Posts tagged House Plans
Sizzling outdoor grilling tips from Designers Direct House Plans is just in time for Labor Day cookouts!
While summer may be coming to an end, there is still plenty of good grilling time left in the calendar. So whether you enjoy preparing traditional cookout food like hot dogs and hamburgers or like to be more creative with flavorful fish dishes or gourmet kabobs, you’ll need the right outdoor grilling tools and some sizzling cooking tips to create great dishes. The editors at Designers Direct House Plans have put together some of their best grilling tips so you can create some sizzling dishes in a great outdoor kitchen.
1 CREATE YOUR SPACE
One of the key ingredients to most outdoor living spaces is the cooking area, since food and drink draw people together. Your outdoor cooking area can be as simple as a grilling station or the ultimate gourmet kitchen with a grill, sink, refrigerator, ice maker, even a beer tap and dishwasher. The only limitation is your imagination, and of course your budget. The most important piece of any outdoor living space is the grill, so be sure to decide wisely. There are so many things to consider like whether you want a built-in or freestanding grill? What size do you need (they range from 32” to 54”)? What features would you like – side burners, rotisseries, sear stations or infrared burners? Do you want to cook with gas, charcoal or wood? Or how about a high-end hybrid that can cook with all three?
2 COOKING ESSENTIALS
Make sure you invest in some high quality cooking utensils and some grilling cookware like cast iron pans and woks. There’s nothing worse than cheap spatulas, forks and tongs that bend and rust. Beyond the basic three BBQ tools, you can find plenty of sets that feature all kinds of cooking gadgets. Many you’ll never figure out what they are for or use…so while it sounds exciting to purchase an 18-piece grill set, you might find more enjoyment by spending that same money on three stainless steel, high-quality cooking tools.
3 PREPARE YOUR FOOD AHEAD OF TIME
Some of us aren’t as patient as others when it comes to cooking, but if you could plan ahead just 24 hours to marinate your next dinner, you and your guests will certainly savor the tender beef, flavorful shrimp and chicken. It’s really quite easy and quick to put together a savory Italian marinade with extra virgin olive oil, traditional spices and of course fresh garlic. For the not so natural cook – there’s a bounty of marinades available in the supermarket where all you need to do is shake, pour and cover. Of course…you can’t take full credit for the great taste when you buy premade, bottled marinades.
4 DON’T GET SAUCEY TIL THE END
The quickest way to ruin a good barbeque is to drench your meats in a thick sauce that is high in sugar because before you meat is thoroughly cooked the outside will be completely burnt. Add simple spices to your meats and then when there’s about 5 minutes left brush your chicken or beef with your favorite sauce and cook on low heat. A trick to cooking mouthwatering ribs is to cook them first in the oven and then finish them off by grilling them to capture that amazing smoky taste.
5 TURN UP THE HEAT
Nothing tastes better than a perfectly tender, seared juicy rib eye or strip steak. The trick to creating a perfectly seared steak is to coat both sides of the steak with salt, pepper, crushed garlic and olive oil (of course any other seasonings you like). You can also marinate the steaks a few hours before you plan on grilling. To really capture the flavor, you should wait to grill until the steaks are room temperature. Place the steaks over direct heat and sear for two minutes per side. If you don’t like rare meat then leave the steak on indirect heat for a few more minutes. Remember they will continue to cook for another 5 to 10 minutes even after you have removed them from the heat, so don’t overcook.
Designers Direct House Plans celebrates its success as one of the leading online house plan providers for consumers and builders with a new, eco-friendly weekly newsletter called Dream Green. Dream Green is an informative weekly newsletter that offers practical advice and guidance, spotlights the latest green products and building technologies and provides in-depth articles on the latest trends and news related to building a green home.
Designers Direct House Plans continues to add new, innovative, energy-efficient designs to their existing collection of best-selling house plans, which are available in a wide range of architectural styles and sizes to make finding the perfect house plan an easy and enjoyable process.
Since it’s inception, they have added new innovative collections like ENERGY STAR® approved house plans, green house plans, fabulous kitchen designs, outdoor living spaces, a 3D collection and much more.
“In one short year, Designers Direct House Plan has become a top online house plan provider, where consumers and builders continue to come to find their dream house plans despite a global recession with the housing industry being the hardest hit,” said Christine Sears, Managing Director of Designers Direct House Plans. “I attribute our quick growth to having the best quality, energy-efficient house plans available online packaged in an engaging, progressive, easy to use website.”
Consumers can visit Designers Direct House Plans Green Living section, featuring the latest interior and exterior home building products and home design articles to build their new home. They’ll find everything from product slideshows, inspiring home product ideas and design tips, top green home products and money saving coupons.
