Category Archives: Home Design

Building Site for Your Custom Home Design

Once someone has come to the decision to build a new home the next step is often choosing a building site. There are many factors in choosing a building site. Consider asking yourself a question regarding the location of your new home: is it in good proximity to work, shopping and schools, or does recreation, a scenic view or an ideal setting outweigh the demands of a daily routine? This is where your selection process should start, and it’s important. Our homes are the place that we come back to at the end of each and every day. They need to be a place that we want to come back to at the end of our daily activities and a place to be proud to call our own.

Contacting a professional at this stage of the home design process can be key to the fulfillment of your dreams. The advice of an architect or a residential designer can also help you avoid unforeseen difficulties with a potential site. A good designer knows where to go to investigate property easements, riparian setbacks, soils reports and zoning bylaw information. Can you even build the intended home on the subject property? Are there going to be unforeseen development costs? Residential designers can provide the answers to many of these questions.

Years of wisdom also help designers work with you as you consider sight-lines, seasonal weather patterns, wind direction, sun angles and site grading to develop a schematic site analysis. Other distinct site attributes will also be noticed by your designer including existing vegetation, either to be retained or removed. Some municipalities even have tree bylaws that impose heavy fines for the removal of certain trees. Looking at these and other factors lays the proper groundwork for a home that will have every room in it’s proper place with it’s intended function.

Recently a potential client contacted me and asked to interview me. I suggested meeting at the site and they agreed that it would be a good idea to do so. While on site I asked if they were aware of the current zoning restrictions and that the front triangle of the property belonged to the city. Though they had contacted other designers about the planning of the home, no-one had mentioned these issues to them. Further, they were due to close on the property the very next day! I accompanied them to city hall to have the issues clarified. In the end they backed out of the purchase of the lot and are looking for another building site, avoiding an additional $120,000 in land acquisition and development permit costs plus 8 months of legal process. Surely, there is value in the advice of a multitude of councilors!

Comparing Custom Home Designs

The advancement in information technology has enabled modern people to design their own homes. An individual has option to browse through a large collection of online home designs, along with using home designing software applications to create custom home designs. But a homeowner must remember that the home designing trends and techniques change at frequent intervals. So he must consider several options to design custom homes according to the most recent trends in residential home design.

Ideas to Optimize Your Custom Home Designs

Avoid Cutting Trees

While constructing or renovating a house, people often forget to save trees. You must remember that you can avail several benefits by saving the trees. The tree will keep your home and shaded, while enhancing its aesthetic appeal. Thus, you can save energy bills over a longer period of time. While placing the decks of your house, you must remember the existing trees. The design will make your home more energy-efficient, while reducing the number of trees to be cut down.

Explore Options to Generate Green Energy

You can even consider generating green energy to curtail your monthly electricity bills. However, the choice of energy source will vary based on the location of the property. If your home receives adequate sunlight you can consider installing solar panels. The photovoltaic panels will generate electricity by converting sunlight.

Similarly, you can consider installing a residential wind turbine if you live in an area with high average wind speed. The wind turbine will generate electricity by harnessing the kinetic power of the wind. The electricity generated through the solar panels or wind turbine can be further stored for future by using batteries or a grid.

Consider Roof Improvements

A number of reports have highlighted that the attic temperature can be reduced by using the right roof color and material. You can always opt for the light colored tile roofs to decrease the temperature. It is also a good idea to reroof the property with white tiles. The color and nature of the tile will reduce the amount of heat gained by your attic.

Conserve Home Energy

You can even conserve home energy by concentrating on the doors and windows. The doors and windows must be inspected thoroughly to detect air leaks. The air leaks must be fixed immediately, along with applying weather stripping. Similarly, you also need to seal the less obvious spots that can result in energy loss. For instance, the areas around electrical outlets and light switches must be sealed to prevent energy loss.

