How many times a week do you use the bath tub in your master bath?

by Greg Dodge 24. May 2012 12:36

Whether building a new home or remodeling, we spend a lot of money in our master baths. Most of them include a shower and a tub and many other amenities. For how we use the space, is having a shower and tub a wise use of our money? Several years ago we asked the question -

 

"How many times a week do you use the bath tub in your master bath?".

 

We were surprised by the responses. As we are curious about the answer today, we are re-asking the question.

 

Take our poll and let us know how many times a week you use the bath tub in your master bath?

 

 

Please share the poll with your friends and family via facebook and twitter. We will share the responses from our previous poll and the results from this poll in about a month!

 

Tell your your friends and check back!

Tags:

Master Bath Design | Poll

Save your back and knees!

by Greg Dodge 9. May 2012 07:40

As I've aged my knees and back seem to be complaining more and more.  You'll be thankful if you look again at your dishwasher placement and the size & height of your toilets in new construction and remodeling.

Van Singel Lake traditional kitchenRaising your dishwasher

Raising the dishwasher has numerous appeals, which all end with "...and your back will thank you!" It may be to add storage under the dishwasher for infrequently needed items. Or, it may be to make the dishwasher more convenient and easier to load and unload for individuals of all ages and abilities.

If a raised dishwasher is in your future plans, think also about what goes atop the dishwasher. Set within an island, the countertop over the dishwasher may be flush with a raised eating bar (unless the entire island work surface has been raised.) Situated the dishwasher against a wall, other options, including additional storage, come more clearly into view.  Raised dishwasher ideas.


Different size bowls

It’s surprising how many people overlook the issue of the toilet size for their home.  Okay, maybe it’s not as fun as selecting lighting fixtures, but comfort is too important of an issue to forget.  As compared with standard round toilets, elongated toilets are about two inches longer, which many adults feel is a more comfortable size.  Petite individuals and children sometimes feel elongated bowls are too big.

 

There’s also the issue of hygiene, and men strongly prefer the elongated toilets.  Finally, consider space.  Some baths are designed with a little “room” within the bathroom for the toilet, and the extra length of the elongated toilet may interrupt the door swing into that toilet space. 

 

See Kohler's Highline Classic Comfort Height Toilet
  

Keep these things in mind and your knees and back with thank you!

 

Tags:

Design Trends | Kitchen Design | Master Bath Design

What's your cost per square foot...

by Greg Dodge 27. April 2012 08:51

 

...is common in resale homes, but can be a very misleading question in new construction!  Why?

 

 

 

Different builders calculate square footage differently.  An identical home with brick exterior walls will measure more square feet than the identical home with traditional siding.

 

What square footage was included in the sq. ft. figure?  Basements?  Attics?  Were staircases counted once or twice?  Porches/decks/patios?  The garage?

 

 

 

What's included in the square footage price you were told?  Builder's included features vary widely.  Wood floors and stone countertops make a home cost more per square foot than the same design with vinyl flooring and laminate tops.

 

 

 

Your choices have a huge impact on your cost per square foot.  You will probably make many selections for your home.  Iron staircase spindles and expensive appliances don't add to a home's square footage but do add to it's cost per square foot.

 

 

 

Land costs are a BIG component in a cost per square foot number.  Was the homesite included in the cost per sq. ft. price quoted?  A "premium" homesite will increase the cost per square foot (if land costs are included) compared with a "standard" lot.


When evaluating potential home builders, be sure you are comparing bids based on similar grounds.  Don't get fooled by a low cost per square foot up front.  And then pay for it later when you close on your new home.

 

Tags:

General

Dual owner's suites

by Greg Dodge 9. April 2012 12:26

The popularity of homes with two master suites is growing rapidly.  Buyer profiles vary from households with aging parents or adult children sharing the home with you.  We recently spoke with an individual looking for a home with three master suites for three widows/widowers who wanted companionship and the advantages of home ownership!
 

 

Especially in homes designed for a basement foundation, or homes which can have additional bedrooms upstairs, expect to be seeing more dual-master suite homes coming to the market!

