The House Plan Shop Blog

Aug 16 2018

Residential Safe Rooms – The House Plan Shop

Floor Plan 074H-0042Protecting yourself and your family is indeed a daunting responsibility. Having safe room in your home is one way to help you sleep better at night. A safe room is a room constructed to withstand extreme weather events such as tornadoes or hurricanes. They can be purchased pre-fab from a slew of manufacturers so that you can retrofit your home to accommodate them. One website that you will want to visit is www.fema.gov/residential-safe-rooms. It explains the guidelines to follow to provide near absolute protection in extreme weather events.

The best-case scenario is to include a safe room in your new house construction. The HousePlanShop has quite a few plans that include safe rooms. Many locate them in or near the garage, like designs 025H-0097 and 025H-0308. House plan 074H-0042 offers a safe room doubling as a storage room, perfect for storing emergency supplies should you experience a disaster. Several plans like 025H-0167 locate a safe room in the master closet, providing a dual purpose for using the space. It’s a natural place to collect and huddle with the children on a stormy night.

A panic room is designed to hide and protect residents in case of a home break-in. They are a little bit more elaborate than basic safe rooms, containing communications and security equipment. Some even incorporate Kevlar in their construction to repel bullets. Hidden behind bookcases or in closets, the casual observer does not easily detect them. You may want to combine some of the characteristics of both safe and panic rooms to create a truly safe place to shelter in place during emergencies. Make sure family members are aware of how to access the room and discuss when they should meet there. Practice your plan.

Below is a list of supplies you may want to include in your safe room:

Bottled water
Changes of clothing
Blankets
Flashlights or lanterns
Battery operated radio / weather radio
First aid kit
Nonperishable food and snacks
Set of car keys to your vehicle
Cash
Toys or books to keep kids occupied
Phone charger for when the power comes back on
Camping toilet and paper
Diapers for your baby
Medications
Extra pair of sturdy shoes for each member of the family

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Jul 17 2018

A Sampling of New House Plans – The House Plan Shop

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Category: New House Plans

The House Plan Shop continuously adds new house plans to our website. Below is a sampling of some of our newest designs. Take some time to learn about them.

 

House Plan 021H-0256021H-0256 – This ranch house plan has all the amenities required for modern living. Its open floor plan with split-bedrooms provides comfort for every family member. Most of all, pamper yourself with the master bedroom. She gets a walk-in closet. He gets a walk-in closet. She gets a toilet and vanity. He gets a toilet and vanity. She gets a nice tub to soak in, and there is a shower to share. Separate and not equal, she gets extra shelves for her shoes. Life is good.

 

House Plan 052H-0120052H-0120 – Here’s a beautifully modern looking ranch house plan that is pleasing inside and out. Sliding and folding doors connect the interior to the wrap-around patio and outdoor living room. With a grill top and sink, the party outdoors will stay outdoors. Unless of course, that open floor plan with vaulted ceilings can’t be resisted. Truly the best of both worlds.

 

House Plan 079H-0015079H-0015 – No doubt about it, this two-story house plan creates interest with its exterior of multiple gables and roof ridges. Inside, find a cathedral ceiling with exposed beams sheltering the living room in this open design. The 3031 square foot floor plan offers plenty of living space and plenty of storage. Check out all the walk-in closets, walk-in pantry, garage storage room and walk-in attic. Keep a handsome roof over your family and all of their belongings with this family-friendly design.

 

House Plan 012L-0077012L-0077 – Whether you are looking for a starter home or a vacation getaway, consider this log house plan. Rustic on the outside and cozy on the inside, with two bedrooms, two full baths and an open floor plan. Enjoy the outdoors on a picturesque deck that is a full eight feet wide.  When it’s time to expand, utilize the bonus room upstairs offering 623 square feet of usable space.

 

House Plan 053H-0091053H-0091 – With its handsome curbside appeal, this traditional house plan holds a multitude of family living spaces inside. Five bedrooms and four full baths accommodate a growing family. The open floor plan offers built-ins around the family room fireplace and a large kitchen snack bar. A grilling deck connected to a screened porch presents a great way to enjoy outdoor entertaining. No skimping on the master bedroom with its own sitting room, two huge closets and a deluxe bath. Create your own living solutions with a bonus room on the second floor. Unfinished space and optional rooms the lower level allow you to expand and grow with your family.

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May 30 2018

Deck Enhancements for Maximum Usability – The House Plan Shop

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Category: Outdoor Living

Deck EnhancementsDoes your deck live up to its potential? Besides periodic cleaning and sealing, you may want to spruce things up a bit with additions that better suit your family’s outdoor needs and lifestyle.

 

Lighting – If you find yourself out on the deck in the dark, you may want to explore some lighting options. There are a number of choices available for outdoor deck lighting, and many of them are solar powered so there’s no need for electrical wiring. There are even small lights that can be installed in stair risers to illuminate the steps.