Home Design for Everybody

3D Home Design is a different way for architects to design homes, it is not far from the conventional 2D way of designing, but is more competitive. 3D Home Design, just like the traditional way also includes the floor plans, elevations and the perspective of the project. The only difference is that 3D Home Design features 3D Floor Plans and 3D Elevations instead of the conventional 2D.

3D Home Design in an Architect’s point of view

For architects, presenting for a client using 3D Home Design can be a great advantage since the presentation will be able to capture the client’s attention from the beginning, with the color rich presentations of the floor plan and elevations.

3D Home Design in a Client’s point of view

For clients having no background in architecture, watching an architect’s presentation, especially with the architect showing boring 2D drawings and talking about it in technical terms that you don’t even understand a bit, can be a boring task. But when an architect presents you with a 3D presentation, you will be able to understand right away what the architect is conveying. There is no need to decipher the technical terms and the plan drawings, you just need to look at the presentation and you will have an idea of what the project will look like.

3D Home Design and its components.

Presenting for a client consist of 2 phases, the primary phase and the major phase. The primary stage is the presentation of the floor plans and elevations, which was discussed in an earlier post. The major phase includes the presentation of the interior and exterior perspectives.

· 3D Interior

3D Interior presentations include views of the inside of the house in certain parts. It is for the client to see and feel how the house will look like, and if the spaces will work according to their preferences, it can also serve as an attachment to the floor plans if the client need some verifications on how a certain space in the house will look like.

· 3D Exterior

3D Exterior presentations include views of the outside of the house as a whole, including the background to apply the environment where the actual house will be built. It can also serve as a medium for the clients to see how the house will look like and it gives the chance to the client to tell the architect whether they want to change some colors or part before the construction begins.

The High Price of Home Design

All too often I speak with friends, family, and home owners who know that they need to do something with their house — but they don’t know where to start. Maybe they are bored with their same old vinyl exterior, tired of the lack of green space or gardens out front, or envious of their neighbors custom patio and deck. We all know that feeling – but acting on improving your house is a whole different matter!

I have to admit, my family members are big fans of that addicting web site and App called Houzz. We scrolled through their iPad app for weeks on end looking for cool ideas that may have worked for us – when we decided to do a big home reno. But ideas are one thing – albeit a fantastic starting point – committing to a reno without actually seeing what YOUR house would look like is pretty darn scary!

That’s when we decided to hire a professional house designer to draw up some sketches of “what could be”. Unfortunately we must have forgot to have her also draw up a more concrete list of what her deliverables “would be” along with a firm price quote. *sigh*. But, she was a friend of a friend and we were anxious to get moving. Lesson Learned.

After nearly $1,000 in “designer fee’s,” we ended up with a couple pages of loose leaf paper that had some new design concepts sketched of our homes exterior – plus introductions to some of her contractor friends who would give us a “great deal” on the work. Needless to say – we declined.

We wanted to do something to our house – but in our haste we learned just how expensive professional designer fee’s can be. We didn’t want architectural drawings, schematics, plans for city approval… we wanted some basic ideas, colors, and concepts that we can could quickly say we either like or dislike. We didn’t want any pretentious expert to have sit down meetings with us about our motivations, desires, likes and dislikes… heck we just wanted someone to make our real estate look great! This simple and quick approach is something that professional designers often have a hard time doing – and fair enough. They want to display their best talents, best ideas, and best abilities to you – a potential client. And their time is worth money. Lot’s of money depending on who you hire!

But sometimes we just want to get it done. Make it quick – make it affordable – make it great.

So here are the top three tips to get you started… and remember, you should always start out with the basics. Play around with your own ideas surrounding colors, materials, and landscaping before ever hiring someone to spend thousand of dollars designing your dream… because you may just find that all you really wanted was a little help spurring your own imagination and giving you that quick glimpse into “what could be”.

1) Outsiders Opinion

This is so important – talk to friends, family, colleagues and see what they would suggest for your home. But don’t forget they can be a little nice. The real home run opinion is that of your neighbors… you know… the ones with the perfect lawn, seasonal flowers, and freshly painted window trims. They have a vested interest in you doing the right reno’s as it only helps their curb appeal!

