New Concept Infill House Plan

The economics of most infill projects require high density sites.  Therefore, one of the most important features of any infill design is the creation of a private, yet open outdoor space. House Plan 9738 features a private side-yard and porch with views from the living/dining area, kitchen, master bedroom and upstairs study/bedroom.  The exterior materials utilize durable cement fiber horizontal and vertical (batt & board) siding, along with metal roofing. Located on the first floor, the master bedroom provides easy access from the rest of the house, while still maintaining a sense of seclusion.  10’ ceilings and 32” wide doors enhance the open design of the first floor.  A “drop Zone” adjacent to kitchen becomes a functional place to organize daily tasks with dedicated spaces for: mail, keys, cell phones and other items usually “dropped” on the kitchen counter.

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House Plan 9738 is a brand new concept house plan featuring 2,080 s.f. with the master bedroom on the main floor and 2 additional bedrooms and a loft upstairs. The first floor has an open living area with access to a large side covered porch.

Large windows with transoms along the dining and kitchen area allow for plenty of natural light and views to the side courtyard.  Traffic patterns throughout the first floor provide for functional placement of furniture.  The living room arrangement allows generous seating with perfect views of the fireplace with flat screen above along with great views towards the front yard.

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Our Conceptual Designs are essentially “schematic” designs with accurate exterior elevations, floor plans with overall dimensions, and a roof overview.  Each plan includes PDF and DWG files along with authorization for your local design professional to complete the plans with your changes and the amount of detail your local codes require. View all of our Concept House Plans.

Tiny Concept Cottage House Plan

By Larry Garnett,

There is a tremendous amount of information these days regarding Tiny Houses and Small Cottage Living. The growing number of television shows and magazines focusing on small square footage living spaces reflects our fascination with this concept.  While some people are actually downsizing and reducing their clutter to live in one of these cottages, others are using them as guest quarters, home offices, and in-law suites.

With 506 sq. ft. of living space and designated areas for living, dining, and sleeping (note the sliding rail doors for privacy), this small cottage house plan offers a great deal of flexibility.  Although ideal for a weekend getaway, it could be built in the backyard for use as a guest quarters or in-law suite.  For Baby Boomers hoping to “age in place,” this might even become a care-takers quarters.

Our Conceptual Home Designs are essentially “schematic” designs with accurate exterior elevations, floor plans with overall dimensions, and a roof overview.  Each plan includes PDF and DWG files along with authorization for your local design professional to complete the plans with your changes and the amount of detail your local codes require.

Brand new Tiny House Plan 9513 is ideal for a vacation getaway or guest quarters.

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Conceptual Home Design focuses on Open Floor Plan

By Larry Garnett,

One of the most critical elements of any floor plan is the traffic pattern. In other words, how you travel from one room to another.  Rooms should be arranged so that the flow of traffic throughout the house is logical.  Ideally you will be able to move from one area to another without crossing through any room.

This 1850 sq. ft. Conceptual Design uses a Gallery to direct traffic from the garage and front entry to the bedrooms by traveling between the kitchen and family room. The secluded master suite and rear door are both reached by walking between the family room and dining area.

Our Conceptual Designs are essentially “schematic” designs with accurate exterior elevations, floor plans with overall dimensions, and a roof overview.  Each plan includes PDF and DWG files along with authorization for your local design professional to complete the plans with your changes and the amount of detail your local codes require.

This 3-bedroom one-story house plan features 1,850 of open living spaces.

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For more information or to order this house plan, contact Professional Builder House Plans at (877) 912-1977.

Conceptual Designs: Open Concept Ranch Floor Plan

By Larry Garnett

As cost for urban lots continue to increase, home builders are faced with the task of finding house plans for narrow lots. One of the greatest challenges when designing these home plans is creating a sense of privacy.  While many new developments encourage spacious front porches, it’s also important to provide some private outdoor areas.

Designed for a 50’ x 105’ lot with rear alley access, this floor plan offers a spacious front porch and a private side courtyard. The open concept floor plan provides for a spacious kitchen with island, dining and living area. A secluded master suite features a large shower and tub with two walk-in closets.

Our Conceptual Designs are essentially “schematic” designs with accurate exterior elevations, floor plans with overall dimensions and a roof overview.  Each plan includes PDF and DWG files along with authorization for your local design professional to complete the plans with your changes and update them to your local building codes. View our complete collection of Concept House Plans.

