Bungalow House Plans
Posted On: 2011-09-01 at 2100L

Category: House Plan Articles

Bungalow house plans emphasize handcrafted beauty, detailed architectural design, and quality workmanship. There is a respect and deliberate use of natural materials including wooden shingles and clapboards, cobblestones and rough-faced brick, porch columns, and chimneys. Many have great, wide verandas. Bungalows are similar to Cottage house plans and Craftsman house plans. They are similar to Cottage house plans in architectural square footage and size, and many Bungalows have Craftsman style facades.

From the19th century Arts and Crafts movement and Arts and Crafts movement revival that is currently occurring largely due to the economic and housing situation, Bungalow house plans are a very cost efficient home plan and offer complete use of the total living area square footages.

“A Bungalow house plan is a type of house plan with varying meanings across the world. The term originated in India, deriving from the Gujarati bangalo, which in turn derives from Hindi bangla, meaning ‘Bengali’ and used elliptically for a ‘house in the Bengal style’. “ (credit Wikipedia).

Bungalow house plans are relatively small and a detached single family residence. They may be either one story or a single story with a loft. The loft, or partial second story, is built into a sloping roof usually accommodating dormered windows. Full vertical walls are therefore only seen on one story, at least on the front and rear elevations. Bungalows have a horizontal exterior design with asymmetrical, yet welcoming, front porches. Solid and compact with front and side gables, low pitched roofs, and exposed beams are definite Bungalow style. Bungalows have open living and dining areas with efficient use of all living space. Bungalows are considered very cost effective to build. Typical Bungalows are very convenient for the homeowner in that all living areas are on a single story with no stairs to navigate. A Bungalow is well suited to persons with impaired mobility, such as the elderly or those in wheelchairs.

There are different types of bungalows.

A Ranch Bungalow is a bungalow architecturally organized so that the bedrooms are on one side and the living and dining areas are on the opposing side.

A Raised Bungalow is one in which the basement is partially above ground.

A Chalet or Dormer Bungalow is a bungalow with a second story loft.

So, if you are searching for that ideal home plan that offers loads of style and character with total use of living space at a cost efficient ratio, the Bungalow house plan may be right for you!

Submitted by: SRC



Cottage House Plans
Posted On: 2011-08-21 at

Category: House Plan Articles

The word “cottage” may evoke images of charming storybook homes. Cottage Style House Plans may indeed mimic these fairytale homes in size and design style. They are generally one story and on the smaller side but may have square footages ranging from cozy on upwards. Cottages are thought to have been popularized by American pattern books from the 19th century. These small, quaint Cottage house plans are informal yet have unmerited attention to detail. Dormered windows and expansive bay windows with picturesque balconies add to this charm. Unique and quite often diamond shaped, decorative patterns, exquisite woodwork trim, and elegant arches are common Cottage components. Cottage house plans feature batten walls and vertical boarding. Paint combinations complete the Cottages’ style. Romantic and/or Victorian style flourishes with flowing, sweeping lines keep with the Cottage theme. Asymmetrical plans accented with individuality just make the Cottage. So, whether YOUR Cottage is small and cozy or large and open, the attention to detail is a commonality. Find YOUR perfect Cottage House Plan here at www.houseplancentral.com!

Submitted by: SRC



Retreat House Plans
Posted On: 2011-08-04 at 2200

Category: House Plan Articles

Retreat house plans are quite varied in style and even building location. The Retreat home plan search begins by answering, “What does retreat mean to you?” Retreat is defined as a get-away, a refuge, a place to take time out for reflection, to draw back, to move back, to recede. So, Retreat house plans reflect what “retreat”means to the home planner. The Retreat plans are as distinctive as the lots on which they are built. These home plans range from a cozy log cabin nestled on a wooded, mountain valley lot with a stream flowing by to a luxurious Spanish villa on a wild flower covered hillside gleaming golden in the sunshine to a Coastal pier and piling glass windows all around stunner on a beach-front lot with refreshing sea breezes. A Retreat style home plan may be a main residence, a vacation home, a second residence, a weekend home, or even a retirement home. With all the differentials, there is a common denominator—bringing the splendor of the outdoors and retreat location in! Great, picture-perfect windows are a retreat must! Open air living areas that constitute exceptional outdoor living areas are a signature of the Retreats. These outdoor living spaces include decks, porches, and lanais. All of which are perfect for enjoying the retreat views. Graceful flowing floor plans that have open living and dining areas with cozy to gourmet kitchens and soaking tub baths to luxurious spa-like baths add the touch of comfort and elegance to a Retreat home. These distinctive design features make the Retreats remarkable for both relaxing and entertaining. The welcoming, whether warm and/or stunning exteriors, may be combinations of brick, stone, stucco, shakes and even rough sawn timbers. Each construction material blends into the natural landscape of the Retreat adding the completing touch for the ideal Retreat house plan. So, please remember! If you are searching for your perfect Retreat Home Plan, first define what “Retreat” means to you! Start your search for the perfect retreat home at www.houseplancentral.com!

Submitted by: SRC



Neoclassic House Plans
Posted On: 2011-05-22 at

Category: House Plans

Neoclassical House Plans, or Neoclassics, were inspired by the classical architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. These classical architectural reflections have given the Neoclassics a sense of beauty and a dash of elegance. Two of the main architectural characteristics are the grand two-story porches with columns and the stately symmetrical design. Neoclassic styles have distinguished lines and are proportional. These homes are generally two or two and one-half stories. They may be constructed of brick, stone, stucco, or wood siding. Drawing upon a sense of simplicity, although it be on a grand scale, they still maintain stately dignity. Two-story porches with porch-supported columns are typical on Neoclassical homes. A prominent full width portico supported by classical wood or stone columns or Corinthian style pilasters are an identifier as they generally extend the full two stories. Symmetry is exhibited by the centered front door (or doors, as double doors may be used at the main entrance), balanced windows, matching winged porticos, and side and wing porches. Neoclassics incorporate double hung multi-pane, and of course symmetrically placed, windows that are conducive for great natural light flowing into the expansive square shaped rooms or rectangular shaped rooms. Neoclassical plan roofing is often a simple side gabled roof that includes roof-line balustrades. The interiors generally feature the elegant formal areas, the formal living room and the formal dining room on the front part of the home at the main entrance and the relaxed, private areas of the family room or den and the kitchen on the back. Ornate features such as, dentil molding below the cornices and detailed pediments at the doorways and windows keep with the design theme of stateliness with elegance. These dignified, classical touches decorate the exterior façade and transfer in the interior as well. Neoclassical House Plans are grand, yet welcoming with the columned two-story porches. Neoclassics are symmetrical , yet stately with a touch of elegance. If these properties fit the criteria for your dream home plan, then the Neoclassic House Plan may be right for you! The Neoclassic’s architectural style of stately symmetry and clean lines are indeed beautiful and timeless!

Submitted by: SRC



Contemporary House Plans
Posted On: 2011-05-20 at

Category: House Plans

Contemporary House Plans are known for more modern architecture and unusual, distinctive design features. Contemporary house plans are typically asymmetrical, and they have mixtures of textures and building materials. Unique exteriors with finishes that combine wood, stone, brick, stucco, and even metal complete the home’s facing. Multiple rooflines and lines that intersect form a distinctive, one-of-a-kind look. Contemporaries may even have low pitched or flat roofs or roof sections. Large overhangs and split level designs are common to the Contemporary home plans. With the Contemporary home plan, there are no defined, distinct design rules. The architecture may be fanciful to whimsical and may even have a touch of traditional. These home plans vary in size and shape. Large expanses of fixed glass including grand, oversized windows, transom windows, light, open floor plans with high ceilings and lofts add to the Contemporary feel. Clean, straight line designs complement the Contemporaries. Modern railings, geometric shapes, and glass blocks are popular features. Low ornamentation is a definite identifier of the Contemporary; however, low ornamentation does not mean dull or boring! Some decorating features of the Contemporaries incorporate some modern amenities of skylights, stainless steel, and thickly varnished wood. There is just something about the Contemporary home plan that exudes unique simplicity with an air of luxury!