2) Online Ideas

Visit apps and websites for home design and home improvement. Don’t spend hours – spend seconds scanning photos & videos. Find something that looks like your house and quickly note what you like and what you hate. Can you recreate that archway with your roofline? Would that outdoor rock work be suitable for your climate? Take note of the improvements or designs that stand out the most to you as being “difference makers” then try to think about whether they would work on your property.

3) Affordable Designer Options

The web has an abundance of highly talented and highly motivated individuals and companies. You can hire a professional design Company half way across the world who may be hungry for work, or an independent contractor from Croatia who has just the skills you need. Search for “freelancers” or “online contractors” and then find the perfect worker for your needs.

So before shelling out thousands of dollars for exterior and landscape designs – start of with the basics. New ideas don’t necessarily have to mean big bucks, and who knows – maybe you’ll discover your own inner designer!

New Ideas In Modern Home Design

Home trends change along with the needs of consumers and of the general population. Modern home design aims to satisfy those changing needs by providing simplistic design with loads of storage space–a common problem found in older homes where dwellers find it impossible, or at least challenging, to store their personal items in a logical and organized manner. The design must be capable of providing such solutions for the home to be functional, and that has architects, interior designers, and builders scrambling to come up with great ideas every year.

Given the opportunity to build simple home designs enable the homeowner to add personal touches to customize their future home so that it meets their own needs. For instance, a very outgoing and athletic family needs solutions to store away their sporting equipment when it’s not in use, but in a way that their equipment is easy to reach whenever necessary. This is what makes a home functional, and it is imperative in modern home design. Future homeowners can work side-by-side with architects to customize their homes to perfect them according to their individual lifestyles. It can be a small adjustment to increase the size of a closet, which could make all the difference, but would likely not greatly affect the budget.

New home ideas can turn an otherwise simple home into something spectacular, such as with adding features that would have been more common in older homes, like the ceiling medallions and crown moldings. Such features add beauty and interest to what would otherwise be very bland spaces. A smart idea that uses space wisely includes maximizing every square inch available, such as in the commonly wasted space beneath a staircase, which can be altered with fitted pull out drawers. This would provide space to store outerwear, footwear, and much more!

Focus on lighting–both artificial and natural light. The home can never have too much light, and so the budget should allow for numerous light sources throughout the home, from one room to the next. Keep in mind that one central ceiling-mounted light fixture just won’t do, and instead, aim for six light sources per room. As for natural light, with all the advances in insulated windows today, choose a design that lets the sun shine in through as many openings as possible.

Building and design trends today incorporate numerous innovative ideas for achieving the optimum comfort level, with interest to spare. Design software readily available to professionals and consumers alike allow each to develop a space in 3D that simplifies expression and enables those ideas to come alive, whether they are related to the must-have kitchen island or the fire pit in the center of the sunken living room. Knowing how to communicate visions and desires is the key to achieving the home of your dreams.

Minimalist Home Designs

Let’s face it, choosing the right home design plan is a difficult task. If you have a small home then the situation becomes more difficult. There are so many options that we can consider, and it can be very confusing to choose one that fits with our style. What you must know is that figuring out the best design involves a number of factors. If you want to use minimalist home designs, there are some considerations you must know.

Consider the Lighting

Do you know that lighting also plays a very important role when it comes to minimalist architecture design? Be sure that you make use of only high quality lights. By using high quality lights, you can create a simple effect to your home. When it comes to picking colors, don’t forget that black and white are very common. These colors are the basic color used by many homeowners wanting to have minimalist house designs. For the floors, you can consider using dark wood. To create a simple effect, the roofs are usually flat. This is quite different from regular houses which you have seen so far. By using flat roofs, you can create a simple effect which is very ideal for minimalist home designs.

Use Bright Colors

Bright colors such as red, yellow and orange can provide an interesting design to your home. If you have decided to have a small home then bright colors will become a perfect choice. They can take the forms of artworks, vases, or simple pieces of display furniture.

