Tag: custom house

Thanksgiving

Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving in Your New Home

Before long, family and friends will gather to share laughs, recount stories, and of course, indulge in Thanksgiving fare. With an abundance of room to relax, a new Frank Betz Associates home is the perfect space to host the big meal. Can you smell those festive flavors floating through your gourmet kitchen yet? 

 

If this is your first time hosting Thanksgiving in your beautiful new home, all you need is a little preparation and you’re on your way to your best holiday yet. Take a look at our recipe for a smooth, easy dinner party:

 

Plan Out the Meal

 

We all know that organization is key, so a concrete plan will help you visualize your evening. Grab your computer or a notebook and make notes about the following: 

 

  1. How many people will you be serving?
  2. Are there any dietary restrictions? 
  3. Which recipes can you make ahead? 
  4. Which recipes should be prepared the day of? 
  5. Which dishes will family members or friends prepare?
  6. Is there something new you particularly want to serve?

 

Pro Tip: If you’re a first-timer, start off slow (especially if you’re not a veteran chef). Enlist your family and friends to help out with cooking and choose easy-to-follow recipes. By the way, there’s nothing wrong with buying components of your dinner from a restaurant or market. If this is the best option for you, you can always bake a simple dessert or put together a cheese board appetizer

 

Getting a clear idea of what you want your meal to be like helps to alleviate stress. After all, Thanksgiving is about family, graciousness, and relaxing, so take the time to enjoy it!

 

Freshen Up Your Home

 

From seasonal table settings and a beautiful, festive centerpiece, to flowers and hors d’oeuvres in your spacious living room before the meal, there are so many ways to get creative. Freshen up your open interior by dusting, vacuuming, polishing silverware, fluffing cushions and pillows, and wiping down tables.

 

Most importantly, you don’t have to bend over backwards to fill your abundant space with festive flair. In fact, little touches (like painted pumpkins on your front step or entryway table) sometimes make the biggest impact. Scented candles are a timeless go-to — whether you opt for aromas like pumpkin chai or cedarwood and mahogany, this simple addition spreads happiness throughout your entire home.

 

Prepare For Post-Dinner

Of course, your focus will be on the fun of the big meal, but a few simple touches here and there will ensure that post-dinner will be just as easy and enjoyable as the dinner itself. Empty the dishwasher and trash bins to prepare for cleanup, and line your trash bins with more than one bag so that you have a fresh one ready to go when the first becomes full. Finally, stow any fragile items that children might get to.


Start the Party in a New Home


Last but not least, give your guests something to smile about as soon as they walk in with a festive drink. Whether you love warm, cider-based drinks, something fruity and fizzy, or classic wine with a kick, there’s a holiday cocktail out there to start the fun.

This Cranberry Champagne Cocktail is easy to make, fun to sip, and absolutely beautiful. All you need is cranberry juice, lime wedges, frozen cranberries, and Champagne or sparkling wine. Chill the flutes, add a squeeze of lime and cranberry juice, fill the flutes with your desired amount of alcohol, and finish off with 3-4 cranberries. Prepare these drinks ahead of time so everyone receives a “party favor” when they walk in.

From all of us at Frank Betz Associates, happy early Thanksgiving!

Bellmoore Plan

Trend Spotlight: Laundry Access From Master Bathroom

Have you ever browsed a house plan that seemed contemporary and stylish… but not quite the right fit for you? At Frank Betz Associates, we don’t just hold our new home design plans to the highest standards of construction and design — we hold our knowledge of what you want to the highest standards as well. 

 

No matter how small, a desirable home trend can make all the difference in the look and feel of a living space. This week, we want to highlight a home feature that we’re proud to incorporate into our plans: laundry access from the master bathroom. Take a look at how this unique shift in design enhances the way you live every day:

 

Lavista Park Plan

 

In a house plan like Lavista Park, you and your partner don’t have to lug laundry up the stairs to get it done. With a laundry room conveniently placed off of your gorgeous master bathroom, you can simply throw your clothes into the wash in the morning after getting ready or in the evenings while unwinding. Imagine: after soaking in that luxurious tub, you would only have to walk a few steps to get your laundry… not up the stairs.

 

Bellmoore Plan

 

Having your laundry close to your bedroom, as opposed to on a separate floor or near the kitchen, makes a lot of sense. Easy access means less hassle — and who wouldn’t want to take the hassle out of doing laundry? After a load is finished, all you have to do is fold is up and take it right into your bedroom. And if you’re not a fan of laundry baskets, no problem; taking “trips” to and from your laundry room is as easy as can be.

 

Holston Ridge Plan

 

If you have a growing family or are planning to start one, laundry days become more frequent than ever before. With your laundry room an entire floor away from your children’s rooms upstairs, you never have to worry about a late-night load of laundry waking anyone up. Especially when you have a newborn, you’ll want as much sleep as possible, which means keeping them far from your washer and dryer will work wonders for everyone.

