It’s been two weeks since the first post on Plan BP12003 home construction photos. Progress is still underway and things are moving forward. In taking photos this time around, I noticed some slight differences in the finishes on the front elevation; however, it’s nothing that will change the outcome of the basic design. This isn’t surprising as minor changes are usually baked into the construction process even after the completion of the construction documents.
The changes have to do with the placement of stone veneer. If you remember from the last post on this building construction process, I provided an image of the elevation as it was designed. The front of the garage is a mix of stone. The base or watertable of the bay was also of stone veneer. As you will see below, the bay is fully finished in stone and the garage is fully bricked across the front. Again it’s a slight change, but these minor field modifications are not jarring to me.
See below for the latest photo installments of our plan BP12003 under construction.
Get caught up if you missed the first post, Plan BP12003 – Home Under Construction.
Continue on to see the next phase photos, drywall installed as construction continue.
I remember a time not long ago when homeowners wanted as much house as they could afford. And what I mean by that is, they wanted as much square footage as they could buy. Details were an after-thought or not even considered because more rooms and more space was the primary focus. The bigger the house, the more luxurious in the minds of many. Now fast forward past the great recession beginning in late 2007, and years later the mindset of potential homeowners has changed tremendously. Downsizing to a smaller home has now become more popular with many homeowners.
While the trend of decreasing square footage is becoming the key factor, smaller homes are not necessarily lacking in available space. With efforts to reducing the cost of home construction as well as the overall footprint of the residence, some rooms and their sizes are sacrificed in order to make the best use of the reduced square footage. With proper planning in the conceptual design phase, your home can still be a great domain despite a smaller scale. It seems that more and more homeowners are willing to make this transition when downsizing to a smaller home for their living needs.
It was once the norm to see a family looking for a home between 3,000 to 3,500 square foot, with 3,500 plus sq ft running a close second. Now, homeowners are looking at the 3,000 square foot range as the maximum and around 2,400 feet as an average size home. This is a bit more than the national average of 1,800 sf which is often sought after by baby boomers and empty-nesters. Homeowners are now more focused on quality and details as opposed to quantity and blandness. Downsizing to a smaller home does not mean omitting attention to detail.
What compromises are made to accommodate downsizing to a smaller home?
The most common compromises made by homeowners when downsizing to a smaller home includes reducing square footage in multiple rooms or eliminating single purpose rooms. The one room that is almost unanimously protected from reduction is the kitchen. This room has become the place of family gathering over the years, so it is wise to make this room as big as the design allows. Another room is the master bedroom; however, this space is more likely to be reduced if the kitchen is in play. Laundry rooms can also be a significant piece of the square footage math, at times being the size of a small bedroom, which is roughly 100 sq ft. Homeowner’s don’t see this room as a sacred cow, so it has become a space to scale back on too. The washer and dryer are more frequently being incorporated in other areas of the home that include the mudroom, walk-in closets, or tucked under a staircase.
What are the best design options for downsizing to a smaller home?
The best way to achieve a functional small house is to design it with an open floor plan layout. This design technique minimizes the use of interior walls where that are not needed. This gives a sense of space to the home making it feel larger than what it really is. Adding depth to ceilings via vaults and trays also adds to this openness.
Given the cost of energy and the maintenance associated with owning a home, it has become clear to many American’s that they have to cut their expenses where ever they can. This mindset has lead to what is definitely a trend in downsizing to a smaller home design. The question that remains is whether or not 2,400 square feet will remain the new small or will more homeowners, seeking to reduce cost, bring the small house trend even lower.
What size home do you think is enough for you and your family, 1500, 1800, 2000, 2400 sq ft or larger?
My Goal to Document Progress…
I had some free time yesterday as my wife took the kids to game stop. They were geeked up about getting new video games to add to their collection. Since I had a couple of hours to kill, I decided to take a short road trip out to Monroe, Georgia. I was going to see how construction was coming on some new designs that I had completed for a new builder client. At my last visit, about a month ago, sites were being cleared and foundations were being prepared. This time around, framing is well underway and moving at a quick pace.
When possible or when I’m able to, I take photos to document the progress of my home designs under construction all the way to completion. It’s always interesting to go back and look at the skeleton being developed prior to seeing the finished product. However, it has been the case for me that I usually fall off the wagon and miss taking future photos as construction continues. Hopefully I will do better this time around.