Submitted by: SRC



Recycled Glass Kitchen Countertops
Posted On: 2011-05-20 at

Category: House Plans

Recycled glass, or exquisitely repurposed glass, is a great idea for kitchen countertops. You can express your own design style while respecting the earth with a green choice! These artful, artistic surfaces are incredibly strong and durable. The color palettes range from brilliant cobalt blues to shimmering champagne flints! These beautiful, durable, unique materials may be used anywhere natural stone is used including: countertops, vanity tops, tabletops, bar tops, tub decks, shower surrounds, hearths, fireplace surrounds, architectural wall cladding, and many more. Recycled glass is combined with a binder of cement, additives, pigments and other recycled materials. Most recycled glass countertops contain at least 85% of glass from recycling that uses glass from bottles, drinking glasses, automotive glass, stained glass, laboratory glass, post-industrial glass and many others (just picture that recycling bin!). The great element of these recycled glass countertops is that no two pieces are, nor ever will be, the same. It is a definite one-of-a-kind design feature. With the various hues, it is a home’s piece of art. Recycled glass countertops are comparable in strength, scratch resistance, thermal resistance, durability, and care and maintenance to granite. The porosity is generally better than that of marble, concrete, and some granite. The 85% composition of the countertops is impervious to staining thanks to the recycled glass component. The other 15% (the binder, concrete elements) just needs to be wiped away at the time of the spill. Acids like red wine, lemon juice, citrus juice, and vinegar may etch the matrix of the surface (the concrete, binder elements) if left for long periods of time and staining agents like coffee, tea, cola, and berries will leave traces if allowed to remain on the surface. These “signs of everyday living!” can actually enhance the character of the surface (consider that beautiful aged butcher block!). The darker pigmented mixes and those with patinas generally camouflage these signs better. To clean and care for the surface, it should be wiped clean with a damp cloth. For rings and dried spots, use a mild liquid soap or mild detergent with a damp cloth. Consult your professional as to which finishing polish should be used and how often. Also, your professional will instruct you as to the guidelines for resealing your countertops every year or two to keep it like new. It is generally a simple process of applying the sealant, leaving it for 20 minutes or so, and wiping it off. These countertops will likely exhibit variations in color, shade, glass size, and glass particle distribution that are part of the inherent character and beauty of mixing post consumer and/or post-industrial recycled glass. It is extremely durable and strong, and it is quite resistant to chipping and cracking. In the unlikely event chipping or cracking does occur, simply consult your fabricator. This recycled glass surface handles heat and hot cooking and baking pans extremely well and even further adds to its value in the kitchen! It is also quite durable to high traffic and use. When choosing your dream home plan and mapping out that great kitchen, consider the beautiful earth-friendly, green choice of recycled glass countertops!

Submitted by: SRC



Red Doors
Posted On: 2011-03-27 at

Category: House Plan Articles

There are many design choices and decisions when choosing your perfect house plan and building your dream home. Has a Red Front Door ever caught your eye? Did you wonder what does the color red mean, and what does painting your front door red signify? Red is one of the primary colors. This bold, vivid hue is said to be welcoming. It is commonly associated with the attribute of strength. Red is highly linked to the meaning of love (i.e. just picture the color of hearts and roses and valentines). It is recognized as a stimulant color. Red is inherently considered an “exciting” color thus related to “energy”. It is believed that red signifies a sense of protection. What qualities (welcome, strength, love, energy, and protection) to grace the entrance of your home. Red is the color worthy of just such a task. The history, origin, and significance of a home’s red front door definitely varies. Here are a few suggestions found: 1.) (Just) Loves Red. For starters, it just may be that the homeowner loves the color red! What a bold color to brighten the entrance to your home. 2.) Provides Protection. In Biblical times, a Red Door provided protection. The Hebrews placed the blood of a lamb on the front door to show that the home was covered by the blood to protect their first born child from the angel of death. If the home had the marking on the door, the death angel literally passed by. Also, in Catholic churches long ago, the front doors of the church were painted red to represent the blood of Christ. Since the red paint signified the blood of Christ, it meant that the parishioners were on holy ground. These interpretations then spur on the belief that a red door protects the home’s occupants from evil. 3.) Shows Welcome. A red door in early American traditions meant a warm, welcoming place to rest for the night for weary travelers journeying by horse and buggy. When they saw a home with a red front door, they knew they would indeed be “welcome”! 4.) Means Welcome. In the Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui, a red front door also means “welcome”! Feng Shui defines that the front door, also called the “Mouth of Chi”, is where the energy enters the home. So in this Chinese philosophy, painting your front door red means “welcome” as well. When deciding on your dream home plan, give some thought to a Red Front Door to compliment your perfect house plan!

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Soapstone
Posted On: 2011-02-22 at

Category: House Plan Articles

Soapstone, also known as steatite or soaprock, is an advantageous choice for kitchen countertops. Beautiful and practical can best describe soapstone and the character and utility it adds to your new home plan. Soapstone is a metamorphic rock (This talc-schist is largely composed of the mineral talc and is in turn, very rich in magnesium.). Soapstone does not need to be chemically sealed liked other natural stones. It doesn’t harbor bacteria, so it is perfect for kitchen counters. Soapstone’s anti-absorbance of bacteria aids in keeping the food preparation area safe and sterile. Soapstone is stain resistant. This feature takes the worry out of spills and makes clean-up quicker and easier. It is extremely durable and strong. Hot cookware, pots, and pans may be placed directly on the surface without causing damage. In fact, soapstone is so substantial that chemistry lab tables are made of it, and fireplaces may also be constructed of soapstone. There are no two pieces of soapstone exactly alike. Each section or piece is totally unique, and there is not another one formed or will ever be formed like it in the world. It is truly a one-of-a-kind work of art from God! Simply treat the soapstone with mineral oil to bring out the hues of color and details of the veining. The cost of soapstone solid surface countertops does generally run higher than other stone or solid surface countertops; however, the benefits and beauty bridge the gap between price and worth!

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European House Plans
Posted On: 2010-12-24 at 06:06:51 PM

Category: House Plan Articles

European style house plans offer grand exteriors and exquisite ornamental details. This style offers as many architectural influences as diverse as the countries from which they originate. European house plans have quite a romantic feel that is reminiscent of castles of long ago. Luxury is implied at first sight. European style home plans offer a touch of elegance and refined style combined with large, oversized proportions. They are a reminder of the history and the beauty of the Old Country while exhibiting that old world charm. European house plans have a wonderfully centralized layout. European home plans may be 1, 1 ½, 2 and even 3 stories. The two story versions are the most common. The impressive exteriors are clad with brick, stone, or stucco with dramatic polished wood accents. The façade is elegant with rich ornamental detailing. Generally large, these homes work best on good-sized lots, where their grand facades can best be appreciated. Today, most European style plans have large attached garages as well. Multiple roof lines of the European style house plans tend to be hipped (a type of roof that all sides slope downwards to the walls) and steep. This hipped roof is ideal for the many gables. Copper-topped bay roofs are common. Keystones and elegant polished wood add to these outside design features. Subtly flared curves at the eaves complete that grand ornamental detail. These areas are faced with stucco and stone. The roof typically connects down to the windows. The second floor often is in the roof. As earlier mentioned, the European style house plans have a great centralized layout. The Living room is the main focus of the home and is on the first floor. The bedrooms may be on one side or on the second floor and the living and dining areas located on the other. Palladian windows (the three sectioned windows with the largest in the center and an elliptical above) and large vaulted or cathedral ceilings are perfect in these expansive, open homes—especially the foyer. Grand marble staircases and glimmering chandeliers transport you straight from the foyer to the old world! These large, open, airy areas allow for lots of natural light. Tile floors and regal, arched doorways add to this sense of luxury. Potfillers, stone ovens, and large islands make the kitchen warm and inviting. European style home plans offer a sense of luxury inside and out. If luxury and expansive living areas with a touch of elegance are your criteria for your dream home plan, then perhaps European style house plans are exactly your style.