At Frank Betz Associates, we pride ourselves on creating house plans that live the way that you do. If you’re ready to move into a home that caters to your modern design preferences and personal needs, we’re right behind you. For more information about our house plans, please call 888-717-3003. We can’t wait to meet you!

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!

HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR HOMES’ CURB APPEAL

Walk down any residential street and it’s the homes that make up most of the scenery. How your home looks from the curb point of view makes a statement. It’s a first impression that conveys a lot about who and what lives inside. Whether you’re looking to maximize your home’s curb appeal because it’s going on the market or you just want a great looking home, this article can help you get there.

Aspen Ridge Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Knock Knock

The front door is most often the centerpiece of a home’s front exterior. As people approach your home, they’re headed for the front door. As a major focal point, you should create a front doorway that is both strong and welcoming. Depending on your door type, this can be achieved with a fresh coat of paint or stain. While well-crafted hardware that includes the door knob, knocker and even the doorbell can dramatically contribute to the overall look of your front entry way. Long story short, a great front door is a must for curb appeal.

Azalea Farm House Plan- Frank Betz

A porch that says, “come on up.”

If your home has a front porch, it already has a head start in the curb appeal department.

Nothing says “come on up for a visit” like a well-appointed front porch. Taking into consideration the style of your home, furnish your front porch with comfortable chairs or even porch swing. Potted and hanging plants and other attractive ornaments like windchimes, a door mat and sculpture are additional ways to turn up the welcome factor in this out-in-front space.

Heritage Pointe House Plan- Frank Betz

Landscaping matters.

Attractive landscaping means more than just freshly cut grass. From the curb, is there a path leading to the door? Make sure this path is well kept and even. Trimmed bushes, flowering plants and carefully pruned trees all add up to create a beautiful landscape. And remember, it all starts at the curb. The sidewalk and driveway are also important areas to keep looking neat.

Maplegrove Cottage House Plan- Frank Betz

A detailed approach.

Another step in increasing your home’s curb appeal is sprucing up the architectural details. These include any elements that can be seen from the curb. Make sure that any fencing is in order, the roofing and gutters look good and light fixtures and hardware are working and clean.

Even a neat mailbox can help. These items may seem insignificant alone, but together they have a substantial visual effect.

 

New Albany House Plan- Frank Betz

What a difference a color makes.

Finally, and quite important, is your home’s paint. Freshening up the exterior of your home with a shiny new coat of paint is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to boost its curb appeal. Shades of green and brown blend well with most landscapes. Light and dark tones of blue also work well to instill a look of calmness. And if your home is modern or traditional, white is a nice way to emphasize clean lines.

 

There are many simple ways to increase your home’s curb appeal. Start by standing on the curb and observing your home from an objective perspective. You’ll be able to identify key issues that can be easily addressed. With a little time and elbow grease, your home can be looking its best to you and anyone who happens by.

 

5 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN DESIGNING YOUR MASTER SUITE

Besides the kitchen, the master suite is considered one of the most important areas of a home. It’s where you’ll be spending a good portion of your life, not only because it’s where you and your significant other sleep, but where you get ready for the day ahead. Taking the time to design a master suite that best fits your needs is well worth the effort. With a few design tips outlined in this article, you’ll be on the right path to creating a well-planned master suite.

Chestnut Springs House Plan- Frank Betz

The matter of privacy
Because your master suite will act as a retreat from the hectic world, a sense of privacy should be woven into the design. Positioning these rooms near the back of the home and/or on the upper story is recommended. The privacy issue also comes in to play when locating windows and doors. Yes, you can add curtains or blinds, but it’s comforting to be able to dress and undress freely without having to worry about putting on a show for the neighbors.

Hickory Grove House Plan- Frank Betz

The size is right
The master suite most commonly consists of the largest bedroom and bathroom in the house.
Larger walk-in closets and sitting rooms are also popular features for these areas. When designing your home’s floorplan, assigning a generous percentage of the square footage for the master suite is advised. One should also consider the furniture that will go in these rooms. The size of the bed, dressers and sitting room chairs can help determine the amount of space needed.

Hartford Springs House Plan- Frank Betz

Closet space. More is more.
One of the most attractive features of a well-designed master suite is ample closet space. If the square footage is available, including two walk-in closets is the best course. This allows enough room for both occupants to keep their individual wardrobes. A master suite with two walk-in closets is also a huge advantage when selling your home.

Azalea Farm House Plan- Frank Betz

Bathroom zen
While the rest of your home’s bathrooms are purely functional in nature, the master suite bathroom can be extraordinary. Beyond function, this bathroom can be a place of relaxation.
Double sink vanities, spa tubs and steam showers are just a few examples of luxurious master suite amenities.

Ansley Cottage House Plan- Frank Betz

Laundry convenience
Since the master suite is usually inhabited by two people, it will generate a significant amount of clothing and bedding. To conveniently handle the cleaning and upkeep of these items, designing easy access to the laundry is suggested. If the master suite is on the second floor and the laundry room on the first, a laundry shoot is a feature that can aid the accessibility and save time.

