Design Basics to Debut New House Plans at the Sunbelt Builders Show

Design Basics to Debut New House Plans at the Sunbelt Builders Show

Design Basics will be exhibiting at the 20th Sunbelt Builders Show, July 13-16.  Produced by the Texas Association of Builders, the 2021 Show will take place at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. 

“Emerging from the uncertainties of the Covid-19 pandemic and all of the virtual meetings, we’re looking forward to in-person being with top building professionals from Texas and surrounding states,” said Patrick Carmichael, COO of Design Basics, and one of the exhibit team. Carmichael will be joined in the booth by Senior Designer Carl Cuozzo and Director of Business Development Paul Foresman.

In addition to showcasing brand-new house plans as well as some of the company’s most popular home designs, Cuozzo will be offering builders suggestions for making their existing home designs more marketable. Design Basics is encouraging attendees to bring one of their current house plans to the Design Basics booth where he and the builder will review the plan, identifying ways in which the home design might be modified for improved livability, style, and cost-effectiveness.

Foresman’s focus in Design Basics’ booth is geared towards helping builders market and sell more homes while simultaneously enhancing customer satisfaction. The company’s turn-key programs such as Neighborhood In a Box® and Woman-Centric Matters!® combine home design with innovative marketing solutions.

All four of the residential design firms making up the Design Basics family will be represented at the Sunbelt Builders Show: Carmichael & Dame Designs, Scholz Design Texas, Plan Pros, and Design Basics.  Builders wanting to attend the Show can take advantage of the 50% off coupon below. Before, and after the Show, the Design Basics team will be meeting with area home builders interested in evolving their home design portfolios with fresh new design concepts and amenities. Builders interested in meeting with the Design Basics team can call (800) 947-7526 to schedule a private meeting for July 12th, 13th, or 16th.

Sunbelt Builders Show
It’s Time! Join Design Basics at the NAHB IBSx Virtual Experience

It’s Time! Join Design Basics at the NAHB IBSx Virtual Experience

The International Builders Show is open!  And for the 34th time in the last 35 years, Design Basics is debuting new home designs and more at the NAHB’s premier event for home building professionals. 

In addition to showcasing brand-new and top-selling home plans, Design Basics premiered videos within its virtual exhibit booth, introduced Evolving Home Design II, the company’s hot-off-the-press home plan publication, and launched the newly-expanded Neighborhood In A Box® turnkey solution for builders and land developers.

IBS Booth Photo

Tuesday’s live, in-booth virtual presentations included Carl Cuozzo, Senior Designer, demonstrating how Design Basics’ home plan makeover service can revitalize older designs; as well as Paul Foresman discussing the many ways builders benefit from the company’s Builder-Centric preferred customer program.

The schedule of upcoming in-booth presentations includes:

  • Home Plan Makeover (Wednesday, 12:00pm Eastern),
  • Neighborhood In A Box (Wednesday, 2:00pm Eastern),
  • Woman-Centric Matters! (Thursday, 12:00pm Eastern),
  • Home Plan Makeover (Thursday, 2:00pm Eastern),

Additionally, a recorded presentation on customizing home plans is available on-demand at the booth.

Booth visitors are able to chat with company representatives and schedule one-on-one meetings with the most appropriate company team members.  Attendees can also request a complimentary copy of the printed Evolving Home Design II publication, and save lots of money with the company’s home plan Show Special exclusively for building professionals visiting Design Basics booth.

There’s still time for builders to register and attend the IBSx for free, by clicking on the link below.  We hope to see you at the IBSx!

IBSx Logo
Custom Home Design Basics

Custom Home Design Basics

When existing home plans, even with modifications, won’t work for you, it’s time for a custom-designed plan. Several options exist, each with its own benefits. You may be most comfortable working with a local designer across the table, face-to-face. Another advantage can be their knowledge of local building code requirements and plan compliance. And you may meet with your designer at your future homesite if you have a unique or challenging piece of ground. On the downside, local firms may not have the breadth of experience nor knowledge of the design features, amenities, and solutions that you would later regret not having had the opportunity to consider in your new home.

