You’ve sifted through architecture and design books, looked at models and developed a sense of what you like and don’t like. But now comes the important question – should you design a custom home from scratch or stick to a stock floor plan?
Overall, stock floor plans are an excellent choice. Why?
Variety: Looking for ranch house plans? Two-story Victorian-style plans? You may think pre-made plans will limit your choices, but you’d be surprised. Unlike many years ago, there are many different types of floor plans available from architects, designers and builders. With so many choices out there, you’re sure to find the perfect plan to suit you and your family’s needs.
Details: What if you find a pre-designed plan you like, but you want to make minor tweaks? No worries – most stock floor plans can be easily modified to your desires. Common changes include making a mirror image of the plan, moving walls and adding small features such as a fireplace.
Cost: Having an architect create a custom floor plan is typically a pricy endeavor that can set you back thousands of dollars. Stock home plans, on the other hand, are far more budget-friendly. You get the advantage of using a professionally designed plan for a fraction of the price.
Time: If you’re on a tight schedule, stock floor plans are an excellent option. These plans are ready as soon as you buy it – whereas custom house plans can take weeks (or even months) to create and approve. You may go through several versions of a custom-designed plan before you are comfortable with the final version.
Reassurance: Building a custom-designed home means doing things no one has done before. Even the smallest details and decisions can be nerve-racking. When you purchase pre-designed stock home plans, you may be able to find an identical home that’s already been finished, so you can easily see how your home will look. You can also visit online forums to talk to others who are using the same plan.
Tips to remember:
- Find out if your neighborhood has any building restrictions or requires your home to meet any specifications.
- Be sure your stock floor plans are in accordance with local building codes.
- Ask about the credentials of the planner who created your stock house plans.
- You want your home to be unique, but not to stick out like a sore thumb – choose a stock floor plan that suits your home’s surroundings.
1 — A regal kitchen like this from the Chatham House Plan has every amenity a homeowner could crave. With rich hardwood floors from Lumber Liquidators® and granite countertops, it has a clean and sophisticated appearance that will be in vogue for years to come. Top off the kitchen with some pendant lights over the counter and you have a kitchen table ready for multiple purposes. Of course, all this luxury is not without practicality, as this kitchen’s storage needs are covered by effective use of custom cabinetry from KraftMaid.®
2 — A kitchen like this doubles as a dining room, ideal for entertaining a small dinner party. Stylish and elegant cabinetry and countertops are perfectly paired with these 5-Star appliances. When it comes to luxury and performance the technology of Wolf® and Sub-Zero® Appliances remain favorites for high-end homes. You can also customize the way you cook with their virtual kitchen designer. The award-winning kitchen is part of the Retreat at Water””s Edge House Plan which won “Best of Show” at the Seattle Street of Dreams and AIBD Design Competition.
3 — An open floor plan blends the kitchen and the living areas together, making it ideal for a cozy family gathering. This luxury kitchen floor plan features a Wolf® range top, which is perfect for the chef of the family, and the island can double as a buffet for entertaining. A Delta® faucet sits center stage at the kitchen sink and an ornate tile backsplash behind the range adds a decorative finishing touch.
4 — Not an inch of storage is wasted in this European-influenced kitchen. The KraftMaid® center island includes drawers that make keeping countertops clear a breeze. Stainless steel appliances from Jenn-Air offset the crisp white countertop and island. Adding appliances to compliment your cabinetry is easy with Jenn-Air’s® DesignVision app for iPhone. The light tile and cabinetry are offset by dark flooring from Lumber Liquidators.®
5 — A thoughtful layout for a family, this spacious kitchen floor plan blends form and function with country styling. At the center of this kitchen is an island with two sink-prep areas outfitted with Delta® faucets. Light square tiles and chandelier lighting from LAMPS PLUS® offset the dark marble. This cozy kitchen is the perfect place to prep meals and spend time together as a family.
It might not feel like it right now, but spring is on its way. Sunday March 10th marks the beginning of daylight savings time, and we will once again spring forward into daylight. A few more hours of daylight are a precious commodity that can heighten spirits as we move into springtime.