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This one-story French country home features 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a rear entry 2-car garage. The cost for this 1,845 s. f. Concept House Plan 9469 is $625. To order the PDF and CAD Conceptual Design, please call Christine Cooney at (877) 912-1977, ext. 306.


 

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Introducing Innovative Residential Conceptual Designs

By Larry Garnett

I develGarnett book photo 2 copyoped the idea of Conceptual Designs several years ago to offer innovative new home designs to my builder and developer clientele in various parts of the country. Although existing “stock house plans” provide an economical solution for some, many builders desire construction drawings with the exact level of detail they are accustomed to and, more importantly, plans that have the information required by their local codes.

 

My Conceptual Designs provide PDF and DWG files along with authorization for your local design professional to complete the plans with your changes and the amount of detail you require.  They are essentially “schematic” designs with accurate exterior elevations, floor plans with overall dimensions, and a roof overview.  In other words, everything your local drafting professional needs to complete the construction drawings.

We’ll be introducing new Conceptual Designs each week on Professional Builder House Plans that reflect the design requests I’m seeing in various markets around the country.  This growing collection of plans will hopefully provide you with concepts that you’ll be able to rely on to bring innovative homes to your local market.  I’d like to hear from you if you have any specific criteria for your area.

Our initial design House Plan 9460 is from a series of garden style homes created for lots that are 50’ wide and 105’ to 110’ deep.  Each home is carefully located on the lot so that the side yard faces what is essentially a “blank” brick wall of the adjacent home.  This concept creates an extremely private outdoor space.  Entering the home, you find an open living, dining, and kitchen arrangement with expansive windows and access to a large porch. Carefully designed traffic flow directs you past each of the living areas.  A conveniently located “resource center” offers a versatile space that can become a home office or a “command center” for running the household.

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This cottage house plan features 3 bedrooms and 2 baths in a 1,775 square foot footprint. The cost for this Concept House Plan is $625. To order the PDF and CAD Conceptual Design, please call Christine Cooney at (877) 912-1977, ext. 306.


 

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How to Design Impressive House Exteriors By Combining Materials – Part 2

Although combining materials can lend charm and interest to a home’s exterior, many building companies currently use an overwhelming number of materials to create visual impact. It’s not uncommon to see stone (perhaps even two types) combined with brick, stucco and tile. These seemingly drastic contrasts have been designed to capture our attention. Although such combinations might be visually interesting, the use of so many vastly different materials on a home will likely result in a jarring and trendy facade.

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House Plan 4422 features a nice mix of siding and stone to create a beautiful craftsman exterior.

In general, no more than two or perhaps three different materials should be used on the exterior of a home. Always consider the exterior in three dimensions. A few years ago Georgian-style homes were the rage. Considered by many to be the most elegant and tastefully designed homes in our country’s rather brief architectural history, these perfectly proportioned red brick homes with dark green shutters became the inspiration for many large production builders all across the South. At first glance these boxlike structures must have seemed economical to build. However, as with all styles, the details proved critical.

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A blend of earth stones add to the appeal and energy efficiency of House Plan 2297.

The crucial mistake made by these builders involved the use of brick. Their construction budgets allowed for only enough brick to be placed across the front of the home, abruptly changing to wood on each side.  As always, it’s the details that remain critical. Of course we all must deal with budget constraints. However, an honest approach to selecting or designing a plan with the appropriate materials can result in a home in which you’ll be proud to live, and which you’ll also be able to afford.

The Kitchen: Focal Point of the Home

For the vast majority of us, the kitchen becomes the focal point of our home.  If you’re not convinced of that, the next time you entertain family and friends, notice what happens.  Even if you place the food in the formal dining room, people will fill their plates and then naturally gravitate back to the crowded kitchen.  As more homeowners decide to eliminate the formal dining room, the kitchen truly becomes the center for entertaining….and day to day family living.

 

In recent years, creating kitchens opening to the family room and dining area have become extremely popular.  Such openness allows people to feel like they are involved with the activities in the kitchen, even though they remain the family room or dining area.  Additionally, the person preparing meals does not feel isolated and can take part in the family room conversations and activities.

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Traffic patterns are important throughout he home. In the kitchen, they become critical.  Avoid plans that force traffic through the kitchen (such as entering the home from the garage directly into the kitchen).  Instead, select a design that directs people around  the area, thereby reducing congestion within the kitchen.

