Monthly Archives: January 2017

All About Luxury House Plans

Luxury house plans are known for, well, luxury. This typically means lots of square footage including multiple-use living areas, open floor plans, and customized amenities. Luxury house plans can be associated with mansions, but they are far from equivalent. Luxury should be considered less of a style and more of a lifestyle. Luxury house plans are designed to enable you to achieve that lifestyle. Singe or multiple guest rooms are common, but what you may be truly concerned with is that luxury bathroom with a separate shower and whirlpool tub installation. The point here is that a luxury house plan isn’t a guideline for house construction, but rather a designation for any number of extra features that allow you to live beyond the comfort of an average home.

Prioritize Your House Plan

Unless you have a virtually limitless budget, you take the time to seriously consider what your biggest priorities are. For example, is it more important for the second or third bedroom to have its own full bath or is it more important to have that fifth or sixth bedroom for guests or the nanny? Is it more important to have a pool house or a detached garage? A home entertainment room or a home office? Making these determinations will help you decide how to make this best use of your extra space without your budget ballooning into the next stratosphere. Luxury homes are, by nature, not the most economical, but they don’t have to be built just for the uber-wealthy, either.

Victorian House Plans

You might consider a Victorian house plan, if your primary interest is a luxury-style home exterior. Victorian house plans are known for their elaborate, detailed exteriors. The often feature multiple roof lines with varying slopes. Towers and gingerbread moldings will also add a luxurious feel to your home’s exterior.

Naturally, Victorian-style and luxury-style homes are in no way mutually exclusive; customized amenities and living areas in your home’s interior can be easily incorporated into a Victorian-style exterior. Victorian house plans have a historic architectural context and lack a contemporary feel. Contemporary, luxury exteriors are truly in the eye of the beholder and can be mixed with any architectural theme or customized into a one-of-a-kind curb appeal.

Luxury Home Furnishing

Remember to keep enough in your budgeting to furnish your home in a style befitting its construction. You’re going to have a lot of rooms to decorate and furnish. The extra space in your home won’t be working for you if you can’t fill it appropriately. On the other hand, you may not need to completely furnish your home at the time of its construction, either. If you know the time will come to install a luxury shower in your bathroom, but that time isn’t now, a home floor plan that leaves enough space for future remodels is a sensible idea. The cost of kitchen, bath, and other home remodels can skyrocket if it first involves knocking out a wall. Whether you’re working with a large but not inexhaustible budget or a blank check situation, you should always be thinking about how to make the most use and get the most enjoyment from your home.

How To Finding a Good Draftsperson

Mass production certainly has its benefits. If it weren’t for assembly line style techniques, we would have very few of the modern conveniences we are now so accustomed to. Though it keeps costs down, mass production has one drawback that becomes readily apparent in a discipline such as construction: It makes everything look the same. Amid the vast amount of homogenization that occurs in many facets of life in this country, it’s nice to come home to a place that is truly your own. Many homeowners want a home designed just the way they want it, not some house from a cookie cutter builder, and some are willing to pay a pretty penny for it.

What a Draftsperson Does

As homeowners search for the house of their dreams, they may end up finding a house plan in a newspaper, order plans from a magazine, or just have an idea of what they would like based on houses they have been in. Getting those ideas on paper and having blueprints drawn to give to contractors, however, is a job that few homeowners attempt themselves. Since most municipalities do not require that construction plans for single-family dwellings be done by a registered architect or engineer, a draftsman is likely to be able to put your ideas down on paper at a lower cost.

If you have a set of plans you purchased from a magazine or other source, the draftsman can also make modifications to meet your needs and/or satisfy local building codes in order to get a building permit. A draftsman can also take the plans to structural engineers or other licensed professionals to be stamped if a particular element in the building should need special consideration. Draftspersons can also make drawings of existing buildings if needed, such as to apply for building permits to make modifications.

The Modern Draftsman

Once, a draftsperson’s plans were all drawn by hand, but now (as with many aspects of modern life) the computer has entered the field to allow drafting to be done more quickly and accurately. The latest Computer Aided Drafting & Design (CADD) software can do 3D renderings and drafting which includes floor plans and elevations as well as plumbing and electrical plans to meet the standards set by the UBC, BNBC, BOCA and SBC building codes.

Although private individuals may not need plans for a single residence to be drawn on computer, it is frequently required for larger commercial and governmental jobs. It is also easier to make changes to drawings created on computer and send them electronically, if needed. Therefore draftspersons are often asked to convert plans on paper to a CAD program for future use.