What can you do with extra daylight? According to Lowe’s, you can prepare your home for use during the long warm late spring and summer nights.
1. You can begin by cleaning and washing the exterior of your home, including your patio and desk. It is important to finish cleaning before you plant your garden beds so that you don’t disturb any new plants. You can also clean your outdoor furniture and consider covering it until after the pollen has fallen.
2. Then, you can tune up your outdoor power equipment. This includes making sure that your lawn mower is in perfect condition. You can take the initiative by checking the engine oil, changing the blades, and even restringing your trimmer.
3. Trim and shape bushes around your yard and cut down low hanging tree branches. It’s best to complete this task early and clean up the pieces before you plant in your flowerbeds.
4. Place a new layer of pine straw or mulch in your beds to freshen them up. Just be sure to check with your homeowner’s association for restrictions.
5. Plan. This step is the most fun. Take a moment and plan where you want to add color with your spring landscape. Consider adding spring bulbs or perennials to your flowerbeds or you can decide to undertake planting a vegetable or herb garden.
Daylight savings time will bring with it the chance to do spend more time doing many outdoor activities, but if you plan on using a porch or patio during the spring and summer, a few simple tasks can make your outdoor space much more enjoyable and create an outdoor oasis from the second the clocks spring forward on Sunday March 10th at 2 a.m.
A kitchen counter is a space that is used for more than just cooking. It’s where kids do their homework and eat breakfast, and it is no surprise that they will probably take a lot of abuse during their lifetime. In recent years, quartz countertops have been on the rise. If you are thinking of the crystals that you would use during your high school experiments, think again. The quartz countertops found on the market today are stylish and fresh, and have their own benefits when it comes to making a smart choice for your kitchen counters.
Since your kitchen counters are bound to be a surface that will take a lot of abuse, one of the most important decisions regarding selecting a counter is surface durability. Before you worry about limitations of style and color, let’s begin by saying that both quartz and granite are available in a wide variety of colors and styles, making it easy to adapt either into your kitchen house plan.
Granite is a very strong material that resists cracking and chipping but quartz rates higher on the hardness scale. Quartz is also non-porous, which means it resists common stains such as oil, coffee, and wine better and is very easy to clean. Granite on the other hand, is composed of a crystalline structure that is composed of several fissures that requires regular sealing. This maintenance needs to be done about once a year or you run the risk of staining your granite or letting bacteria fester inside. Quartz on the other hand offers superior protection against pathogens.
Cost is another factor in choosing your countertops. While both make excellent choices for kitchen counters, the cost of the materials can vary greatly. Granite tends to be the more expensive material, depending on style. Quartz countertops can vary widely, but given the ease in maintaining the countertop, you might find the higher cost to be more practical than unreasonable.
Overall, the choice of granite or quartz countertops is really a matter of preference, but one thing is certain. When it comes to installing your countertops, make sure it is done by a specialist. Hiring a specialist will reduce the risk of chipping, breaking or fissuring. Check out these fabulous kitchen collections for Direct from the Designers to start creating your dream kitchen house plan.
When it comes to flooring, there are your standard materials: carpet, hardwood and tile. In Garfield, Pennsylvania, however a woman decided to use a different building material, pennies.
Yes, that’s right, copper pennies. ABC News reported that Mel Angst, who runs a Pittsburgh-area tattoo parlor with her husband was looking for a unique way to tile her parlor, called Artisan Tattoo Shop. She picked up the pennies from a local bank and traded her services as a tattoo artist for manpower. The task took 300 hours and over three weeks to complete. The results was approximately 800 square feet in Lincoln profiles.
“My floor is made out of about 250,000 pennies,” Angst told ABC Pittsburgh affiliate WTAE. “Amazingly enough, it’s a lot cheaper to glue money to your floor than to actually buy tile. It’s about $3 a square foot.”
After the floor was laid down, Artisan had a gallery show where patrons could view the new floor, and anyone who logged 30 hours or more of penny tiling, would be promised a free penny tattoo.
