Tag: small house

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.

Must Have Safety Items for Your Home

Our homes have always been a place of refuge and comfort from the outside world. But since we spend so much time there, it’s also a place where accidents can happen. We do so much to keep our families safe outside our houses and often neglect the dangers present right under our noses. By taking a few simple precautions, you can make your home a much safer place. Here’s a few items to consider just in case of an emergency.

Greythorne House Plan- Frank Betz

 

Fire extinguishers – Plenty of common appliances and accessories can be fire hazards if used improperly. Ovens, microwaves, even curling irons can pose risks if left unattended. Make sure you have fire extinguishers present on each floor and test them once a year.

 

First aid kits – Accidents are inevitable, especially if young children live in the home. They might get their hands on a sharp knife, get a finger pinched in a window, or touch that hot curling iron we talked about above. To treat cuts, bruises, and burns, keep a complete first aid kit in the house. A proper first aid kit will contain band aids, antiseptic spray, antibiotic ointment, sterile bandages, gloves, medical tape, and a thermometer.

Smoke, CO, and Radon alarms – Sometimes it’s the things we can’t see that pose the biggest threat. A smoke detector needs to be present in every room in the house, but don’t forget about CO and radon alarms. Carbon monoxide is invisible and odorless, but very deadly after exposure. You should probably test these alarms every six months to ensure working batteries.

 

Deadbolt locks – Keeping unwanted guests out of your house is a top priority for all families, but not everyone can afford a sophisticated security system. However, most of the time a quality deadbolt lock will dissuade most bad guys from getting inside. Place one on every door that faces the exterior of the house.

 

Brookwood Park- Frank Betz Home Plan

Wi-Fi Thermostats – If you travel a lot, a Wi-Fi thermostat will regulate your home’s temperature without you being present. You can adjust the heating and cooling levels right from your phone. No more burst pipes in the winter!

 

Emergency contacts list – You aren’t always going to be home when bad things happen, so leave an emergency contacts list in plain sight for anyone in the house to see. Include the numbers for police, fire, ambulance, and any friends or relatives who live close by.

 

Non-toxic house plants – This is a must-have for any home with pets. Make sure no small children or fluffy friends get sick from nibbling on your plants.

Abbotts Pond- Frank Betz Floor Plan

Disaster kits – If bad weather knocks out your power, you need to be prepared. A good disaster kit contains water, food, blankets, batteries, flashlights, first aid kits, and tools.

 

The essence of a home is a place of safety and comfort. Incorporating the above items will not only help protect your family, but go a long way to giving you piece of mind. To achieve the age old maxim of Home Sweet Home, you should start with Home Safe Home.

Home Designs for Small Lots

Building a house on a small lot does not mean you have to compromise on style and space.

With the right home plan and design strategy, you will be able to best utilize every available square foot. By eliminating any wasted square footage, you can build a home with all the typical amenities and living space of a home built on a regular lot. Best practices for building
on a small lot include the following:

 

Positioning

With the small lots usually found in denser urban areas, you will have less leeway on how you position your new home on the land. When possible, a south-facing home is preferred. This position will allow the most light and warmth from the sun. Installing large windows to capture the light is also recommended. Not only will it help with warmth, the natural light will brighten those front rooms making them appear larger. That said, if you live in a hot climate, you will want to minimize your southern exposure either by positioning the home, using blinds to block the sun and extending your roof’s overhang.

Cherbourg House Plan- Frank Betz

Think Tall

More often than not, small lots are usually thin and deep. Take advantage this layout by building your house with two or more stories. Most narrow lot homes have footprints no wider than 40 feet. By building stories and thus stacking your living spaces, you will maximize the amount of house for your lot. These home plans locate the main living areas like the family room, dining room and kitchen on the bottom floor, while the bedrooms and full bathrooms reside on the second or third.

Morningside Manor Floor Plan- Frank Betz

Open Up

Since homes designed for small lots are usually not wide, the structural load of the home can be carried on the exterior walls. This allows for more open floor plans. By opening up common living spaces like the kitchen, dining and family rooms, light and air flow freely to create the appearance of a larger space throughout. Using higher ceilings and large windows also go a long way to achieving this effect.

Clarksville House Plan- Frank Betz

Amenitize

Building costs for homes built on small lots are usually less. One way to take advantage of this cost savings is by adding upscale amenities. Kitchen appliances like high-end refrigerators and stoves often feature streamlined designs that save space. The same goes for washers and dryers in the laundry room. Adding smart systems like temperature and light control are also nice space saving touches that add comfort and efficiency.

Holly Ridge Floor Plan- Frank Betz

As people desire to reduce their commute and live closer to work, small urban lots are steadily increasing in popularity. Though these small lots may appear restricting, they should not dictate a small house. There are many home plans designed specifically to maximize every inch of space. These homes provide ample living space with all the trappings of larger homes. Coupled with locations in more walkable and vibrant areas and the lower cost of upkeep, small lot homes are becoming a more attractive option.

 

 

When building a home, size matters: What square footage is right for you?

 

Determining the size of your future house is perhaps one of the most important factors in the building process. Choosing either large or small comes with its own perks and downsides.

Large houses certainly offer an allure of their own. More square footage allows for more space in terms of bathrooms, bedrooms, living spaces and bonus rooms like a craft room, a home office or a game room. On the other hand, smaller houses are more affordable to furnish, maintain, cool, heat and clean!

The appropriate house size will be based on a range of factors regarding your family’s needs and lifestyle:

What is the number of family members?

This is definitely the most important consideration when choosing the amount of square footage. It will determine the size of the whole house, as well as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. The number of rooms is also dependent on whether you have guests staying over often or need extra rooms for your elderly parents. These factors will make you more apt to go for a larger house. Moreover, take into consideration if your family will be expanding or contracting anytime soon. A new addition or additions to the family mean more rooms and the need for more square footage. On the flip side, children leaving the nest will mean a need for less rooms.

Frank Betz House Plan- Settlers Ridge

Do you need work space at home?

These days, an increasing number of employers are allowing people to work from home. If that’s your case, you’ll need ample space for your home office. You could choose to create a space in one of the larger living areas, but a room unto itself, away from the main gathering areas will make for better productivity.  If you’re going to be using your house as your workspace, factor that into your square footage needs.

Frank Betz House Plan- Liberty Ridge

Do you need storage? If so, how much?

Storage space is another important factor in determining your house size. Including a basement or attic area for storage is a plus. This square footage is comparably cheaper than building large closets or other storage space in the common living areas. If you’re like most in the U.S., you have a lot of stuff and thus a need to store it.
However, you might consider streamlining your possessions before your move. This will reduce the amount of square footage for your new home and, in turn, the price tag.

Frank Betz House Plan- Brownsville

What can you easily afford?

Your budget is obviously going to tremendously impact your decision. Every square foot has a price in new construction. With this in mind, find a middle ground that works for your budget as well as your requirements. You don’t want to end up purchasing a house that’s too big for your needs and also much harder to maintain – and you also don’t want to go too small, leaving you feeling cluttered and suffocated.

Frank Betz House Plan- Northshore

In a nutshell:

Given the tradeoffs between a larger house with more space and the convenience and affordability of a smaller one, size is a huge factor when building a new home. Keep in mind that every family has its own unique situation, and you must choose one that suits yours. Remember, no square footage is free – but your comfort and ease can come at a higher price too.

Frank Betz House Plan- Kirkwood