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Victorian Homes
Posted On: 2010-12-13 at 11:09:49 PM

Category: House Plan Articles

Simply, a Victorian style house plan originally meant a home style built during the reign of Queen Victoria. Victorians may typically bring to mind story book images of a fairy-tale home. They are indeed famously known for quite ornamental facades. Picturesque, grand towers and steep, regal turrets are two of the most common features associated with the Victorian. However, today, Victorians may vary in many architectural styles and combinations of these diverse designs. These homes are asymmetrical. From romantic to cottage-like on to unique and even a bit whimsical, these can be a Victorian. Victorians may be one, two, or three stories; however, the two and three stories are the most common built. Exteriors may be wood siding, clapboard siding, or shingle-shake siding. They may even be brick or stone. “Gingerbread” trim work, fanciful dormers, decorative cornices, striking spindles, beautiful dentil moldings, grand gables, and florid brackets are some of the features of the Victorian. Roofs have multiple roof lines with varying roof pitches that are steep. Wood roofs or slate roofs with patterned shingles often decorate and define the Victorian’s roof. Exterior siding and trim work paints range from pretty pastels to bold, primary colors, and even to deep, jewel-toned colors. There are certainly no strict boundaries nor set limits to the exterior paint scheme. Decorative, detailed porch railings and intricate, turned posts make the wrap-around porches just perfect! Sunrooms and enclosed porches are also functional, visually pleasant traits of the Victorian. Interiors are similarly composed of diverse architectural styles. Octagonal rooms make a unique design statement. Bay windows and sash windows add to this romantic style. Stained glass windows are a beautiful addition. The paint scheme from the exterior may be transferred to the interior to carry on the design theme throughout. Creating the right balance of both color and texture between walls, moldings, ceilings, and woodwork further create the Victorian. Wallpaper and paint finishes in marbleizing, stenciling, and spattering add to this design style. Spiraling floral themes, Gothic inspired trellises, stylized leaf work, and even simulated wood grain textures are often found. Tin ceilings with hammered designed details complete the look. Wall sconces, claw foot bath tubs, and deep, dark hardwood floorings are complementary. Today, truly, a Victorian’s interior may range from old world charming to modern convenience to unique whimsy or a great combination of them all. When choosing your home style, consider the Victorian as a possible match to your perfect home plan!

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Southern House Plans
Posted On: 2010-12-07 at 10:59:44 AM

Category: House Plan Articles

Southern house plans bring to life a home that is an idyllic setting for that southern hospitality and genteel charm! Southern home plans were certainly designed to accommodate the warm, humid air of southern climates. They are symmetrically designed with decorative porches and balconies under a low pitched roof. Homes of the southern house plan style have tall ceilings, large wrap-around front porches, are generally built of wood, and are sprawling (southern plantation style!). The wrap-around porch takes the number one spot for a characteristic of a southern house plan. A wrap-around porch was and is perfect for enjoying the fresh, country air while providing shade during the heat of the day. Imagine enjoying a glass of sweet southern iced tea in a swing or rocker on that peaceful wrap-around porch. Great open spaces for entertaining and a huge kitchen for preparing meals for just such events are also design traits of these home plans. A hearth room or family room is quite common. What could be cozier than sipping a cup of hot cocoa and making s’mores by the crackling fireplace? High ceilings (that were useful in toning down the heat), crown moldings (that add a grand, finishing touch), and wide plank hardwood flooring (that add just the right amount of warmth) may compliment and complete this home. Generally, they are two stories (to accommodate that wrap-around porch or balcony) with pitched or gabled roofs. These roof pitches are usually shallow, low, or medium in height and quite often have dormers. This home style has similar design characteristics to plantation styles, southern colonials, also known as colonial plantation styles, and low country home styles. When considering your new home plan, take a look at our southern style house plans. The interior of our southern home plans include many modern amenities unavailable during those “days gone by”, but the open floor plans and design remains. Southern may just be your perfect dream home plan style!

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Cork Flooring
Posted On: 2010-11-27 at 02:53:04 PM

Category: House Plan Articles

Cork Flooring When choosing the flooring for your new home design or your home redesign, you may wish to consider cork. There are a variety of options in cork flooring including floating cork flooring, natural cork flooring, and bamboo cork flooring. The raw material used for the cork floor is a tree product. Basically, it is the bark shed by the tree every 9 to 15 years. Cork flooring is a green product and environmentally friendly (since only the bark that is shed is used). As an added benefit, cork flooring has anti-bacterial properties. A preferred quality is it’s resistance to mold, mildew, and even termites. In kitchens, baths, and basements, rooms where there are high chances of water seeping under the flooring and making it moist, using cork flooring is a wise choice. The cork flooring is springy and soft under your feet (which may be a pro to some and a con to others.). Cork flooring offers insulation properties. It prevents the heat of the home from escaping and seeping through the flooring. During the cold months of winter, and if you live in a cold climate area, cork flooring is an energy efficient choice. The insulating properties offer sound and noise insulation as well. Cork flooring requires very low maintenance compared to hardwood flooring and other types of flooring. To clean and maintain your cork floor, simply sweep or vacuum, and then use an only slightly water dampened mop. Be certain to check with your professional installer for a complete guide to cleaning and maintaining your cork flooring. It is extremely durable, but it is necessary to refinish the cork flooring with a polyurethane coat every 5-10 years depending on the amount of traffic and wear and tear. Cork flooring is available in many natural shades and tones. There are even artificially manufactured colors to perfectly complete your home’s décor. A few flip-side notes: Cork flooring is generally 3/16 of an inch thick and sanding and refinishing is not an easy task. With that thickness, there are a limited number of times that sanding and refinishing is possible as the flooring will crumble. Also, if you have pets, you will want to research the best cork option with an expert. Thirdly, if a chunk of the cork flooring is missing, this remains permanent. Lastly, never use a soaking mop nor harsh cleaners as these will permanently damage the cork flooring. As you select your perfect dream home plan, you may consider the innovative, green option of cork for your flooring.

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Finishing Your Garage Floor
Posted On: 2010-11-19 at 12:24:10 PM

Category: House Plan Articles

Many homeowners are deciding to upgrade their garages when choosing home plans today. The garage is a functional part of the home. Storage cabinets and organizers in the garage have become quite the standard, and homes are being built with superior garage flooring. Paints, epoxy coatings, rubber mats, and interlocking tiles are a few choices for finishing your garage floor. Garage flooring was considered a high end feature that for years was reserved for car collectors and enthusiasts. Not so today! The majority of garage floor coverings go right over your base concrete flooring. Many of the finishes and coverings are able to have cars parked on them and other items placed on them in the very same day. Ultimately, you want garage flooring that protects your floor surface from oil spills, chemicals, dirt, and stains. So whatever your reason for installing garage floor coverings, whether it is easy to clean or simply decorating a part of the home, choose the finish that is best for you and your home design. Painting the garage floor is an easy solution that yields a quick result. Choose any color to compliment your home design and your garage décor. It is best to use a three layer system that includes a primer, a basecoat, and a clear top coat. You may choose an epoxy shield too. Some of these epoxies even include a 2-3 year warranty. Just check your local home improvement or paint store for exact details. To make your garage floor resist grease, acid, or oil, you need an effective finishing compound. These are what you call garage floor finishes and they maintain the look of the floor for years. These compounds are used to keep the floor protected from all liquids that may accidentally be spilled. This compound is necessary for homeowners who want to keep the garage floor looking new and pristine. If your goal is to just address those “trouble spots” in your garage, i.e. where the vehicles are parked or the work, tool, and cabinetry area, you may opt for mats. Many of these mats are designed with PVC non-porous surfaces. These components keep your floor protected from oil, fuel, grease, grime, salt, anti-freeze, and other debris. Mats come in many sizes and are easy to cut to specifications that are right for the area, and they are so simple to install. You can clean them with a simple water and soap mixture. Also, mats offer a great slip-resistant surface to keep the conditions safe while you are working and going in and out of the garage. Another option is the interlocking floor tile system. They are great for garage floors, because they are attractive and provide a non-slip surface for safety. These tiles come in wide variety of styles, patterns, and colors. The tiles are easy to install and/or remove. Some of the heavy duty garage tiles can even support up to 2500 lbs per square inch without cracking or fading. One great benefit with tiles is that you can always just replace a tile or two if you have a stain or problem without having to redo the entire floor. Garage floor tiles are generally less expensive than epoxy coatings and some other coverings. These interlocking tile floors in a garage will also hold up to oils, chemicals, grease, anti-freeze, brake fluid, and even kickstands!