Choosing a national design firm means tapping into to their vast knowledge of design and innovative problem solving derived from their experience working all over the country. Your meetings will likely be online rather than in-person, but these can actually be more convenient than trying to coordinate numerous schedules.

Whereas a pre-drawn plan you can get within a few hours might run $1,000 - $1,500, custom home plan prices range from a low of about $.60 per square foot to as much as 3%-5% of your home’s price and may take a few weeks to a few months to develop. Expect design fees to loosely correlate with the quality of the designs, quality of the final construction drawings, the designer’s experience and creativity, and level of services included. Yes, you likely could save some money on plans by selecting the low-priced draftsperson/designer, but you may end up paying higher construction costs associated with a design, which is not as well-thought out. Simply, at the cheap end, such firms don’t pay high enough wages to attract accomplished design pros. You can expect design fees from talented designers to start about $2 per finished square foot.

Custom Design Cost Chart

(Click on image to enlarge.)

Price will be one consideration when selecting your home designer. $1,250 for a pre-drawn plan equals ¼ of 1% of a $500,000 home. At $2/sq. ft., that 2500 sq. ft. home plan would cost $5,000, just 1% of the home’s price. Or a $15,000 plan – 3% of the home’s price – what’s the value of the ideal design, a home that lives the way you want, as compared to spending a little less, but having to live with regrets? 

Yes, Her Home™ is published by Design Basics, and admittedly biased. Shaped by decades of customer feedback and input, our firm has been designed around what our customers want and value. There are many fine residential designers, we hope that you will contact us to design your new home!

The accompanying chart can help you think through some of the most important considerations when it comes to selecting who will design your new home.  What is the designer’s reputation and what are they known for? How experienced are they with designing homes as compared to other structures? What information/education can they provide, equipping you to make wise, informed decisions and ultimately achieve the home you want AND the best value?

Download a PDF copy to use for your new home designer selection!

Choosing a Home Designer

For more resources on thoughtful design and products:

Cover photo: <a href=''>Business photo created by freepik -</a>

It’s Time! Join Design Basics at the NAHB IBSx Virtual Experience

Join Design Basics at the NAHB IBSx Virtual Experience

Design Basics first started participating at the NAHB International Builders’ Show® in 1987, and with the exception of 2009, has exhibited every year. In fact, Design Basics has been recognized as the only home plan design firm to be a part of the IBS “Quarter Century Exhibitor Club.”

In January 2020, Design Basics and more than 1,400 other exhibitors welcomed 65,000 home building professionals to the IBS, which is one of the largest trade shows in the world.

IBS Booth Photo

Known for new product introductions and top-notch educational sessions, the IBS offers attendees numerous opportunities to enhance their businesses and the homes they build. Numerous innovations, recognized years later as some of the hottest trends in home building, first debuted at the IBS.

For 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IBS will be 100% virtual. Known this year as the IBSx, even more home builders can attend. Without travel limitations to attend the in-person show, there’s no reason to miss out on the Expo – click here to get your FREE 4-Day Exhibit-Only pass to the 2021 IBSx Virtual Experience (though a paid registration is required if wanting to sit in on the show’s educational sessions).

All attendees can check out the exhibitor virtual booths, and Design Basics is no exception! There, visitors can view our “New for 2021” home plans, our brand new home plan catalog, and more! Our video, Home Design Headaches, will debut in the virtual booth, and visitors can attend any of our virtual sessions on new home design and marketing. In addition to “chatting” online with our staff, our booth visitors can talk with us face-to-face via video calls or schedule an online meeting with the most appropriate member(s) of our team. There is also a money-saving Show Special visitors won’t want to miss!

Just as the Coronavirus has impacted how we live in, design (have you seen our newest design amenity, the Sanctuary Space™?), and build homes, the 2021 IBSx ushers in new opportunities for thriving in these uncertain times. Participating in the IBSx helps keep home building and the NAHB strong, as together we shape the future of American Housing.