Example dual owner's suite home plans:

29354 the Welker
29353 the Sadie

 

 

Tags:

Design Trends | Flexible Living Options | General

Design trends and things we get asked to inlude on our home plans

by Greg Dodge 28. March 2012 08:33

Every week we are asked about cool new design trends or about new features we are including on our home plans.  Today and in future posts I will explore some of the new design trends and features we see and are working into our new home plans.

 

One of the things we are often asked about is separate vanities in the owners / master suite bath.  Dual vanities or vanities separated by a stack of drawers or cubbies are very common.  The thing we hear is "I want my own space - separate and distinct.  An interesting design concept is to plan the two sink areas back to back. This provides a great sense of separation and can foster additional creativity in the bathroom's overall design.

 

 

Here's a couple of examples and a floor plans which incorporates the back-to-back vanities.

 

 contemporary bathroom design by phoenix interior designer Ownby Design 

 

 

Example Artwork Contemporary bathroom design by phoenix interior designer Ownby Design

 

 

   

 

    Example home plan -- 50031

Tags:

Design Trends | Destressing | Flexible Living Options

Pick your lot and home plans very carefully!

by Greg Dodge 23. February 2012 14:03

 

Shortly after my wife and I decided to build a home, on a nice February day, I stood up on our lot and surveyed the view.  No homes had been built, the development was covered in ankle deep snow and the view of the woods and lakes was awesome.

 

While I knew the view would not last as homes were built and the development filled in, I didn't account for one small aspect of our lot's location.  The lot is a pie shaped lot with the point of the pie curbside along the outside curve of the street. 

 

So what you say.  What does it matter?  Here's what matters.

 

My 3-car garage requires a larger, wider driveway at the curb.  In and of itself, that's no big deal.  What I DID NOT account for in selecting the lot was how the snow plow would throw all that snow on my driveway.  Each time the plow comes around the curve, the snow literally flies of the edge of the blade and is piled high and deep on my driveway.

 

A couple of days before I left to travel to the 2012 International Builders Show in Orlando, Florida, it snowed in Omaha.  It wasn't a lot of snow - maybe 6 or seven inches, but it was a heavy, wet snow.  So wet in fact my super-charged 24", dual stage snow-blower couldn't deal with it.  My kids and I ended up shoveling the mountain of snow at the curb by hand.

 

I know. I know.  It's a sad, sob story.  But here's my point - Pick your lot and home plan very carefully!  There are things you might not account for.  Things you will wish you had known.  

 

Ask questions of your builder, your REALTOR, and your friends.  Don't end up cussing your choice every time is snows, rains or whatever.

 

When you built your home, what did you miss?  What's the one thing that bugs the crap out of you every single time you have to deal with it?

Tags: ,

General

Ups and Downs

by Greg Dodge 20. February 2012 16:48

 

Ups and Downs


If you're building a new home with either a basement, second floor or both, where do you want the stairs to be situated? Stairs located in the center of the home may minimize hallways upstairs but many times center stairs are an assumption at the design phase. When center stairs run along the entry, they may squeeze the traffic pattern and make the space appear and feel tight. Stairs right at the entry may interrupt movement through the home when the entry door is open.

 

 

 

 

 

Many of today's buyers prefer an open, inviting entry view which does not include the staircase, locating those stairs instead to one side of the home, often near the garage. Attending the public grand opening of a new model home in Minneapolis, the most common visitor comments complimented the rear staircase location!

 

 



Example Floor Plans

 

Moss Bluff - Design 43013

Flacco - Design 29352

Winston Court - 9206

Tags:

Flexible Living Options | General | Livability at a Glance | Organization | Storage

Where do you put the patio furniture?

by Greg Dodge 27. January 2012 15:24

 

In cold weather markets, where does the patio furniture go when the snow flies? Usually, the garage. But some new homes are built without

 

 

 

 

a garage, and some garages just don't have the room necessary to accommodate your patio items. Other folks use a shed, but such outbuildings are prohibited by many neighborhood covenants.

 

 

An emerging new home amenity is storage accessed directly from the outside. So whether it's patio furniture, sports equipment, bikes and big wheels or lawn and garden tools, thinking through such seasonal storage needs is essential.

 

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