Tag: floor plan

HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR HOMES’ CURB APPEAL

Walk down any residential street and it’s the homes that make up most of the scenery. How your home looks from the curb point of view makes a statement. It’s a first impression that conveys a lot about who and what lives inside. Whether you’re looking to maximize your home’s curb appeal because it’s going on the market or you just want a great looking home, this article can help you get there.

Aspen Ridge Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Knock Knock

The front door is most often the centerpiece of a home’s front exterior. As people approach your home, they’re headed for the front door. As a major focal point, you should create a front doorway that is both strong and welcoming. Depending on your door type, this can be achieved with a fresh coat of paint or stain. While well-crafted hardware that includes the door knob, knocker and even the doorbell can dramatically contribute to the overall look of your front entry way. Long story short, a great front door is a must for curb appeal.

Azalea Farm House Plan- Frank Betz

A porch that says, “come on up.”

If your home has a front porch, it already has a head start in the curb appeal department.

Nothing says “come on up for a visit” like a well-appointed front porch. Taking into consideration the style of your home, furnish your front porch with comfortable chairs or even porch swing. Potted and hanging plants and other attractive ornaments like windchimes, a door mat and sculpture are additional ways to turn up the welcome factor in this out-in-front space.

Heritage Pointe House Plan- Frank Betz

Landscaping matters.

Attractive landscaping means more than just freshly cut grass. From the curb, is there a path leading to the door? Make sure this path is well kept and even. Trimmed bushes, flowering plants and carefully pruned trees all add up to create a beautiful landscape. And remember, it all starts at the curb. The sidewalk and driveway are also important areas to keep looking neat.

Maplegrove Cottage House Plan- Frank Betz

A detailed approach.

Another step in increasing your home’s curb appeal is sprucing up the architectural details. These include any elements that can be seen from the curb. Make sure that any fencing is in order, the roofing and gutters look good and light fixtures and hardware are working and clean.

Even a neat mailbox can help. These items may seem insignificant alone, but together they have a substantial visual effect.

 

New Albany House Plan- Frank Betz

What a difference a color makes.

Finally, and quite important, is your home’s paint. Freshening up the exterior of your home with a shiny new coat of paint is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to boost its curb appeal. Shades of green and brown blend well with most landscapes. Light and dark tones of blue also work well to instill a look of calmness. And if your home is modern or traditional, white is a nice way to emphasize clean lines.

 

There are many simple ways to increase your home’s curb appeal. Start by standing on the curb and observing your home from an objective perspective. You’ll be able to identify key issues that can be easily addressed. With a little time and elbow grease, your home can be looking its best to you and anyone who happens by.

 

5 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN DESIGNING YOUR MASTER SUITE

Besides the kitchen, the master suite is considered one of the most important areas of a home. It’s where you’ll be spending a good portion of your life, not only because it’s where you and your significant other sleep, but where you get ready for the day ahead. Taking the time to design a master suite that best fits your needs is well worth the effort. With a few design tips outlined in this article, you’ll be on the right path to creating a well-planned master suite.

Chestnut Springs House Plan- Frank Betz

The matter of privacy
Because your master suite will act as a retreat from the hectic world, a sense of privacy should be woven into the design. Positioning these rooms near the back of the home and/or on the upper story is recommended. The privacy issue also comes in to play when locating windows and doors. Yes, you can add curtains or blinds, but it’s comforting to be able to dress and undress freely without having to worry about putting on a show for the neighbors.

Hickory Grove House Plan- Frank Betz

The size is right
The master suite most commonly consists of the largest bedroom and bathroom in the house.
Larger walk-in closets and sitting rooms are also popular features for these areas. When designing your home’s floorplan, assigning a generous percentage of the square footage for the master suite is advised. One should also consider the furniture that will go in these rooms. The size of the bed, dressers and sitting room chairs can help determine the amount of space needed.

Hartford Springs House Plan- Frank Betz

Closet space. More is more.
One of the most attractive features of a well-designed master suite is ample closet space. If the square footage is available, including two walk-in closets is the best course. This allows enough room for both occupants to keep their individual wardrobes. A master suite with two walk-in closets is also a huge advantage when selling your home.