Seating – Built-in benches are one way increase available seating on your deck. Being stationary they aid in traffic control and are available even when other lawn furniture has been stored for the season.

Planters – Bringing some plant life to your deck is a natural way to decorate with colorful pots and flowers. No floor space for pots?  Consider installing flower boxes over the railings.

Grill – If your deck is large enough to keep the heat and smoke away from the house, consider moving the grill onto the deck and include the grill master in the party. Some built-in end tables will keep tools and platters handy for the chef.

Shade – Too much sun can spoil an outdoor get-together, so you might wat explore adding some shade to your deck. Table umbrellas or awnings attached to the house may help. A pergola is similar to a trellis.  With vining plants adding their shade, a pergola is an attractive and natural addition to your deck. There are even pergola kits available that may suit your needs.

Storage – Many decks are built high enough to walk underneath and create a natural storage space for lawn furniture and pool accessories. If that space is not already enclosed, investigate adding some latticework to “hide” your treasures.

 

When your imagination for improving your deck wanes a bit, definitely turn to the internet.  Pinterest posts countless pictures and plans for your contemplation.

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Apr 24 2018

Garage Storage Ideas – The House Plan Shop

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Category: The Garage

Bike LiftWe count on unfinished spaces like the garage for storage, so utilizing all of the available room becomes essential in meeting storage needs. Sometimes the only alternative for storage is to look up. Most garages have unfinished space above the rafters. But, there are lots of plans and hardware available online and at the local hardware store to help you maximize other space in the garage as well. Building a loft may suit your needs or contact one of the many companies offering services to design and install storage systems. If you are interested in tackling it yourself, consider using Fleximounts storage accessories. For example, heavy gauge steel racks are available in five sizes and the height can be adjusted from 22” to 40”. The packaged solutions offered, guide you to choosing the products that best fit your space. A gallery of photos shows real life garages with storage solutions obtainable with the use of these products that also include wall shelves. Storage hooks are available that work with this system, so not only can you stow all of your holiday decorations off the floor and out of the way, but you can hang items like extension cords and lawn tools.

 

Bicycles can take up lots of floor space in your garage, but there is a multitude of bike racks to help solve this storage problem. When your head stops spinning at examining just how many choices are out there, here is a clever one for you to consider.  The Racor Pro Bike Lift allows you to store a bike overhead without the clumsy dance of turning it upside down and boosting it over your head. Just roll your bicycle into the garage, hook it up, and hoist it with the cord and pulley system. This lift will work with ceilings up to 14’ high and bikes up to 50 pounds, plus the price is less than $20.00. You also may want to check out the ladder lift manufactured by the same company.

 

If you have more than one person in your household participating in more than one sport, you already know the effort it takes to keep track of all the gear. Gym bags, bats, balls, shin guards, skates, helmets…Are they in your trunk?  No, that was emptied out for hauling groceries and stuff was tossed on top of the freezer or under the workbench. How about a locker system in the garage, for keeping track of these things? There are numerous websites offering a variety of lockers in different colors, sizes and materials. Consider a locker for each family member to encourage responsibility of keeping track of their own equipment. Also, nobody’s stuff has to touch anyone else’s stuff, definitely a plus with feuding children.

 

Whether you’re storing bikes, sporting equipment or something else in the garage, there is a storage solution for you!

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Mar 26 2018

Choosing the Right Roofing Material – The House Plan Shop

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Category: Roofing

Roofing MaterialIf you are interested in exploring roofing material options, there are a number of choices to consider and a plethora of information available to help you choose the right material. Some things to reflect upon are of course, cost versus longevity, ease of upkeep, and naturally, how nicely your roof will blend with the exterior of your home. Your contractor can help guide you through these options:

 

Slate – Long lasting, like for a hundred years, and very durable, but heavy. You must have the proper truss strength to support this material.

Clay or Concrete tiles – Similar to slate, durable but heavy. Also like slate, upkeep is mainly defined by finding a talented and knowledgeable craftsman to replace broken tiles when needed. There is no denying the design element this material brings to a Sunbelt or Mediterranean house plan.

Metal – Long lasting. We aren’t talking about grandpa’s corrugated roof that directed water into the cistern, although we could. And we aren’t talking about copper, although we should as it is in a premium class of its own, and has been accused of perfection. New designs in metal roofing are attractive, energy efficient, fire resistant and mimic other materials. It must be installed by a trained professional. It blends nicely with most Country-style homes.

Wood – Wood shingles and shakes are durable and blend well with many home designs. However, be sure to check with building codes as they are not desirable in fire prone areas.

Asphalt/Composite – There is no shame is using the most affordable and popular of roofing materials, even though it must be replaced more often. Nowadays, warranties are available for over 35 years, some as high as 50 years when it comes to asphalt shingles. Choices of colors and styles are numerous. These materials are light, relatively less expensive than the other options.

 

For further information, contact the National Roofing Contractors Association, a nonprofit trade group that represents all aspects of the industry.

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