Tag: smart design

MATCHING OUTBUILDINGS TO YOUR NEW HOME

If you’re thinking about adding an outbuilding to your property, there’s a few guidelines to follow to make sure this new building fits in. Whether your outbuilding is a garage, pool house, garden shed or storage shed, the same forethought and planning should be applied to achieve a positive result. When incorporating a new outbuilding to your current property, you will want to create a visual harmony between the two. The two buildings will be in close proximity, so creating similarity is a must.  Not doing so will make your outbuilding design look like an afterthought.

Frank Betz- Custom House

Continuity

Continuity is not a word normally associated with building a free standing garage or other adjacent outbuilding, but it’s actually quite important. Start by identifying some of your home’s exterior details. The roof line and exterior style are of greatest importance. Matching these characteristics with your existing home structure will help create a cohesive look across your property. If you have a brick home, it is recommended to use the exact same brick for the exterior of your new outbuilding. Two different kinds of brick on the same property will stick out like a sore thumb. The same goes for paint colors, other exterior materials, window styles and roofing materials. Additionally, you will want to use the same landscape aesthetic to help establish even more of a visual flow.

Frank Betz- Custom House Plan

Neighborhood Standards

Beyond creating visual harmony, using like design elements for your outbuilding will fall in-line with any architectural review board or HOA requirements. Specifically, in newer neighborhoods there are strict guidelines put forth by homeowner associations in respect to outbuildings as an effort to uphold property value. This can be true of older communities, as well. Many have requirements to meet the historical standards of residential buildings. It is uncommon to drive through an older neighborhood with traditional architecture to see a modern outbuilding adjacent to one of the homes. Making changes to the existing structure in historical zones is carefully watched. So adding a new building in these neighborhoods is usually followed even more closely and will require design approval before any additions can be made.

Southern Trace- Frank Betz House Plan

Overall Visual Harmony

In addition to continuity and neighborhood standard compliance, coordinating your new outbuilding with your home will just look better. Mismatching these buildings has the possible effect of creating a visual dissonance between the two and will probably effect resale value. Any increase you may have seen by adding this feature to your property could be erased when you go to sell. So do your homework and plan your build accordingly. Designing similarities into your new outbuilding are guaranteed to complement your existing home.

Sweetwater House Plan- Frank Betz

So in review, you should consider a number of factors when planning to build an outbuilding on your property. Assess your home’s exterior design features like materials, shape and color. Make an effort to use the same elements in your new building. Be sure your design is in-line with any neighborhood standards. And finally, from a broad perspective, verify that the new building looks like it belongs. After the project is complete, someone new to your property shouldn’t notice any differences between the two.

WHAT TO EXPECT BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER CHOOSING AN ARCHITECT/DESIGNER

You’ve made the decision to build a new home. That was the easy part. Now’s the time to find and choose an architectural firm. If you have a home design style in mind, and you should, you will want to look for a firm that has experience designing that same kind of home. You can compile a list of firm options by asking the owners of local homes you admire or searching architecture firm websites in your area. Once you have identified a number of candidates, you will want to set up in-person meetings. By meeting first hand with the perspective firms, you will be able to get more information and gauge the working chemistry. You’re about to begin an intensive working relationship that will last months, so feeling comfortable with your architect or architects is highly suggested.

Design Phase
Once you have chosen your architect, you are ready for the initial design meeting. It’s a good idea to bring a house design wish list of wants and needs including photos and/or material samples. This will help your architect or designer get a feeling for your style vision. After this first meeting, the architect will compile the information and use it to create a preliminary home design with floor plans and elevations. A follow up meeting or meetings is advised to allow for your feedback and enable the architect to make the needed design updates.

Embry Hills House Plan- Artlantica

Documentation Phase

With your custom home design nailed down, the architect can move on to develop the working drawings. These are the drawings needed to obtain a development permit. Once approved, a structural design is then created to include your selections for exterior materials and finishes. Solidifying the floor plan, materials and finishes will also help the architect calculate a more accurate, overall project budget.

