Tag: architecture

14-Hazelwood Square

The Beauty of Outdoor Living in the Fall

At Frank Betz Associates, we believe that paradise is a cozy chair, a warm drink, and your feet up on a crisp fall day. Who says you can’t experience this bliss on a daily basis? With a gorgeous outdoor living area attached to your home, you can finally enjoy the beauty of fall in true style — day or night.

 

From impromptu get-togethers with friends to mornings with a cup of coffee and a good book, an expertly designed exterior completely changes the way you live your life. Especially in the fall, when the weather cools and the scenery comes alive, you don’t want to miss a single moment of what’s right in front of you…

 

Covered Porches

 

Just as functional as they are stylish, our covered porches allow you to experience the outdoors in complete comfort. Perfect for all times of day, you’re free to do whatever you wish — whether that be host your family and friends for a fun fall meal or take advantage of your quiet time and relax.

 

Best of all, our aesthetically pleasing porches add to the beauty of your home, which makes them the ideal asset. The goal of these features is to extend your indoor life to the outdoors, so that you can truly feel like your best (and most free) self whenever you’re in your home. 

 

Fire Pits

 

Who says cold weather has to stop you from enjoying the peace and privacy of your backyard? With a modern, compact fire pit, you have every opportunity to sit outside and do exactly what you normally would in the warmer months of the year. It may not still be summertime, but it’s always prime time for relaxing.

 

Style your furniture around your fire pit however you wish and watch your space ignite with life — there’s nothing more charming than a cozy fire. Do you have fond memories of camp as a child? Gather with your kids for homemade s’mores under the stars. From happy hours to celebrations, a fire pit brings a spark to your space that you can’t help but fall in love with each time. 

 

With 100 years of combined experience and unmatched skill in all areas of home design, you can be sure that we have a plan that fits your preferences perfectly. Are you ready to live in a home that loves you back? We can’t wait to meet you and get started! For more information about our house plans, please call 888-717-3003.

Tuxedo Park

Featured House Plan: Meet Tuxedo Park

That excitement when you see your new home for the very first time? We believe you should feel this every time you return home, whether from a getaway vacation or a work day. A house may be purchased, but home is priceless — so you deserve a modern plan that lives just the way that you do. 

 

Meet Tuxedo Park, an innovative plan that combines contemporary features with timeless charm to create a home you can’t help but fall in love with. With 3,306 total square feet, you’ll have all the room you need to enjoy life’s little moments — from your charming porch to your gorgeous master suite and everything in between. 

 

This one-of-a-kind house plan also comes complete with a flex room, a vaulted porch, and an optional bonus room on the second floor, which can be turned into another bedroom for family or guests, or a specialized space for whatever you wish, whether a movie room, a home office, or your own personal art studio. 

 

Built with a mix of classic and modern charm, Tuxedo Park first catches your eye with an old-world English elevation with Cotswold elements. Past a beautiful front porch with classic dormers that break the cornice line, you’ll walk inside and feel the warmth of a wide open interior — and immediately know you’re home.

 

The first floor provides an abundant, open-concept living area with a kitchen, dining, and living room. The family room is expertly designed with a beamed ceiling and beautiful fireplace, perfect for get-togethers, celebrations, and weeknight dinners. You’ll also find a spectacular master suite with a spa-like bathroom that’s specifically created to make you feel your best, day or night. 

 

On the second floor, there are three spacious bedrooms, each with walk-in closets and access to a bathroom. There’s also a large loft space that can become anything you want, from an entertainment area to a quiet place to read, relax, and recharge. Up here, you and your family will always embrace your most comfortable state.

 

When you come back to a home that fits you perfectly, every day suddenly feels wide open. You won’t believe all of the experiences and opportunities that are waiting for you in a home like this… For more information about Tuxedo Park, please call 888-717-3003. All of us at Frank Betz Associates can’t wait to meet you!

