Category: Building Information

The New, New Home

Getting the house of your dreams with your eyes wide open

This soon to be released (April 29th) book by Boyce Thompson is a great resource for anyone considering building a new home.

The New, New Home by Boyce Thompson

Chapter 4: Space Planning Comes of Age – features Donald A. Gardner home plans as a model of how to reduce square footage “without sacrificing the facade or livability”.

Author Boyce Thompson, the former editorial director of Builder magazine for 17 years, demystifies the challenges and opportunities facing new home buyers. He lays out the new reality: going green, high-tech, aging in place, space planning, and construction options available in today’s market. Drawing from nearly two decades of experience, he helps you to determine which home features will improve your living experience today…and create value should you sell your home down the road.

Check out this brief interview with the author:

Learn more about this book on The Taunton Press’ website: The New, New Home

Available April 29th. Pre-order it now on Amazon.com

WoodTrac Closet Organization

WoodTrac Closet Kits help you get organized and make the most of both walk-in and reach-in closets.

WoodTrac Closet Kit

With tons of customizable features and solid wood shelves and railings, WoodTrac closet systems work well in any closet in your home. Wood shelves allow clothes to be stored without the impression marks associated with wire shelving – and they are much easier to clean. Options include double hanging rods, shelving, or doors and drawers. The new reach-in closets are available in white, cherry and espresso finishes and can be installed for under $200 in a space up to 8 feet wide.

Plan your space
A handy tool on their website lets you design the perfect system for your needs. Just plug in the left, middle, and right wall measurements and select a finish to see the available options.

Contact the Customer Services Representatives at Don Gardner Architects for closet dimensions if you haven’t purchased your home plan yet. Call 1-800-388-7580, or email info@dongardner.com!

WoodTrack Designer

Installation is simple and fast
Easier to install than custom closets, WoodTrac’s cleat system secures the kit to the wall, supports shelves and creates a finished furniture appearance. Cleats are run wall-to-wall and screwed into studs for maximum holding strength. Cabinets are pre-routed and hardware is included, so all you need is a tape measure, level, drill, screwdriver and saw. Here’s a quick how-to video:

Unconventional Bathroom Flooring

The bathroom is typically the smallest room in the home, which makes it the perfect place to get creative!

 

Wood-Grain Tile
Tile is a classic choice for bathroom flooring, with plenty of styles and textures to choose from. The Reclamation Collection by Crossville Tile offers the benefits of porcelain tile with a wood-inspired look that’s elegant and modern.

Bathroom: wood-grain tile

Image courtesy of Crossville Tile

 

Cork
Eco-friendly and attractive, cork is mildew-resistant and bounces back from small mishaps. Its soft, springy texture means you won’t have to step onto a cold floor. Although cork is water-resistant, consult a professional for installation in the bathroom due to the seams between the tiles.

Bathroom: cork flooring

via www.designsponge.com

 

Concrete
Concrete can be an easy and economical flooring choice if your home is built on a slab foundation. Sanding and sealing might be all that’s needed to get a polished look, and staining or etching can give it one-of-a-kind flair.

Bathroom: concrete floors

via www.hegeinfrance.com

 

Pebbles
Pebble tiles are a unique, yet low-key, flooring option that enhances any style of decor while feeling comfortable under foot. Cover the entire floor or mix with other types of tile to create your own design.

Bathroom: pebble floor

via Pinterest.com

 

Pennies
You may have stumbled across this idea already (if you spend enough time on Pinterest) – penny flooring. It’s unusual, but copper has always been a fashionable accent color. Perhaps a bit over-the-top, but definitely a conversation starter!

Bathroom: Penny floors

via Pinterest.com

Follow us on Pinterest to get inspired by tons of interior home photos!

Find your new home plan at www.dongardner.com!

How Long Will it Take to Build?

Homeowners who haven’t built before often have an unrealistic concept of how long it can take to plan, budget and build a home. Let’s take a look at some of the variables that can affect the timetable.

The Hardesty Plan #1287, build progress

The Hardesty Plan #1287, built by Ray Southeastern Design in KY

DESIGN. A stock plan will take less time than a fully custom home, even if the homeowners make some changes to that stock plan. A custom home can take months to design and a year or more to build.

Some people see size as the best indicator of how long the project will take. Not so — cost is a far more accurate gauge. Imagine a pair of 2,500-square-foot homes, one for $200,000 and the other for $1 million. It’s a good bet that the latter will have a more complex design that will take longer to build.

PERMITTING. The legal approvals required before construction begins have multiplied over the years. Sign-off will certainly be needed from the zoning board, the building department, the health department, the fire department and, when building in a planned community, the homeowners’ association. In some areas, design committees, historical commissions, water authorities or other entities want their say as well. Not surprisingly, the wheels of these bureaucracies can move slowly, but an experienced builder should be able to estimate the time required to negotiate the red tape.

SITE WORK. Is the lot in a flat subdivision with roads and utilities already in place, or is it a sloped rural parcel where the contractor will need to cut a road to the site, then excavate and fill to accommodate the foundation? The second option obviously takes more time (and requires more permits and approvals).

STAYING ON TRACK. Fortunately, there are things homeowners can do to keep the job moving. These include taking deadlines seriously, providing details on how they will live in the home, and minimizing changes.

AGREE ON A TIMETABLE. Most good home builders work hard to get things done promptly, but without firm dates things can slip. Homeowners should always be sure there’s a date for their next meeting and deadlines for their next steps. “The plans will be done in a couple of weeks” is vague. Compare that to “The plans will be ready on March 15,” which provides a clear understanding for all parties. On the other hand, homeowners who postpone scheduled meetings with the builder will also throw off the timetable.

THINK THE HOME THROUGH. The more detailed the plan, the less chance of hang-ups. For example, vague electrical plans can stop a project in its tracks. The homeowners need to think through where they want furniture and cabinets so that the builder can specify the right number of outlets. If artwork is to be displayed on a wall or above a fireplace, the builder needs to know it in order to specify the correct lighting. If the homeowners don’t drill down to this level of detail until the job is well under way, things can be held up while new wiring is installed or walls and ceilings re-framed to accommodate it.

MINIMIZE CHANGES. Change orders are a huge time killer because they require lots of time to plan and coordinate. Changes made late in the design stage can extend design time and those made after the project has started can extend the build time.

If moving in by a certain date is your priority, you need to be absolutely clear with the builder about it and then you and builder can plan effectively on how to meet that date.

The Hardesty Plan #1287, build complete

The Hardesty Plan #1287, built by Ray Southeastern Design in KY

-Thank you to Theresa Weed – Realtor & Top Producer at Fox Lair and Ray Southeastern Design for sharing their construction photos on Facebook!

Residential Building – Windows and Doors Online Edition

Residential Building – Online Edition

It’s hard to overstate how important windows are to the look and feel of a house. “The size and shape of windows and doors can make or break the design of an intended aesthetic,” builder Stephen B. Quick IV said in this month’s Q+A. Because the categories are so important, Residential Building has designated the August online edition as their Window and Door Issue.

Windows and Doors

Here are some stories you’ll find this month:

  • Architect Ed Binkley shows how to maximize light with glass walls
  • A Texas house inspired by Austin’s Hill Country
  • Electronic faucets are everywhere; are they here to stay?
  • And much more!