Category Archives: Popular Home Styles and Features

Choosing the Right Floorplan for your Custom Home.

The devil is in the details. When designing your custom home, make sure you take your time and put a lot of thought and planning into what I consider to be one of, if not THE most critical design decision… the floor plan.

Sure we all get caught up in seeing the “elevations” or how the house will look from the street. But let’s face it, you spend more time inside your house than you do walking around the outside of it. The ease to which you can live within your house is going to have the most influence on how much enjoyment you get out of your custom home.

There are some pitfalls that are easy to avoid and also some very easy ones to miss. Let me give you my top ten floor plan considerations:
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Create An Outdoor Living Space

When it comes time to make home improvements that will help with future resale value, we often think of redoing the kitchen, new floors, new windows and even finishing the basement. But one of the most often overlooked improvements is one that can also get you more money for you house and at the same time expand your living space. Putting in a patio is a win-win improvement.

Stamped concrete patio with wood awning for protection from the elements.

The patio is an outdoor living space that will help enhance your yard, make entertaining more enjoyable and will allow you to spend more time outside even in poor weather. If the patio is designed in proportion to the house and is tastefully done, it can really help boost your home’s value. Spending a lot of money on a patio that is disproportionate in size to your house may look strange and may detract from its value. So design carefully. Continue reading

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The Ranch is Making a Comeback

Below is an article written by Jeanette Fischer about the comeback of the ranch home. I have been focusing on building ranch homes for many of the reasons she outlines below. What has changed is that ranch homes no longer have to be boring boxes. The homes I design for my customers, have architectural style, attached garages, cathedral ceilings, beautiful kitschens and let us not forget, the quintessential porch to relax on. Continue reading

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The Power of the Porch.

If there is one home feature that I strongly believe should be incorporated into every new home, it is a porch. Call me old-fashioned or  sentimental, but to have a porch is to be a part of your neighborhood. That’s right, a neighborhood where *gasp* you might even know your neighbors names.

The porch is one of the best lifestyle components of a home, I like to think it keeps the elements out and the friendships in. To many of us, the porch brings back memories of cool spring days, sitting outside and watching the rainstorm pass by, or swinging on the porch swing with a loved one in the crisp autumn air enjoying the sound of kids playing in the newly fallen autumn leaves. It is a place of reflection, card games, first dates, naps and idle times.

But more importantly, it puts you Out There. It gives you the opportunity to talk to neighbors as they walk by, say hello to the postman, or have people over for… well… no reason at all. In this world where 8 foot hedges, fences and garage doors seal us away from our neighbors, the porch brings us out of our shell and our homes to relax and interact in a casual setting. You see someone sitting on their porch in an Adirondack chair drinking a glass of lemonade (Norman Rockwell eat your heart out), you just KNOW it is okay to say hello without fear that you are interrupting their dinner, chores, phone calls or any of the other many things that keep us inside. Being on a porch is like having a giant welcome mat affixed to one side of your house.

As I build my latest development – Humble Lane Estates, each and every house will have a porch. It may not bring back all the vestiges of Americana that we all remember as children, but if it helps put even a little of the neighbor back in “neighborhood” then I will be happy.

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Condo? Townhouse? Build New? Decisions, Decisions….

I want to talk about the different issues and considerations when building or buying a new home in a housing development, town house or condo. First time homebuyers and those looking to downsize need to understand the options.

First and foremost, let’s start with resale value. The simple truth is that the resale value on a single-family home standing alone (not connected together) will be much better, period. It’s much easier to sell a single family home than it is a condo or town house. Condos and townhouses appeal to a limited group of people, whereas a single-family home appeals to a much broader buyer base.

Typical Condominium Building

When deciding between buying a condo/townhouse or a single-family home, you have to ask yourself what’s right for you and your lifestyle. In a condominium community there are usually association fees, (homeowner association) these are monthly fees that cover the cost of mowing your lawn, snow removal and maintenance.  The no maintenance aspect of this arrangement appeals to many people, especially retirees and those with very busy schedules. But be aware, fees can typically run up to several hundred dollars every month. Further, the Home Owner Association that typically manages these services, also has control and the final say on many aspects of your condo/townhouse including what color paint you can use, bushes you can plant and even the style of front door you have.

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Filed under General Questions, Popular Home Styles and Features, What type of house is right for me?