While I do take photos of homes under construction, I typically don’t publish these photos. That will change with this post. I figured that if I show these pics on my company blog, I would feel obligated to follow-up with more house construction photos to show the progression all the way through to completion. To kick things off, I will be sharing some pics of plan BP12003 in this post. The home plan has a name but I will refrain from using it at the moment.
BP12003 will be a part of my home building plans collection as it was inspired by the specs of the home builder. It is around 2,700 plus square feet on a two story design. This home is being built in a golf community subdivision.
Construction seems to be coming along well! I can hardly wait to see how the exterior will turn out once brick, stone, and siding materials are selected. Right now it may be hard to imagine the final look in all its grand, but waiting to see is part of the fun I suppose. If you are wondering where the elevation will end up, take a look at the drawing below for the front elevation as designed.
As the days, weeks, and months roll on, I look to remain focused on following construction on this home and others to follow. So be on the lookout as I attempt to update! And finally, if you are interested to know, this plan will be available for sale in the near future on designevolutions.com in the home building plan section of the stock house plans collection.
Continue on to see the next post in this series of construction photos at, Plan BP12003 – Home Construction Continues.
We have all heard the phrase, “don’t judge a book by its cover”, at some time or another. It can be used in reference to many things, but today we are going to apply it to house floor plans and elevations. You can look at two homes with the same floor plan, but each having distinctly different elevations can make you like one and not the other. But wait a minute, they are both the same. So how can you both love and hate identical house floor plans at the same darn time? Well, the answer lies in what comes or is seen first, the horse or the cart, or in this case, the elevation or the floor plan?
Many internet house plan browsers tend to look at house plan elevations, or what I’d consider the cart. I say this because some people tend to put the elevation before the floor plan. They decide either they like the entire house or not based on the elevation alone. They may not even look at the floor plan if the elevation doesn’t appeal to them. Nonetheless, if the floor plans are acceptable, they often become an afterthought because the elevation didn’t pass muster. Maybe you are looking for a specific architectural style. Perhaps you want to make a small house appear larger or smaller. In many cases, an elevation design can be a smart and economical solution. Don’t let a good horse go by because you couldn’t see pass an unattractive cart, aka the elevation.
The architectural style of a home can sometimes eliminate a crowd of onlookers if the style is not of their taste. Granted, sometimes a floor plan layout can have an effect on the elevation and present limitations within a certain style of architecture. But this is, in a lot of cases, the exception and not the rule. This is especially true when dealing with stock house plans because they are mostly designed in a way that makes adaptation possible. So before you speed pass what you consider an ugly house, look a little more to see if there is beauty beneath the exterior. And by beauty beneath, I’m talking about the floor plans.
I have two examples that I will share to further illustrate my point on redesigning or modifying the look of a house elevation to your liking. A couple of designs from my craftsman house plans collection, the Bradbury A – DE033A and the Maybeck A – DE034A, were modified from their original arts and crafts themed elevations to a more suburban traditional look by the respective builder of each home. As you will see, the changes are moderate, but they completely change to architectural definition.
For some of you who are reading this blog post, these are changes to a slight degree. However, these are modifications and not a complete redesign. An example of a redesign is seen when comparing the aforementioned Maybeck A plan to the Radcliffe house plan – DE134, which is where the Mayback was derived from. The floor plans are identical with the exception of the detached garage on the Maybeck A design. From the outside looking in, you would not connect the two as having the same floor plan layout. Before taking a look, revisit the Maybeck rendering above to see the craftsman style design. Now scroll below to see the Radcliffe.
Although the elevations are inverse of each other, the differences would be great even if they were not. These examples show how you can create a modified or a completely new design of an elevation using the same floor plan. So it’s OK to hate an elevation, but let’s look at both parts before discarding a good plan. Remember that judging a plan by its elevation is akin to judging a book by its cover. To use one more phrase in closing, “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”. If you like the house floor plan, keep that baby and redraw the bath water otherwise known as the elevation.
How many home designs, or shall I say floor plans, have you ignored because you didn’t like the front elevation?
A lot of people spend money on home renovations and remodeling; but most of them only focus on the interiors. If you want your home to be more valuable and aesthetically appealing, you should also consider having ideas for outdoor living spaces. You can actually turn your patio, yard, or porch into a living space. Hang out with family and friends there whenever the weather is nice and inviting. Staying outdoors during the summer, fall, and spring is especially enjoyable.