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Butler's Pantry
Posted On: 2010-11-01 at

Category: House Plans

The Butler's Pantry is making a comeback in homes today as home entertaining, nesting, and “staycations” have become quite popular out of economic necessity. In America, pantries evolved from early American "butteries", built in a cold north corner of a colonial home and was more commonly referred to and spelled as "butt'ry”. (Wikipedia). A butler’s pantry, also called a serving pantry, is a most requested feature in home designs. Even though kitchen sizes are larger than ever, there is a certain charm and great usability to a butler’s pantry. The butler’s pantry makes entertaining and serving quite convenient. A butler’s pantry is traditionally located in a short hallway between the kitchen and the dining room. This location makes for easy access to glassware, silver, linens, and china that can be stored there. It also offers a great serving surface for appetizers, drinks, dessert, or even coffee and pastries. If there is a wine cellar in the home design, the butler’s pantry is usually adjacent to the cellar. When designing a new butler's pantry, factor in storage for the items that will be placed there. Cabinetry with wide drawers offer roomy storage for table linens, candles, and silver. You may choose leaded glass panel cabinets to display your china and double as beautiful decoration. Simply set into a small nook, a butler’s pantry can be filled with style. Gorgeous cabinetry, stone counters, custom tile, and even chandeliers make the butler’s pantry lovely and functional. Adding a bar sink and dishwasher makes the butler’s pantry even more useful for easy clean-up and fast! So when choosing your new home plan, consider the design of the comeback butler’s pantry!

Submitted by: SRC



Pergolas
Posted On: 2010-10-01 at

Category: House Plan Articles

The origin of the word pergola is from Late Latin pergola, and refers to a projecting eave (Wikipedia). A pergola is traditionally a feature that forms a walkway or passageway with columns and/or pillars that support cross-beams. Plants, ivy, grapevines, and flowers may trail over and across forming a tunnel of greenery. As a pro, vine-covered pergolas do offer some shade. As a con, pergolas not covered in greenery do not provide shelter from the sun, rain, or wind. Today many pergolas are simply the structure minus the greenery. Pergolas can truly define and outline an outdoor space without the constraints of a roof and walls. It is a wonderful architectural convergence that brings the inside outdoors! Pergolas can be installed on the patio, deck, porches, the front of your home, and even freestanding in your yard. They come in so many varieties and sizes. There are professional companies who specialize in building the pergolas according to your design needs. You can purchase pergolas at your local home improvement stores and discount stores, or it is a great do-it-yourself project. You may choose maintenance-free vinyl or wood. Redwood and cedar are common woods used to construct pergolas. Cedar is a good option because it does not decay; yet, it does gray as it weathers if it is left unfinished. Apply stains that come in a variety of shades to make your pergola complete your home’s look, and add a sealer that is for exterior use to help preserve and protect your wooden pergola. Pergolas add such beauty and architectural character to your home plan and your landscape

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Spa Inspired Baths
Posted On: 2010-09-05 at

Category: House Plan Articles

Spa Inspired Baths Do you need a spa getaway to reign in your stress levels and rejuvenate your spirit? Since it just isn't always practical or even possible to jet off to a resort for some much needed and well deserved pampering, create your own luxurious settings with your in-home, at-home spa-inspired bath! What more convenient place to get away from it all than right down the hall, in the comfort of your own home? When carefully and purposefully designed, your bathroom can serve as a relaxing retreat. Many homeowners today are mimicking the style of luxurious resort spas to “get away from it all”. By simply implementing a minimalist, clean-lined design, you can relax in your very own private retreat—your spa-inspired bath! When choosing your home plan, consider the design of the bath or your spa! “Minimalism was developed in the 20th century as an artistic movement whose principles stress using a minimum number of colors, shapes, lines, and textures.” (Wikipedia). Keeping your design simple and uncluttered, yet elegant, equals the perfect design equation. By choosing appropriate materials and accents, you are well on your way to unwinding in your own spa-inspired bath. A good rule is to maximize your space and minimize the clutter! Neutral colors like white, beige, or gray are soothing and peaceful. Nature is a wonderful inspiration when choosing your color. Sandy beaches, seashells, river stone pebbles, dessert rocks, and even clouds are good sources to inspire. Since clutter can indeed be overwhelming and distracting, use clean, sculpted lines. Fixtures, faucets, and hardware that are sleek, understated, and/or modern are options. There are numerous choices in simple architectural forms like geometric shapes. Showers with glass enclosures, massage jets, and multiple showerheads are visually quite inviting. A soaking tub or a tub with jets is certainly a great feature. Wall-mounted, space-saving sinks and streamlined, one-piece toilets (even tankless toilets are available!) are complimentary to your spa bath. Just a few of the right accessories like luxurious white cotton towels, fragrant candles and candlelight, soft rugs, glass shelving, and mirrors add the completing touch. Remember to keep your style consistent throughout. The beauty is absolutely in the details (and that is a good thought to consider when choosing your new house plan too!).

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Deciding Where to Build Your Home
Posted On: 2010-08-06 at 10:38:05 PM

Category: House Plan Articles

Just as important as deciding on that perfect house plan for you and your family is the decision of where to build your dream home! Begin by selecting a building site or lot that is compatible with your home plan, or choose the home plan that works great for your site. Would you like to live on a private lot or in a subdivision? Check with your town’s building department to confirm that your lot is zoned accurately and that your home will fit within the allowable setbacks. Also, verify any other restrictions that may be in place. You must decide the best placement of your home while following all codes and guidelines. Consider the conditions and the terrain. What are the levels of the land, and how does the movement of the water over the surface of the soil affect your home? What are the views of and from your home and the way it is built on your site. Another issue to weigh is the location in the general community you wish to live. Is it near work, schools, church, shopping, restaurants, activities and other places that are important to you and your family? You may want to check on the utilities for your area as well. Is public water available and in what capacity or is well drilling necessary? What are the choices for the electric and/or natural gas services? Are there sewer lines available to the property, or is it necessary to install a septic system? These are just a few factors to consider when deciding where to build your perfect house plan. A little pre-planning is a great idea and makes the exciting process of seeing your dream home come to life a little easier! So, start your search today!

Submitted by: Blogmaster



What your paint color means..
Posted On: 2010-07-27 at 07:44:26 PM

Category: House Plan Articles

Paint—Welcome to the Wonderful World of Color! Psychologists have long attested that colors signify meanings and effect peoples’ moods. There are so many colors and shades to choose from. How do you decide what is right for you? First, decide what mood or theme you want to set in each room of your new home. Also, you can use paint as a great way to accent a room just by painting one wall or trimming out the molding in a hint of color. Red: is a vibrant, rich color. It is stimulating and draws attention. Red even demands attention! Reds are used to accent doors, walls, niches, and shutters. It provides that perfect pop of color. If you are searching for the “wow factor”, red is your answer! Orange: is a warm, fun, splashy color. There are so many lovely shades from a pale peach to a perfect pumpkin! The tint of terra cotta is a most popular selection. Orange is just inviting! Yellow: is associated with sunshine. It is related to happiness and cheer. With a golden hue to an electric hue, yellow offers a wide range of choices. Yellow also is an energetic color. Blue: is calming and cooling, and it is fresh and clean. Blue is generally considered the most favored color. It is a favorite among men and women. Blue is associated with the awesome sky and cascading ocean. It is widely used in bedrooms, because it is restful. Green: is considered calming and relaxing and even soothing. It is ranked generally as the second most popular or favored color second only to blue. Varying shades of green (a natural forest tint) are tranquil and other shades (a hint of lime) are refreshing. Green is a color linked with harmony and even a sense of renewal. Purple: with it’s red and blue base evokes a sense of uplift or encouragement. It is full of vibrancy and life. Purple is considered a color of royalty as well. Brown: is often related to the colors of the earth. You may have heard the description of “earthy brown”. It is considered a color of stability and reliability. It is associated with organic, natural things. A “down-to-earth” color you might say! It is relaxing and peaceful too. Brown is a wholesome hue. White: (actually the absence of all color) is symbolic of cleanliness and purity. White reflects all the colors of light. It is both fresh and refreshing at the same time. White is neutral. Gray: is considered solid. It is a widely used base color in varying shades. It mixes well when paired with other colors and complements them too. Black: is actually not a color. It is the combination of all colors. Black absorbs all the other colors and light. It makes a bold, powerful statement and can be considered serious. Black is often a great choice for doors and shutters. When choosing your perfect house plan, consider your perfect paint to complete your new home design both inside and out! Start your search for your dream home plan today at www.houseplancentral.com. HousePlanCentral.com offers thousands of premier house plans!

