If you are looking to save more money on your energy bill then you should be sure to select a fiberglass entry door. According to the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, fiberglass entry doors are known for their reliability, durability, customization, and energy efficiency.
“If it becomes apparent that you are in the market for a new door, consider one made of fiberglass,” says Fielding in a Therma-Tru® press release. “A solid fiberglass door is up to four times more energy efficient than a solid wood door, plus you get the benefits that fiberglass has to offer, including resistance to rot, rust, dings and weather.”
Fiberglass entry doors, like Therma-Tru’s® are designed and engineered to work together as a complete system of components. Together these components provide lasting performance, security, and energy-efficiency. The multi-point locking system included on Therma-Tru® fiberglass entry doors engage a series of locks at different places on the frame and the adjustable security strike plate can withstand up to three times the force of a standard strike place.
If you want your dollar to go far, then you can rely on Therma-Tru’s® Tru-Defense® Door System. The Tru-Defense® system maximizes the seal between the door and frame to keep out the damaging effects of wind and rain, while helping increase your home’s energy efficiency. You can purchase an optional upgrade system that includes weather stripping, a corner seal pad, bottom door sweep, and profiled sill. These components work together resulting in a fiberglass entry door system that can withstand severe weather conditional along with day-to-day wear-and-tear.
You may recall years ago, that green homes stood out for all the long reasons. Focusing more on practical application of green technology than design they often looked utilitarian. Today there are lots of elegant green homes that combine style with comfort and efficiency. What do green house plans have to offer you though and what makes house plans “green.” While you can save money by adding insulation and using green products, some home construction makes a green house plan’s general design energy efficient. Here are some design considerations that factor into building green house plans.
Windows and Orientation
If you want to save money on your energy bill then make sure you design your home so that the maximum amount of daylight comes through your windows. Lots of green house plans are designed with lots of windows and your builder can help you position the home on your lot to make sure you get the most out of them.
Most green homes are oriented towards the south where they get more light during the summer and heat from the sun during winter. This is also true when you consider addng solar technology. South facing roofs make for the best receptors of solar energy.
Durable is synonymous with eco-friendly when it comes to home construction. Using durable materials in the construction of a green house plan means that since they won’t need to be replaced less waste is produced, that that alone decreases your footprint. Almost all conventional building materials have a more sustainable eco-friendly alternative, so you can be sure to find something eco-friendly for every situation that will arise. Some popular eco-friendly materials include bamboo flooring, cotton insulation, and recycled glass counter tops.
Downsized House Plans
Smaller homes have been a rising trend in home construction and smaller house plans do tend to be more energy efficient. You don’t have to sacrifice comfort to be green though. Plenty of homes with a footprint of less than 2,500 feet are not only energy efficient but use space wisely so that you don’t have to worry about feeling like you live in a shoe box.
These elements of green design help to make house plans energy efficient but there are plenty of things you can do to make your home greener during the construction process. Adding ENERGY STAR® and energy-efficient products will help you lower your bills. Just remember that you don’t have to fear green design. Check out the green house plan collections from Direct from the Designers to find your perfect green home.
If you are just starting your house plan search, you should start with a small house plan. The trend in American construction has been to make smaller homes lately and house plans reflect that. Designers and architects have been designing lots of stylish small house plans under 2,500 square feet. Small house plans make the perfect home for those who want to live a more energy-efficient lifestyle or those that are just starting out or simply want to downsize.
If you like craftsman details and outdoor living space, this beautiful small house plan is perfect for you. With front and rear covered porches, this small house plan has plenty of outdoor living spaces. The great room has vaulted ceilings and built-in cabinetry with a gas fireplace. This small house plan also includes a spacious kitchen has an island with an eating bar and a master bedroom has raised ceilings. The master suite also opens into a well-equipped bathroom with dual lavatories. This small house plan also includes a garage also includes a shop area for projects and storage and the upstairs allows for expansion. A generous flex space could be used as a home office, dining room, or a playroom making this small house plan a real catch.