Azalea Farm House Plan- Frank Betz

Bathroom zen
While the rest of your home’s bathrooms are purely functional in nature, the master suite bathroom can be extraordinary. Beyond function, this bathroom can be a place of relaxation.
Double sink vanities, spa tubs and steam showers are just a few examples of luxurious master suite amenities.

Ansley Cottage House Plan- Frank Betz

Laundry convenience
Since the master suite is usually inhabited by two people, it will generate a significant amount of clothing and bedding. To conveniently handle the cleaning and upkeep of these items, designing easy access to the laundry is suggested. If the master suite is on the second floor and the laundry room on the first, a laundry shoot is a feature that can aid the accessibility and save time.

Hedgerow House Plan- Frank Betz

Every great home should have a master suite to match. As your own personal escape from the busy world, it should include the space and amenities that will enable both functionality and relaxation. As much if not more than any room in your home, the master suite should be a reflection of your style with the space and features that will complement the home as a whole.

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR MUDROOM DESIGN

Similar to an airlock on a space station, the mudroom is a vital transition area between the outdoors and indoors. Coming in from outside, it’s a place to take off and store your outerwear and other daily belongings. When leaving your home, it’s the last stop to gear up with the needed essentials. Coming or going, a well-designed mudroom is an essential part of any home.

Kensington Creek House Plan- Frank Betz

A heavy traffic area

One of the keys to a properly designed mudroom is making sure it’s located adjacent to the most used entry way. Consider what door your family will be using the most often and that is the place for the mudroom. This is probably the area where everyone’s shoes, boots, gloves, coats, backpacks, keys and hats will live. So, it should be designed into the floorplan according to convenience and easy access to your home’s most popular doorway.

Barrington Hills House Plan- Frank Betz

Everything in its place and a place for everything

Accessibility and organization are two very important components to a functional mudroom design.
Built-in shelving and cabinets are nice for storage. While racks and hooks to hang coats and hats make getting in and out of the house more efficient. If there is room for a bench, not only will it provide a comfortable place to sit while removing shoes and boots, but with the right design, the area under the bench can be utilized for storage, as well. Installing a small mirror is also a nice amenity, for a last-minute look before you head out the door.

Ingrams Mill Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Size is relative

Beyond location, the size of your mudroom should be determined by the number of people and pets in your home. Remember, with each person comes at least one set of shoes, a coat and hat. And for our
four-legged family members, you’ll need room for a leash and outdoor toys. If there’s space for its own room great, but a mudroom can be designed into a hallway, laundry room or larger closet.

 

Pine Meadow House Plan- Frank Betz

Durable materials

The very definition of a mudroom describes a place where muddy and wet clothing is taken off before entering the rest of the home. It’s there to protect the rest of your home from the outdoor elements. With that, a mudroom should be designed using materials that can handle dirt and moisture. Tile flooring or an easy to clean rug will help keep things tidy. Metal hooks and wire baskets are also moisture resistant features that make for durable storage and organization.

Wellstone Place Floor Plan- Frank Betz

All told, the mudroom should be designed for function. It is a place to keep outdoor clothing and any other daily items used outside the home. But just because the mudroom is designed for utility, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be attractive and complement your home. Incorporating the same color pallet and material styles will help weave this room into your home’s established décor. Yes, it is a mudroom, but it can be a beautiful room, as well.

DESIGN TIPS FOR YOUR NEW LAKE HOUSE OR MOUNTAIN HOME

Building a home where your family spends most of its time can be a project of a lifetime. Building a second, vacation centered home on the water or in the mountains is an adventure on a whole other level. A vacation home is just that, for a vacation. With that means every facet of the home’s design should be geared to comfort and relaxation. This article will help illustrate some of the best practices when designing your dream vacation home.

Kensington Park Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Rooms with a view

 

Whether it’s on the water or in the mountains, the positioning of your vacation home should always be oriented to achieve the maximum view of the natural surroundings. When designing a floor plan, locate the most frequently used rooms toward the back of the home. This includes the kitchen, dining and living rooms. Take advantage of the beautiful scenery by installing as many large windows and glass doors as possible. Not only will this expansive glass optimize your view, but the natural light can reduce electricity bills. Less used rooms like the garage, laundry and bedrooms should be situated toward the front of the home.

