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The Best Storage Ideas to Reduce Clutter and Save Space

Have you ever found yourself thinking, “I have too much stuff and nowhere to put everything”? Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, the answer to that question is yes. We’ve all been there. Miscellaneous Christmas gifts from years past, hand me down items that are too sentimental to get rid of, or maybe you have a problem and collect too many tools like I do? Whatever the reason, we are here to help. Below are some great ideas to keep the things you love organized and reduce clutter. Lift Up Your Items At last year's home builder show, one of the things that stood out to me was a company that offered amazing garage storage products. They offered fancy lifts that allowed you to lower a shelf from the ceiling in your more
Written By: Keith Thornton

10 Great Ideas for Mudrooms and Garage Entry Areas

My poor mother.   She loved a clean house.   Unfortunately, she had five kids who didn’t share her passion for order and cleanliness.  To make things worse for her, we lived in the country where livestock, mud…and more…were just a part of daily life.   Mom found herself in a constant uphill battle to keep the inside of our home from looking like the inside of a barn. Eventually…miraculously…her “clean gene” took hold inside of me and finally changed my filthy ways.   Nowadays, I shudder to think of myself as an 11-year old, tromping into our house after spending the day with my cousins across the road….and their cattle and hogs. Looking back, it would have been so much easier for my mom if we would more
Written By: Bruce Arant

Is The Barndominium the future of Residential Construction?

When Chip and Joanna Gaines built their "barndominium", it peaked a lot of interest in that building style. Not only is it an efficient way to build a residential structure, but it also has that farmhouse charm that Fixer Upper is known for. The question we find ourselves asking is, "Is the Barndominium the future of residential construction"? Fixer Upper Barndominium - HGTV To answer that we need to look at a Barndominium from the outside in. The exterior is where the bardominium is drastically more
Written By: Keith Thornton

Top 5 Finished Basement Ideas

If you are fortunate to live in an area where you can have a finished basement you have probably dreamed of making the basement into your own retreat. Unlike the main level of your home plan where you need to be practical and have things like a kitchen, dining room, mud room, bedrooms and living spaces the finished basement plan can be whatever you can dream of. We have designed thousands of finished basement remodel plans and have thought of some really cool ideas for homeowners. How about a finished basement with a gun range, yes we have done that. We have had customers that wanted to showcase there cars behind there couch separated by wall to ceiling of glass, pretty cool idea if your show car is a 67 Shelby Mustang within arms reach of your frosty beverage. We designed a glass more
Written By: Advanced House Plans

Is the kitchen work triangle still used in modern kitchens?

The answer to that question is...kind of. Today's kitchens have evolved over kitchens in the past. Whether you own a small home, empty nester home or luxury home we all live in our kitchen and want it to function for how we live and cook. What are the kitchen work triangles design principles? The triangle is the distance between your range, refrigerator, and sink. A good rule of thumb was 7'x7'x7' a maximum distance you walk between each. In home design, we still use this theory however it's not as strict as it was in the past and I will tell you why. more
Written By: Advanced House Plans

What is a standard garage size?

Garages come in all shapes and sizes. Choosing a garage size will depend on what you use need to use your garage for and whether it will be an attached garage or a detached garage. Are you building a detached 1 car garage? If so, let's think about what you will be putting in it. Is the space going to be used for a family sedan or minivan? If so you would want a 12' wide x 20' deep garage. This size will allow for an 8-foot or 9-foot wide garage door and room to open your car doors on each side once you pull in. Maybe you drive a quad cab truck, the width is fine but you will want to go deeper so you can pull in and close the door behind you and still be able to walk around the truck. I would more
Written By: Advanced House Plans

9 Reasons to Buy a Professional Set of House Plans

Are you thinking about building your own dream home? Do you have a style in mind for the house you want to build? Get ahead of the game by purchasing a quality set of house plans. If you think you’re going to save a ton of money by doing your own hand sketch of a house plan, or having a friend of a friend draw them from their basement, you might find yourself in a bind during construction.  Below I’m going to share with you the top 10 reasons to go ahead and buy that quality set of house plans. We are confident that you can find the perfect plan to fit your needs.   9. Building Codes more
Written By: Keith Thornton

Ranch Style House Plans

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.   We’ve all heard that saying, and even though it might be sort of a pathetic mindset (never being satisfied with what we’ve already got), I admit I sometimes think that way too.   It’s not that I’m generally an envious person, or that I think I’ve been short-changed by life. It’s just that there are a few things that I would like to have…but don’t.   For example, if I were to make a list, my top three greener grasses would probably be:  1) hair 2) six pack abs 3) a ranch house. OK….some things might be easier more
Written By: Bruce Arant

Choosing the Right Sized House Plan

Food. Flavor. Texture. Aroma. Combined, they are my weakness – my kryptonite.  I love the experience of tasting just about anything, be it sweet, savory, tangy, bitter or sour.  As a result, I’ve pretty-much transformed my bathroom scale into a climbing, diving, world-class roller coaster – or so it would seem.  That said, with more than my share of “wild rides” under my belt (no pun intended), I’ve become ever-so-familiar with my tailor. I’m mostly a jeans-wearing kind of guy, but I occasionally find myself being required to wear a suit, or at least a pair of dress slacks and sport coat. That’s where the skills of my tailor are brought into play. Sometimes he makes things bigger. Sometimes he makes more
Written By: Bruce Arant

