What do the Colors on your Walls Say about You?

by Paul Foresman 13. August 2013 07:19
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The color you choose to put on the walls of your new custom home can speak volumes about your personality. Certain colors can portray different feelings, and visitors and residents can quickly pick up on these clues when they step into the room. If you are going to repaint or are moving to a new home, give the new colors some extra thought and decide what they say about you.

 

The color you choose to put on the walls of your new custom home can speak volumes about your personality.

Your favorite color may speak to your personality, but it can also help you create a specific feeling or atmosphere. Here is a guide to help you pick your color scheme and create the feeling and mood you desire for your home.


 

Yellow and Orange

 

If yellow is your first choice, it shows that you enjoy learning and sharing knowledge. You tend to live on the happier side of the spectrum, and have a lot of sunshine to share. If you choose a warm color in the yellow and orange family, you will create a welcoming feeling. These are the colors of sunshine. They are bright and happy. The brightness is inviting and makes people feel welcome in the space.


 

Cool Blues

 

Blue tones are for people how are reliable, sensitive, and strive for harmony. You tend to think of others and prefer things neat and tidy. It is easy to make the comparison of a cool blue with the blue sky. The colors you use are often associated with where they can be found in nature, which is why the comparison of a cool blue paint to the blue sky easily creates a calm, tranquil feeling. The space feels open and often larger.


 

Brown

 

Brown is the color of earth, and it shows that you are a good friend and work hard to be reliable and dependable. You’re not terribly interested in glittering, glowing things in life, and prefer the simple, direct route. Browns are also a warm tone which can provide a calming effect on you and your visitors.


 

Black

 

Black can be a bold and stark color and can instantly add drama and elegance to a room. A lot of people are scared to paint black because of its’ boldness, but when done right, it creates an elegant and formal look. People who choose black are also very artistic and sensitive. They are commonly a little more closed off than others, but will share personal details when they’re asked.


Red

 

This is the color we most associate with passion and other intense feelings. People who choose red tend to be very active and like to live for the moment. They can be very determined or very stubborn, depending on how you look at it. This is also not an easy color to use in a room, but with care it can be very attractive.


 

White

 

White is a difficult color. It can say a couple things about you. First, it might say that you are very organized and logical. You don’t care for clutter in your life and prefer a clean appearance. On the other hand, it may just say that you haven’t gotten around to personalizing you home yet and are fine with the stock color. Be careful with this one and make sure you are sending the right message.

 

It doesn’t matter if you are building a small home or luxury home.  The right color of paint can really set the mood of your home.

 

 

 

Tags:

Design Trends

The fallacy of comparing “cost per square foot” when evaluating potential builders for your new home.

by Greg Dodge 5. August 2013 15:05
 

 

 


It may come as a surprise to you that there is no universal method for calculating a home’s square footage.  Discrepancies occur when including (or omitting) porches and screened-in decks, lower levels, attic spaces and garages.  Should the square footage occupied by a staircase be counted once or twice, since it occupies space on both levels? 


Then there’s the question of where the measurement is taken from.  Some homes may only include the space inside the walls.  More often, the calculation is based on taking measurements from outside of the exterior wall framing (which adds the square footage represented in the wall thickness.)  Further increasing square footage calculations, some homes are measured from outside of exterior finish materials.  If the home has brick siding, for example, measuring to the outside of the brick may add 50 or even 100 square feet to the home’s overall size.  This is one reason homes should not be compared solely on the basis of cost-per-square-foot.


Different builders calculate square footage differently.  Homesite costs differ.  The quality of materials used differs by builder, as does the costs charged by the builders’ sub-contractors such as electricians, plumbers and painters.


Design also has a huge bearing on cost.  These 2 homes have exactly the same floorplan, and square footage, but the cost to build is very different.

 

Design Basics home plan #43055 Design Basics home plan #43056
1719 sq. ft., 3-bedroom 1719 sq. ft., 3-bedroom

 

Finally, what’s included in one builder’s bid will vary from what’s included in another builder’s bid.  It’s virtually impossible to get an “apples for apples” comparison between two builders, and even if you could control most variables by having the home design finalized and all products selected, there’s still differences in quality and customer service to be considered.


Beware of comparing two homes solely on the basis of cost per square foot!