Sign Up now so you do not miss a single issue of Dream Green, a FREE informative weekly newsletter to help guide and inspire consumers to build a green home. Every week you will also get a sneak peak at their newest, most stylish energy-efficient house plans.
Designers Direct House Plans, America’s leading online house plan provider recently released its summer issue of Her Dream Home magazine entitled “Outdoor Living Spaces.” This bi-monthly magazine is one of the newest publications from the leading residential architects and designers, whose renowned collection of over 6,000 house plans only be found at Designers Direct House Plans.
Designers Direct House Plans is known not only for designing traditional architectural styles but unique and innovative homes like ENERGY STAR approved, affordable, fabulous kitchens and exclusive home designs.
“This issue celebrates homes that are designed to extend a home’s interior living spaces to the outdoors so you can spend time with family and friends in an inviting gathering space,” said Christine Cooney, Creative Editorial Director of Designers Direct House Plans, the Internets leading provider of residential house plans. “With the rising cost of fuel and travel expenses, many homeowners are deciding to stay closer to home. Creating a vacation-like oasis in your backyard can be much cheaper than taking a family vacation and it’s a space you can utilize for years to come.”
You’ll find inspiring house plans with gorgeous and functional outdoor living spaces to help create an enjoyable outdoor living space in your new home or redesign an existing space. You’ll find everything from covered patios, barbeque porches, dining and living room vignettes, gourmet kitchens, custom pools and much more in a wide range of architectural styles.
Stepping Outside: Creating an Outdoor Living Area features innovative design ideas and tips including helpful suggestions for lighting, patio furniture, decks and more!
Since summer is all about outdoor cooking and barbeques you’ll find some of the newest outdoor cooking appliances that were featured at the April 2011 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show. This issue also includes 5 Sizzling Tips for Cooking Outdoors so you can learn how to create the perfect grilled dishes, including a recipe for Chicken Teriyaki Sticks from the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Summer is also the perfect time to get your garage organized to make spending a day at the park or beach a stress-free packing event. This article is packed with affordable tips and products so you can organize items like bikes, sporting equipment, beach gear, toys and gardening supplies.
This issue also features a selection of new and exclusive house plans that only be found on Designers Direct House Plans.
Designers Direct House Plans just added five new innovative house plans to its extensive collection of over 5,000 unique home designs, including the only collection of ENERGY STAR approved house plan.
The designers set out to create flexible floor plans that minimize wasted place and provide future expansion options for rooms like a home office, media room, extra bedroom or playroom so homeowners don’t outgrow their home. Today’s budget conscious homeowner is looking for value, both in the cost of the blueprints and cost to build their home.
Stock house plans offer something very important to new consumers – great value. Not only is the cost of a stock plan considerably lower than a custom design, but also you””””ll save on building costs because stock house plans have already been built thousands of times and the design is proven. A custom plan works out the kinks as you go along, which can dramatically increase your cost to build.
For example, a custom blueprint by an architect or designer can begin at $2 per square foot, which means a 3,000 square foot home plan would cost minimally $6,000 while a similar stock house plan averages around $750. Even with modification costs (we offer free modification quote), a stock plan is considerably more affordable than a custom design.
Designers Direct House Plan continues to add to its collection of energy-efficient designs to meet the demands of consumers looking to build their dream green home. Fresh off the drawing board are:
This small house plan is packed with flexibility and amenities including a 350 square foot second floor bonus room, a fourth bedroom that can easily be used as a study or office, an open kitchen and nook that overlook the family room with fireplace and rear lanai.
Our newest designer has just added seven new house plans to the Craftsman Collection, including the Red Cottage House Plan, which features a second floor plan above the garage with a private, spacious master suite featuring a living space and kitchenette. This plan is packed with amenities for its 2,339 square feet and also comes with an optional basement floor plan.
This traditional home is extremely energy-efficient is available in 3D views so you can visualize this home plan from all orientations. It’s also part of the new collection of ENERGY STAR approved house plans.
This versatile house plan features open living area and split bedroom to offer larger living within a smaller footprint. Suite four can be used as a dining room or office and there’s a large bonus room featuring a full bathroom that can be used as a guest apartment.
This two-story traditional design features ample room for you to grow with a finished lower level floor plan, bonus room and plenty of amenities and built-ins.