This small house plan may look like a simple country home but with popular amenities and a modest footprint. This small house plan is one you will be happy to call your home. One of the highlights of this small house plan is a secluded master suite with a circular spa tub. A bayed breakfast area is another spot, perfect for casual breakfasts with coffee, tea, and waffles with your morning paper. The cozy fireplace anchors the great room at the center of this floor plan and a large bonus space on the upper floor complete this small house plan.
This small house plan has beautiful cottage charm. With only 1,698 square feet of living space you will get all the benefits of living in a small house plan without feeling like you live in a shoebox. You are sure to fall in love with this small house plan inside and out with great exterior details such as dormers, shutters, and Craftsman details outside and a perfect space for entertaining inside this small house plan will meet all of your needs. Not to mention, this small house plan also gives you space for future expansion with the use of a bonus area.
Living in a small house plan doesn’t mean you have to live in a shoebox. If you don’t believe that you can have style, function, and space in a small house plan take a look at Direct from the Designers’ small house plan collection and find your perfect small house plan.
Painting your home’s exterior is just as intimidating as going into the paint store and picking out a new color for your bedroom wall. No lying, it is a big project, and while you might be overwhelmed with color selection, here are a few tips to help you choose the colors your new home will be.
More than one color doesn’t have to be expensive. When it comes to getting that paint job you see in the paint catalogue, know that the use of more than one color does not have to cost a fortune. Unless you plan to paint with numerous hues the price tag won’t break the bank. So if you happen to like the way that the red painted shutters will look with a new shade of navy, go for it.
Use your accent colors wisely. One of the big mistakes that homeowners make when painting the exterior of their house is highlighting the unattractive elements such as the gutters, downspouts, and a protruding garage door. Remember, your home’s paint job will be one of the first things people see, and the last thing you want them looking at is your air conditioning unit or an unevenly placed window.
Don’t ignore your neighbors. The color scheme of your house should not clash with the neighbor’s house. To make sure that all the neighbors are happy choose a color scheme that blends with the neighborhood or stands out in a subtle way.
Don’t forget your lawn. What really ups the ante when it comes to curb appeal is a nicely manicured lawn. Take a moment to consider different flowering shrubs or flower gardens in compatible colors.
Look at paint chips outside. Colors look their best out in natural light, and since you are painting the exterior of your home, viewing chips in the sunlight is the best way to gauge how the color will look once it is on your house.
It might take a while for you to decide on the color, but once you decide on a color you will find that a fresh coat of paint does wonders for your new home. If you have no idea where to start, take a look at some of Direct from the Designers collections for inspiration.
Sometimes you just have to defy conventions. These modern house plans do just that. Not only do their exteriors look different, but there is a science to it. Homes built this way often have the living space on the top floor and the bedrooms on the bottom floor. The added elevation allows homeowners to enjoy views from up high. Many of these homes are perfect for a lakefront, beachfront, mountain, or coastal area. Take a look at these three unique and inviting house plans to get an idea their appeal.
This angled and contemporary house plan is a popular design. Because of its layout this house plan is classified as an inverted two-story. With the bedrooms on the ground floor and the living space on the top floor this house plan is ideal for lots with lots of scenic views. This house plan also includes a quiet study that will tempt you to work from home and a roof terrace perfect for stylish parties. This house plan also has a very low footprint at on 2,562 square feet.
If you have some great views to capture then take a look at this modern house plan. An exclusive design, this house plan is often referred to as an “upside down” plan. No this plan doesn””””t defy gravity, but it does have a second floor living area where you can take advantage of picturesque views. The upper level also features a large deck for you to enjoy some outdoor living. The lower level contains four bedrooms, including a spacious master suite with two full baths.
Given that it is perfect for a lot with a view, it should be no surprise that this house plan is designed on a pier foundation in order to accommodate beachfront or lakefront locations, but if your lot allows this house plan can also be built with a basement.