Summerlake Floor Plan- Frank Betz

The positives of a sloping lot

 

Due to their remote locations, vacation homes are often set on rougher terrain. This usually means the lot will be located on a hill or mountain. These slopes can work in your favor if planned correctly. By putting the foundation into the slope and building upwards, you’ll have at least two stories that are open to the views and sunlight. A proper retaining wall will be needed to address water drainage from the downward slope.

Tillman Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Make every square foot count
Because it’s a vacation home you’ll want to maximize every inch of space. If you like to entertain, friends and family will probably be visiting and staying overnight. Designing a terraced home with multiple levels will allow you to pack in as many sleeping quarters as possible. Basement bedrooms are also a less expensive way to make room for guests.

Blue Ridge Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Outside is the new inside

Your vacation home will hopefully be located smack dab in the middle of nature’s beauty. To best enjoy the surroundings, try to include as many exterior spaces as possible. Porches, decks and even outside kitchens and fireplaces are great ways to enjoy nature in functional comfort. An abundance of fresh air and sunlight are the keys to relaxation. A true vacation home will take these resources into account and blur the line between the indoors and outdoors.

Summerlyn Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Designing a vacation home is a perfect opportunity to push the bounds of creating a dwelling that embraces the tranquility of the natural world. A home with expansive views of the surroundings, cozy and ample sleeping quarters, as well as generous outdoor amenities should all be cornerstones of the design. Again, this home should be a place of serenity and outdoor fun. So, design with nature in mind.

5 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Work for You

 

Most of us spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen. In the last few decades, the kitchen has evolved from a purely utilitarian space to a central gathering area for the whole family. Having a better organized kitchen will enhance not only the efficiency of the room, but also its livability factor. As the workhorse of your home, maximizing the use of every inch of its space is important. Below you will find a list with 5 effective ways that will easily make your kitchen more enjoyable.

Hanover Pointe Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Organization Is Key

A great kitchen and an organized kitchen are one in the same. With so many items from food to flatware, having a defined place for each is a must. Beyond typical cabinetry and drawers, including a pantry for dry goods, open shelving for plates, bowls and glassware, and hanging racks for cooking utensils can bring needed order to the kitchen. Wine and spice racks are other examples of how you can increase organization, where everything is easy to find.

Ansley Cottage Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Space to Work

Kitchen storage is one thing, but you’ll also need room to work. When it comes to preparing meals, the more surface areas to cut, chop, peel, dice, and clean, the better. There are many countertop options that are very durable and easy to clean. Depending on the square footage of your kitchen, a central island can provide more room to work, as well as to dine. Small desks are also a common feature in the modern kitchen.

Aspen Ridge House Plan- Frank Betz

Dedicated Spaces for Small Appliances

A kitchen can easily look cramped and cluttered if small appliances end up in the wrong places. While it’s nice to have coffee machines, blenders, choppers, mixers, etc., they can take up valuable countertop space. This will reduce your workspace and make the kitchen appear smaller. Establishing dedicated spaces for these appliances and storage for less commonly used machines is a recommended solution.

Saint Denis Floor Plan- Frank Betz

 

An Open Floor Plan Will Expand the Size of Your Kitchen

If you want to make your kitchen appear larger, take advantage of an open floor plan. This will connect your kitchen with other living areas in your home. An open kitchen enables better interaction with family members in adjacent areas, like the living room or den. As stated before, the kitchen, especially an open kitchen, has become the heart of the modern home.

 

The importance of proper appliances

Modern technology has seen incredible advances in the common kitchen appliances. Items like in-counter dishwashers, convection ovens, gas stove tops, microwaves and smart refrigerators are just a few of the must haves for any new kitchen. It’s better to spend more for high-quality kitchen appliances. They will not only last longer, but offer a broader spectrum of features that will help you save time and effort.

Northfield Manor Floor Plan- Frank Betz

If there’s any room in your new home that desires more thought and attention to detail, it’s the kitchen. As the most popular space in most home designs, effort should be made to create a comfortable and easily workable environment.  The right kitchen can make your home. And if you ever opt to sell, a great kitchen is always a winning feature.