Frank Betz Material Workbook

Permitting Phase

After completing the documentation phase, your architect can now get a development permit. That permit allows them to create site plans and drawings needed for a building permit. These new drawings include more detailed floor plans, exterior elevations, exterior and interior details, sections, roof and electrical plans. After acquiring a building permit, the builder now has a green light to proceed with the construction process.

Heritage Pointe House Plan- Artlantica

Construction Phase

During this final and increasingly active phase, your architect/designer should still be available to oversee various aspects of your home’s construction. Being there throughout the construction process to make sure the home design is built according to the plans, can be very advantageous. A competent architect should also serve as a consultant on interior details like lighting, plumbing, hardware, glass and finishes.

If you are new to the home building process, choosing the right architect can make everything go more smoothly. An experienced architect will help you through every phase of the home building process. From taking your ideas and creating a design concept, to properly documenting the house design for the needed permits and finally getting through construction to the finish line, an architect will be one of the most important members of your home building team. Take the time to vet the right person or firm. Your new home and your sanity will be better off.

 

Should I have a Design in Mind Before I Find a Builder?

To have, or not to have a home design in mind before finding a builder. That is the question. Regardless of the correct answer, as a person or persons about to take the bold step of building a house, you are probably going to have an idea of what type of house design you’d like. Given those preferences, it is very unlikely that you will approach a builder without at least some of those ideas in mind. That said, there are reasons for and against how defined your home design desires should be when looking for a builder. Here’s a few of them.

Gentry House Plan- Frank Betz

Pros

Having a definite design idea for your new home can be an asset when looking for a builder. It will allow you to focus your search only on builders who are accustomed to building that type of home. For example, you would not want to hire a builder who specializes in building modern homes, if you have your heart set on a farmhouse style. Builders typically have a select range of styles they are familiar with working on. You will want to make sure your style is in that range and preferably go and see examples first hand.

Additionally, with a house design in mind it’s easier to get competitive bids from builders. Having built that style before, they know what to expect from a time and materials perspective. This will provide more accurate bids for your new home to compare with other builders.

Summergrove Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Cons

There are a few downsides to having a predetermined house design, however. For one, your pre-selected house plan may not fit your lot. That may mean working with an architect to create another house plan design or adjusting the present one. This will require more time and expense in the long run.

Some builders tend to have better offers if you use one of their home designs. If your design is much different, you may not benefit from these discounts. Working outside their parameters tends to drive up the cost.

You might also encounter the fact that your desired plan does not fit your future neighborhood’s Home Owner’s Association requirements. Most of the time, an HOA will have its own pre-requisites for home designs. That’s especially true if you want to build in a neighborhood that has a set style. Your design just might not fit in.

Wellstone Place- Artlantica

Conclusion

Taking into account all the pros and cons, getting bids using your new home design and with builders’ options may be an optimal solution. Either way, being flexible with your design expectations is always suggested. Building a new home is a process. And if you stay fluid, your home’s design will evolve for the better.  Above all, take your time on the front end. Figuring out what you want design-wise, in the middle of a build can not only lead to longer build times, but could negatively effect the end result. In the end, it’s quality that matters the most. So whatever home design you and your builder pursue, attention to craftsmanship should be the ultimate priority.

 

Getting reference for New home construction through online industry reports and home shows

As you approach the new home building process, there a number of ways to gain a base knowledge of construction that will help in the long run. A quick search online can lead you to applicable reference materials and various industry reports. Visiting local home shows are another beneficial method. Gathering as much information about the industry will help increase your building knowledge and thus be better prepared to start this quite big undertaking. You’ll get a broader, non-biased view of home building trends in your desired area, find information on credentialed builders and know what questions to ask going forward.

Frank Betz Farmhouse Plan- Hemlock Falls

Before you get the keys to your dream home, there’s a long road ahead. As a first step, it is advised to research the topic on various online construction reporting websites. These sites include www.contructionmonitor.com, www.rakenapp.com, . While these sites are directed toward industry professionals, the content can be useful to someone looking to build a new home for the first time. By familiarizing yourself with industry terminology and processes, you’ll better understand what’s going on, as it’s going on. You’ll also get to see the major players, popular vendors and construction techniques in your area.