Homes like this one mix exterior materials while accommodating a view and providing open space inside. The house also sports a narrow footprint to fit many mountainside, lakefront, beachfront, or coastal lots. The wrap-around balcony also captures the views as well as the breezes. The master bedroom is situated on the main level with its own private balcony. A master bathroom also has a walk-in shower. The third floor remains open to serve as flexible space. It can be a game room or a sleepover headquarters. The lower floor also contains flexible space for family functions and a suite of its own.
Homes like these here are not just unique and fun to look at, but they capture beautiful views. Their layout might be a little bit counterintuitive but “upside down” plans mean that there will be plenty of picturesque views to see from windows and decks. If a modern house plan is catching your interest, see more plans like these in Direct from the Designers”””” modern house plan collection.
Choosing the right floor plan is very important when looked at from angles such as the type of lifestyle that you lead and your budget. More than any other factor, it”s very important to choose a floor plan that suits your lifestyle. Naturally you need to consider your tastes and preferences for materials, finishes and flooring etc. but the most important factors will be the number and layout of the rooms, considering the size of your family/how many children. You obviously need to provide enough rooms to suit the requirements of all family members.
If you plan to have guests at your home often and entertain them, then you need to design the floor plan accordingly. For example, you can opt for a wide foyer that opens to the dining room and then meanders towards the lawn or the swimming pool area. You can also opt for a living room near the main door so that you can invite arriving guests to come in and sit and immediately feel comfortable.
Choosing the right floor plan is equally important whether you are thinking of a single story or a multi-story house. In single story homes, the public rooms are normally in the center and the bathrooms are near the corners. Multi-story homes help in giving each family members his own space and also give great views from the top floor.
Floor plans are also important from the additional space point of view. For example, a guest needs an additional bedroom while a young child needs a playing area. All these factors need to be taken into consideration when designing a floor plan. Do not unnecessarily hurry in designing the floor plan. Take all the above factors into consideration because even if one thing is amiss in the beginning, the whole plan may needs to be redesigned. It is even worse if the construction has begun and then you find out that you forgot to factor in a thing or two.
Driving toward this beautiful award-winning house plan’s creative façade you will admire the lovely stucco, columns, and copper standing seam roof with stone and brick highlights. If the outside has you interested, the inside will have you amazed.
Inside this house are three floors. The interior starts with a winding staircase and carved hand rail. The honey colored hardwood floor imbues this house with a warm and inviting feeling as you continue into a two-story formal dining room with front-property views.
The adjoining butler’s pantry is announced by an archway and leads into the kitchen. The kitchen features a center food-prep island counter that overlooks a breakfast nook. This cozy corner offers wide views through large windows and affords access to the rear porch.
On the other side of the staircase are the library and the spacious master suite, which has access to the rear terrace with a large master bedroom and bathroom giving you plenty of space to relax and unwind from a long day.
The winding staircase leads to ideal living spaces for a family. Upstairs are three other bedrooms and two bathrooms. Each bedroom has a walk-in closet ensuring that this home is not short on storage space. If you take the staircase downstairs, it leads you to a dedicated rec room, media room, and a theater in addition to a dedicated storage space, another bedroom, and two guest rooms. With such ample living space, this home is perfect for a large or growing family.
It”s so easy to feel at home in this lovely, spacious colonial house plan. With every inch of space used this house makes good use of its ample size to offer you storage and functionality, as well as comfortable living. Read more about this house plan at Direct from the Designers.
When I think of Colonial America, I think of a log cabin. I am not sure if it comes from reading Little House on the Prairie as a kid or when I used to play with my brother’s Lincoln Logs, but the image always stuck. Unfortunately I don’t seem to see a lot of log cabins driving through New England but this historically significant architectural style really shouldn’t be ignored.
The first examples of log cabin house plan came to the Americas from the Swedish settlers who built them in Delaware in 1638. After the Revolutionary War other colonists followed suit as they began to move westward. The log cabin became the typical home of the backwoodsman when the colonists began to encounter thick forests in areas like Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Northwest Territories. Log cabins continued to gain fame in the 1840s when small cabins were used in parades to demonstrate President Harrison’s support of the frontier people. The most famous log cabin house plan in the United States is probably the one where Abraham Lincoln was born, but many other Americans who rose to greatness spent their early years in log cabins.