Don’t Forget to Add Technology

When it comes to minimalist decorating, it doesn’t mean that you have to forego technology. For example, adding an entertainment system can be a great choice. Adding technology gives you some advantages. Some good examples include a big television and a DVD player. Keep in mind that some of these choices may take up less room than others. Thus, you need to be more selective when choosing them.

Add More Windows

A small home features many windows as it can help the home and room feel larger and more open. Thus, if you want to design a home that feels more open, don’t forget to add more windows. These windows can enhance the minimalist decorating style and create the modern feeling.

Choose an Architect That Has Experience in the Industry

Choosing a builder or architect that has experience in the industry is very vital. You can check how long they have been working with home plans. You can also check their experience especially when it comes to designing home plans. Keep in mind, not all architects are the same, meaning that you must be selective when choosing them. By finding the best one, you can ensure that everything will run smoothly.

Find a Style That You Enjoy

Choosing the right style is also important. The key is that you find a style that you enjoy. You need to find a builder who can accommodate your needs. Those who are effective in creating that particular style of the home should be included on the list.

Why Choose Small Home Plans

Sometimes small home plans can look as good as big home plans. Having a small house gives you some advantages. For example, a small house uses less energy to operate. It means that you can save some amount of money. A small house also requires fewer building materials to build. If you are on the budget then a small house plan is definitely a great idea. Another benefit you must know is that a small house is less expensive to build.

Right and Best Home Designs

It will take a lot of time for you to choose the proper best home designs that are suitable for your needs and lifestyle. You have to recognize a couple of things that you have to consider when choosing a home design. It is crucial for you to pink home design which fits your taste. You also have to consider about your landscape.

Needs and Lifestyle

Family needs and lifestyles are two most important things when building a home. But you have to rely on the plans for your family in the future. For example, new couples will have a different home plan from a retired couple in terms of characteristics.

Before you choose the design that you want to in order to build a home, it is well recommended for you to thinks about your lifestyle and needs.

Privacy

A couple of homeowners want to have home plans which are more intimate in their personal living spaces and master bedroom, while some others want to have some privacy in their office space.

It is also important for you to think about privacy that you want from your neighbors and occupants. If you think this is crucial for you, you have to consider applying design with a U or L shape design. This house plans types will offer you more privacy when building a home.

Aesthetics and Furnishings

You have to consider the floor plan that you want to have for your new home because it will accommodate your furniture. Talking about the sizes of the room, you have to consider the seating places and the placement of your furniture because it will impact on the feel of your room. It is better for you to measure the furniture in order to decide the space that you want to use for your furniture.

Outdoor Space

Your home plan style will be affected by the natural and geographical landscaping features of your lot that you will have to pick.

Meanwhile, you have to consider whether you want to have enough lot space that you want to use for gardens, interesting landscaping, or pools or your lot space will offer a lawn spot for outdoor sports and games.

For those of you who already bought the building pot, you have to consider a couple of those reasons and plan your house design that you pick in order to find your requirements and needs.

Picking Building Lot

Flat building lots house plans are cheap and easy to build, even though you will find that they are not interesting as a sloping lot. You will be allowed by the sloping lot to plan for a daylight basement and tuck the garage under the home.

When planning to build a home, you also have to consider about a couple of cars that you want to use. You have to think about the space for the driveway or you also have to consider about the parking if many people come to your house. For those of you who have bought house plan, you do not have to choose a building lot that will generate that design.

Custom Log Home Design Ideas

Custom log home design ideas can be used to help create the dream log home you’ve always wanted. Perhaps you have some custom log home design ideas on paper as you’ve been collecting design ideas. That’s a great way to plan and organize your ideas, by making a scrapbook of the things you may want in your log home design. Here are some tips for custom designing your log home:

1. Explore and Select Your Log Home Style – select the log home style that you really want and like, a style that excites you. Will you prefer the manufactured or handcrafted log home style? Manufactured log homes are made with logs that are milled into a desired shape, producing uniform logs without taper. The logs used generally range in length from 10 to 18 feet. A custom log home design using manufactured logs can vary considerably in shape and appearance because the logs have different shapes and there are different corner styles. You can obtain kits ranging from just the logs and fasteners to more complete systems that include the roofing materials, doors, windows and even more.