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General

Four Things You Can Do to Make Your Porch More Alluring

by Greg Dodge 24. July 2013 12:39
 

 

 

There are numerous benefits to having a front or back porch, and if you’re lucky enough to have both, that’s even all the better. A front porch gives you the advantage of curb appeal by highlighting your entryway. It can add an element of graceful style to your home, and it is one of the first things that a visitor or passerby will see. Back porches offer the bonus of a private space to relax or entertain, and will add to the beauty of your backyard. A nice front or back porch will increase the value of your home and any porch can be made more alluring with certain touch-ups or additions.

 

 

Add a Porch Covering:

Although a porch can be a nice feature on its own, if you don’t have a covering, it will be exposed to the sun and rain, and will be damaged over time. This also leaves you, your guests, and your entryway with no protection either. A covering is an investment that will save you from having to rebuild your porch prematurely, and will also make it a more enjoyable space for everyone.  

 

Install a Railing:

Having a railing on your porch can significantly impact its appearance and give it a finishing touch that complements the other design elements of your home. A railing provides privacy without obstructing your view and will give your porch a more secure feel. This is especially important if you are going to have children playing on or around the porch.

 

Change your Décor:

The furniture you use to decorate your porch has a large impact on its look and attractiveness. Since these accessories are kept outdoors, it is likely that they will need to be replaced more often than your other furniture. Adding a rug can make the space appear larger and give it a cozier experience. The seating that you choose will also greatly affect the feel of your porch and should be considered carefully. 

 

Add Finishing Touches:

Adding ceiling fans can keep you comfortable during warmer weather, and light fixtures or lamps, will provide both decorative and useful elements to your porch. Hanging plants, or sheer curtains, can add a nice touch to the space, and offer you more privacy without completely blocking t

he outside view and light. Finally, you will want to keep your yard maintained, especially around the porch as this reflects on the area as a whole.  

 

Looking for homes plans designed with great porches? Craftsman style homes are famous for their large beautiful front porches.

Tags:

Design Trends | Destressing | Patio | Porch

Driveways That Dazzle

by Greg Dodge 5. July 2013 08:09

Driveways That Dazzle

There are many aspects to a house that are important to really plan when you are making your house plans. However, most people don’t really consider the driveway and the overall feel it will give to a house. When trying to make a great first impression, the overall appearance of the home is what makes it, and that includes the driveway. Here are some things that will help liven up your driveway or help you to think of what you would like to do when building your home.

Plants

There are several ways that plants of many varieties can be utilized in improving the overall appeal of the driveway. For instance, many people like to line the entire pathway with plants including rosebushes, tall or topiary bushes, and even trees. These can add the perfect accents to make a great pathway leading up to the home.

Another way to add plants is right down the middle of the driveway

so that the tire tracks are made out of cement but there is still variety and color down the middle. These types of plants are usually a lot smaller because there shouldn’t be any scraping against the bottom of the car when driving over this area.

Back To Basics

The best way to dazzle up a driveway is to build it out of a material other than concrete. There are cobblestone pavers and even concrete pavers that can add a different look with the textures and colors that can be added. This will also give a classier feel to the entire driveway.

The Difference In The Details

Great driveway design is mostly based on the experience at arriving. Whether your drive way is long or short, you can wind around and make it look longer and more artistic. Even if it is a shorter driveway, you can always have a small bend that will make it look longer.

A short landscaping wall is another way to really add an interesting look to the landscaping. This is because the wall provides a look of differing depths, making it more interesting to look at. Adding plants on top of the fence makes the entire presentation even more impressive.

The thing that makes the best impression on an entrance to a driveway or property in general is fences and gates. A fancy gate really makes an impression when someone pulls up to your property.

A fence also makes a great impression to those just driving past your home.

Heaters

During the winter, many homeowners are familiar with the act of shoveling off snow and clearing it in order to pull in and out. Technology has advanced enough that people are finding effective ways to lay heating systems under and inside the driveway in order to make this chore easier. Instead of breaking your back you can go ahead and just flip a switch. This will result in more time in the mornings as well as a perfectly cleared driveway. This way you can show off that driveway you’ve put so much thought into.

For more information on how you can design your custom home with the perfect driveway, contact us today.

 

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Do You Prefer Open Format Floor Plans?

by Greg Dodge 6. June 2013 10:40

It's our current poll.  It's a simple question. Do you prefer open floor plans?

 

 


Here's an example of a popular open format floor plan.  It has lots of the natural light, ease of mingling with others and feeling like we’re all connected.


 


Sound travels in open layouts and I don’t want everyone to see my home isn’t always neat and orderly.

 

Each format appeals to different people.  Each has great amenities.  Each has drawbacks.  Which do you prefer?  Take the poll now!

