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.
There is a new trend in new house plans. With a changing economic climate, plus environmental concern the size of new American homes has started to decline. After being in an uphill trend for three decades the last five years have started a slow decline with the size of the average home shrinking by five percent.
In 1973 the size of the average American home was 1,160 square feet. In 2007, the average size of the American house plan grew 40 percent to 2,521 square feet. In 2010, the average square footage of a new home was 2,392 square feet. The average size of the American home is expected to shrink another 10 percent by 2015.
Not only is new home construction leading towards smaller homes but demand for these homes in increasing. A third of American homebuyers said that they preferred a home under 2,200 square feet and 28 percent of Americans ages 55 to 59 would prefer a smaller home.
Why are homes getting smaller? Well trends point to smaller lots being sold. In 2011, 22 percent of design firms reported a decrease in lot size. Then there is also the environmentally conscious side. Weighing things like how many trees have to be cleared and how much the average energy cost is for a smaller home all make small homes favorable.
So if you are searching for a house plan and are a little worried about square footage, take a moment and look at the benefits of living smaller and your fears will be put at ease. You can even browse the small house plan collection at Direct from the Designers. All the house plans in this collection are less than 2,000 square feet and come in a variety of styles. You are sure to find a house plan that fits your needs.
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.
Past the foyer are tall windows that brighten the two-story family room, bringing in a sense of the outdoors and plenty of natural light. A featured fire place makes it a cozy space to cuddle on cold winter nights, or just to relax and read a good book.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.
There are plenty of reasons for building a small house, but if not planned out well enough small houses can be constricting, and coming up with a good small house plan to make each part of the home work could be quite a challenge. The following are some tips to allow you to come up with a viable plan for a small house plan.
Splitting the bedrooms
For small houses, it’s ideal to have the bedrooms set up on opposite sides of the house. In small spaces, conversations and door movements could disturb occupants of adjacent rooms. Having the bedrooms placed farther away from each other allows for better privacy and lessens noise for occupants.
Keeping private rooms protected
Keeping private rooms protected, or out of sight from the home’s public area can be tough for small homes. In small houses, it’s quite easy for guests to see into surrounding rooms from the living hall. Privacy could be jeopardized. That’s why as you set out to create your small house plan, to make private rooms such as bedrooms protected it might be best to come up with a winding design.
Consider high ceilings
Small spaces will look bigger with higher ceilings. Because ceilings are included in house plans, be sure that the ceilings in the most commonly used rooms such as the living room and dining hall are high. The ceilings in these areas should ideally be about eight feet.
Considerations for outdoor living spaces
Having an extended or outdoor living space compensates for the small indoor spaces in small homes. That’s why for small house plan, the outdoor areas should be included. You may choose to have a front porch or a carport built in front of the house and have a private patio built in the back. These areas are great for entertaining guests when they can’t all be accommodated inside during parties or family gatherings. They are also ideal for activities that you enjoy doing most, such as watching the sun as it sets or spending a quiet afternoon with family and friends.
Considerations for the garage
If you have a small home, it could be quite a challenge to build a garage, especially if you have two cars. To maximize your square footage, build a long enough and narrow enough garage that will fit a maximum of two cars.
As for bathrooms, small homes should have only one full bath, ideally in the master bedroom. The second bath should just include a shower. This allows occupants to still enjoy a good bath simultaneously on both bathrooms while maximizing space.
Another great tip to make a small house look larger is to allow plenty of natural light in. Larger windows and skylights may be considered in the living room and dining hall.
As water features will accent your pool, fire features are the newest must-have craze for your outdoor living space. Water might cool you down and quench your thirst but fire is the hot ticket right now. Fire features add ambiance and drama to the flames and give you another reason to go outside.
Fire and water have long gone together. Fire is a natural complement to water. The growth in fire features seems to simply parallel the growth in water features for pools.
Fire features are also going upscale. No longer is it just a simple fire pit anymore for the outdoor living space, they’ve been taken it up a notch so that they now match any patio furniture and have features such as automated ignition and propane tanks hidden in pull out drawers. Fire features like these create an instant impact with the push of a button for your outdoor living space.
Fire pits have even morphed into ‘fire furniture.’ There are fire tables, fire bars, and fire banquettes where the flame area is surrounded by porcelain tile, decorative metal, natural stone, or slate.
When shopping for a fire feature you’ll need to choose what’s more important for your outdoor living area—easy ambiance or real warmth. Wood-burning features offer more heat but of course require more maintenance. You have to have a pit large enough to build a fire as well as fire tools and a spark screen. You also need to make sure the fire pit you buy is sturdy. It is a real fire after all, and cheap units will break down and crack easily under the heat. Propane fire pits are of course much easier to deal with, but they also produce less heat.
Much like a barbeque grill, fire features can start very simple and go all the way to really elaborate. You can get fire furniture; a fireplace, a fire pit, or a firepot, there is something for every pocketbook and whim. If you are a little nervous about a fire pit, then an outdoor fireplace might be the better option for you, particularly one with a screen for protection.
A fire feature might be on your wish list for a new home, but making sure you have ample outdoor entertainment space should be your first priority. If you have or are planning on an outdoor kitchen, you can also consider an outdoor living room where the fire feature will be complimented. Check out Direct from the Designer’s collection of outdoor living house plans for some inspiration.