Adding a gazebo or a stand alone pergola to your yard is a great option to expanding exterior living space. Making use of a barely used deck or patio is another way you can increase your living space. If the deck or patio is uncovered, you may consider the option of adding a roof to protect against precipitation (rain, snow, sleet, or hail). In addition, you can also add a retractable power screen to eliminate insects and bugs so that you enjoy your space even more.
See to it that you set the mood with the right colors. Choosing the right colors will influence the perception and mood of anyone staying in your outdoor living spaces. It will also make small spaces seem larger. Pick out your furniture and plants carefully. You may choose floral and pastel colors if you intend to meditate outdoors during the morning. They can add a calming effect. As much as possible, you should stay away from earth colors like brown, black, and gray.
While earth colors may look good indoors, they will only blend in and lose their appeal outdoors. Also, keep in mind that black colored furniture are not ideal to be exposed to direct sunlight because they tend to become very hot. As for green and brown colored furniture, you may complement them with bold and bright colored accessories. You can also use colorful cushions in red, yellow, and blue. Moreover, you can use a fire truck red picnic table or brightly colored chairs.
Lighting is also very important and must be thoroughly considered. Your outdoor living spaces should be well lit yet not overwhelming. Go for dramatic and tasteful outdoor lighting fixtures. Not only will they make your home lovelier, but they will also provide more safety and security. Having adequate lighting will prevent you and your guests from tripping in the dark. They will also set the ambiance for you and your guests when everyone remain outdoors for refreshments just after sunset.
You can choose from deck lighting, lanterns, and electric bulbs. You can even put up torches on the walls. Keep in mind that lights pointing upward can enhance and accentuate the structure of your house. Lights pointing downward, on the other hand, can create a cozier and softer glow.
If you have a nice yard, make use of it! Expand the interior of your home and embark on a journey to become one with nature. Well, at least create the perception and enjoy every square foot of the property you purchased for your home.
Our newest collection of house designs, the Natchez Historical Home Collection, was featured along with building designer, Kirya J. Duncan in the Natchez Democrat newspaper. Kirya is native of Natchez and was contacted by the news press when they became aware of the house plans that were inspired by the historic homes in that city. The article was first released in Sunday’s addition of the newspaper on April 30, 2012 and was later released in the online addition of the newspaper the follow day.
The article highlights Kirya’s path from humble beginnings and how he evolved into the creation of this new design collection. Your can read this article in its entirety at http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/2012/04/30/local-houses-inspire-stock-plans/. Below are pics of the two designs that are featured in the article. If you are interested in more information on these homes or would like to make a purchase, click on the link below the pic and you will be taken to the detail page of the respective plan.
With so many house plans available to view on the web and in print magazine, it’s easy to see why so many take a shot at designing a floor plan layout. There is nothing wrong with the idea. In fact, that’s how many of my clients come up with some of their ideas and home designs which are presented to me. However, in order to make the house design work, you have to design in a consistent manner when it comes to the architectural style, floor plans, and room sizes. In other words, there has to be a level of home design consistency to tie the parts together in a cohesive floor plan layout.
Architectural Style and Floor Plans
The most overlooked part of putting together a floor plan layout is the elevation. You may spend hours, days, weeks, perhaps months coming up with what you believe are the perfect set of home plans for yourself. That might be true, but does the architectural style work with the footprint of your plan? In my experiences with clients, it’s a fifty-fifty split. First of all, many of the potential homeowners haven’t even consider what style of architecture they’d like the elevation to be. In essence, that is putting the cart before the horse if you think about it. The two should work in tandem. You have to consider whether your design is going to be a European style home or if you are more inline with building an Early American style house. After all, you don’t want to have the perfect house floor plans and hate your elevation design, right?
Knowing the type of home style you desire is important because it has a significant impact on how your floor plan layout will come together. For instance, a colonial house style will typically have a boxy shape and perhaps wing additions on either side of the boxed plan. On the other hand, Victorian architecture may be littered with protruding offsets, in addition to turrets, or wrapped porches. In both cases, you may start with a simple box concept, but the Victorian style by its very design makeup will alter the elevation concept. Keeping the style of a home in mind while developing a floor plan layout is necessary to remain constant in the home design process.