What”s even more interesting is that this is apparently not the first time someone had the brilliant idea to use pennies to tile a floor. At New York”s Standard Hotel restaurant The Standard Grill the floor is literally tiled in thousands of copper pennies, adding a unique vibe to the interior decor.
Picking up a quarter million pennies might be as easy as going to your local bank, but if you aren’t interested in metallic, but like the look of rounded tiles there are a number of places that sell what are known as “penny rounds.” They are tiles, measuring about three quarters of an inch in diameter shaped like tiny circles. In short, they are about the size of a penny.
Your next question might be, where you should use these tiles. Tile flooring is common in kitchens and bathrooms, and pennyrounds can be used for either. Like other tiles, penny rounds can also be used for flooring or walls, even as accents over a countertop.
If you are enamored by the concept of rounded tiles then make sure to check out our collection of Fabulous Kitchen House Plans.
No matter what size or style home you have, adding a fireplace to your home design will create a warm and cozy living space. Traditional fireplaces are not the most energy efficient, but you can still enjoy the comfort and warmth of a fire without wasting energy by installing an electric fireplace or insert instead. Here are three beautiful built-in electric fireplaces that are also affordable to operate:
This Dimplex® Kendal electric fireplace is beautifully crafted and operates at a low cost. You get the look and feel of a fireplace without having to retrieve wood. The Kendal electric fireplace operates for pennies an hour, four cents with flame only and nine cents with the heat cycling at fifty percent. With high-efficiency and beautiful craftsmanship, this would make a beautiful centerpiece to any room.
The Home Fire series from Modern Flames® operates with a low energy LED flame. Unlike the Dimplex® model, this fireplace is sleeker with a more contemporary fit and finish. This fireplace can be used with or without heat, so the ambiance of a fire can be found enjoyed all year around.
The Lennox® Ravelle™ fireplace is a high-efficiency, furnace-rated fireplace. With everything from white to black arches to nickel, gold, and black inserts, this fireplace is a stylish fireplace that will meet high heating demands. This is perfect for anyone who wants lots of options and can””t quite find the perfect fireplace for their decor.
The charm of a fireplace is enthralling, but it doesn””””t have to be expensive. Consider an electric fireplace and make sure you get the most for the cost of your heating bill. These beautiful fireplaces are energy-efficient and perfect for your home and any style home. Take a look at any of Direct from the Designers”””” specialty collections and you are sure to find the right match for your vision.
Now that summer is in full swing it is the perfect time to think about cookouts, backyard swimming and creating outdoor living space to enjoy with family and friends. Something as simple as a covered patio or a grilling station or as extravagant as a fully functional outdoor kitchen with a dining area and fireplace that surrounds a custom pool and patio, can increase the amount of time you spend outdoors.
This issue of Her Dream Home features house plans with our best outdoor living spaces to inspire you to design a new outdoor area or to redesign your existing space. You’ll find everything from covered patios, grilling stations, dining and sitting areas, fully equipped gourmet kitchens, custom pools and much more in a wide range of architectural styles. A personal favorite is the Terrebonne House Plan featured on the cover. This two-story European-styled home is absolutely gorgeous inside and out and features plenty of photographs.
You’ll also find some great articles including Stepping Outside: Creating an Outdoor Living Area featuring innovative design ideas and tips including helpful suggestions for lighting, patio furniture, decks and more! To inspire the cook in all of us, there’s 5 Sizzling Tips for Cooking Outdoors so you can create the perfect grilled dishes.
This is also the perfect time to think about building a new home or remodeling your existing home. The key to a well-designed house plan is one that offers flexibility with an open floor plan and bonus spaces. Learn about all the benefits of an open floor design in Create a Spacious Home with an Open Floor Plan.
Celebrate mother’s special day with a dream house plan from Direct from the Designers, where she will feel like the queen of the castle. If she loves to cook, surprise her with a home plan with a fully equipped gourmet kitchen. Special attention has been give to create functional work zones with plenty of countertop and storage regardless of the size of the kitchen floor plan. Everyone loves to be pampered, which is why these homes all feature master suites with spa-like baths, walk-in closets and sitting areas so mom can escape for some private time to rejuvenate and relax after a busy day of taking care of the family.