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The Kitchen (The Heart of the Home!)
Posted On: 2010-07-03 at 01:54:30 PM

Category: House Plan Articles

Kitchens have long been acknowledged as the “Heart of the Home”! Kitchens are one of the most important features when building or buying your home. The kitchen is not only the work space for food preparation, but also today’s entertaining areas. This is where people take the time out of a busy, hectic day to share a meal and spend time with family. You could say the kitchen is where memories are made! Remember those wonderful Sunday dinners at Grandma’s?! Kitchens also offer a great benefit for a home’s resale value. So when choosing your house plan, choose the design with the kitchen--that is right for you! The most efficient design for a kitchen is to create a work triangle between your sink, stove, and refrigerator. This will give you room for food preparation, cooking, clean up, and storage. Islands are a great functional feature (with all the counter space, possibly including a vegetable sink, and extra cabinetry for storage )that also makes a perfect space for entertaining! Consider the following kitchen layouts so you can decide which right for you: Galley style: The corridor approach of a galley kitchen lengthens your available space, making it ideal for a small kitchen. This style provides lots of counter space around the sink and the cooking areas and enables the work stations to be placed together, usually on parallel walls. The best work arrangement for a galley kitchen places the refrigerator and sink on one wall and the stove on the opposite wall. L-Shape: The 2 adjacent walls in an L-shape kitchen form a natural triangle for your work space. An L-shape layout works well in almost any size kitchen. It has diverse flexibility in the arrangement of your sink, stove, and refrigerator. U-Shape: The U is an efficient design since it provides three walls for counter and storage space. It also prevents household traffic from interfering in the work space. If you have a large kitchen, you may want to consider adding an island to your kitchen for even more work space. The U is great for this! HousePlanCentral.com offers thousands of varying styles of kitchens. Please visit us today to start your search for your perfect home plan!

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Exciting Playhouses
Posted On: 2010-06-27 at

Category: House Plans

When choosing your home design, go ahead and think about a possible matching playhouse! Who doesn’t love a great adventure in the fairytale land of make believe? Picture a mini version of your dream home! We offer custom design services for playhouses. What an adorable addition to your homesite. These playhouses add extra stand alone recreation, play area square footage and space. You can also add many features including dutch doors, window boxes, porches, dormers, shutters—anything you wish to give it that extra dollhouse charm or to simply mirror your own house plan. Exterior finishes range from wood and vinyl siding to brick! Anything goes! Paint colors complete the perfect look to your playhouse. You can “doll” up the interior to reflect your child’s own personal taste or match your own home’s interior style. Add some of the many choices of playhouse furnishings, and you are set for years of fun. What a great way to cultivate your child’s creativity and enjoy countless hours of family time! If you choose not to mimic your own home plan, there are many styles and designs for playhouses and clubhouses. We offer custom design services for these as well. The many styles include cottages, chalets, Victorians, Cheshire manors, contemporaries, Cape Cods, cabins, English manors, Spanish villas, country farmhouses, and Tudors. Any home design and home plan can be scaled down to a playhouse. The choice is yours! Start your search here today for your house plan, and then complete it with a playhouse too!

Submitted by: SRC



Custom Closets (A Functional Room Decorating Idea)
Posted On: 2010-06-25 at

Category: House Plan Articles

Custom Closets (A Functional Room Decorating Idea!) Create warmth, depth, and design in any room just by framing out your closets as cabinetry! The doors to the closets may be created with paneled blocks that resemble actual custom cabinets; yet, the inside of the closets are arranged exactly as you choose. With numerous wood, metal, and laminate finishes you are able to design the room exactly as you wish. By choosing the right finish and material, you are able to begin your decorating before adding a piece of furniture or stitch of material. A variety of trim patterns and hardware make you the interior designer indeed. Install custom shelving, rods, bins, and drawers to meet your individual needs. What a great way for organizing while decorating your room at the same time! Don’t forget your garage is a room too! Complete the look of the garage with cabinetry, shelving, and storage. You may choose to have the organizers installed at the time your home is built, or it is a great do-it-yourselfer project. Just visit your local home improvement store and select the pieces that appeal to you and your organizational needs. HousePlanCentral.com offers many house plans with customized features. When selecting the house plan that is right for you and your family, keep in mind the “living” features of the home. What house plan actually works for you? A home plan that offers what you need and the style you want is ideal! HousePlanCentral.com offers a modification tool that you can actually draw your proposed changes. Please visit www.houseplancentral.com today, and choose your perfect home plan. We offer free standard ground shipping as well!

Submitted by: SRC



Go Green!!
Posted On: 2010-06-25 at

Category: House Plan Articles

Go Green! We hear so much about “Go Green”. What exactly is going green? To “go green” simply involves environmentally conserving our resources and improving the state of our environment. One of the obvious great benefits of going green is to save our environment and resources making our earth a better, safer place to live now and for the future. There are so many items and categories that offer green choices today. These choices are smarter choices that offer an environmentally friendly advantage as well as money and resource savings. Energy efficient appliances, light bulbs and lighting, housebuilding materials and designs, bamboo and other types of flooring, window coverings of blinds and shades, furniture, solar powered fans and electronics, bedding, candles, clothing, cleaning solutions and yes, even personal hygiene products that are “green”. In any category that you may be needing an item, make a wise “green” choice! With many of the green products and services, you may receive an instant savings or rebate. So whatever product or service you are looking for, check on the “green” version. Make a wise, green choice today! HousePlanCentral.com offers many home plans with “green” consideration in the design and features. Feel free to visit www.houseplancentral.com to begin the search for your house plan that makes a green home today! We offer free ground shipping!

Submitted by: SRC



New and Improved Site
Posted On: 2010-06-13 at 01:23:22 AM

Category: House Plans

Houseplancentral.com has a new look and new owners! We are very excited about the future of this site and it is our number one goal to constantly improve upon the current content and provide the very best in customer service. We are adding new designers and new house plans over the coming weeks and we have made some changes to the home page to highlight our newest floor plans. We are working hard behind the scenes to make this site your number one source for house plans on the internet! Please check back often and tell your friends, too!

Submitted by: Blogmaster



NEW ARTICLE: Why buy stock house plans vs. custom - Part II?
Posted On: 2009-08-01 at 01:51:06 PM

Category: House Plan Articles

Part II of the "Why buy stock house plans vs. custom" article has been posted on the site here....

Submitted by: Blogmaster



NEW ARTICLE: Why buy stock house plans vs. custom - Part I?
Posted On: 2009-07-31 at 01:50:07 PM

Category: House Plan Articles

New article has been added to the site here....

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Bi-Monthly vs. Bi-Weekly comparison...
Posted On: 2009-07-30 at 02:35:12 PM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

Watch out for the bi-monthly mortgage, which is not the same as the bi-weekly mortgage and does NOT achieve the same results. With a bi-monthly mortgage, you pay one-half your monthly mortgage twice a month as opposed to every two weeks, so you don't make an extra payment over the course of a year. You save only one month's interest on a 30-year mortgage instead of seven year's interest...

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Unless you have absolutely NO self-discipline...
Posted On: 2009-07-30 at 02:36:33 PM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

Don't allow your mortgage company to convert your payment plan (FOR A FEE) to a bi-weekly plan. Many companies will offer to "convert" your mortgage to a bi-weekly mortgage payment plan for a fee. They'll automatically withdraw the payments from your bank account every two weeks. Read the small print on such plans. Many of them only pay your lender once a month, so the extra payment doesn't get applied to your loan until the end of the year. In the meantime, the company has been earning interest on your money as well as charging you a sometimes outrageous fee.

Save the money, apply it to your mortgage, and include this payment in your family's budget.. You can do EXACTLY the same thing....with $0 fees.

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Other Options For Saving Significant $ On Your Mortgage
Posted On: 2009-07-29 at 10:12:01 AM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

You can achieve the same benefits of a bi-weekly mortgage by making your monthly mortgage payments as usual, but making one additional payment each year. The difficulty with this method is that you have to come up with a large lump sum at one time.

Another method is to pay an extra 1/12th of your monthly payment each month. If your payment is $700, pay $758 each month ($700 divided by 12 = $58). After 12 months, you'll have made the equivalent of an extra month's payment.

As in most things in life, discipline is very important.. Make this extra $ amount a fixed item in your family's budget...

Submitted by: Webmaster



Caveat on pre-payment of your home mortgage..
Posted On: 2009-07-28 at 02:11:26 PM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

Every mortgage is different.... You absolutely MUST validate that your particular mortgage will allow you to pre-pay.... very important.