DESIGNING A CRAFTSMAN STYLE HOME – IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS

 

Gaining popularity in the early twentieth century, the Craftsman style house is easy to identify. Its distinct design characteristics set it apart from most other home styles. From its iconic front porch, exposed beams and grand fireplace, the Craftsman home has a character all its own. If you’re planning to build a new Craftsman home, this article will highlight a number of its classic design features.

A welcome like no other

Of all the defining features of a Craftsman home, the covered front porch is one of the most recognizable.

Anchored with brick or stone footers, Craftsman porch columns start wide at the bottom and taper toward the top. The front porch has deep overhanging eaves, visible knee braces and exposed rafter tails that extend beyond the roof line. Shingled eaves and handcrafted trim are also a notable detail found on examples of the style.

Castle Rock Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Definitive scale

Balanced proportion and scale are very important qualities of a Craftsman home. Standing vertical but solid, most Craftsman’s are only one or two stories. Their low-pitched roofs provide a squat facade which works proportionately with their wide floorplans. Intersecting roof lines also help to convey a textured dimension to the home when viewed from every angle.

 

Palo Alto Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Creature Comforts

Another hallmark of the Craftsman style is a large fireplace usually located in the living room. Working as the home’s centerpiece, it often uses the same stone and wood detailing found throughout the home.
As with other elements pulled from the Arts and Crafts movement, built-in cabinetry and shelving can a be found in the living spaces beyond the kitchen. More tell-tale interior details include multi-pane windows with wide trim wainscoting or chair rails, period light fixtures and paned doors. Intricate metal hardware on doors and windows add to the Craftsman charm.

Ventura House Plan- Frank Betz

Show the bones

Craftsman homes are known for shamelessly showing off their structural components. Exposed beams on the interior and exterior of the home act as signature architectural details. As mentioned above, the ends of the beams, called rafter tails notably extend outside of the roof line. Inside, natural wood rafters accent the ceilings in most every room. This treatment brings an element interest to an otherwise overlooked aspect of the home.

 

Palo Alto Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Naturally designed

With locally sourced wood and stone as the go-to materials, the Craftsman home exudes an earthy ambiance. The color palette of this style reflects the natural world, as well. Earth tones like browns and greens are most often used. While handcrafted dark wood detailing and accents add to rustic influence.

Altamonte Floor Plan- Frank Betz

There are many reasons the Craftsman style home is one of the most popular across the country. It’s iconic style fits in nicely from coastal to mountainous regions. And in addition to its historic architectural beauty, the style is still quite functional in our modern world. Featuring a deep-rooted essence of comfort and hand-crafted elegance, the Craftsman home has earned its illustrative name while standing the test of time for more than a century.

 

 

 

 

 

MATCHING OUTBUILDINGS TO YOUR NEW HOME

If you’re thinking about adding an outbuilding to your property, there’s a few guidelines to follow to make sure this new building fits in. Whether your outbuilding is a garage, pool house, garden shed or storage shed, the same forethought and planning should be applied to achieve a positive result. When incorporating a new outbuilding to your current property, you will want to create a visual harmony between the two. The two buildings will be in close proximity, so creating similarity is a must.  Not doing so will make your outbuilding design look like an afterthought.

Frank Betz- Custom House

Continuity

Continuity is not a word normally associated with building a free standing garage or other adjacent outbuilding, but it’s actually quite important. Start by identifying some of your home’s exterior details. The roof line and exterior style are of greatest importance. Matching these characteristics with your existing home structure will help create a cohesive look across your property. If you have a brick home, it is recommended to use the exact same brick for the exterior of your new outbuilding. Two different kinds of brick on the same property will stick out like a sore thumb. The same goes for paint colors, other exterior materials, window styles and roofing materials. Additionally, you will want to use the same landscape aesthetic to help establish even more of a visual flow.