One can never have enough storage space, which is why all of these designs feature walk-in closets, built-ins, bonus rooms and optional basement floor plans. If you’re considering having your mom live with you, you’ll enjoy our extension collection of home plans with in-law suites, many offering the comforts of a small apartment with private entrance, full kitchen and living room.
Here is a sample of some of our favorite house plans, designed with mom in mind:
The Retreat at Waters Edge House Plan is a luxurious estate featuring five unique structures that are joined by trellised arbors and covered walkways with complementing floor plans designed for large families and those that love to entertain at home on a grand scale. The kitchen is absolutely amazing with marble countertops, two center islands, including one with ample seating. There’s plenty of cabinetry including a built-in desk area to keep you organized. View over 50 photographs and the floor plans for this luxurious home.
This sophisticated cottage house plan offers an abundant of unique features throughout its three floors. Beyond the soft arched entry is a gourmet kitchen that serves for casual and formal entertaining. Speaking of entertaining there’s a music room, large coffered great room, recreation room, two game rooms, a home theater, bar and wine cellar. This is home that one won’t want to leave. Upstairs is a true master retreat with a sitting area, fireplace, extensive his & her closet spaces and a private screen porch where one can relax and refresh.
With over 6,000 house plans to preview in a wide range of architectural styles and sizes you are sure to find your dream home. Check some of our favorite designs, including our newest home plans at Pinterest.
Direct from the Designers newest energy efficient house plan is a two-story lodge log home. This new mountain house plan features plenty of windows for natural light and warmth, which helps reduce the cost of heating and electricity during the day. You can learn more about building a green home by reading this article featured in Direct from the Designers Green Living section. The two story vaulted ceiling in the great room is accented by two walls of windows and features a wood stove with hearth and cathedral ceilings.
It’s designed with 2” x 6” walls and log siding inside and out to minimize construction costs while meeting the more stringent energy codes in many localities, while retaining the charm of a traditional log home. Of course, this design can easily be modified to utilize other modern sidings and interior finishes. Simply contact Direct from the Designers by calling one of their home plan specialist at 877-895-5299 to find out how you can make this your custom dream home. All modification quotes are free. For your convenience you can fill out a modification form for any of their over 6,000 house plans.
Take a peek at the only collection of ENERGY STAR house plans.
House Plans: Her Dream Home from Direct from the Designers features House Plans with Great Curb Appeal
This latest issue of Her Dream Home from Direct from the Designers House Plans features great fall decorating ideas & tips that will inspire homeowners to dress up the porch, light up the home’s exterior, carve a pumpkin, roll out the welcome mat, make a homemade pie and showcase the fireplace. Homeowners will find some of Direct from the Designers newest house plans featuring innovative house plans with plenty of curb appeal.
With the holidays right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to dress your home in seasonal décor. There’s also an article on Creating an Authentic Craftsman Home, which highlights the key design elements to look for in a Craftsman house plan, particularly the front porch and entry.
“This new issue features some of Direct from the Designers most popular house plans based on curb appeal and interior design,” said Christine Sears, Managing Director of Direct from the Designers. “Readers will see spectacular homes with large open kitchens and living spaces and gorgeous outdoor living spaces to make entertaining easy.”
One of the homes featured in the new issue, The Fireglow Home Plan, captures the charm of homes from the French countryside. An offset entry featuring a fiberglass door from Therma-Tru’s® Classic-Craft® Rustic Collection™ opens to an impressive two-story foyer and a formal living room with fireplace lead to a formal dining room.
Another gorgeous home readers can take an inside peek of is The Chatham House Plan which embodies the essence of New England luxury and charm with its shingle-style gables, gambrels, columns, turrets, balconies and verandas. Inside is a spectacular grand circular rotunda with domed stained-glass ceiling and compass rose floor. The two-story great room with a curved bay window anchors the expansive family living space, which is great for entertaining.
For a selection of over 6,000 innovative house plans in a wide range of architectural styles and sizes, as well as their exclusive collection of ENERGY STAR house plans visit Direct from the Designers.