Submitted by: Webmaster



Learn about home construction loans
Posted On: 2009-07-27 at 08:46:17 AM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

View article here...

Submitted by: Webmaster



Example of savings generated by pre-paying mortgage - part II...
Posted On: 2009-07-26 at 05:09:49 PM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

The larger your mortgage, the more dramatic the savings. On a $200,000 mortgage, you'll pay $255,088 in interest, plus the $200,000 principal, for a total of $455,088. Paying one-half your regular monthly mortgage amount every two weeks will result in interest of $194,430, a savings of $60,658. You'd have to earn at least $85,000 before taxes to net that much money.

Most mortgages can be pre-paid without penalty, but some mortgages in the secondary market (where many people with questionable credit have to go for a mortgage) have a penalty for pre-payment. Check with your lender.

You can achieve the benefits of pre-paying your mortgage without converting to a special type of mortgage or paying a fee. All it requires is discipline.

Submitted by: Webmaster



Example of savings generated by pre-paying mortgage - part I...
Posted On: 2009-07-25 at 02:09:27 PM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

First, the facts: on a $100,000 30-year mortgage at 6.5%, you'll pay $127,544 in interest, plus the $100,000 principal, for a total of $227,544. Paying one-half of your regular monthly mortgage every two weeks will result in interest of $97,215, a savings of $30,329. You'd have to earn over $42,000 before taxes to net that much money.

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Q. How many times may I build a house from the plans I purchase from you?
Posted On: 2009-07-23 at 7:10:52 AM

Category: Questions & Answer

A. You are permitted to build only one house with the plans you purchase from House Plan Central.com. When you buy a set of house plans, you are also buying a license or permission to use the designer's copyrighted material for the construction of one home. (See Copyright Information). Some of our designers offer discounted fees for multiple use, but you need to contact us to verify this option with the designer.

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Looking for home mortgages online...
Posted On: 2009-07-23 at 04:33:33 PM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

Interesting article here...

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Closing costs for your mortgage...
Posted On: 2009-07-23 at 08:48:09 AM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

Learn more about typical closing costs in this article...

Submitted by: Webmaster



Paying your mortgage on a bi-weekly vs. monthly schedule...
Posted On: 2009-07-20 at 11:09:07 AM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

One easy way to save thousands over the life of your mortgage is to pay bi-weekly. Basically, you would pay half your mortgage amount every two weeks instead of paying 100% once monthly.. Making this one change can, literally, save you untold thousands off the real cost of your mortgage, because the accelerated payment causes you to pay off more principal than you would normally (if paying 100% at the end of the month.)

Submitted by: Webmaster



What lenders don't want you to know...
Posted On: 2009-07-20 at 04:32:37 PM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

Interesting article here...

Submitted by: Webmaster



You should consider making bi-weekly or accelerated mortgage payments...
Posted On: 2009-07-19 at 02:06:40 PM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

Prepaying any portion of your mortgage, really at any time, can save you SIGNIFICANTLY on interest.

As you begin to look at your mortgage's amortization schedule (available here), you can see that....over the life of your loan...your paying an insane amount of interest over the loan term.

Submitted by: Webmaster



Minimize out of pocket fees and costs
Posted On: 2009-07-19 at 04:31:37 PM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

Learn how to minimize out of pocket fees and costs on your next mortgage refinance. View article here...

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Mortgage Loans with a 5% Down Payment or Less - Part II
Posted On: 2009-07-18 at 02:14:37 PM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

Non-Profit Assistance Programs

Another option to achieve a no down payment purchase is the current wave of non-profit assistance programs. Some are only available to first time homebuyers but the vast majority is accessible to everyone. Most programs use a loophole in FHAs rules that allow non-profit groups to contribute money for down payment and closing costs. The non-profit group will charge a fee of around $500 and allow the seller to deposit an agreed upon amount with them. The non-profit organization will then forward that amount to the buyer to be used toward their closing costs and down payment. The amount put toward the buyers costs is agreed to upon acceptance of the contract.

These programs will require specific language in the contract and there is a maximum rate of around 3% that can be contributed. This type of contribution can be used on a conventional loan directly with no additional steps necessary. The seller and buyer simply would agree to the amount contributed and that amount would be debited from the seller then credited to the buyer at the closing table.

To conclude, there are many ways and options to purchase a home with a no or a low down payment. It is something that can be worked out creatively with the seller. Even in hot markets where credits to the buyer are rare this is possible. The buyer could make an offer of more than they would otherwise want to pay in the amount they wish to have credited back at closing for costs and down payment.

As long as the property will appraise for the higher amount, and in most busy markets it will, the buyer could take advantage of this option. One of the only downsides to accessing a no or low down payment is that the interest rate is typically a little higher. Usually though, the appreciation in value, todays low interest rates, and simply the ability to own property will more than make up for the higher rate.

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Mortgage Loans with a 5% Down Payment or Less?
Posted On: 2009-07-17 at 02:14:15 PM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

There are many loans available right now that offer a solution to almost every type of financial situation. This flexibility has helped sustain the housing boom and has allowed many people to get into a home they can call their own. Today most people can qualify for a loan that makes affording a home within their grasp.

One of the major obstacles to buying a home is the down payment. To qualify for a traditional mortgage, buyers used to need around 20% of the sale price to put towards a down payment. Times are changing and now there are some methods to transgress this old style of obtaining a mortgage. Buyers now have programs available, which will allow for 5% down or less toward their mortgage.

FHA and VHA Low Down Payment Loans

FHA and VA loans are the most common way people use to get into a home at a low down payment with VA being the less common of the two. To qualify for a VA loan you must be a veteran of the armed services. The vast majority of these loans are made with a 0% down payment. FHA loans are similar in that they are government backed and generally are made with a down payment of only 3%. A good rule of thumb is that a buyer can get into a FHA loan with a total cost of 5% of the sales price, down payment and closing costs inclusive.

The greatest drawback to these types of loans is that there are limits to the maximum size of the loan. These limits vary from area to area but generally are around $250,000. The consumer will want to check with their lender to see if the property they are looking for falls within the loan limit for their area. There are also extra fees that one would not find on most conventional loans. On a FHA loan the borrower must pay mortgage insurance and on a VA loan the borrower is charged a 2% funding fee.

Continued.....

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Q. Do your house plans have all the information I need to get a building permit?
Posted On: 2009-07-15 at 8:57:49 AM

Category: Questions & Answer

A. Almost, with a few exceptions, depending on where you are building your house. All building departments will require a site plan to show where the house will sit on your property. You might also need beams sized to accommodate roof loads specific to your region. Your home builder can usually help you with this. If you are not connecting to a sewer system, you also need a septic design attached to your application. And many areas now require compliance with local energy codes, which is normally a simple form you fill out and attach to your application.

In some regions, you also need to ensure that your house plans are in compliance with local codes. Some areas of North America have very strict engineering requirements. For example, earthquake-prone areas of California and the Pacific Coast, hurricane risk areas of the Florida, Gulf, and Carolina coasts, as well as New York, New Jersey, Nevada, and parts of Illinois require review by a local professional. If you are building in these areas, you will most likely need to hire a state-licensed structural engineer to analyze the design and provide additional drawings and calculations required by your building department. If you aren't sure, building departments typically can give you a handout, listing all of the items they require to obtain a building permit.

Additionally, stock plans do not have a professional stamp affixed. If your building department requires one, they will accept only a stamp from a state-licensed professional where you plan to build. In this case, you will need to have your house plans reviewed and stamped by a local engineer or architect.

Please keep in mind that it is the owner's full responsibility to ensure that any house plan purchased meets all local and state building requirements.

Submitted by: Webmaster



Q. What if the foundation option I'm looking for is not available with the house plan I want to buy?
Posted On: 2009-07-13 at 12:00:38 PM

Category: Questions & Answer

A. Just send us an email and we can verify whether it's available. Often a designer is willing to change the house plans for you, but we need to contact him to obtain a quote for the modification. If it's not available, you should also check with your builder. Often, changing a foundation type is a very simple matter and can be done during construction without modifying the drawing. If your building department requires drawings that describe the exact foundation you are planning to use and it is not available from the original designer, you also have the option of purchasing either the reproducible plan set or the CAD-file version (if available), and hire a local designer to make the changes for you.

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Q. What are building codes? How do they affect me?
Posted On: 2009-07-12 at 08:08:10 AM

Category: Questions & Answer

Building codes are standards created to ensure the structural safety of buildings. To obtain a building permit, you will need to demonstrate to your local building department that your new house will meet the building codes of your community.