A handcrafted custom log home design means handcrafters will strip the bark off of whole logs. Using special skills and tools, the handcrafter will fit each log into place. Handcrafted custom log home design and construction is labor intensive, and the construction process takes longer and usually costs more since so much work is done manually. This method attempts to preserve the natural shape of the tree, and each log is carefully trimmed and shaped for a specific location in the log shell. The logs may be assembled at the company’s yard, the pieces are numbered, taken apart and shipped to the homesite to be reassembled.

2. Visualize Home Traffic Flow – a good way to create a custom log home design is to take floorplans you like and pretend you’re coming home, entering and moving around in the home. Come in the front door — where will you place your coat? What do you see in front of you as you enter? Which way to the kitchen and pantry if you are carrying groceries? Visualize sitting in the living room or family room. Will you be entertaining guests? Is having a fireplace high on your list of priorities? Try to note where the bathroom or bathrooms are located. As you finish your shower, where are the towels hanging?

Another helpful exercise when visualizing custom log home design is to examine the things that you like about where you live now. What things would you like to keep and what are things you’d like to change and have in your new home? For example, perhaps you’ll want a much larger kitchen. Pay special attention to the kitchen work triangle — the distance between the sink, refrigerator and range or cooktop. Each one of these areas becomes a focal point in the kitchen and forms the three points of a triangle with different distances between them. Done correctly, proper custom log home design in the kitchen gives you the most efficient food preparation area layout. Walk through each room of the floorplan and see how the room feels and functions and how its location seems in relation to other rooms.

3. Plan Your Home Orientation and Layout – when creating a custom log home design, pay attention to your site and how the orientation of individual rooms will be done. Locate the bedrooms towards the cooler, nighttime north. Place your kitchen facing the east to catch the early morning sun. The living room and recreational room can have a kind of transitional orientation, facing the warm noon south sun. And the dining area can be oriented towards the late afternoon western sun. Natural light, window placement, orientation and views are powerful positive factors in human health and the comfort of your new home.

A great way to learn custom log home design ideas is to view log home plans that have been successfully built already. Use the speed of the internet to view plans, plans that you enjoy. Every plan that you review can give you custom log home design ideas that you had not thought of. Instead of trying to create brand new plans from scratch, you can save considerable time and money if you can find great plans that have already been built successfully somewhere. This means the plans will work. Just be sure the plans service can make the changes to the plans so they become exactly what you want. That way, you really can create the custom log home design that will provide you many years of enjoyment.

Log Home Designs

Log home designs can be divided in several ways. Understanding log home designs and basic concepts can help you select the design that is best for you. As you are getting involved in the design process, consider these basic concepts as they apply to your design:

Shape of Log Used – the logs used in your log home can be shaped in various ways. They can be full round, D-shaped, square shaped, rectangular shaped or Swedish cope style. D-shaped logs will have one side of the log flat with the other three sides being rounded. The Swedish cope style has a portion of the bottom of the log cut out so that the log rests more securely on the log beneath it in the wall.

Type of Log Wood – there are many wood species commonly used in log home designs. There is no such thing as a “best” wood to use, rather, each species has advantages and disadvantages. Wood types include cedar, cypress, Douglas fir, hemlock, lodgepole pine, oak, spruce, white pine and yellow pine. If log home designs, construction and maintenance are done properly, any of these woods will provide many decades of enjoyable log home living. If not designed, built and maintained properly, none of the woods will hold up very well.

Peeled or Milled Logs – peeled logs used in log home designs will have the bark and outer sapwood removed. This can be accomplished by hand or by the mill’s machinery. Milled logs are run through machines that will create the desired log shape when finished. The log surfaces will be more smooth and uniform in milled logs.