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At the same time, make sure that your plan does provide convenient and logical passage from the kitchen to the garage or family entrance for ease of unloading groceries.  Somewhere along this family entrance passage, plan for a drop zone designing practical storage for keys, cell,phones, mail and everything else that usually ends up on the kitchen counter! We’ll talk about family entries later in more detail.

 

How to Design Impressive House Exteriors By Combining Materials – Part 1

Obviously, material selection becomes a critical component of exterior design with lots of considerations. Therefore, I’m presenting this in two parts.

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Combining various exterior design materials is a longstanding practice, undertaken sometimes in the interest of aesthetics or, more often, because of budget constraints. While using expensive ma-terials in combination with less expensive materials can be a good way to get the high-quality look you desire without breaking your budget, care must be taken to ensure that the combination appears to be a design choice rather than a cost-saving measure. We often find homes from previous centuries appealing because of the way they combine exterior design materials. For example, a New England home in which a central red brick structure contrasts with an adjoining section clad in white clapboard seems to have character. But, don’t imagine that these charming homes were designed simply with charm in mind. Some of their most appealing details resulted from practical solutions to design and budget challenges. In that New England farmhouse, for example, the brick core was probably built first, and the flanking white clapboard section was added later, as the family expanded or finances allowed, and clad in wood because it was less expensive than brick.

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When it comes down to it, a large expanse of any single material can be boring. We’ve probably all seen homes clad entirely in brick or stone that seem very monotonous. The careful combination of materials can highlight each material and enhance the overall appearance of the home, while at the same time saving money. For example, you might consider having brick on the front of your home and less expensive siding on the other three sides. Instead of having the brick run across the entire front of the house but abruptly stop at the corner, make the transition on an inside corner of the front of the house, so that the house seems built of two sections, each with a different type of cladding. In this way the change of materials is an element of design, rather than a budget constraint.

What is Good Design – Part 3

To understand the importance of scale inside a home, consider the differences between public buildings and houses. Offices, malls, schools, and places of worship are intentionally built on a huge scale, often with soaring ceilings, walls of glass, and massive beams. This allows large numbers of people to inhabit them in comfort.

However, homes that are designed and built on a massive scale can lose their sense of security and comfort. This doesn’t mean that houses should never have vaulted ceilings or tall windows. Rather, it means that the scale and proportions of the room must be considered when determining ceiling heights.

Appropriate interior proportion involves ceiling height and room size. Although raised ceilings can create the illusion of space, they can just as easily make a room seem small. Basically, if a room is taller than it is wide or deep, you may feel as though you’re in a cavern.

Wall thickness is another small detail where scale can make a substantial difference. The typical interior wall is framed with 3½ inch-wide wood studs. When this thickness is doubled to 7 inches (using two studs) at openings, there is a perception that all the walls are this thick and the entire home appears to be sturdier. In some cases, thickening the walls to 12 inches can offer an even more substantial look.

For example, take a close look at this floor plan and note that the short walls that separate the dining/kitchen and the great room/dining are thicker than the other walls.

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This is a very inexpensive detail that creates a rather dramatic difference as you walk between these areas.

What is Good Design – Part 2

As previously mentioned, although “good” design proves challenging to define, one of the essential elements of an appealing home is proper proportion.

One example of incorrect proportion is a roof that appears either too tall or too low for the rest of the home. The mass of the roof must be proportional to the main body of the house in order for the two to relate comfortably to each other. The roof’s pitch, or angle, determines it’s overall height. If the pitch is too steep, the roof will appear to be too tall, with its mass being out of pro-portion with that of the rest of the house.

A home with a well-conceived roof design is appealing no matter what “style” it is!

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By examining the exterior of any home, you’ll find numerous areas where proportion and scale influence the design. One morning a number of years ago, while I was driving with my family through a neighborhood of new, mass-produced homes, my youngest son commented, “Dad, those windows don’t look right.” When I asked him to explain, he answered, “Those pieces of wood [shutters] on each side of the window don’t look very good.”

There’s no need for a formal design education to notice that wide windows with narrow shutters simply don’t seem appropriately sized. For example, the shutters on this plan are properly sized and look like they could actually be functional.

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The same elements of scale and proportion relate the interior of homes as well. I’ll discuss that next time.