Archive for May, 2011


When you’re talking about experience in terms of architectural design and custom home planning, what are people really talking about?  There’s all kinds of experience, some valuable and some unimportant and not any help at all.  Here are a few examples.

There’s construction experience “Do you know how that is going to work in the field”?  There’s structural experience “In order to do that how big does that beam have to be?!?”  Material selection experience “What are the best materials when looking for maintenance free exterior material for a certain style?”  Site planning experience “Are you sure that the windows in that gathering room are taking full advantage of the views?” and “How difficult will it be to daylight that part of the home with the existing grade the way it is?”

Then you have the unhelpful experience of having 15 or so years behind a computer screen and great knowledge of the computer program and you can sure draw fast but how effective and accurate are those drawings, do they perform their job of communicating the clients’ wishes to all parties involved during construction?

At Habitations, a big horn we toot is our experience.  We have assembled a great team with experience in all areas we believe are valuable when dealing with the design and construction of a new home.

Just a small list of the experience we have to offer our clients is:

Custom Framing Experience in our final designs, not just small home framing but experience with large custom homes.  Our Production Manager who leads our final design team has over 10 years of experience framing large custom homes.  This knowledge is transferred through to our construction drawings insuring buildability, clarity and efficiency.

Site Planning (see one of our YouTube videos) the home is only half of the equation.  We have years of experience working with surveyors, excavators and landscape architects to determine the best placement for the home, gps mapping views out of the home and working out ways to reduce excavation and retaining costs while maximizing the attributes of the lot which the client wants to capitalize.  Excavation costs and retaining are not small costs when building a new home and they can add up quickly.  It’s amazing how far a whole load of retaining rock doesn’t go.  Homes that are not designed with the site in mind up front can easily cost 20k more in excavation and retaining on the low end.

Material selection: You’ll see this comment a lot from Habitations “Our goal isn’t to sell plans. Sure we would love to sell you plans and we want you to love your plans but our goal IS that you are tickled pink with the final product, not the plans…the house”  We therefore spend a lot of time and energy researching and staying up on the latest and greatest materials available for construction.  Whether it’s green, lower maintenance, new technology, more energy efficient, etc. we are constantly working to collect information on it and help you make decisions with that information for your new home.

Creative experience:  How do you find the perfect blend of creativity with efficiency in the design, a great looking home that has a lot of character but doesn’t cost a zillion dollars to get the character?  Honestly, Habitations Home Plans is the perfect blend.  We’ve been drawing plans and studying styles for a long time.  Check out our Plans on the Board Page.  Right up front, with conceptual design, we are thinking both creatively and structurally, making the home look great but keeping the structure manageable so the home can actually be built under the client’s budget.

Lastly, “There it is!”  Have you ever been driving around and then come across a home that just looks perfect, everything about them has been done just right, it has good balance, material placement, it just all works together and looks great, if you have, you’ve probably seen a Habitations Home Plans home.  These homes don’t just happen, they don’t just fall out of the sky.  It takes experience and a great design team with great service.  With all of these items I have listed above, it all comes together as the final product.  Miss or subtract one of these vital ingredients of experience and you end up with one of those homes that looks like a lot of money went into it and you know the client had good intentions but something just isn’t right, and in many cases it’s more than just something…it’s a lot of things.

Always remember, your home is one of the, if not THE largest investment you’ll ever make.  Not only is it an investment, you’re going to look at it and live in it…it’s home!  Make sure you talk to someone at Habitations and consider how important the plans are to the overall project.  Make it the smartest investment you’ve ever made.  You’re not buying plans, you’re building a house! www.habitationshomeplans.com

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Unless you’re a builder, architect or work in the construction trades, you’re most likely in need of some information if you’re thinking about building a new home, especially if it is a custom home not a cookie cutter that they build for the masses.  In this blog, we’ll be discussing this topic “I want to build a nice new custom home and I’m clueless (somewhat) where do I start?”

This information should be very helpful as this process seems very overwhelming up front; builders, contracts, costs, plans, construction loans, long term mortgage, lots, etc.  We’ll break this down for you into bite sized pieces and try to make it a bit more manageable.

If you’re looking at custom home plans or talking to builders, looking at lots, etc. and you have questions, ask us, we’ll answer them and help you navigate the road to your new custom home.  Our goal as an architectural firm with the knowledge we have gained over the years is to help you get the most bang for your buck and most importantly that you love your home when it’s all done and for years to come.

We’ll begin posting tips and look forward to your questions.

Thanks, the Habitations Team

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