Submitted by: Blogmaster



What is a "standard" home equity loan?
Posted On: 2009-07-12 at 02:15:03 PM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

There are two basic types of home equity loans: the standard home equity loan and a home equity line of credit. Another way of borrowing against home equity is cash-out refinancing.

The Standard Home Equity Loan

A standard home equity loan, (also called a term loan, a closed-end loan or a second mortgage installment loan), works like a traditional loan. You receive a lump sum payment at a fixed interest rate and you pay the money back in monthly payments over the life of the loan. Since the interest rate on the loan is fixed, your monthly payments will also be fixed.

An example of this is a home equity loan for $30,000 with an interest rate of 7.5% where you pay the money back in monthly payments of $356.11 over the 10 year life of the loan.

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Q. What is a materials list and what does it include?
Posted On: 2009-07-11 at 04:50:41 PM

Category: Questions & Answer

A. It is a list of building supplies needed to construct the infrastructure of your new house and includes materials such as lumber, insulation, rafters, concrete, and hardware. However, it usually doesn't include hardware for lighting, heating, electrical, or plumbing.

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Fixed Rate Mortgages...
Posted On: 2009-07-11 at 04:30:10 PM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

If you ever had questions on how fixed rate mortgages worked, here is a good article to clarify...

Submitted by: Webmaster



Q. How do copyright laws affect me?
Posted On: 2009-07-10 at 07:13:13 AM

Category: Questions & Answer

Any original writing (books, plays, songs, poetry, software, etc.) or creative production of images (photographs, films, video, drawings, etc.) is considered the intellectual property of the creator and is protected by copyright laws.

The rights to use these works or copies of these works is controlled by the creator. To use any of these copyrighted materials, including house plans, you need permission, which is often in the form of a license, from the person who holds the copyright. Unauthorized use or copying of these works is stealing. It deprives creators of the income they normally charge for using their words or images.

Consequently, whether you want to build a house from a copyrighted house plan or make a copy, it is your legal responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright holder before using or copying the house plan. House Plan Central.com does not hold the copyrights to the plans you find on our site.

House Plan Central.com acts as a broker, or representative, for hundreds of independent designers, giving you the best selection of stock house plans available. Just as you would not steal materials from a lumber yard to build your house, it is important to obtain building licenses and copyright releases to use and copy any house plan you find on our site.

Submitted by: Webmaster



Q. Do your house plans include electrical, mechanical, and plumbing?
Posted On: 2009-07-09 at 8:14:05 AM

Category: Questions & Answer

A. They include an electrical plan, showing code-required locations for switches, outlets, etc. However, plans do not include an electrical-wiring diagram or the location of the electrical panel because these items are handled differently throughout North America. Mechanical plans, typically, are not specified for the same reasons. Mechanical systems are installed in different locations, depending on your location, foundation, and weather conditions.

Our plans do show the location of plumbing fixtures but not the location of pipe risers, etc. Plumbing specifications are also dependent on your location and foundation options. Your plumbing contractor will determine pipe locations based on the requirements of your region.

Submitted by: Webmaster



Q. How much do modifications cost for your house plans?
Posted On: 2009-07-08 at 08:03:23 AM

Category: Questions & Answer

A. Modifications to your house plan range from a modest fee of approximately $100, for a minor change, to several thousand, for a larger project, depending on the extent of your changes. If you are interested in making changes to one or more house plans, send us an email describing the items that you would like to see modified. We can discuss the details with you and then obtain a quote for those services from the designer.

Many simple changes can be made during construction by your builder and will not require plan modifications.

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Q. What building codes do your plans comply with?
Posted On: 2009-07-06 at 03:34:17 PM

Category: Questions & Answer

All our house plans are designed to conform to the local codes where the original house was designed/built. All building codes in the United States are similar because they meet industry-standard minimums that are based on three nationally recognized standards. Certain areas of high risk due to earthquakes and hurricanes typically have more stringent standards.


Submitted by: Blogmaster



Q. After I order my plans, how long will it take to receive them?
Posted On: 2009-07-05 at 1:53:13 AM

Category: Questions & Answer

A. Most plans are shipped within 1-2 business days of receiving your order. Many shipping options are available. (See House Plan "Shipping Options"). Normal ground shipments within the continental United States take five to seven business days.

Submitted by: Webmaster



Q. What does the term "Living Sq. Ft." actually mean/include?
Posted On: 2009-07-04 at 12:04:32 AM

Category: Questions & Answer

A. The total living square footage of a house plan is the sum total of the areas inside the exterior face of the heated walls, that is, it does not include areas like garages, porches, or decks. Consequently, you cannot determine the actual square footage of a house by adding the square feet of each room.

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Q. If I buy a set of plans from HousePlanCentral.com, can I have them modified?
Posted On: 2009-07-02 at 12:07:12 AM

Category: Questions & Answer

A. Yes. We can either arrange for the original designer to make the changes for you, or we can arrange for an outside firm to make the changes for you. Most House Plan Central.com designers will make modifications for a fee. However, you should email us and discuss the kind of modifications you are considering.

Submitted by: Webmaster



Q. How can I find a house in my area that has been built with a house plan from your site that I like?
Posted On: 2009-07-01 at 11:52:05 PM

Category: Questions & Answer

A. Unfortunately, our designers do not release this information for privacy reasons. For more information, please see Privacy Policy.

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Q. Is it possible to see a rear view of the house plan that I'm interested in?
Posted On: 2009-07-01 at 11:55:12 PM

Category: Questions & Answer

A. In most cases, yes. A growing number of our house plans already have a rear view (also called a rear elevation). If it's available, there will be a rear elevation link located below the house floor plan image.

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Do stock plans contain everything I need to build in the state of "INSERT STATE/LOCATION HERE"...
Posted On: 2009-06-25 at 09:54:28 AM

Category: House Plans

One question that we receive almost every day is whether or not the plan package for plan 1234 contains everything that a person would need to build the home in the state of "INSERT STATE/LOCATION HERE"... As such, we wanted to provide some additional information to clarify the subject.

In most areas of the country, these stock house plans will be everything you need to build, but not necessarily everything you need to obtain a building permit.

In addition to the house plans you order, you may also need a site plan that shows where the house is going to be located on the property. You might also need beams sized to accommodate roof loads specific to your region. Your home builder can usually help you with this. You may also need a septic design unless your lot is served by a sanitary sewer system. Many areas now have area-specific energy codes that also have to be followed. This normally involves filling out a simple form providing documentation that your house plans are in compliance.

To find out what documents you should expect with your house plans, see What's Included?.

In some regions, there is a second step you will need to take to insure your house plans are in compliance with local codes. Some areas of North America have very strict engineering requirements. Examples of this would be earthquake-prone areas of California and the Pacific Coast, hurricane risk areas of the Florida, Gulf & Carolina Coasts. New York, New Jersey, Nevada, and parts of Illinois require review by a local professional as well. If you are building in these areas, it is most likely you will need to hire a state licensed structural engineer to analyze the design and provide additional drawings and calculations required by your building department. If you aren't sure, building departments typically have a handout they will give you listing all of the items they require to submit for and obtain a building permit.

Additionally, stock plans do not have a professional stamp attached. If your building department requires one, they will only accept a stamp from a professional licensed in the state where you plan to build. In this case, you will need to take your house plans to a local engineer or architect for review and stamping. In addition, plans which are used to construct homes in Nevada are required to be drawn by a licensed Nevada architect.

It is always a good idea to check with your local city, municipality, and state building authorities to ensure that your home construction will meet all applicable building codes.

Hopefully, the above information will provide you with a good basis for evaluatiing your particular house plan situation.

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Red Flags of getting a home loan..
Posted On: 2009-06-23 at 04:53:07 PM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

Look out for these ...

Submitted by: Webmaster



Be sure to check out these new house plan designs...
Posted On: 2009-06-22 at 02:10:47 PM

Category: New Home Plans

This designer's collection has recently been expanded to include several larger designs... view these here...

Great designs...

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Mortgage questions to ask your lender...
Posted On: 2009-06-21 at 10:52:19 AM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

Keep these in mind when you begin evaluating mortgage options. Article can be viewed here...