Beyond the Basics with Tricia Baker

Tricia Baker, Plan Alterations DesignerDescribe your responsibilities at Design Basics.

As the plan alterations designer, I’m responsible for incorporating changes to plans in accordance with customer request and architectural specifications. I also review existing plans to identify how the design could be modified for increased livability and style. I work closely with our senior designer and our Woman-Centric Matters!® team to ensure our plans meet our Woman-Centric design standards. In addition, I am a CAD drafter and provide customer service to builders, homeowners, and other industry professionals, answering questions about design, making recommendations, and searching plans that fit our customers’ needs. I also utilize my education and training in selecting materials and colors for many of our homes’ exteriors and I really like how the rendered elevations are turning out!

What made you decide to be a designer?

I enjoyed interior design in high school and took Exploring scouts at a university while in high school. That got me on the path of wanting to be an interior designer. But, when I actually got partway through college, I found I enjoyed the more technical side of design, drafting, and designing the actual blueprints and changing blueprints to make designs more functional.

What made me passionate about custom changes to plans, though, was the experience of my parents building their house. They couldn’t decide if they wanted a fireplace in the family room; and, at the last minute they decided they did. We went to the house every day and noticed the jog for the firebox in the foundation wasn’t there. The contractor tore out the concrete and put in the foundation for the fireplace. What we didn’t realize is that when they put in the foundation for the fireplace, they didn’t stretch the garage back 2’-0” to accommodate the 2’-0” firebox, which resulted in the 3rd car stall not able to accommodate a regular-sized vehicle! Lesson learned – career path decided.

What do you enjoy most about working in the home design field?

Working with customers to learn more about their wants, needs, and desires; then, translating this into a house plan that meets the way they live. Helping a customer design their dream home is exciting and rewarding!

Where do you get your design inspiration from?

I get design inspiration from anywhere and everywhere! Just look all around you, everything has a design. Nature presents a fabulous palette of colors and textures from which to draw inspiration. The advances in technology and graphic arts has provided a wealth of new ways to look at design. And, of course, customers – what they are looking for, how they live, etc. Everything influences design. I usually tell people when it comes to design, ‘Do what you like not what’s trendy because trendy will eventually be dated and what you like never will.’

What advice would you give to other women interested in working in the trades?

Go for it! Do what makes you happy. There may be challenges and obstacles along the way, but learn as much as you can about your field of interest, find a mentor, volunteer to learn a new skill, etc. Once you have the credentials and experience, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish.

What are the biggest or most exciting changes in home design that you have seen over the years?

I love seeing the evolution of how design used to be to how we all live now. I would say the biggest change that I like is the design of the rear entry foyer. Years ago, we discovered that moving the laundry room out of the basement into the rear foyer was a much-desired design change. Now, we design that rear entry foyer with a drop zone, bench, and lockers for dropping off our stuff on the way into the house and have moved the laundry room to a location near the bedrooms or behind closed doors. Also, so many family and friends walk thru the garage to get in the house versus the front entry, having a space to put everything is great and not being greeted by the laundry is even better!

Tricia Baker and SonTell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a single mom with a very active teenage son named Rece. If I’m not supporting him and his team at one of his sporting events, I like to scrap book and play pool in my spare time, and play with our 13-pound fur baby, a toy Australian Sheppard named Diesel! I’m an avid sports fan and my favorite teams are the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the New England Patriots, and the Boston Red Sox as well as the Omaha Storm Chasers (KC Royals affiliate).

Tricia holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Science and Natural Resources – Interior Design from the University of Nebraska. Tricia's knowledge of Design Basics' home plans and processes combined with her enthusiasm for great design helps customers realize their dream home!

Learn more about Plan Customization from Design Basics and how we can help you realize your dream home.

(Photo credit: Cindy McAndrew, BrightSide Photography; the Shelton Farm (#42392) as built by Mark Hughes Construction)

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