PLAN MODIFICATIONS – DO I NEED AN ARCHITECT OR CAN MY BUILDER JUST MAKE CHANGES IN THE FIELD?

Building a new home is an exciting but complicated process. What begins as simple drawings on a page, evolves into an ever-changing and growing endeavor. Because of that, anticipating the need for adjustments during the building process is paramount. Retaining an Architect throughout the whole project can be expensive, but worth the money when it comes to making big changes in the field. On the other hand, a qualified builder with a solid and detailed set of plans should also be able to handle in-field building adjustments. The following article will touch on some recommendations for managing variables during your build.

Ansonborough House plan- Frank Betz

It’s all in the plans

If there’s one element that will set the tone for your entire home building process, it’s the building plans. Making sure your house plans are complete, detailed and correct will save you both money and time in the long run. A skilled Architect will deliver comprehensive plans that can take into account shifting build variables. Before the build begins it’s a good idea to get your builder and Architect together to review the plans and discuss any possible variations. The planning stage is where you will have the most time to make adjustments. Once the building process starts, things start to kick into a higher gear and time becomes a precious commodity.

Heritage Pointe House Plan- Artlantica

Accurate plans mean accurate bids

Another benefit to a well-crafted set of house plans comes into play during the bidding stage.

With the details included in a thought-out home plan, builders are able to deliver more accurate bids. Square footage and floorplans are a major factor in the bidding process, but material specs and finishes are also instrumental calculating costs. A more precise timeline can also be better developed when it comes to material lead times.

Kensington Creek- Frank Betz

Red-lining your plans

The term red-lining refers to making changes to an existing home plans with a red pen. This process is an easy way to record and plan for changes in the field. Sometimes these changes are taken and formally redrawn into the house plan, but more often the marked-up plans are used as is. The builder is usually responsible for red-lining. They are knowledgeable about local codes and what can and can’t be adjusted in the field. Red-lining is a cost-effective method of making changes. They can be done on-site where time is money.

Frank Betz House Plan- Hemlock Falls

Mistakes mean money

Making changes during a home build comes with a price. But mistakes in the field are infinitely costlier. It’s another reason meticulous and comprehensive house plans are worthwhile. While no home build happens without hiccups, open communication between the Architect and builder can help mitigate the effects of mistakes in the field. Sometimes what looks plausible on paper doesn’t always work well in the real world.

Panola House Plan- Frank Betz

Taking the initial home design through a completed build is never a perfect process. Plan modifications on site will always be a factor. The right builder can address these modifications but keeping your Architect in the loop can assist in the needed adjustments. Again, thorough house plans before the build will always result in a smoother project, but a cohesive Architect and builder team is vitally important to handling and solving variables in the field.

 

DESIGNING HOME PLANS FOR REAL PEOPLE

When designing a new home there’s sometimes a tendency to get a bit off track. Yes, it’s nice to peruse the magazines and posh websites for fantastic home design ideas. But do all those fancy features and amenities fit into a normal family’s lifestyle? Usually not. Too often we’re mesmerized by a home design that makes a great magazine photoshoot, and not what really makes sense for day to day living. Beyond beauty, your home needs to be functional for everyday life. This article will help outline real world design tips that can make your new home beautiful and most importantly, practical.

Embry Hills House Plan- Artlantica

Get organized

During the planning stage, it’s time to determine what you want and need out of your new home. Beyond ample living space for your family, what other features and amenities make sense? A new home can help a family keep their lives organized. The latest smart home technologies designed into a home can aid in organization. These products include smart thermostats that adjust temperature according to living habits, smart security, lighting and HVAC systems, and even smart locks that do away with keys. Carefully planned closets, kitchen cabinets and drawers have also evolved to increase storage and reduce clutter. Many home plan designs already dedicate spaces such as mudrooms, larger laundry rooms, working pantries and office nooks to encourage home efficiency.