Everything about this European house plan is green, especially the way it integrates the indoor and outdoor living spaces. From sustainable materials like stone and stucco to barrel tile roofs to energy-efficient appliances to eco-friendly floors, countertops and decorative millwork – this home is designed to last forever. This breathtaking design is filled with plenty of entertaining areas like the lanai, loggia, courtyard, porch and pool. Inside you can enjoy an open floor plan where the gourmet kitchen looks into the great room with fireplace and gallery.
You will also enjoy browsing our collection of new green house plans (all part of our first ENERGY STAR house plan competition), which you cannot find anywhere else. For more information on how to build or remodel a home to incorporate sustainable and energy efficient practices and products, check out the newly added Green Living section. It is packed with informative articles on the latest tips, trends and products so you can live healthy and smart.
This smart Craftsman house plan is ideal for small families, empty nesters and first-time homeowners looking for an efficient and flexible design. Don’t be fooled by the compact footprint of this smart floor plan. It features a generous great room designed for casual living with a large fireplace and open kitchen with an island and walk-in pantry. The flexibility of the floor plan continues to through to the bedrooms, which can easily be converted into a den or office
Total Square Footage: 1,624
Main Level: 1,624
Width: 50 ft Depth: 50 ft
This warm and charming Craftsman style house plan won 2nd Place achieves energy efficiency through the utilization of ENERGY STAR® rated materials and Green Building practices. This plan boasts the effective use of insulation, high-performance windows, tight construction and efficient heating and cooling equipment so you will enjoy years of savings and total home comfort. Added design features include a covered veranda that can be accessed through the gorgeous master suite and two-story family room with fireplace.
Total Square Footage: 2,508
Main Level: 1,788
Second Level: 720
Baths: 2 Half: 1
This delightful cottage took 1st Place for its “Most Efficient Use of Space” in our Green House Plan Competition. This house is compact yet efficiently designed so you can enjoy daily living. In addition to the many energy saving features like insulated doors and windows, this house plan utilizes all of its available space to create a functional, affordable home. The kitchen features easy access to the washer/dryer, pantry and carport. A small eating bar and built-in desk make it easy for you to share time with your children while preparing meals. The second floor features two bedrooms with large closets and built-in desk and bookshelves to economize on space but not functionality. There’s also a flexible room that can be used as a game room or extra bedroom.
Total Square Footage: 1,628
Main Level: 870
Second Level: 758
Width: 41 ft Depth: 45 ft
In celebration of our new collection of exclusive ENERGY STAR® house plans, Dream House Plans recently released a special issue of Her Dream Home magazine to preview all of these innovative, eco-friendly designs from the leading architects and designers in the United States. These new plans were part of our first ever Green House Plan Competition, designed to inspire consumers and builders to build an energy-efficient and healthy home that utilizes all the latest green building techniques and features the best in green home building products.
You’ll find over 40 of the most amazing and energy-efficient designs offered in a wide range of architectural styles, sizes and amenities so you’re sure to find your dream green home.
The special green issue also features some great articles to help you create a healthy home environment. Find out about the best exterior products based on their performance and beauty in our article Stronger, Stylish Green Home Products.
Additional articles include The Top 10 Commandments to Home Design, which offers insightful tips to creating your dream home, as well as Our Editor’s Choice 5 Best Kitchen Appliance Suites. It may not be the most glamorous item you choose for your home, but insulation is key to providing your home with total comfort and efficiency while reducing your operating costs significantly. Insulation is Key Element to Your Home’s Efficiency is definitely word a read.
Check our blogs daily because we will be featuring a new green house plan a day to showcase the new collection. We’d love to know which one of these are your favorite so please share your thoughts and post a comment.
Staying current on the latest green home products and design ideas is easy by signing up for our free e-newsletter Dream Green.
Dream House Plans wanted to make sure that you were aware of a recent contest being sponsored by one of partners – Therma-Tru Doors. It’s called “Unlock the Opportunities” and features three grand prizes – a vacation to Disney or Las Vegas. In addition they are giving away a $50 gift card (Best Buy, Amazon.com and Cabala’s) every day until April 30, 2011.
Simply visit www.unlocktheopportunities.com and take a few minutes to take an interactive tour of their latest products – Classic-Craft™ Canvas Collection™, Vented Sidelights and Decorative Glass. There will be one $50 gift card (your choice of Amazon.com, Cabala’s or Best Buy) announced every day until April 30, 2011.
▪ Go to www.unlocktheopportunities.com and take the tour
▪ Paint a door from the new Classic-Craft Canvas Collection™
▪ Build a Therma-Tru door system with new Vented Sidelights
▪ Choose a decorative glass option for a Therma-Tru door system
Once you’ve taken the tour, submit your entry. One entry is allowed for every demonstration you take.