Mediterranean Style House Plans - Relaxed Sophistication..Inside and Out

Growing up, my favorite part of every summer was our family vacation. Each of those two-week trips were adventures into the unknown, as neither my mom or dad cared to be constrained by annoyances such as planning – or heaven forbid, making reservations. More than once, in fact, a coin toss at the end of our driveway determined our destiny (heads = east…tails = west) and off we would go, to see how many miles dad could rack up on our station wagon. Those expeditions throughout my formative years made an enormous impression on me and are likely the source of my penchant for travel (usually unplanned…go figure!). That said, I have yet to visit a region of the world that, to me, is most intriguing – southern Europe, along the coasts of more
Written By: Bruce Arant

Modern Farmhouse House Plans - Simple, Sensible, No-Fuss Sophistication

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re living in a crazy, complicated, fast-paced world.   Most days, I have no problem going along with life’s frantic flow.  Eventually, however, I always have to take a step back, away from the mayhem and allow myself to re-center. There are plenty of ways to disengage from the world and refresh one’s spirit, but my favorite method of escape is to drive out into the countryside on quiet farmland roads.  Ideally, my rural drives take place in the early evening when the sun paints everything it touches – sprawling cropland, stately barns, herds of cattle, flocks of sheep – in vibrant hues of orange and gold.  For me, there’s nothing quite so calming. more
Written By: Bruce Arant

How To Read House Plans Elevations

Understanding blueprints - don't people go to school for that sort of thing? We're breaking down a typical construction set of house plans to help you navigate your way through the complex web of lines, symbols and terminology of plans. (If you are new to all this, try our helpful primer How to read house plans | The Construction Set) In this, our second post in our series "How to read house plans", we're breaking down elevation drawings! So what is an elevation? Here's how I learned it in more
Written By: Harry Stabb

How To Read House Plans The Construction Set

Interpreting a construction set of drawings for a home can be daunting. With so many lines, symbols, and notes, it can be easy to get lost and to feel overwhelmed in trying to "see" how a home would be like in the real world from a complex web of information. In this new weekly series, we'll walk through a real set of house plans, break down key features, and help you to make sense of the complicated! First, a word of encouragement - don't be discouraged if you can't visualize or understand what a drawing is trying to communicate! For some, reading floor plans and more
Written By: Harry Staab

Six Ways To Make Your House Plan Energy Efficient

Few things in life can be as exciting -- and equally daunting -- as building a new house. Throughout the design and construction process, there are multitudes of decisions to consider that will affect the final cost. "Final cost." It's a phrase we associate with the sum total of all the labor and material costs that go into building a new house. But in reality, the final cost of your new house will continue to tally up long after you move in. Perhaps we should think of it as your home's ongoing cost. Of course, there will be maintenance, taxes, neighborhood association fees and the like, but the main contributor to your home's ongoing cost will be its consumption of energy. With that in mind, here are six practical ways to more
Written By: Bruce Arant

The Courtyard

Home Design's Oldest, Simplest and Most Affordable Luxury It had been a difficult day at work. The boss was upset. Your co-workers were being difficult (as usual) and business was slow. But at last, it was time to go home and leave the headaches of your job behind. So...finally...after enduring a messier-than-usual traffic jam in front of the Parthenon, you arrived home and parked your chariot, anxious to change out of your work toga and relax in the peaceful, private surroundings of your home's courtyard. Wait a second...  Yes...right along with the peaceful, private surroundings of your home's courtyard. Times may have changed since chariots were grid-locked in front of the Parthenon, but courtyards -- then and now -- have always more
Written By: Bruce Arant

Two Master Bedrooms, The Floor Plan Feature That Promises A Good Nights Sleep

I'm a crazy sleeper (if what my wife says is actually true). Allegedly, I snore...but besides that, I've been known to hide from assassins (in our bedroom -- at 3:00 am) and one time, I nearly broke my foot while kicking at an attacking goose (in our bedroom -- at approximately the same hour of the night). Truth be told, I can vaguely remember moving a really heavy potted plant from the nightstand on her side of the bed, across to my side -- over the top of her sleeping head, whilst on my knees, barely keeping my balance and my grip. (What could've gone wrong?) So, with people like me in mind, let's take a brief look at something that's a growing trend in home design -- the inclusion of two master bedrooms on the floor plan. more
Written By: Bruce Arant

Looking Beyond Front Elevation Styles

The Kiwi Principle Picky eaters.   We've all known them.  Many of us have attempted to feed them.  Perhaps some of us still are them.   When I was a kid, I was anything but a picky eater.   If it looked remotely edible, I devoured it.   I do, however, remember my first encounter with a kiwi fruit.  Brown, fuzzy, sort of a potato-gone-bad.   No way, was it going to make its way into my mouth -- until someone peeled it and offered me a slice of heaven that was on the inside, beneath its less-than-appealing exterior.    That experience with the kiwi provided me a first-hand example of the old adage, "You can' more
Written By: Bruce Arant