Kirkwood House Plan- Frank Betz

 

Location matters

Take into account your location, climate and outdoor activities. Hot climates may dictate a swimming pool and proper protection from the sun, like covered porches, awnings and high-performance windows. Colder regions need a home with extra insulation and when possible, a southern facing lot position.  House plan designs that offer covered porches, screened porches and sunrooms can expand your living space while taking climate concerns into consideration. Whether hot or cold, energy efficiency should be factored in to the design. Features like energy efficient appliances and zoned HVAC units are popular and sensible methods.

Kensington Park House Plan- Frank Betz

All the comforts

Comfort should be a major factor when designing a home for practicality. Beyond shelter, your home is a place to feel safe and relaxed. With that, a home plan should have an adequate number of bedrooms and bathrooms for all members of your family. If the budget allows, enhanced amenities like spa tubs, walk-in closets and hardscaped outdoor living areas can help dramatically ramp up the home relaxation factor. Also, a large, open kitchen with an island can act as a central living area for the whole family to gather.

Springmill Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Accommodations that adapt

Another realistic consideration when designing a new home, takes into account the adaptability to lifestyle changes. If you’re building a family, a nursery is a must. As your family grows, you’ll need the right amount of bed and bathrooms. Will you have guests often? If so, a guest room is in order. The same goes for visiting or permanent older family members. Seniors in the home mean accommodations such as an in-law suite or second master bedroom.  And if these seniors have mobility issues, wider doorways and easily accessible bathroom amenities need to be incorporated into your home design.

Holston Farm Floor Plan- Frank Betz

There are many defining components that should be considered when designing a new home. Creating a place that fits the basic needs of your family is the best place to start. From there, you can expand the home plan design to include practical amenities that keep your family safe and comfortable with attention to efficiency and environmental concerns. The ability to support a changing family dynamic is an additional design aspect. Once all the functional elements are included, the creature comforts can be added to your home plan as the icing on your home cake.

DESIGN TIPS FOR THE BEST FINISHED BASEMENTS

For the home owner that needs more space and amenities, finishing out the basement is a great solution. The basement is already part of your home’s structure, so from a cost perspective it’s usually less expensive than adding to the footprint of the house. As you begin to plan the renovation, there a number of key design factors to consider. This article will highlight these ideas to help you get the most out of this exciting endeavor.

Ambrose Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Planning before all else

Even if you just want to build out a room or two, a comprehensive plan for the whole basement is advised. Not only will it give you a full view of what you have to work with, it will make the future renovations much easier. As with any home renovation work, be sure to get the proper permits before the first hammer is swung.

Falkirk Ridge Floor Plan- Frank Betz

A dry basement is a happy basement

First and foremost, when planning a basement renovation make sure there are no water issues. Because most basements are below grade, moisture is often a factor. Solve any moisture problems before the renovation, or there’s a high probability you’ll see continuous damage to the finishes of your new space. When finishing out the walls, using insulation with a vapor barrier will aid in moisture protection.

Gastonia Floor Plan- Artlantica

The purpose

Another part of the basement renovation planning process should be a careful assessment of how each room is going to be used. Will there be bedrooms, a kitchen, theatre or a wine-cellar? Each kind of room will need the appropriate amenities. Bedrooms will need an egress window or door, closets and bathrooms, while media rooms call for special lighting and other electrical nuances. Even a small kitchen will need the appropriate plumbing. As for the utility areas like the water heater and HVAC units, leave those unfinished. These spaces need ample access for inspection and/or repairs.

Kenthurst Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Let there be light

Since most basements are below ground, proper lighting is always an issue. Whenever possible, open areas up to natural light. This can be achieved by large windows or sliding glass doors. Recessed lighting in a drop ceiling, positioned near the outer perimeter of rooms, will provide ample light and make the rooms appear larger. Lighter color paint will also create the illusion of more light and space.

Custom Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Drop that ceiling

Often acquainted with commercial properties, there are many drop ceiling options that look very nice in a residential setting. This design method will enable you to hide HVAC ductwork, electrical and plumbing lines. And as stated above, it’s the go-to method for recessing lights.

Boulder Summit Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Finishing out the basement is an efficient and cost-effective way to add much needed space and features to your home. Be sure to plan the renovation as you would the rest of your home. The extra time and planning taken up front will make all the difference in the end result. Soon you’ll be enjoying your new basement and reflecting on a job well done.

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