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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