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Build a Home with Architectural Appeal
I have designed a lot of homes over the years and I find it interesting what is important to people. Sometimes people are set on a huge master suite and bath, but don't give as much importance to other rooms in the house that may be used more. They forget that they generally entertain in their great room, not their bathroom (of course I'm making assumptions here). Others don't give enough consideration to their master suite or other rooms but have a monsterous garage. And then there are those more concerned with looking successful than just having a nice home.   I recently designed a home for some people that was over 8,000 Sq. Ft. It was huge, with no architectural appeal. Just a big box with a grand e Read more
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Published On : 07-12-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
I agree with Jake....this time.
I have to agree with Jake about choosing a home that is architecturally appealing. I have built nearly two hundred homes in my career. Most of them have been good solid plans, but there are two or three that I hate to drive by, because they are just not good home plans. The people we built for just insisted on having something like an RV garage that was bigger than the home, or skimped on the curb appeal. Curb appeal should be what you should emphasize with any home plan. However, just a word of caution about choosing a home plan based on curb appeal. Just because a certain plan on has wood siding, this doesn’t mean you can’t use rock, stucco or brick. As long as the basic façade is the design you Read more
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Published On : 07-15-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
Our House is Done!
We just finished our home! Man, it is an exciting time, all the moving, the closing on the finances, and finally the unpacking. This is our first home, so we are really nervous, but most of all excited. We really love this floor plan designed by one of our Plan Collection designers, Jake England. The design has a great use of space and we have the unfinished basement for all the future growth. Let me tell you a bit about this floor plan. This is a great front to back multi level plan with great curb appeal. You'll love the tall vaulted ceilings in the formal living room that give the home an open feel. Also enjoy the coziness of the third bedroom above the garage built within the trusses. We actually decided not to do the third room abov Read more
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Published On : 11-24-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
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
Patios - They can be a nice space.
With a little creativity a bland patio can be a little more appealing. The patio below would have generally been square. With just a little more effort in framing up the forms, this patio took on a whole new look. The cost was minimal as the amount of concrete used was about the same as if square. The labor wasn't much different either because rather than having to square up the patio with various form boards, they just used one long bendable board to make the curved shape. Read more
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Published On : 12-28-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
Lighten up your entry
You may find it difficult to believe that the days will start getting longer in the Northern Hemisphere in just four short weeks. You can find yourself this time of year coming home on dreary days, or welcoming evening visitors in the dark. It's neither safe nor inviting. But good lighting at your front entrance gives a warm and secure welcome to any who enter. Mention outdoor lighting at this time of year and many people think of strings of lights. But why not go for a more elegant look that will continue to be appealing throughout the winter ahead? First, decide what areas it is important for you to light. For your own late arrivals, that may be the front steps and the lock. You'll want to be sure visitors can see the house number Read more
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Published On : 04-29-2005
Author : Steve Donegan
So you live in a tract home neighborhood?
Do you live in a suburb where all the neighboring homes are the same? Do you come home at night and pull into the wrong driveway because everyone's house plan is the same and the colors barely differ? Its frustrating isn't it? I like to see innovative production home builders that take the time and spend the money to give people more options within a subdivision. That's one of the reasons more and more people are wanting to build custom homes. Your home is an expression of yourself. It's nice to have a refuge that you really enjoy and is built to your tastes. So what if you're stuck where you are for a while and want to give your home some character? Here are a few simple ideas that will help set your home apart. - gable trim pieces Read more
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Published On : 07-18-2005
Author : Steve Donegan
Character Defines your Dream Home!
Character What is character? Character (kâr' ∂k - t∂r) noun.          1.) The combination of qualities or features that distinguishes one person, group, or           thing from another. (American Heritage Dictionary)   That is one definition of character, but what do you think of when you hear that a home has character? One person might begin to envision steep gables and a tapering stone chimney while another person automatically imagines a large shed dormer and the perfect combination of stone, siding, and shakes.     Everyone seems to want a home with character. Character is part of that "special something" that makes Read more
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Published On : 09-29-2008
Author : Steve Donegan
Great Design from Inside - Out!
This is CD-R3170A3F-OBD. It may have a somewhat lackluster name, but it doesn't skimp on curb appeal! Stylish pillars, twin decorative dormers, and an attractive ornamental trellis are just a few of the features that make this home unforgettable. CD-R3170A3F-ODB has enough architectural quality to become an instant classic, but there is much more to this house plan than meets the eye. One of CD-R3170A3F-ODB's most distinctive features is the master bedroom. There is no other way to describe it -- it's simply HUGE! You'll never feel cramped in this 15' x 21'8" behemoth. At the same time, the warm fireplace and picturesque windows keep everything feeling nice and cozy. CD-R3170A3F-ODB has so much to brag about, but you can Read more
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Published On : 01-27-2009
Author : Steve Donegan

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