Frank Betz- Custom House Plan

Neighborhood Standards

Beyond creating visual harmony, using like design elements for your outbuilding will fall in-line with any architectural review board or HOA requirements. Specifically, in newer neighborhoods there are strict guidelines put forth by homeowner associations in respect to outbuildings as an effort to uphold property value. This can be true of older communities, as well. Many have requirements to meet the historical standards of residential buildings. It is uncommon to drive through an older neighborhood with traditional architecture to see a modern outbuilding adjacent to one of the homes. Making changes to the existing structure in historical zones is carefully watched. So adding a new building in these neighborhoods is usually followed even more closely and will require design approval before any additions can be made.

Southern Trace- Frank Betz House Plan

Overall Visual Harmony

In addition to continuity and neighborhood standard compliance, coordinating your new outbuilding with your home will just look better. Mismatching these buildings has the possible effect of creating a visual dissonance between the two and will probably effect resale value. Any increase you may have seen by adding this feature to your property could be erased when you go to sell. So do your homework and plan your build accordingly. Designing similarities into your new outbuilding are guaranteed to complement your existing home.

Sweetwater House Plan- Frank Betz

So in review, you should consider a number of factors when planning to build an outbuilding on your property. Assess your home’s exterior design features like materials, shape and color. Make an effort to use the same elements in your new building. Be sure your design is in-line with any neighborhood standards. And finally, from a broad perspective, verify that the new building looks like it belongs. After the project is complete, someone new to your property shouldn’t notice any differences between the two.

WHAT TO EXPECT BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER CHOOSING AN ARCHITECT/DESIGNER

You’ve made the decision to build a new home. That was the easy part. Now’s the time to find and choose an architectural firm. If you have a home design style in mind, and you should, you will want to look for a firm that has experience designing that same kind of home. You can compile a list of firm options by asking the owners of local homes you admire or searching architecture firm websites in your area. Once you have identified a number of candidates, you will want to set up in-person meetings. By meeting first hand with the perspective firms, you will be able to get more information and gauge the working chemistry. You’re about to begin an intensive working relationship that will last months, so feeling comfortable with your architect or architects is highly suggested.

Design Phase
Once you have chosen your architect, you are ready for the initial design meeting. It’s a good idea to bring a house design wish list of wants and needs including photos and/or material samples. This will help your architect or designer get a feeling for your style vision. After this first meeting, the architect will compile the information and use it to create a preliminary home design with floor plans and elevations. A follow up meeting or meetings is advised to allow for your feedback and enable the architect to make the needed design updates.

Embry Hills House Plan- Frank Betz Associates

Documentation Phase

With your custom home design nailed down, the architect can move on to develop the working drawings. These are the drawings needed to obtain a development permit. Once approved, a structural design is then created to include your selections for exterior materials and finishes. Solidifying the floor plan, materials and finishes will also help the architect calculate a more accurate, overall project budget.

Frank Betz Material Workbook

Permitting Phase

After completing the documentation phase, your architect can now get a development permit. That permit allows them to create site plans and drawings needed for a building permit. These new drawings include more detailed floor plans, exterior elevations, exterior and interior details, sections, roof and electrical plans. After acquiring a building permit, the builder now has a green light to proceed with the construction process.

Heritage Pointe House Plan- Frank Betz Associates

Construction Phase

During this final and increasingly active phase, your architect/designer should still be available to oversee various aspects of your home’s construction. Being there throughout the construction process to make sure the home design is built according to the plans, can be very advantageous. A competent architect should also serve as a consultant on interior details like lighting, plumbing, hardware, glass and finishes.

If you are new to the home building process, choosing the right architect can make everything go more smoothly. An experienced architect will help you through every phase of the home building process. From taking your ideas and creating a design concept, to properly documenting the house design for the needed permits and finally getting through construction to the finish line, an architect will be one of the most important members of your home building team. Take the time to vet the right person or firm. Your new home and your sanity will be better off.

 

Should I have a Design in Mind Before I Find a Builder?