 

 

 

Tags:

Decade of Change | Design Trends | Flexible Living Options | Home Styles

5 Best Places to Find Free Moving Boxes

by Paul Foresman 30. May 2013 14:46

Moving can be exciting. You get to start a new life in your new custom home, but it can also be stressful and sometimes even dreadful because you know what’s coming – packing. It’s inevitable. Packing up all your things before a move is a huge task, and what’s worse is that buying moving boxes can be an unwanted expense. Why pay for a box when you know it will just get thrown away?

 

 

Of course, you still need something to make sure all your possessions make it to the new location safe and sound. There are a few simple tricks when it comes to rounding up boxes that you can use to make sure your stuff is protected. There are many places you can go to score free moving boxes so you can save your money for that new couch you want for your family room. If you are facing a move in the near future, here are the best places to find free boxes.

 

Grocery Stores

Local grocery stores have many extra boxes from food coming in every day. They will gladly let you take them off their hands for free. You can either check at the customer service desk for boxes or you can call ahead and ask them to save any large boxes they use that day. Of course, if you end up with the ones that carried the bananas and apples, you might introduce some interesting aromas to your wardrobe. It’s okay to be a little picky about the boxes you get from here.

 

Craigslist

Online classifieds, like Craigslist, often have moving boxes people are giving away for free. Sure, you will have to drive and pick them up, but you’d have to do that anyway if you were purchasing new ones. If your local city has their own online classifieds be sure to check there, too. Many people would rather see someone else use their boxes than just throw them in the recycling bin.

 

U-Haul Box Exchange

U-Haul is concerned with all things moving. As a favor to what they hope will be potential customers, they have created an online message board to help you find moving boxes. You can search this message board for free boxes in your area. Although U-Haul is hoping you will use one of their trucks to move all your packed boxes, this message board is open to the public whether you are renting one of their trucks or not.

 

Retail Stores

In addition to grocery stores, there are a lot of other retail stores you can check for free moving boxes. Their inventory is shipped to them in nice, sturdy boxes which would normally just get thrown away. They are usually more than happy to give them to you if you just ask. Stores that have especially good free moving boxes include computer, office supply, book, shoe and liquor stores. These are the places where you'll find the strongest and cleanest moving boxes.

 

Freecycle

Freecycle is another great place to check online for free boxes. This is a website where people post a wide range of items they are giving away for free. The whole mission of this website is to help reuse as many items as possible. It helps the environment by eliminating waste because we can start consuming less. What a perfect place for moving boxes! Save a tree or two by using your own, new recycled boxes.

 

Happy packing!

 

Tags: , ,

Destressing | Organization | Storage

Preparing Your Patio or Backyard for Summer

by Paul Foresman 15. May 2013 10:42

Getting your patio and backyard ready for the warm summer months is about a lot more than restocking your Tiki torches and cleaning the grill (although that may very well be part of it). It’s about making your yard, patio, or deck ready for lots of summertime activities. It may take a little work to get everything in shape, but as you enjoy the beautiful yard and patio throughout the summer, you’ll realize that it was worth it.

 

Wash the Patio

First things first: get out the hose and start washing off the patio. A pressure washer is the most effective way to clear out the residue that builds up over the winter months, but just keep the pressure below 1,000 psi on wood surfaces to avoid causing any damage.

 

Check and Repair Patio Damage

If you have a cement or brick patio, check for cracks or crumbling areas. Cracks can be fixed with various patching compounds, and any broken bricks or tiles should be replaced. If you have a wood deck, you may notice splintering or rotting in some places which you can sand down. Be sure to hammer in any nails that have started to stick up and repair any beams or planks that have st

arted to split.

This may also be a good time to reseal the surface of your patio to prevent further weathering, abrasions, or moisture problems. Spring means a lot of rainfall in some areas, and this will help you extend the life of the patio.

 

Check and Wash the Furniture

All the snow and rain of the past few months has probably left a lot of unwanted dirt and residue on your patio furniture. Wipe everything down with warm, soapy water to clear away that dirt and clean any cushions or other coverings. Your furniture will see a lot more use if it doesn’t look like you have to dust everything off before taking a seat. You should also check for any rust buildup and make sure all the bolts and screws are still solidly in place and make any necessary repairs.


Treat the Yard for Weeds and Pests

Wh

en the weather turns warm, a lot of things start waking up and moving into your yard. Spring may be the time for flowers to bloom, but there are a lot of weeds and pests that want to stretch out and take advantage of the weather, too. Treat your yard for the local weeds and pests to make sure they don’t get the upper hand throughout the season.