Frank Betz Farmhouse Plan- Tanglewood

Most of these sites focus on building permit data as the key resource to gauge market trends and activity.
Building professionals use this information to find new business opportunities, source general contractors, subcontractors and vendors, but you’ll be able to get a feel for who’s doing what and where, as well. Because these are sites for professionals, you’ll also be able to verify the credentials of your perspective builder and vendors. Additionally, they frequently have updates on the latest happenings in the building industry like vendor expos and home shows.

Frank Betz Farmhouse Plan- Hickory Flat

Home shows feature exhibits, product demonstrations and seminars on a variety of home building topics.
Anything and everything having to do with the home can be found at a decent sized home show. Here you’ll find info on house plans, building materials, landscaping and lawn care, kitchen appliances, fixtures, flooring, roofing, siding, concrete, windows, heating and air conditioning, patios, insulation, and more. If you’re interested in building a green home, there are many shows that travel the U.S., specifically geared to that topic. There you’ll learn about green building methods and products that include the latest insulation, radiant floor heating, energy efficient appliances, zero VOC paint and green roofs. And no green home show would be complete without clean energy alternatives like solar panels and wind power.

Frank Betz Farmhouse Plan- Gulfport

Doing your new home, homework ahead of time, will get you better prepared for your building adventure. Knowing the process, the players and building language, will be a major advantage as you move forward. Spend some time online and attending a home show or two. It’s a great way to get ideas, get inspired and most importantly, get educated.

Why New Homes are More Efficient

Most everyone desires a comfortable and safe place to live. Older homes may offer historic charms, but more often than not, they are models of inefficiency. Older homes usually have poor insulation, single pane windows and insufficient heat and air conditioning. These deficiencies can add up and create wasted costs just to maintain the home. Modern building technology and materials are taking new homes light years ahead of their predecessors. The following will help clearly illustrate why a new home is more efficient:

Panola House Plan- Frank Betz

Better Insulation

New homes are simply better insulated. Insulation helps retain the cool temperature from your air conditioning system while also keeping the summer heat out. On the flip side, insulation keeps a homes warmth inside during the cold season. New homes are more efficient since they use the latest insulation materials. Today’s products have high R-Values. This is the rating system used to gauge thermal performance. Highly efficient insulation products include fiberglass blanket, foil face Polyisocyanurate sheets, and cell spray foam.

 

Smarter Designs  

New homes are designed and built with the latest and most efficient design innovations. This involves creating larger indoor spaces or properly-zoned areas to control improved airflow. New homes are also employing cool roof technology, windows with multiple panes, radiant floor heating, efficient water fixtures, strategic landscaping and more.

Magnolia Springs Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Better HVAC Systems

Current HVAC systems are a huge factor in new home efficiency. By providing consistent heating, ventilation and air conditioning, a home doesn’t suffer from wide swings in both temperature and humidity. This consistency is also aided by smart thermostats which have almost become the norm in new homes. These systems are a beneficial investment as well, since the improved the energy efficiency reduces utility bills.

Latimer Farm House Plan- Frank Betz

Renewable power

Renewable energy is more frequently being used to power homes. These products can reduce or completely eliminate your utility bills. These systems include solar panels, wind turbines and large rechargeable batteries that can store several kilowatt-hours of electricity.

 

More Efficient Home Appliances
Modern homebuilders are almost exclusively using energy efficient appliances. Beyond HVAC systems, appliances like tankless water heaters, water saving plumbing fixtures and kitchen appliances are all geared to conserving energy and running more effectively. Another innovation in lighting has come from LED light bulbs. These typically use about 25%-80% less energy than the traditional incandescent bulbs from the past and can last up to 25 times longer.

Wellstone Place House Plan- Frank Betz

With all the advances in residential building technology, new homes are running more efficiently than ever. Sealing the homes with high R-Value insulation, designing rooms to maximize air flow, installing the latest HVAC systems and appliances and even incorporating renewable power sources are making a big difference in home efficiency. When beginning the new home building process, take time to carefully plan these elements with your builder. He should be familiar with all the latest techniques and be able to guide you accordingly. In the end, you’ll have the home you always wanted and a highly efficient one at that.

 

When building a home, size matters: What square footage is right for you?