To have, or not to have a home design in mind before finding a builder. That is the question. Regardless of the correct answer, as a person or persons about to take the bold step of building a house, you are probably going to have an idea of what type of house design you’d like. Given those preferences, it is very unlikely that you will approach a builder without at least some of those ideas in mind. That said, there are reasons for and against how defined your home design desires should be when looking for a builder. Here’s a few of them.

Gentry House Plan- Frank Betz

Pros

Having a definite design idea for your new home can be an asset when looking for a builder. It will allow you to focus your search only on builders who are accustomed to building that type of home. For example, you would not want to hire a builder who specializes in building modern homes, if you have your heart set on a farmhouse style. Builders typically have a select range of styles they are familiar with working on. You will want to make sure your style is in that range and preferably go and see examples first hand.

Additionally, with a house design in mind it’s easier to get competitive bids from builders. Having built that style before, they know what to expect from a time and materials perspective. This will provide more accurate bids for your new home to compare with other builders.

Summergrove Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Cons

There are a few downsides to having a predetermined house design, however. For one, your pre-selected house plan may not fit your lot. That may mean working with an architect to create another house plan design or adjusting the present one. This will require more time and expense in the long run.

Some builders tend to have better offers if you use one of their home designs. If your design is much different, you may not benefit from these discounts. Working outside their parameters tends to drive up the cost.

You might also encounter the fact that your desired plan does not fit your future neighborhood’s Home Owner’s Association requirements. Most of the time, an HOA will have its own pre-requisites for home designs. That’s especially true if you want to build in a neighborhood that has a set style. Your design just might not fit in.

Wellstone Place- Frank Betz Associates

Conclusion

Taking into account all the pros and cons, getting bids using your new home design and with builders’ options may be an optimal solution. Either way, being flexible with your design expectations is always suggested. Building a new home is a process. And if you stay fluid, your home’s design will evolve for the better.  Above all, take your time on the front end. Figuring out what you want design-wise, in the middle of a build can not only lead to longer build times, but could negatively effect the end result. In the end, it’s quality that matters the most. So whatever home design you and your builder pursue, attention to craftsmanship should be the ultimate priority.

 

The latest product trends for new home construction

 

Now is an exciting time to build a new home. Beyond advances in building technology and energy efficient materials, current product and home plan design trends are making today’s new homes quite remarkable. These products include unique patterned flooring, wide bi-fold/sliding doors, free standing bath tubs, interior shiplap siding, exposed beams, and bold and bright paint color schemes.

 

Gone are the days of boring home floors. Patterned wood and tile have made their way into homes across the nation. From fumed wood, which dramatically enhances the grain, to blanched wood for a distressed but clean look, wood flooring has taken a prominent step forward. We’re seeing mixed-width planks used to create distinct patterns to the more traditional herringbone arrangement. Marble, slate and ceramic tiles with patterns and textures are also being used to create floors that are an integral part of the home decor scheme.

Frank Betz House Plan- Ansley Cottage

 

New door trends are also finding their way into homes these days. What was once just a utilitarian item has now become a unique design feature. Incorporating wide sliding glass doors or large bi-folding doors into the design of home plans with covered porches, patios or decks provides living spaces with natural light and more generous views. Weather permitting, opening these wide doors also extends the home’s living space to the outside creating large, flowing floor plans perfect for entertaining and family gatherings.

Frank Betz House Plan- Tuxedo Park

In the master bathrooms, the large soaking tubs are breaking free from their typical built-in platforms as the stand-alone tub is fast becoming a hot new item. These free standing tubs, both tranquil and beautiful, make a great design focal point and many master bathrooms are being designed around these icons of luxury and relaxation to create a more spa like feel.  With this increased interest, many companies have designed a wide array of tub styles that are both sculpturally beautiful and affordable.

Frank Betz House Plan-Beaufort

Another trending design element made popular by the modern farmhouse plan is the use of shiplap siding as an interior feature.  Bringing this common exterior finish to the inside of the house gives instant character to any space. Whether used as an accent on a fireplace or covering the walls of a room, shiplap siding provides clean, simple lines that exemplifies the “less is more” design concept while impacting the home’s aesthetic appeal.