Submitted by: Webmaster



House Plan Packages - Part II
Posted On: 2009-06-19 at 11:18:38 PM

Category: House Plan Articles

Part II of the article can be found here ...

Remember to always email us if a particular homeplan package is shown as being "Not Available" on the site....

Submitted by: Webmaster



Great Tool..."How much house can I afford?
Posted On: 2009-06-19 at 02:13:32 PM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

Here is a link to an excellent calculator to tell you how much home you can afford: http://cgi.money.cnn.com/tools/houseafford/houseafford.html

Submitted by: Blogmaster



When to order which type of houseplan package?
Posted On: 2009-06-17 at 09:30:55 PM

Category: House Plan Articles

Most house plan designers offer a variety of plan "packages" to better fit our customer's specific needs.

There are packages specifically meant to provide additional information, for review purposes only.....there are packages that allow you to obtain CAD file sets which can then be modified by a designer in your area, to exactly fit your specific needs....and there are many other "packages" that allow you to purchase the type that best fits your needs..

As such, we have developed a short article to better explain the different types of floorplan packages, and when to use each....

Part I can be found here


Submitted by: Blogmaster



Understanding Fixed Rate mortgages...
Posted On: 2009-06-16 at 02:51:13 PM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

Good description of this type of mortgage here...

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Q. Can I buy a plan and have it modified by a local professional?
Posted On: 2009-06-14 at 9:15:33 AM

Category: Questions & Answer

A. Yes. You need to purchase either a CAD-file set or reproducible set. Both include copyright releases, so your professional can make the modifications and copies. Both versions also include a building license.

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Part III available...
Posted On: 2009-06-12 at 10:54:56 PM

Category: House Plan Articles

We've finished the third portion of the "Most Popular Homeplan Features" article , and you can view here

If you have ideas for other articles that you'd like to see, drop us an email at webmaster@houseplancentral.com

Submitted by: Webmaster



Which mortgage is best?
Posted On: 2009-06-12 at 04:50:21 PM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

Here are some secrets your banker won't tell you. View article here...

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Popular Houseplan Features - Part II Posted...
Posted On: 2009-06-09 at 10:03:55 PM

Category: House Plan Articles

I wanted to let everyone know that we've just completed Part II of our article series on the "Most Popular Homeplan Features" . Be sure to check it out, as several of the items may be helpful as you look for features that you would like in your new home plan...

You can view it here

Stay tuned for part III....

Submitted by: Webmaster



Most Requested Floorplan Features...
Posted On: 2009-06-08 at 11:46:39 PM

Category: House Plan Articles

One of the most popular questions, by far, that we receive from our customers is "What are the most popular houseplan features?"

This is a very difficult question to answer, since the most popular features vary so greatly between demographic groups....between different parts of the country, etc...

In any case, we thought it appropriate to develop a series of articles devoted to this topic, and here is part one of the "Most popular house plan features" series.

Stay tuned for part II and III....

Submitted by: Blogmaster



How to buy a home without a down payment...
Posted On: 2009-06-07 at 04:49:22 PM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

Interesting tips here...

Submitted by: Blogmaster



How to finance and build your dream home...
Posted On: 2009-06-05 at 07:53:55 AM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

View article here...

Submitted by: Webmaster



Look for more new home financing articles....
Posted On: 2009-06-03 at 04:00:38 PM

Category: Home Mortgages and Financing

Over the next few months, our team will be providing access to several new home financing tips and helpful articles to help you through this part of the process...

Check back often!

Submitted by: Blogmaster



Topics of Interest...
Posted On: 2009-06-01 at 03:39:55 PM

Category: House Plan Articles

Over the coming months, our team will be developing a series of educational articles focused on providing you with the information that you need...quickly and concisely.

As such, if there are any particular topics that you would like to see addressed, send us an email at webmaster@houseplancentral.com.

Thanks....

Submitted by: Webmaster



New Plans being added...
Posted On: 2009-05-27 at 01:32:24 PM

Category: New Home Plans

We just wanted to let everyone know that we are in the process of loading new plans...on a weekly basis.

A large number of the new plans are in the 2,100 sq. ft. and up size range, and feature a variety of highly-flexible floorplan configurations.

Something to definitely check out.....

Submitted by: Blogmaster



House Plan Blog Launched
Posted On: 2009-05-23 at 02:40:00 PM

Category: House Plans

Well, after many months of hard work, we've finally launched the House Plan Central.com houseplan blog!.

Through this section of the site, we'll be able to provide you with the information that you're looking for, as it relates to finding your next home plan.

In addition, we've spent a great deal of time to ensure that we have the website features and functionality that you need in your search for the perfect house plan, and this site will be continually updated with new home plans and designs, as well as useful articles, house plan comparison features, and increasingly advanced search functionalities.

If you should have any suggestions on ways that we can improve your experience and ability to find what you're looking for, quickly, please let us know. We are here for you, and are committed to making House Plan Central the Internet's #1 location for finding your next house plan. Thank you in advance....

Submitted by: Webmaster



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Recent House Plan Articles
Mortgage Questions To Ask Your Lender

Mortgage Refinance - Tips to Help You Cut Fees and Costs

Why Buy Stock House Plans vs. Custom? - Part II

Why Buy Stock House Plans vs. Custom? - Part I

Home Buyer and House Plan Terms and Definitions - Part VI

Home Buyer and House Plan Terms and Definitions - Part V

Home Buyer and House Plan Terms and Definitions - Part IV

Home Buyer and House Plan Terms and Definitions - Part III

Home Buyer and House Plan Terms and Definitions - Part II

Home Buyer and House Plan Terms and Definitions - Part I

Learn about your home mortgage options - Part V

Learn about your home mortgage options - Part IV

Learn about your home mortgage options - Part III

Learn about your home mortgage options - Part II

Learn about your home mortgage options - Part I

What are the different types of house foundation types and when to use each? - Part III

What are the different types of house foundation types and when to use each? - Part II

What are the different types of house foundation types and when to use each? - Part I

Do stock plans contain everything I need to build in the state of "INSERT HERE"...

What are the different types of house plan packages, and when to use each? - Part II

What are the different types of house plan packages, and when to use each? - Part I

What are the most popular floorplan features? - Part III

What are the most popular floorplan features? - Part II

What are the most popular floorplan features? - Part I



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Which mortgage is best?

How to buy a home without a down payment...

Closing costs for your mortgage...

Learn about home construction loans

Looking for home mortgages online...

What lenders don't want you to know...

Minimize out of pocket fees and costs

Fixed Rate Mortgages...

Look for more new home financing articles....

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Mortgage Loans with a 5% Down Payment or Less?

Great Tool..."How much house can I afford?

Be sure to check out these new house plan designs...

NEW ARTICLE: Why buy stock house plans vs. custom - Part II?

NEW ARTICLE: Why buy stock house plans vs. custom - Part I?

Unless you have absolutely NO self-discipline...

Bi-Monthly vs. Bi-Weekly comparison...

Other Options For Saving Significant $ On Your Mortgage

Caveat on pre-payment of your home mortgage..

Example of savings generated by pre-paying mortgage - part II...

Example of savings generated by pre-paying mortgage - part I...

Paying your mortgage on a bi-weekly vs. monthly schedule...

You should consider making bi-weekly or accelerated mortgage payments...

Q. Can I buy a plan and have it modified by a local professional?

Q. Do your house plans include electrical, mechanical, and plumbing?

Q. How do copyright laws affect me?

Q. What is a materials list and what does it include?

Q. How many times may I build a house from the plans I purchase from you?

Q. What are building codes? How do they affect me?

Q. If I buy a set of plans from HousePlanCentral.com, can I have them modified?

Q. What does the term "Living Sq. Ft." actually mean/include?

Q. How much do modifications cost for your house plans?

Q. What if the foundation option I'm looking for is not available with the house plan I want to buy?

Q. What building codes do your plans comply with?

Q. Do your house plans have all the information I need to get a building permit?

Q. Is it possible to see a rear view of the house plan that I'm interested in?

Q. After I order my plans, how long will it take to receive them?

Q. How can I find a house in my area that has been built with a house plan from your site that I like?

Do stock plans contain everything I need to build in the state of "INSERT STATE/LOCATION HERE"...

House Plan Packages - Part II

When to order which type of houseplan package?

Part III available...

Popular Houseplan Features - Part II Posted...

Most Requested Floorplan Features...

Topics of Interest...

New Plans being added...

House Plan Blog Launched