 

Determining the size of your future house is perhaps one of the most important factors in the building process. Choosing either large or small comes with its own perks and downsides.

Large houses certainly offer an allure of their own. More square footage allows for more space in terms of bathrooms, bedrooms, living spaces and bonus rooms like a craft room, a home office or a game room. On the other hand, smaller houses are more affordable to furnish, maintain, cool, heat and clean!

The appropriate house size will be based on a range of factors regarding your family’s needs and lifestyle:

What is the number of family members?

This is definitely the most important consideration when choosing the amount of square footage. It will determine the size of the whole house, as well as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. The number of rooms is also dependent on whether you have guests staying over often or need extra rooms for your elderly parents. These factors will make you more apt to go for a larger house. Moreover, take into consideration if your family will be expanding or contracting anytime soon. A new addition or additions to the family mean more rooms and the need for more square footage. On the flip side, children leaving the nest will mean a need for less rooms.

Frank Betz House Plan- Settlers Ridge

Do you need work space at home?

These days, an increasing number of employers are allowing people to work from home. If that’s your case, you’ll need ample space for your home office. You could choose to create a space in one of the larger living areas, but a room unto itself, away from the main gathering areas will make for better productivity.  If you’re going to be using your house as your workspace, factor that into your square footage needs.

Frank Betz House Plan- Liberty Ridge

Do you need storage? If so, how much?

Storage space is another important factor in determining your house size. Including a basement or attic area for storage is a plus. This square footage is comparably cheaper than building large closets or other storage space in the common living areas. If you’re like most in the U.S., you have a lot of stuff and thus a need to store it.
However, you might consider streamlining your possessions before your move. This will reduce the amount of square footage for your new home and, in turn, the price tag.

Frank Betz House Plan- Brownsville

What can you easily afford?

Your budget is obviously going to tremendously impact your decision. Every square foot has a price in new construction. With this in mind, find a middle ground that works for your budget as well as your requirements. You don’t want to end up purchasing a house that’s too big for your needs and also much harder to maintain – and you also don’t want to go too small, leaving you feeling cluttered and suffocated.

Frank Betz House Plan- Northshore

In a nutshell:

Given the tradeoffs between a larger house with more space and the convenience and affordability of a smaller one, size is a huge factor when building a new home. Keep in mind that every family has its own unique situation, and you must choose one that suits yours. Remember, no square footage is free – but your comfort and ease can come at a higher price too.

Frank Betz House Plan- Kirkwood

How much does a new home really cost?

Building a new home can be an appealing and exciting experience. Yet, if it is the first time, few people really know how much work is involved. Not to mention an accurate estimate of the cost. Variable costs that include architectural fees, permit fees, construction costs and the builder’s fee and land costs all need to be considered to formulate the final price tag and to protect your budget.

Frank Betz House Plan- Ansonborough

Before the first nail is driven, you will need to have a good set of architectural drawings. This usually involves hiring an architect or residential designer. The architect or designer will work with the customer to design the home, produce construction documents, aid and assist with product selection and sometimes manage or monitor the construction of the home. Typically, an architect will cost between $7,500 and $30,000. He or she may also charge a percentage of the construction costs or base their fees on a price per square foot. As an alternative, there are many quality pre-designed house plans available through various media outlets by very talented architects and designers.

Frank Betz House Plan – Sterling Heights

Land is another major cost consideration. As the population increases in major cities, so has the cost of building lots. In the U.S., a buildable lot averages $85,000.00. This number includes survey and financing costs.

Once the lot is secured, the homeowner needs to factor the builder’s fee. Typically, the builder will charge a 10% to 20 % fee. Though this fee might seem excessive, hiring a builder saves both time and money and minimizes waste. Builders can bring valuable expertise in land selection, preparation of your lot, the construction process, obtaining financing and appropriate material selection. They also bring much needed experience to navigating the complicated permitting and inspection process.