Corner Systems Used – here are the four main corner systems used in log home designs:

1. Butt-and-Pass – these corners are formed when one log stops where it meets the intersecting log, and the other log extends past the corner. There are many variations involving the shape of the area where the logs butt. Usually the passing logs have a cutout into which the butt log fits.

2. Dovetail Corners – these corners are used mostly with square or rectangular logs. The end of each log is cut in such a way that produces a fan-shaped wedge. As the logs are stacked, the ends of one wall’s logs will be locked into the perpendicular logs.

3. Notched – notched corners are also known as saddle-notch. A saddle-shaped notch is cut into the bottom of each round log so that this notch on the bottom of the top log straddles the top of the log coming from the perpendicular wall. Both logs then extend past the corner. The saddle-notch is one of the most traditional corner intersections used in log home designs and is favored by many handcrafters. These type of corners are very strong, but they do require more construction time. Notched corners are also easier to seal and hold corner logs better than butt-and-pass.

4. Post Corners – the log ends are cut off perpendicular to the length of the log and joined at the corners using what amounts to vertical posts. This type of construction is not as labor intensive. This corner style sacrifices some of the traditional log cabin or log home look. Using post corners will require a different engineering treatment than other log corners, because the vertical posts do not settle with the horizontal logs.

One of the best ways to learn more about log home designs is to view log home plans that have been successfully built. Every plan that you examine can give you design ideas that you had not thought of. Trying to create brand new plans from scratch can be time-consuming and expensive. You can save considerably if you can find great plans that exist that you like. Just be sure the plans service can make changes to the plans so they become exactly what you want. That way, you really can create the log home design that will provide you many years of enjoyment.

Home Design Services

To own a home that you actually designed and created according to your taste is virtually everybody’s ambition. Rather than just renting or buying a house was designed by someone else, you of course would want a place that you have planned yourself to fit your likes. But designing a house could be a very difficult endeavor. Chances are you do not have a background in architecture and could probably only draw stick figures. How then can you put into paper what you have in mind about the house of your dreams?

Fortunately, this problem may easily be solved by availing of home design services that could make the job so easy and convenient for you.

Here are among the many reasons you should avail of home design services:

-Home design services could boost your ideas and help you create beautiful house designs that you find difficult to translate into an actual plan.

-Home design serves may also work according to you budget so that you do not overspend nor would you be too stingy about your dream home.

-You can still add your personal touches because the home design service would cater to your needs and preferences.

-Home design services would do the actual sketching and drafting job for you, plus many more services that would help you build a home.

-You would not be wasting your paper and pencil because the plans that home design services make are very efficient and cost effective. They would know how best to fit the cabinets and furniture you would want to have in your house.

-Home design services could go beyond the floor plan of your house, they could also help you plan your landscape and other elements included in your dream home.

-You can get sound advice regarding technical matters such as the plumbing and the electrical wiring system of the house because they know a lot of such details. Home design services may even tell you the kinds of cooling, water, heating, and power systems you might need.

-You can ask home design services different materials to visualize your dream house such as blue prints, computer aided graphics, prospective sketches and even scale models.

-It is also better to be able to talk to someone as you plan your dream home. When you avail of home design services, you would be working other human beings and be able to share with them the joys of planning your home.

What to look for when availing of home design services:

1. Service package inclusions – the home design service provider you choose should go beyond just drawing floor plans and making blue prints. They should be able to give you different perspectives and useful suggestions regarding the house you are dreaming about. They should be able to listen to your wants and follow them as much as possible given the constraints of your resources.

2. Good Communication Channels – you would want the home design service company to be easy to deal with. The main reason you are availing of their service is that you need help to design your house, and thus you should be able to have an effective means of communication to do this.

3. Good Service – the service provider should be able to assist you with all your needs. Designing a house is a complex matter, and they should be very knowledgeable about issues of building a house.