, shoes and bags, and a covered back porch for additional living space. Vaulted ceilings and large windows for natural light are also telling elements of the farmhouse style.

Kensington Creek House Plan- Mud room

 

The kitchen is a place where the farmhouse style can really shine. A farmhouse style kitchen is large enough to be the central gathering room for the family and an area for dining and entertaining. A most recognized mark of the farmhouse kitchen, is the farmhouse sink. Originally the workhorse of the old farm kitchen, its distinctive style and large size make it a go-to sink for the farmhouse look. Other interior kitchen accents include the use of natural and rustic materials like shiplap and reclaimed wood. The farmhouse style kitchen’s large, open floor plan also provides room for a kitchen island and a sizeable dining table.

Ansley Cottage House Plan- Kitchen

Overall, the farmhouse style works nicely in an urban, suburban and even coastal location.
One of its most attractive attributes comes from its broad style flexibility. It’s clean and simple exterior and interior design allows for modern finishes and furnishings, as well as, the more traditional country décor. Anything with a handcrafted and practical look helps capture the farmhouse style. In our hectic, modern world, the farmhouse style has gained popularity as a way to connect and recapture the true essence of home. The farmhouse style represents an authentic and inviting American lifestyle, where the house is truly part of the family.

Summerlake House Plan- Reclaimed wood barn door

Choosing A Houseplan

A little neighborly advice for choosing the right house plan.


Building a new home can be an exciting and sometimes daunting experience.
However, deciding to start with a proven and well-crafted house plan is a great first step. Purchasing a house plan will go a long way to making your home building process less stressful and more successful.

 

To begin with, there are thousands of house plans available. Choosing the right one will make all the difference, not only to fit the needs of you and your family, but the homes marketability if and when you ever choose to sell. With a little planning before you pick a plan, you’ll be on the right path to laying out the welcome mat.

Tried and true considerations for choosing a house plan:

  • What are your lifestyle needs?

  Do you have a family? If so, how big? You’ll need a certain amount of bedrooms and  
  bathrooms. And if there are more children planned or relatives who visit often, you should   
  also plan for that additional living space. The interior size needs of your future home is one of
  the most important factors when choosing a house plan.

Chestnut Springs House Plan- Kitchen and Keeping area
  • What’s your style?

  From traditional to contemporary to rustic, there a many different house design styles.

  And each style has its own type of house plan. Your furnishings, and neighborhood can also

  affect the type of house plan you choose. For example, mid century modern furniture may not
  be suited for a traditional farmhouse style home.

Summerlake House Plan – Rustic Elevation
  • Where will your house live?

  In addition to the surrounding neighborhood style, the size and shape of your lot is a major

  factor when it comes to choosing a house plan. If you like the outdoors, you’ll need a plan
  that allows for outdoor space like a yard, garden, patio, decks or even a pool. A house plan  

  needs to comfortably fit the lot and the natural surroundings, while addressing additional

  uses for your property. Factors such as the width and depth of your lot and whether it’s flat or

  sloping will dictate the type of house plan. Also, if privacy is a concern, the right house plan

  with the right layout is a must. Nobody wants to their kitchen staring into the neighbor’s  

  bedroom. And vice versa.

Falkirk Ridge House Plan – Courtyard
  • Got space?

   Space and its uses are key when determining which house plan is best. Are you into cooking?   
   Then maybe a house plan with a larger kitchen is a must. Will you need a home office,
   storage areas or other special interests that might call for certain space needs? These

   usability details need to be considered not only for your enjoyment but future owners.

Northfield Manor House Plan- Office

 

Taking the time to carefully consider what you want out of your new home is guaranteed to make the whole building process easier. Choosing a house plan that fits these needs, pushes you to think about your house from the inside out. Elements like exterior details and interior finishes are easily adaptable to most house plans and are easier to plan once the floor layout, room count and lot orientation are nailed down. Think of them as the icing on your new, house cake.

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