Every room in a floor plan layout should be proportional to its own space as well as adjoining spaces. In other words, the scale of each room should be relevant to one another. So for example, let’s say you have a formal dining room and living room. Your dining room is designed to accompany a dining table that seats 6 to 8 people. This would be a medium (average) size space in the range of 12 to 13 feet by 15 to 17 feet in room dimensions. Your living room should also fall within this range of measurement to remain consistent with size and proportion in relation to the dining room.
Designing room spaces to relate to one another should serve as a barometer in the overall design program. The above room example is not absolute because not all design scenarios will work out perfect. There are cases where the rooms may be a bit larger or a bit smaller and that’s fine. As long as the discrepancy isn’t distorted so much in either direction that it makes for an obvious difference in appearance, the overall floor plan layout will be fine.
Doodling in your spare time to come up with home designs and a floor plan layout can be a fun and stress relieving. However, when you are getting near the time you are ready to build that dream home of yours, make those doodles meaningful. Think home design consistency with a full range of consideration to the plan concept and architectural style. Room sizes will be of more importance once you hire a building designer to bring these thoughts and ideas together.
SNELLVILLE, GA, February 15, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ — Design Evolutions Inc., GA is pleased to officially announce the launch of its Natchez Historical Home Collection. Architectural history is embraced with three new designs from the company, The Shields Town House, The Burn, and the Cherokee. They are the inaugural house plans for this new collection. These Greek Revival designs were inspired by the nostalgia and rich architecture of Natchez, Missisippi. The plans are available exclusively through Design Evolutions.
The historical home collection is the creative design works of Building Designer, Kirya J. Duncan, who just happens to have been born and raised in Natchez. “When I established my design company back in 1999, I never thought that I would actually recreate some of my favorite historic homes from my native town,” says Kirya, principal of Design Evolutions Inc., GA. “Growing up in Natchez in the 1970’s and 1980’s, I would see these homes almost daily and didn’t really appreciate the beauty of these buildings until I found an interest in residential design and architecture. Since I have admired these majestic antebellum homes for so many years, I thought, why not replicate these wonderful works of architecture? And so, over the past few years in traveling home, I would visit different historic homes to collect photos and other details to begin this process. Natchez has plenty of historic homes, so needless to say, I have a plethora of buildings to emulate and choosing which residence to replicate next will be the most difficult task as I continue to build upon this collection.”
The elevations of these new designs will take on the look of the famous historic homes; however, the floor plans are modern, functional, and designed for the way we live today. Home builders and homeowners who love late 18th century and 19th century architecture will appreciate how the old is seamlessly merged with the new in the plan designs. Remaining true to the character of the homes, they are designed to capture as much of the original design elements and details as possible. This is noticable as you flip through the pages of the blueprints for each of the plans in this collection. Such details include features like the supported combination curved and straight staircase in The Burn, which is a focal point and stand-out design element of the original home. Other interior features include period style fireplaces and trim details that are representive of the time in which this style of architecture flourished.
Although it’s in the beginning stages, this portfolio will to grow over time. Future additions to this design collection will include house designs that are both large and small in size. In addition to Greek Revival, other styles to expect include Victorian, Italianate, and Colonial architecture. Visit us on online at http://www.designevolutions.com/natchez/ to view or purchase plans from our Natchez Historical Home Plan Collection.
About Design Evolutions
Specializing in the design of single family residential homes, Design Evolutions Inc., GA offers design services for home builders and private clients. In addition to custom homes, we also offer pre-designed houseplans and modification services on all of our plans. For more information on the products and services of Design Evolutions Inc., GA, visit us online at http://www.designevolutions.com or call 770-978-4043.
Trend expert forecasts popularity of right-sized, personalized home
(ARA) – Today’s consumer mindset is steeped in common sense and careful decisions. When making a purchase, individuals aren’t looking to accumulate “stuff.” They’re looking to buy an experience. That experiential purchasing behavior is especially true when it comes to selecting items for the home. Current home decorating is not about flashy, over-the-top design; rather, it’s about decorating for real life – a home that’s smaller, more well-equipped and custom-made for its owners’ lifestyles.