Historically, log cabin house plans were essentially one room huts with one door and perhaps one or two small windows. The spaces between the logs were packed with mud and grass to keep out the wind and cold, and because there were no nails the logs were fastened with notched ends or wooden pegs. A log cabin’s roof was made from overlapping rows of short boards and the floor was constructed from hard packed clay. With glass unavailable, the window openings were covered with oiled paper to let in a little light and the room was heated by an open fireplace that served as the stove.
Among the many ways that today’s log cabin house plans differ from those of yore is that they are much more eco-friendly and energy efficient. With today’s technology log cabin house plans come in every form from seasonal cabins to luxurious castle-like estates. Today’s technology also allows for some other options as well. Logs can form the actual framing and structure of the home or simply be added to the exterior for a natural look. Additionally, logs can be either handcrafted with peeled lumber for an authentic appearance or milled for a more consistent look with natural imperfections removed.
Details like a stone chimney, metal roof, multiple gables, charming dormers, and a welcoming porch obviously lend more style to the exterior of modern log cabin house plans than the one-room pioneer huts. Additionally the interior may offer open floor plans, a stone fireplace, dramatic vaulted ceilings, and tall windows. Whatever you are looking for, if a log cabin house plan is your dream, you can find it in the Direct from the Designers log house plan collection.
When it comes to buying a beach house there are clearly a number of key points that need to be looked into before you go ahead and sign any agreements although only the main three are covered here. There is no doubt that this could very well be your dream home, but make the wrong decisions and the entire thing could turn into an absolute nightmare.
Location, Location, Location
First, you need to understand the importance of the location. How close are you to the beach? What is the view like? How busy is it? How noisy does it get on those sunny days? There are so many things to think about just regarding when it comes to where your beach house is situated, so think about what you want and make a note of those things, then hunt for that perfect beach house from the outset.
How well maintained has it been?
After finding what you believe to be your dream beach house, you need to check to see how well maintained it has been before you buy. It is important to remember that the salt from the water and also the sand can have a detrimental effect on the actual structure of the beach house even though it may not be visible to the naked eye. Get it checked out structurally before buying to save yourself a lot of hassle in the future.
Are there any associations?
Finally, it is also important to check if there are any associations because you will often find that some group has been established by the owners of the properties to help maintain the area. Checking this out is important as it will tell you what to expect with regard to communal areas, access, and whether you need to pay a service charge in order to even just own the building. These associations are a fantastic idea, but find out everything you can about them before you splash your cash.
At first glance it might sound a bit foreign, an outdoor kitchen, who would want that? After all a kitchen is normally on the inside of a house plan. It is where meals are prepared, the kid’s homework is done, and where stories of the day are swapped.
Well, this important room is getting a makeover and designers are taking it outside. Outdoor kitchens are an exciting trend, particularly during grill season, because not only do they offer function but also convenience. Today, most outdoor kitchens are just as functional as a regular, indoor kitchen. They might include a grill but they may also be equipped with a stove, oven, a fridge, sinks, wet bars and even special ventilation.
You can get as elaborate with your outdoor kitchen as you’d like, and the best part is that if you take the right steps you should be able to enjoy your outdoor kitchen 365 days a year in most parts of the country. Steps like weatherproofing and making sure that your kitchen is covered means that you will also have the option of dining al fresco.
What benefits will you realize when you invest in an outdoor kitchen? Hosting a barbeque with a regular kitchen means that you have to go in and out of the house constantly, distracting you from your friends and family but with an outdoor kitchen you can set up your gathering and let everyone be involved with the cooking. An outdoor kitchen means more time to enjoy the warm weather and more interaction with your guests. On any typical day, you can use it to grill and prepare a meal outside for you and your family.
An outdoor kitchen is a perfect luxury for the winter months. With many styles to choose from and the availability of modern outdoor appliances, you will be able to make good use of your outdoor space and enjoy the fresh air and sun as you cook your favorite dishes.