Frank Betz House Plan -Northfield Manor

Next on the new product trend list are exposed beams. Inspired by the roughhewn beams of old barns and traditional farm houses, leaving these bones of the ceiling exposed, adds texture and depth to family rooms, keeping rooms, bedrooms and even kitchens. Architecturally, this technique can work in many different home styles from farmhouse traditional to modern. Whether made from reclaimed or new timbers, exposed beams celebrate the engineering of a home while bringing the ceiling into the forefront of the design pallet.

Frank Betz House Plan-Ansonborough

And finally, what’s new on the home construction front wouldn’t be complete without a mention of trending paint colors. Bold is back. Striking paint color choices like dark navy, rich golds and berry reds are finding their way onto the walls of new homes. Homeowners are embracing intense color schemes, from deep earth tones to vibrant jewel tones, to establish personality and character for their rooms.

Frank Betz House Plan- Ansley Cottage

All told, conventional home construction has made way for a brave new world of exciting product trends. These products help create a new home that breaks from the norm and better fits the needs and style of the individual family. More than ever, the home has become an extension of a family’s lifestyle. These trends help enable that expression.

Choosing A Houseplan

A little neighborly advice for choosing the right house plan.


Building a new home can be an exciting and sometimes daunting experience.
However, deciding to start with a proven and well-crafted house plan is a great first step. Purchasing a house plan will go a long way to making your home building process less stressful and more successful.

 

To begin with, there are thousands of house plans available. Choosing the right one will make all the difference, not only to fit the needs of you and your family, but the homes marketability if and when you ever choose to sell. With a little planning before you pick a plan, you’ll be on the right path to laying out the welcome mat.

Tried and true considerations for choosing a house plan:

  • What are your lifestyle needs?

  Do you have a family? If so, how big? You’ll need a certain amount of bedrooms and  
  bathrooms. And if there are more children planned or relatives who visit often, you should   
  also plan for that additional living space. The interior size needs of your future home is one of
  the most important factors when choosing a house plan.

Chestnut Springs House Plan- Kitchen and Keeping area
  • What’s your style?

  From traditional to contemporary to rustic, there a many different house design styles.

  And each style has its own type of house plan. Your furnishings, and neighborhood can also

  affect the type of house plan you choose. For example, mid century modern furniture may not
  be suited for a traditional farmhouse style home.

Summerlake House Plan – Rustic Elevation
  • Where will your house live?

  In addition to the surrounding neighborhood style, the size and shape of your lot is a major

  factor when it comes to choosing a house plan. If you like the outdoors, you’ll need a plan
  that allows for outdoor space like a yard, garden, patio, decks or even a pool. A house plan  

  needs to comfortably fit the lot and the natural surroundings, while addressing additional

  uses for your property. Factors such as the width and depth of your lot and whether it’s flat or

  sloping will dictate the type of house plan. Also, if privacy is a concern, the right house plan

  with the right layout is a must. Nobody wants to their kitchen staring into the neighbor’s  

  bedroom. And vice versa.

Falkirk Ridge House Plan – Courtyard
  • Got space?

   Space and its uses are key when determining which house plan is best. Are you into cooking?   
   Then maybe a house plan with a larger kitchen is a must. Will you need a home office,
   storage areas or other special interests that might call for certain space needs? These

   usability details need to be considered not only for your enjoyment but future owners.

Northfield Manor House Plan- Office

 

Taking the time to carefully consider what you want out of your new home is guaranteed to make the whole building process easier. Choosing a house plan that fits these needs, pushes you to think about your house from the inside out. Elements like exterior details and interior finishes are easily adaptable to most house plans and are easier to plan once the floor layout, room count and lot orientation are nailed down. Think of them as the icing on your new, house cake.

Kensley Downs Photo Realistic Rendering