Frank Betz House Plan – Maplewood

Next on the list, is materials. Steel prices have increased significantly over the past years: from May 2017 to December 2017, the global steel price has almost doubled. Future prices are predicted to continue growing, considering the recent 25% tariff imposed on steel imports. Costs like drywall average $11,000 while a typical roof goes for $10,000. Other hard material costs that effect framing, and flooring have become costly as well. The choice of exterior finishes such as brick, siding or stucco also have a major effect on the final home price. And let’s not forget about the cost of appliances, cabinets, countertops, windows, doors, interior trim and plumbing and lighting fixtures.

With the recent uptick in the U.S. economy, new home building has increased and this has made labor harder to come by. Skilled labor is needed to prepare the lot for building, pouring foundations, framing, flooring, roofing, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, insulation, drywall, interior trim, painting, lighting, and much more. With demand for this skilled labor, up, so is the cost.

Frank Betz Material Workbook

And before you put your pencil down, you’ll also need to figure in landscaping materials, outdoor structures like carports, sheds or barns, decks and porches, patios and the driveway. These and other exterior accessories can quickly add up and exceed your budget if not accounted for in the beginning.

Frank Betz House Plan- Aspen Ridge

Taking all this into account, the national average for the overall cost of a 2,000 square foot home is around $285,900.00. A typical low price will be approximately $74/square foot to a high price average of $360/square foot depending on location and materials used. Since building a new home may be the purchase of a lifetime, much preparation and planning should go into the cost considerations. Knowing all the variables up front will make the whole building process run more smoothly and successfully.

Frank Betz House Plan – Greyhawk

Checklist for First-Time Home Buyers

 

Preparing to purchase your first home is usually a thrilling experience. However, when looking at the process as a whole, it can seem a bit overwhelming. Taking it step by step makes the process much easier. A checklist for first time home buyers can help move from creating a sensible budget to finding a suitable home within that budget and finally, to signing the mortgage.

First Time Home Buyers Checklist

 

  • Know what you can afford and manage the budget.

 

Nothing is more important to the first time home buying process than accurately assessing how much home you can afford and calculate a mortgage that fits within your budget. A mortgage of not more than 2.5 times your household gross yearly income is a nice benchmark. Consider your financial scenario and factor in any of you and your partner’s current debt. 

Remember, owning a home is a commitment, and you must plan to live in it for about five years to receive the benefits of equity.

Frank Betz House Plan – Brookhaven

 

  • Control Credit/Debt

 

One of the most powerful ways to save cash on your mortgage and enhance your financial picture is an excellent credit score. It can take some time, so make refining credit your priority for you and your partner, if applicable.

 

Take note; you’re eligible for a free credit report once a year from all three credit bureaus. Make sure to check the reports for any faults and guarantee that all your bills are paid on time. New credit accounts can impact your score as well. Try not to open new lines immediately after applying for a mortgage.

Frank Betz House Plan – Culbertson

 

  • Have Savings/Down Payment Money

 

Making a 20% down payment is a perfect way to receive initial equity in your home and prevent having to pay mortgage insurance. It’s not needed to qualify for a home loan, but will save you money in the long run. You can also find different local and state down payment assistance programs accessible to first-time homebuyers. Just keep in mind to borrow within your means.

Frank Betz House Plan- Kensington Park

 

  • Create/Fine Tune and Stick to A Budget

 

After you find the ideal home for your needs, it is time to get down to the business of making the purchase. Determine how much you’re willing to pay for the house, make a genuine offer and stick to your budget. Anticipate negotiation, but try to refrain from lowball bids which could risk frustrating the seller. If you prefer to make a bold statement of interest, you can consider an earnest money deposit along with the offer.

Frank Betz House Plan- Laurel River

 

  • Get Pre-Approved, So You Know What Size/Price Home You Should Be Looking For

 

Mortgage preapprovals help you determine how much you can afford. It also puts you in a dominant negotiating position with a home seller. Preapproval is different from prequalification. Prequalification is only an estimate from the lender of how much they’d be willing to lend you depending on various factors. Sellers tend to prefer homebuyers who are preapproved. It makes the financing and closing procedure move more smoothly.

Buying your first home is a major life event for most. Careful preparation and a methodical approach is always the best course. It will make all the difference as you take that first walk across your very own threshold.

Frank Betz House Plan- Randolph Place
mitsubishi.niko.ua

https://topobzor.info

ford.niko.ua