Draftsman vs. Architect

While an architect’s main function is to design and oversee, a draftsperson’s job is mainly to sketch out the designs. If you are looking to construct a truly custom house from scratch, you’ll probably end up needing the skills of an architect or a structural engineer. Draftsmen are simply not as thoroughly trained in the design aspect of home planning, though making alterations to existing plans and sketching out ideas is well within their field.

Tips For Preparing Your Yard For A Cold Winter

As summer comes to a close, many homeowners begin to look ahead to the colder months. Unpacking sweaters they may have stored and bringing out their coat racks to fill with scarves and mittens. For many of us, winter presents blustery cold conditions, keeping us inside our cozy homes for the next few months.

But before you get ready to hibernate indoors, take care of what’s outside first. You’ve likely put a lot of time and thought into your landscaping around the home. If not prepared, the frosty temperatures can destroy the spring blooms you anticipate every year. So take advantage of a sunny fall day and prepare your yard for a cold winter with these tips.

If you’re ready to get started on your lawn care, contact a pro today for up to four free quotes from landscaping contractors in your area.
Clean Up
Fall is a beautiful time of year when you’re able to see leaves in a variety of warm hues. As beautiful as it is, eventually, those leaves will end up in your lawn. At first, it’s fine to continue mowing over them, as it turns to mulch and provides added nutrients to your lawn. But, once the leaves become too much to mow over, you must rake them up.

Another thing you should clean and store for the winter months is any lawn furniture you’ve enjoyed in the summer. Leaving them out in the winter elements can change their appearance and ruin any finishes on them. This is especially true for wood furniture. Store away in a shed or garage until you’re ready to use again next year.

Prep Your Water System
Winter weather can have a terrible effect on your outdoor water systems and features. Make sure all the water is shut off, hoses unattached and put away. If you have a rain barrel, you’ll want to drain that for the winter as water can freeze and damage the barrel.

This is also a great time to clean out your gutters. It’s recommended that gutters are cleaned at least twice a year and it’s important to go into the winter months with a clean gutter to prevent any damage.

Mowing
The last day you mow for the year depends on the climate you live in. Ideally, you’ll want to stop mowing after the first fall frost. You can look up the prediction for your area using the Farmer’s Almanac to better plan your last mow. Use the lowest setting on your lawn mower the last few times you cut the grass.

You also may want to consider applying a winter fertilizer to your grass to give it an extra boost for the spring.

Aeration
An important, but often forgotten aspect about lawn care task is aeration. This creates small holes in your lawn to allow nutrients to get into the ground and refresh your grass. Fall is an ideal time to do this task, because your lawn needs time to soak in the nutrients and regrow without disturbance. To aerate your yard, you can do this yourself by renting a machine or purchasing special shoes that allow you to do this task while walking around your lawn. For larger lawns, it’s best to contact a pro who has the right tools to help.
Protect Your Perennials

Your beautiful flowers that were a delight this summer now need proper care to bloom again next year. First, you should know what flowers are perennials and annuals. Annuals, unless they are self-seeding, need to be pulled up as they will not come back the next year.

However, perennial flowers should be expected to return the next year, if you have cared for them properly during the season. But to ensure they bloom the next year, you’ll want to protect them from the snow and cold. Add extra mulch around them after the first frost and cut them back to allow for new flowers to bloom in the spring.
Garden Prep
If you have a fruit and vegetable garden, winterizing it gives you a start to the best produce the following year. As wonderful as your garden has been this year, it’s now time to remove any plants that are done growing. Pests can inhabit old plants during the late-fall months and potentially ruin your garden the following year. Remove any weeds you see as well.

Now that the season has ended, consider having your soil tested. This way, you’ll know the pH levels and nutrients that are in your soil to determine what plants will thrive next year.
Plan Ahead
Now that your yard is winterized, you have a few months to consider how you want your landscaping to look next season. Plan out any major projects you’d like to complete like installing a water feature or flowerbed. If you have a garden or intend to plant new flowers, this is an important step because many need to be planted at a specific time of year. Be aware so you don’t plant a late-summer flower in early spring!

Plant For Spring

You may be surprised to hear that there actually is some planting to be done in the fall months. Spring bulbs and shrubs are best planted in the fall, before the first frost. This will give them time to grow and flowers ready to bloom as the weather begins to change in the spring.