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Archive for the ‘Design Tips’ Category

The concept is simple. The more information that is given, the more accurate and complete the result will be. An accurate result reduces unnecessary stress and can save you money.

At the moment you decide you want a new home designed specifically for you, that is when you should begin preparing. Preparation may include: collecting magazine clippings, taking photos of other homes, writing down needs, wants, and dreams, finding a lot to accommodate desired square footage,  check for plans on your designers’ website that may fit your needs, or even sketching out possible layouts.  By doing a few things to prepare, your designer will have a great starting point, and be able to produce a beautiful custom design to fit your needs, goals, and lifestyle.

At Habitations Home Plans, we love it when our customers can give us as much information up front as possible, to better assess their needs.  However, we understand that time is often something that our customers may not have much of.  So, even if you have not been able to collect as much information as you would have liked, we can help you collect information and show you options that may fit your needs.  Also, whether you have information or not, we ask questions that will help you remember things you may have wanted in your new design, that may have been otherwise overlooked. We take the design of your home very seriously, and will do everything in our power get you everything you desire in you new home.

Good Luck!

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At Habitations Home Plans we try to be a bit choosy with what we call out on our plans and the details we show.  Just like with our peanut butter, hopefully you recall “Choosy mom’s choose Jif”  🙂  Anyway, with the big surge in Green Building, energy savings, renewable materials, etc. we have definitely seen some great products but we have also seen some products that are not worth the money and effort and some that are completely false claims and don’t have anything to do with green building.

One thing Habitations has seen and is working to incorporate in our corner of the industry is the Advanced Framing Techniques as well as developing better ways to achieve a thermal break in exterior walls which improves the efficiency of a structure immensely.

Take a look at the following link regarding OVE.  http://blog.builddirect.com/greenbuilding/green-building-advanced-framing/comment-page-1/#comment-1384

If you’re interested in Advanced Framing, lowering the overall lumber bill on your next home along with energy savings every month and how to incorporate it into your next home give us a call at 801.476.1860 or 800.378.0123.

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Home Builders Need To Focus On Cutting-Edge Design Rather Than Elaborate Amenities, Says Orren Pickell.

Exterior Architectural Design Detail“When stocks, bonds and commodities are not delivering, what design trends are worth the cost for your clients? When the market is down, homeowners investing in real-estate will trend toward quality. Smart custom builders will maximize tighter budgets by offering great design.

The era in which builders might replicate the structure of a house from previous years, packing it full of amenities, has passed. But if you aren’t on the cutting edge of design, your business risks becoming a commodity and sales come down to a price war.

Many custom builders don’t have the resources to employ architects or designers full time, but great design affects your reputation and your bottom line. That means you may need to contract with larger or freelance firms for certain projects.

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Author Information
Orren Pickell is president and chief executive officer of  Orren Pickell Designers & Builders in Lincolnshire, Ill. Over the past 33 years, Pickell has established the company as one of the leading custom-home design/build firms in the Chicago area, winning more than 170 awards for excellence in design, construction and innovation.

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At Habitations we have spent a great deal of time working with builders and developers to create the perfect set of small home designs. The goal: keep the design simple (which keeps construction costs low) and give it that bang-for-the-buck feel. These features help accommodate potential clients who want a great looking home with nice room sizes, all while keeping within the budget constraints of the average family income.

In these economic times, many builders have seen the benefits of building smaller homes that are within the purchasing power of the average income.  As a result, the competition has increased in these budget home markets. Below are a couple of secrets we have learned which, if used properly, can really make your product stand out. Using these tips, you can give clients the look and feel of a more expensive home while still remaining price competitive.

1.               Function and flow:  Many small designs try to fit too many rooms into too little space. A small home that tries to incorporate everything ends up creating tiny, ineffective living areas. Instead, design with simplicity in mind–the rooms with the greatest draw should be the largest. Eliminate the formal living room and expand the gathering space (Kitchen, Nook, and Great Room). Consider removing the powder room and creating a nicer laundry. Remember: it’s not a large home—two restrooms should be enough to keep emergencies at bay!

It’s been taboo until now however, removing the tub in the Master Bathroom shouldn’t be out of the question.  Over half of our clients, even on high end homes have seriously discussed removing the tub from the Master Bathroom.  The minimal usage the master tub gets in most cases is not worth the space or the cost.  Larger showers are where the trend is going.

2.              Think outside the box:  Give the outside of “the box” a unique character and feel.  Even though it is a small home, don’t forget that it is still a home someone will purchase, live in and look at day after day. That buyer wants to take pride in the home because it reflects who they are and, no matter how small it is, they want it to have personality and character.

Even a home with the simplest structural design can be unique. Instead of making a box-shaped home look like a box, think about aspects like window size and positioning, exterior materials & placement, a framed pop out to create a window seat, and even low cost decorative items such as corbels, a small cupola, etc. These inexpensive details could easily make your home #1 on the list of the potential buyer.

3.              Add natural light:  If you are searching for ways to make the smaller home feel larger, don’t forget the importance of natural light.  Natural light has the ability to mentally expand spaces helping them feel less cramped and more inviting.  Don’t go overboard and completely eliminate wall space or add unnecessary skylights. If well thought out, the design will provide that special balance of wall space and windows to give the potential client a breath of fresh air as they walk through.

4.              Don’t forget the out of doors:  No matter how large or small the project is, most of our clients ask us for ways to help them take advantage of the rest of their  property and give them some outdoor living options.   Yes, covered decks and patios can get expensive and in many cases cost as much as finished sq. footage, and therefore are not typically feasible with budgets on smaller homes.  However, some worthwhile upfront planning can insure that mere access from the home is provided to areas on the property which can become future outdoor living areas i.e., sun decks patios, lawn areas.  The home is only half of the equation; the rest of the property is the other half.  Making sure both home and landscape (future or not) work together will always equal more than the sum of its parts in the eyes of potential clients.

Joe Sadler

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