Hurry Up Please It’s Time! (With Apologies to T. S. Eliot)
Houseplans.com is launching an exciting new blog platform — called TIME TO BUILD — aimed at helping everyone interested in building a new house.
The brainchild of Houseplans CEO Jamie Roche, it’s goal is to demystify the home building process and give you the tools to achieve the home of your dreams. TIME TO BUILD presents a constant daily stream of essential how-to-do-it articles, tips, and advice. Here’s a taste:
What does pre-qualifying for a home construction loan mean? Correspondent Jennifer Hermes found out: “Pre-qualifying can be done in person or over the phone and is provided as a free service by most banks and mortgage companies. “To be pre-qualified, we look at the cost of the land and the cost of the home,” says Joe Bartolomeo, vice president and branch manager of the Fairfield, Connecticut, offices of Total Mortgage Services. Then, he says, he speaks with the borrower in order to assess a variety of factors: income, other properties, debts, student loans, credit report, and other financial obligations such as child support or alimony.”
Or what are smart ways to save on construction costs? Philadelphia designer-builder Kenny Grono of Buckminster Green begins his series of informative
articles with tips on analyzing the site: “Once you have land picked out you need to consider what house is right for that site. If you can, avoid clearing all the trees on the property; mature trees add character, and can also save you on your utility bills. Think of the face of your house as the side with the most windows. In a cooler, northern climate, you’ll want to face towards the south, so you can soak up the low angled winter sun and get that free heat. To your back, to block the chilly winds coming in from the north, it helps to have mature trees. Since you want them to block the wind in the winter, conifers are ideal. Put the deciduous trees in front of all those windows so they block the sun in the summer and lose their leaves to let the sun through in the fall and winter.”
Or how do you start planning a kitchen for the way you want to live.? Home design expert Gale Steves, author of the best seller Right-Sizing Your Home, explains: “The latest kitchen designs have led to more efficient layouts that create a cooking room within a room. This concept gives you plenty of room for your culinary tasks as well as space for your guests to be comfortably seated but not in your way. The kitchen within a larger space works best if you have an
L-shaped kitchen plan with a large island or a G-shaped kitchen plan. Another layout is a free-standing corridor kitchen, with two parallel counters or even islands. These designs keeps your activities within an efficient space and the friends and family close by.” (The layout above is from our Plan 137-278.) TIME TO BUILD categories include What You Need To Know; Architecture & Design; Kitchens, Baths & More; and Products & Finishes.
So — I hope you’ll follow TIME TO BUILD eagerly and check it often!
In Other News, we have a wonderful new Farmhouse Plan 888-7 by Houseplans
chief architect Nicholas Lee. Here’s another example of what Gale is talking about in the design of the corridor kitchen separated from the larger space by the
hard-working island. The house-wrapping lanai off the great room and master suite has my vote — that’s where I’d like to spend the weekend! Nick and his wife also have a new baby girl, so bravos — or bravas — all around!
NOTE: My Eye On Design posts will be every other week, for now, as we concentrate on TIME TO BUILD. Stay tuned!