Hedgerow House Plan- Frank Betz

Every great home should have a master suite to match. As your own personal escape from the busy world, it should include the space and amenities that will enable both functionality and relaxation. As much if not more than any room in your home, the master suite should be a reflection of your style with the space and features that will complement the home as a whole.

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR MUDROOM DESIGN

Similar to an airlock on a space station, the mudroom is a vital transition area between the outdoors and indoors. Coming in from outside, it’s a place to take off and store your outerwear and other daily belongings. When leaving your home, it’s the last stop to gear up with the needed essentials. Coming or going, a well-designed mudroom is an essential part of any home.

Kensington Creek House Plan- Frank Betz

A heavy traffic area

One of the keys to a properly designed mudroom is making sure it’s located adjacent to the most used entry way. Consider what door your family will be using the most often and that is the place for the mudroom. This is probably the area where everyone’s shoes, boots, gloves, coats, backpacks, keys and hats will live. So, it should be designed into the floorplan according to convenience and easy access to your home’s most popular doorway.

Barrington Hills House Plan- Frank Betz

Everything in its place and a place for everything

Accessibility and organization are two very important components to a functional mudroom design.
Built-in shelving and cabinets are nice for storage. While racks and hooks to hang coats and hats make getting in and out of the house more efficient. If there is room for a bench, not only will it provide a comfortable place to sit while removing shoes and boots, but with the right design, the area under the bench can be utilized for storage, as well. Installing a small mirror is also a nice amenity, for a last-minute look before you head out the door.

Ingrams Mill Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Size is relative

Beyond location, the size of your mudroom should be determined by the number of people and pets in your home. Remember, with each person comes at least one set of shoes, a coat and hat. And for our
four-legged family members, you’ll need room for a leash and outdoor toys. If there’s space for its own room great, but a mudroom can be designed into a hallway, laundry room or larger closet.

 

Pine Meadow House Plan- Frank Betz

Durable materials

The very definition of a mudroom describes a place where muddy and wet clothing is taken off before entering the rest of the home. It’s there to protect the rest of your home from the outdoor elements. With that, a mudroom should be designed using materials that can handle dirt and moisture. Tile flooring or an easy to clean rug will help keep things tidy. Metal hooks and wire baskets are also moisture resistant features that make for durable storage and organization.

Wellstone Place Floor Plan- Frank Betz

All told, the mudroom should be designed for function. It is a place to keep outdoor clothing and any other daily items used outside the home. But just because the mudroom is designed for utility, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be attractive and complement your home. Incorporating the same color pallet and material styles will help weave this room into your home’s established décor. Yes, it is a mudroom, but it can be a beautiful room, as well.

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.

 

What do I need to ask a Potential Home Builder?

 

So you’re ready to build a new home. One of the first steps should be to pick a builder. If you live in a decent sized town or city, there is a good chance you will have a lot of potential options. There are many things to consider when making the choice, but by asking the right questions of the candidates, you should end up with the best builder for you. Here are some question topics to keep in mind:

References

Besides being licensed, the best builders will always have a wide array of references. It’s a good idea to meet the builders past clients to not only view the builder’s craftsmanship but also get an insight into their customer service. Industry websites can also be a reference source for the local area. A builder who is not forthcoming with references is a major red flag.

Catawba Ridge House Plan- Frank Betz

Do they allow customization or do you have to agree with standard finishes?

A good home builder will always offer the ability to customize your design. You probably want your home to be a reflection of your taste and style. Standard finishes may work for a car, but you shouldn’t have to settle when building a home. A qualified builder will use standard finishes as a starting point, and be open to customization from there.

What warranty does the builder supply?

Builder home warranties are a must. When interviewing each builder, be sure to get the length and coverage of their warranties. Your new home’s products, systems and components should all come with extensive warranties. Make sure your builder will honor the warranties and provide ample service if needed.

Beaufort House Plan- Frank Betz

Pricing

Builders price building a new home a number of different ways. Do they calculate everything per square foot, do they have a flat fee? If you customize, will there be additional costs? Will they keep you up to date on the costs as you go through the building process? It is important to have a thorough understanding of a builder’s pricing before you commit to working with them.

Frank Betz Material Workbook

Estimated time length for the project

A building time frame is another piece of information you should have before choosing the builder. You don’t want a builder who will take too much time, but on the other hand, you don’t want someone who will rush through your job. A fast build often means reduced craftsmanship and lower quality. If your builder has his hands full with a bunch of other homes, that may mean less time and attention to your home build. Finding a good balance between the two is a solid choice.

Bucknell Place House Plan- Frank Betz

Overall, it is a good idea to interview as many builders as possible. The more questions you ask, the better. The answers will help you make a better informed decision. With the right questions you will find a builder that fits your style, temperament and budget. If possible, spending a bit more for the right builder will pay off in the long run. After all, this is your new home we’re talking about.