Refresh the Lawn

Rake the lawn to remove excess thatch (decaying plant material) and let water and light reach the ground, and put down some fertilizer to give it a head start on the summer. You can also aerate the lawn for better oxygen and nutrient exchange. Now would also be a good time to reseed bare areas and make sure the sprinkler system is working correctly.


Trim the Trees and Bushes

Overgrown trees and bushes can crowd your patio and give everything a shabby appearance. Get out the trimmer/clippers/saw and cut back the overhanging branches and start shaping those bushes. Clear any pathways and find and remove any dead branches. Be careful how you cut, though, because you don’t want to lose the shade around your patio.


Take All Safety Precautions

Now that it’s warm and family and friends are running around your yard and enjoying the patio, make sure you’ve taken all the necessary precautions. Protect your children and guests by clearing out any poisonous or thorny plants and always put away any dangerous tools and landscaping implements. Check your fences to make sure they’re still secure so kids and pets can’t run out into the street, and keep toys and play equipment where no one will accidently trip on them.


Enjoy your summer and be safe!


Tags:

Backyard | Destressing | Patio

You do it 92% of the time

by Greg Dodge 6. May 2013 07:48

 

Rear entry foyer with open hooks and cubbies

Rear foyer with openhooks and cubbies

According to a 2011 study by Recon Analytics, people who have an attached garage go in and out of their home using the door between the home and the garage 92% of the time, rather than using the main entry door.  Yet, many new homes  focus lots of attention of the front entry foyer and treat the entry from the garage almost as an afterthought!

 

The rear foyer entry from the garage deserves no less design attention than a front foyer.  It serves as a vital transition space, a place to remove and store coats, backpacks and computer bags, shed shoes, and keep clutter out of the kitchen.  Unless there is simply no other option, you probably don't want the washer and dryer in your rear foyer either (who wants to trek past the dirty laundry-and be reminded of all that work-every time you arrive home?)

 

Ask your builder or remodeling contractor about incorporating a rear foyer in your new home or remodeling project! 



Rear-Foyer Resources:


 

 

Tags:

Decade of Change | Flexible Living Options | Organization | Rear entry foyer | Storage

Splitting up can be good for your relationship

by Greg Dodge 23. April 2013 08:09

Whether we realize it or not, our bathrooms are very personal—which means if there are two of you using that bathroom, there’s a potential for misunderstanding and conflict.

 

Take the vanity and sinks.  Years ago designers recognized the preference for his and her sinks in the master bath.  That alleviated some of the schedule conflicts over who used the sink and when, but also led to more countertop clutter.  His mouthwash…her make-up…sometimes it’s so crowded you can hardly tell what the countertops look like!


Splitting a single vanity with two sinks into two separate vanities, each with their own sink, is desirable.

 

Last time we discussed how having two separate vanities provides highly prized personal space in the owner’s bathroom, particularly eliminating conflict over countertop clutter.  But what’s the most desirable layout for the two vanities?  We show four options below. 


50020 50001
   
42158 50031


Plan 50020illustrates the two vanities in-line, separated by a built-in dresser or linen cabinet.

                   

Plan 50001  has the sinks positioned opposite each other.  Some people really like the fact that when the two mirrors face each other, you can easily see how the back of your hair looks in the opposite mirror!

 

Plan 42158 staggers the two opposite-facing sinks, eliminating the likelihood of brushing up “cheek-to-cheek”.

 

And plan 50031 has the two sinks back-to-back, providing a true sense of “me” space. 


Which is best?  Only you can decide that!

 

 

Tags:

Bathroom Design | Design Trends | Destressing | Plannng

Beyond Three Bedrooms

by Greg Dodge 1. April 2013 08:28

 

Design Basics' "Hester" is a popular 3-bedroom family plan. It's also possible to build this home with a second master suite, shown as the "Sadie" plan. (Yes, the dual owner's-suite version does utilize storage space from the original design's garage, but if doing this conversion as a remodel, the contractor will build that closet floor accordingly.) 


Home plan #29344 the Hester Home plan #293353 the Sadie
#29344 - Hester #29353 Sadie

 

Whether new construction or remodeling, dual owner's suites and independent in-law suites are increasingly in demand. It might amaze you to find out just how many committed, happy couples choose not to share the same bedroom. It could be conflicting schedules, medical conditions or simply snoring, but the need for getting a good night's sleep is paramount to a good life.

Plan now to stay in your dream home!
 

Tags:

Decade of Change | Design Trends | Dual Master Suites | Flexible Living Options | Home Styles