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Make sure you ask what others think
I realize that a home is your own and you should be able to make all of the choices yourself.  However, I have noticed that some people have very strange tastes and some have no taste at all.  Most people seem to pick styles and colors that go together, but others really struggle.  For instance, we built a nice home for a family, but they really made some poor choices.  Jake and I created the home plan for them.  It was a great plan, but the home owners chose to have yellow stucco, not just a light hue, but Ronald McDonald yellow.  I instructed the stucco guy to lighten it up and spread a small amount on the wall for the home-owners to see.  They insisted that they wanted it much more yellow Read more
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Published On : 06-30-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
1549 Views
Ideas for you new home
Jaren and Jake both made posts about choosing the right decorations and colors.  This is one of the many hurdles a new home owner faces as they construct their dream home.  We are in the process of selecting our finish work.  Our foundation has not even been dug yet.  Really we have been in the process of selecting our finish work for several years.  Every year I and my wife attend the Parade of Homes.  This year we will attend two of them.  I am not sure how popular this event is in other areas or if it is even available in other areas, but around Utah it is a fairly well attended affair.  The parade is a great way to get new ideas for your home and to visualize what those ideas may actually look lik Read more
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Published On : 07-02-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
2363 Views
 
Make all of your selections before you start building
I have learned that building a new home can be a stressful experience.  However, I have also watched other families have an enjoyable experience.  One common thing that helps these people enjoy the process is they make all of their color and material selections before they start building and then they stick with their choices.  I have actually had people come to me with house plans they purchased and a complete materials list and selection agreement.  I knew exactly what I was bidding and I knew how much the home-owners wanted for allowance items.  Because they were so organized, I sharpend my pencil because I knew they would have several general contractors bidding the same plan.  95% of the people are no Read more
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Published On : 07-02-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
1650 Views
Make your choices together
   As a general contractor I have seen the good and bad in people.  Designing and building a new home can be stressful.  However, it doesn’t have to be.  In fact it can be very exciting and rewarding.  I have seen a few couples actually get divorced over building a home.  In those cases, I noticed the husband or the wife wanted to make the majority of the decisions.  Most of the time the husband was very adamant about what he wanted.  In my humble opinion I think the wife should have the greatest say in what she wants in her home.  After all, most women spend more time in the home than men. Generally they do most of the housework, most of the child rearing and care the most about thei Read more
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Published On : 07-07-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
1459 Views
Be Brave
Yeah, sometimes when you are building a home you have to have a little guts. A house that is entirely one color is boring and feels like a hospital inside. A couple of years ago my wife and I built a home. She chose a bold color for one of our rooms... you can see it in the picture below. When we first showed the painter he said “are you sure you want that? We had the same reaction from several other people as well. Even when the painter had the paint mixed and was about to throw it on the walls he called me up. “Have you seen this color your wife picked out? Are you sure this is what you want?“ Once the ceiling was painted, flooring in and my wife got her decorating ideas on the wall it looked really good. We have had a Read more
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Published On : 07-29-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
1491 Views
Choosing colors wisely
I have to agree with Jake about being bold with your colors selections.  However, what Jake's wife did was to be creative with a few rooms.  The rest of their home is fairly conservative.  The outside of his home is also very neutral.  In my opinion, that is the safest way to experiment.  Even Jake wasn't sure about the color of his room until his wife decorated it to match.  Paint is cheap to replace, but brick, stucco, shingles, flooring, counter tops and cabinets are not.  Be conservative with the expensive items, but have fun with paints and decorations.  That will help to indivualize your home.  Just remember that a home is for you, but it is also a very large investment.  Be Read more
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Published On : 07-29-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
1704 Views
How to get your the most out of your brick
With the price of brickwork, make sure you get exactly what you want.  One thing that can really make a difference is to use a different color of brick mortar.  For instance, if your stucco color is a tan color, consider using a tan colored Type S mortar.  Since a large portion of the visible area of any masonry veneer wall is the mortar joint, spend a little extra time getting just the right color combination.  Be aware that the colored mortar is a little bit more expensive, but I have found that most masons will give you a good deal on it, because they like to show off their work.  Laying brick is not a very fun job, so masons usually jump at the chance to do something out of the ordinary.  The cost shou Read more
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Published On : 12-08-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
2211 Views
Finish Work Options.
I've been thinking recently about my new home and what kind of finish materials I would like to put in it. This is an area you can spend a lot of money... depending on what materials you choose. But, if planned right, you can do some really nice looking finish work or architectural accents for not too much. Here is a coffer ceiling treatment I did recently. I had to plan ahead for it making sure when designing the home plan that all the measurements were correct to get everything centered. But really, it was a fairly easy ceiling treatment. Read more
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Published On : 12-28-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
2647 Views
Finishing Touches Make the Difference Between Drab and Fab
ARA) - Three thousand parts. According to the National Association of Home Builders, that's what the typical home contains. And when you're building a home, you're faced with hundreds of decisions regarding those 3,000 parts. One or two car garage? Carpet or hardwood floors? White or oak cabinets? Paint or wallpaper? Chrome or polished brass fixtures? And the list goes on and on. While these questions may seem overwhelming at first, it's important to take your time and closely consider each decision you make. And it's not just the major choices that matter when building a home. Equally important, if not more so, are the smaller decisions, such as accessories. Items such as lighting, towel bars, glass shelves and more can make all the di Read more
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Published On : 04-30-2005
Author : Steve Donegan
4458 Views
Everybody Loves a Happy Ending
We at The Plan Collection just received an email from one of our past customers, and with his permission, I'd like to share a little bit about his experiences. It's a success story that will show you just how enjoyable an adventure building your own home can be -- especially if you get things started off on the right foot. I'd just like to highlight a few key points that helped give this project a happy ending: CHOOSE THE RIGHT HOUSE PLANS Like most people, Garry had considered building a home for quite some time, but he had a few concerns: "I had been thinking about building but wasn't sure how it would work on such a narrow lot. I went to Google and just typed 'House Plans '. Your site came up. This plan was the th Read more
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Published On : 09-10-2010
Author : Steve Donegan
2447 Views

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