“Homeowners are getting back to basics,” says Rebecca Kolls, senior director, consumer strategist of home and garden, Iconoculture, a leading consumer trends advisory firm which presented at Moen Incorporated’s INSPIRE Design Seminar. “They are putting roots down and investing in items to increase their quality of life.”
How are homeowners making their spaces more practical and livable for the long term? What exactly are the hot trends for 2012? Kolls points to several distinct ideas, including: practicality, rightsizing, style-telling and universal design.
Practical and perfectly sized homes
Today’s average new home is smaller than those from recent years at 2,135 square feet. It emphasizes inviting, livable spaces, and downplays the formal, untouched rooms of yesterday. Despite a decrease in overall square footage, kitchens are growing, homeowners are adding more porches, ditching the conventional living room concept and embracing fewer – yet larger – rooms.
To fill those rooms, homeowners are looking for products that provide function, as well as fashion. They are no longer buying for the sake of buying. “The first question consumers are asking is, ‘Do I need this or do I want this?'” says Kolls. They’re looking for more practical solutions for everyday life, like items that promote health and overall well-being, versus over-the-top indulgences.
Instead of one purely decorative element, homeowners are springing for more affordable luxuries with experiential benefits. In the bedroom, these purchases include new mattresses for increased comfort and a better night’s sleep, plus items like improved lighting and window coverings that facilitate a gentle transition from sleeping to waking. Bathroom remodels include items like towel warmers, steam showers and multiple body spray outlets that promote relaxation and spa-like indulgence. Moen Flushmount Body Sprays are especially appealing to the remodeling consumer looking for added wellness benefits: Each body spray is equipped with an adjustable spray face, allowing the user to position the water sprays exactly where he or she desires by pivoting up to 20 degrees in any direction, for the ultimate in customized relaxation and rejuvenation.
Gone are the days of perfectly-matched rooms and pristine homes. Today’s homeowners are looking to tell a story through their decorating, with pieces that put a personal stamp on their spaces. People are stylizing the most-used room in the home – the kitchen – by adding workstations, artwork, photography and more furniture-like cabinetry enhanced by decorative cabinet knobs and pulls, like those offered by Moen.
Homeowners mix-and-match more now than ever before, complementing a great-grandmother’s antique dining room table with modern, geometric dinnerware; putting vintage photos into new stainless steel frames; storing K-cup coffee pods in antique coffee bins. “Homeowners are adding pieces that make sense: items that enhance their experience and put a personal stamp on a room,” Kolls says.
Baby boomers are the first generation to collectively fight aging. These individuals are caring for their parents, their children, and even their grandchildren, all while making plans for their own future. Boomers want to spend the rest of their lives in their own home and they’re looking for universally designed products to help them do just that. In the bath, boomers are incorporating ADA-compliant products, like new Weymouth lever-handle faucets and custom showering options from Moen. The Weymouth collection brings elaborate, traditional styling to the bath, plus reliable, nearly effortless operation for individuals of all ages and abilities.
In addition to more accessible everyday items, homes with several generations under one roof are also utilizing technology to help keep all members of the family safe and well. In fact, according to Kolls, wireless home health monitoring technologies are expected to grow by $4.4 billion by the year 2013. Smart mirrors that can monitor day-to-day health, including changes in appearance, plus alerts that report whether an aging parent has commenced his or her daily routine, are just a couple of examples of how technology is bringing additional security and flexibility to the lives of caregivers.
Today’s home may have a smaller footprint, but it is much more personal and memorable than houses of the past. Families are spending more time in the home and incorporating multiple generations under one roof, which makes for richer design – and even richer experiences – than ever before.
It is a little know fact that Ice Cube actually studied architectural drafting at a trade school in Arizona before NWA took off in the late 1980’s. It was only for a year, but can you imagine the rapper/actor/director as an architect or building designer? With his in depth lyrics on social and political issues, I can only imagine what his artistic vision would have been if the rap career didn’t work out.
Cube appears in a new video done for the Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, where he talks about his appreciation of the Eames House and his favorite architecture in Los Angeles.
In an interview with the New York Times, Ice Cube talks more about the Eames House, the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, design, and his drafting skills as of today. He mentions that he hasn’t touched a T-square since 1988. That’s funny because those of us who still design buildings (residential and commercial), haven’t picked up a T-square since that time either. We’ve come a long way since then Cube, thanks to computers and cad software!